The desire to lose weight is nearly universal. Seriously, ask almost anyone and they will tell you that they are trying to drop a couple of pounds. For most people, losing weight is not easy. Dietitians and scientists have confirmed again and again that the best and safest way to lose weight is through diet and exercise…but sometimes people want a little boost to speed things along.
That is where Alli comes in.
Alli is a fat-burning orlistat that has been on the market for more than a decade. It promises to help users to lose up to 5-10% body weight when used alongside a low fat, low calorie diet. The marketing on this product sounds fantastic. It does not pretend to be a miracle pill (which, newsflash, does not exist), but instead purports to slightly speed up the weight loss process by preventing your body from digesting fats. But everyone knows that there is often a gap between marketing and truth, which is why we did a deep dive into all things Alli. Below you will find a comprehensive and honest review of Alli. This should help you to determine whether or not this supplement is the right choice for you.
What Is Alli?
Alli is an over-the-counter weight loss supplement that contains orlistat. Orlistat belongs to a class of medications called lipase inhibitors. Lipase inhibitors work in the intestines. They block the fatty foods that you eat from being absorbed in your digestion tract. Instead, the fats pass through your system and never have a chance to turn into added weight on your body. Orlistat is the only ingredient in Alli, which comes in the form of a 60-milligram pill. If you are looking for more orlistat, you are going to have to get a prescription for Xenical, which comes in a 120-milligram dose.
What does Alli Do?
Alli helps your body to absorb less fat from the food you eat. By preventing your body from processing certain macro-nutrients within your food, you are consuming less calories without actually consuming less food. The fat passes through your system without being touched, which means that they can never convert into fat on your body. One gram of fat general contains about ten calories, so if Alli is helping you to block fat intake, you are missing out on a significant amount of calories that are passing through your system. Considering that reducing calories is the most effective way to lose weight, Alli’s diet boosting properties make a lot of sense.
It is recommended that Alli is used alongside diet and exercise. Alli claims that its proper use can lead to 50% more weight loss than dieting and exercise alone would produce. Users claim that when used correctly, Alli helped them to lose an additional pound for every two they lost on their own.
Alli is not a weight-loss pill that will cause you to drop poundage without changing anything else in your life, but if you are putting in the effort than it can really help to bolster the effects.
Alli will not suppress appetite or increase your metabolism.
How To Use Alli
Alli will be post effective when used alongside a diet and exercise program. It is best to adopt a low-fat diet while using Alli. According to package instructions, Alli should be taken three times a day, before a meal and a full 8oz of water. While using Alli your meals should not contain more than 30% (or 15 grams) of fat. If you lose track of your routine and forget to take Alli before your meal, you have up do an hour after eating to take it for it to still be effective.
Alli should not be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing, by children under 18, or by anyone with a BMI less than 25. Alli is not a long-term solution, and should only be used during an active weight-loss process.
If you can stick to a healthy, low-fat diet at a caloric deficit then Ally can help you to speed up your weight loss process. It still works slowly, with most people reporting a seven pound weight loss over six months, but it does cause weight loss which is what the supplement is intended for.
Like with any medication, Alli comes with a variety of side effects. Right on the MyAlli.com website, the Alli team warns that Alli main cause digestion issues since the drug primarily targets the gut. Alli claims that these side-effects will occur when you first start taking the supplement, but subside over time as your body adjusts to this new way of processing nutrients.
Other side effects include:
- Back pain
- Dark urine
- Fatty deposits in stools
- Flu-like symptoms
- Oil stains in underwear and on clothing
- Poor bowel control
- Reduced appetite
- Sore throat
- Urgent bowel movements
- Vomiting & weakness
Is It Safe?
That list of side effects seems a bit overwhelming, but even with everything that can go wrong with Alli, it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, Alli is the only over the counter weight loss supplement that has been approved by the FDA. Approval came through in 2007 and Alli has been marketing with it ever since. If you follow directions and meet the criteria for using Alli (18+ years old, BMI of at least 25, not pregnant or breastfeeding) then Alli should be perfectly safe for you.
If you are unsure about whether or not Alli is a good choice for you, call your doctor to discuss it.
Where to Buy Alli?
Alli is an over-the-counter drug, which means that you do not need a prescription to purchase it. It currently can be found on Alli’s official website, on Amazon, at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Target among other supplement retailers. Price varies by quantity and retailer, but a 60 pill bottle generally costs between $38 and $50. That means that individual pill prices range from $0.63/pill to $0.83/pill. If you take Alli three times a day as recommended, a 60 count bottle will last you for 20 days. If you stick to this route, you will need 18.25 bottles per year.
Would We Recommend It?
Alli is a useful tool when used correctly, but is it really worth the potential bowel mess you are signing up for when you take it? We are not sure. Below is a list of our top five pros and five cons for Alli:
- Works slowly and effectively
- Has been clinically tested and approved by the FDA
- Does not make outlandish weight loss claims
- Comes in an OTC and a prescription version, which speaks to its reliability as a drug
- Does not require other supplements or an unreasonable diet in order to work effectively
- Relies heavily on the user’s dedication to his or her diet
- Commonly causes bowel leakage and messy stools
- It is pricey considering how long you have to use it before you start seeing results
- Is not effective when used alongside high fat meals
- Weight loss is slow and minimal
Overall, we believe that Alli can be a fantastic weight loss supplement when used correctly. It does not promise anything it cannot deliver, and the instructions for use are both clear and reasonable. Generally speaking, reviewers say that Alli does exactly what it says it does, but we suspect there is a psychological element at play here as well. Sometimes the routine of taking medication is all that someone needs to motivate them to continue their diet and exercise plan. The act of taking a supplement three times a day makes you accountable, and can help you to find success.
Alli is great for some people, but it is not great for everyone. Below is a summary of who we think Alli will work for, and who we believe it will not work for.
Who we recommend it for:
- Adults over the age of 18
- Normal to overweight individuals with a BMI of at least 25
- People with a lot of self-control who can commit to a long-term low fat diet
- Anyone who does not mind messy bowel movements and potential accidents while their body adjusts to this new regime
Who we do not recommend it for:
- Children under the age of 18
- Anyone who is underweight with a BMI less than 24
- Anyone who has trouble sticking to restrictive eating
- Anyone who cannot reliably take medications at set times
If you are trying to lose weight and are not expecting an overnight solution, then Alli is a great supplement for you. We recommend that all users make a diet and exercise plan, metally prepare for a few days of bowel distress, and then follow-through without cheating. If you can accomplish that, then Alli can absolutely help you to both lose weight, and to keep it off.