Does alli work as a weight loss pill? The quick answer seems to be yes, but there is a downside, so read on.
Alli is the over-the-counter name for orlistat which is also available in prescription form as Xenical. If you are going to ask for it you may like to know that it is pronounced like ally, not alley. It is essentially a fat blocker. It works by preventing the body from absorbing the fat from the foods that we eat, and it is the one freely available drug that has FDA backing for its claims to aid weight loss. You might think you could eat all the fatty foods you liked and then take alli to negate the effect but sadly that is not true. It should always be used in conjunction with a low fat diet plan under the supervision of a doctor.
The amount of weight loss achieved with alli is variable. In one study involving one-year clinical trials, between 35.5% and 54.8% of subjects attained a 5% or greater decrease in body mass, although we do not know how much of this mass was fat. Between 16.4% and 24.8% of the subjects achieved a 10% or more decrease in body mass. In combination with a calorie controlled diet, the effects could be expected to be greater. It was also shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The participants regained an average of one third of the weight that they had lost after stopping alli, but this is typical of most dieters.
The main disadvantage of alli is the side effects which center around digestive and bowel problems. The higher the fat content in the diet, the greater these side effects are likely to be, as the undigested fat is expelled from the body. Flatulence, loose stools and bowel incontinence can result, especially in the early stages before the body is accustomed to the drug. The manufacturer’s website warns, “You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.” You really need to want to lose weight to take alli!
However these side effects are reduced if you stick to the recommended low fat diet and as the manufacturers hint, the potentially embarrassing side effects can even be helpful in encouraging you to keep to your diet. Always remember that alli does not claim to work without consistent efforts toward weight loss from you. What they do claim is that it can improve your weight loss by up to 50%. That would mean a person who lost 10 pounds without taking alli would lose 15 pounds taking it. It boosts your weight loss and rewards your efforts with better results than you could get by yourself. Note though that individual results will vary and are not guaranteed.
Sadly there is no magic diet pill that will melt away your excess pounds while you sleep, but alli is a pill that has documented results. If you are determined to lose weight and have been struggling with diets without much effect, it may be a good time to discuss it with your doctor and find out does alli work for you.