Alli The Fat Blocker – Friend Or Enema?
Alli is the first FDA approved ‘diet pill’ to be sold without a prescription. But is this fat-blocking drug the magic pill people hoped for? Even the manufacturers don’t guarantee easy results when you use this lower-dose of xenical (also known as orlistat).
When you visit their website you’ll see the Alli people have a lot to offer. After you purchase the product you get membership to their program which includes individualized menu plans, guides for dining out, and other support. Even if you’re not a member the website has a lot of valuable and accurate information available for free. This includes tips on stocking your pantry and refrigerator to keep healthy foods around; information on reading labels so you can be an educated consumer; even a quiz to see if you’re ready to start the program. The latter is an important step to note. This author has even written an article specifically about how vital the success of your diet depends on being ready when you start (Start Your Diet Strong With These Helpful Tips).
Unfortunately the amount of information provided to people who join seems almost insurmountable. They advertise that the pill alone is not what they sell, but the Alli plan includes a comprehensive program. To provide you with the information explaining how the medication works, how to monitor your progress, how to set goals for yourself, how to make lifestyle changes, how to manage hunger, how to deal with setbacks, and more, you get over 200 pages of material! It seems like it would be easier just to eat less than it would be to make a full-time long term study of the process.
Furthermore, what they advertise as ‘success’ is losing 5-10% of your body weight. It’s true there are many health benefits to an obese person losing 10% of their body weight. But most people who start a comprehensive, detailed program in which they are investing time, money, and possible intestinal discomfort probably are hoping to lose quite a bit more than that.
The facts are, Alli blocks the absorption of 25% of the fat you consume. They recommend you eat less than 50 grams of fat a day. This amount of fat, so you have a reference point, can be found in half a Domino’s hand tossed pepperoni pizza, OR a Burger King Breakfast Biscuit with sausage, egg, and cheese, OR a Hardee’s Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger OR a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a medium order of fries. In other words, if you regularly consume fast foods of this type, you are going to have to keep away from them while you’re on the Alli program. Otherwise, 25% of the fat will not be absorbed (equivalent to about a tablespoon of oil) and guess where it will end up? That’s right: coming right out through the other end of your digestive tract and in the consistency of about a tablespoon of oil.
How does the Alli program work? People quickly find out the side effects of consuming more than 50 grams of fat per day. It sounds most unpleasant and embarrassing. So they avoid fatty foods. In reality, the amount of fat blocked from being absorbed on your new 50 gram daily fat allowance only keeps 250 Calories out of your system–enough to promote one-half pound of weight loss per week! The fat it keeps people from eating, however, could easily surpass 50 grams per day, which would keep 450 calories out of your system, and cause up to a pound of weight loss per week. You will also have cut calories from the carbohydrates contained in the foods you are avoiding which could be an additional few hundred each day, if not at each meal.
The bottom line is, if you generally consume large amounts of fat on a daily basis, and can cut many grams out of your diet, you can be successful at losing weight relatively quickly. If this drug and its side effects are what spurns you on to stay away from these high calorie foods, then Alli is indeed your friend.