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Do Alli Pills Work for Weight Loss?

Do Alli Pills Work For Weight Loss

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42.4% of Americans are obese. Losing weight can be incredibly difficult, particularly when your body seems to want to hold onto fat. 

To drop pounds, you may be tempted to reach for the medicine cabinet. Diet pills have a long history in the United States, with many popular drugs later found to cause serious health issues.  A more recent over-the-counter medication, Alli, is safer than many diet pills that have been taken off the market – but does it work?

Scientific studies have demonstrated that the active ingredient in Alli may help you lose small amounts of weight at high doses. However, it may cause a number of unpleasant side effects — like losing control of your bowels – which can ultimately damage your health. When you take Alli, you may lose a little bit of weight if you also follow a strict diet and exercise, but there are better alternatives.

Ideal You helps people lose weight quickly in a safe, sustainable way. If you’re considering a weight loss program, read on to learn more about Alli. You can decide for yourself whether it’s worth the gamble or better to pursue a safe and proven alternative.

What Is Alli?

Alli is an over-the-counter (OTC) version of the prescription medication orlistat (Xenical). Alli is sold in 60 milligram tablets, while Xenical is prescribed at 120 milligrams. Alli is approved for use by adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more. Xenical can be used by adults with a BMI of 30 or greater, or for adults with a BMI of 27 to 29 who have other health risk factors.

Both Alli and Xenical are intended to be used in combination with a comprehensive weight loss program. In other words, you will also need to follow a low fat, low calorie diet and exercise regularly while taking Alli.  You will need to take Alli – which costs about $50 for a 40 day supply – three times a day.

Alli works by preventing the body from absorbing dietary fat by blocking an enzyme in the gut called lipase. This enzyme helps our bodies break down fats into free fatty acids, which can then be transported across the intestinal membrane. High levels of free fatty acids in the body are associated with obesity.

By blocking the production of lipase, fat that is consumed through diet bypasses digestion. It is then expelled from the body. Alli has been shown to reduce the absorption of dietary fat by approximately 30%. This can lead to weight loss, as fat is higher in calories than other nutrients, such as protein or carbohydrates.

Weight Loss Scale

Does Alli Work?

Alli can help you lose small amounts of weight. A number of scientific studies have been performed that show that orlistat – the active ingredient in Alli – may help a person lose a modest amount of weight when combined with a diet and exercise plan.

The largest study on orlistat was conducted in Sweden over the course of 4 years, with 3,305 participants. These individuals were divided into two groups; the first group took 120 mg of orlistat, three times a day, while the second group took a placebo. All participants were encouraged to cut 800 calories per day and take a walk each day.

In the first year, the orlistat group lost an average of 23.3 pounds, while the placebo group lost 13.6 pounds. By the conclusion of the study, the participants who received orlistat lost an average of 12.8 pounds, compared to an average of 6.6 pounds lost by those who received the placebo. Notably, the dosage taken by the orlistat participants is twice the dosage of Alli (120 mg, 3 times per day, as opposed to 60 mg, 3 times per day). 

One review found that over the course of a year, orlistat may help individuals lose 7.5 pounds more than if they had simply followed a low fat diet and exercised. With orlistat, the total weight loss during this period is just 3.1% of initial weight. After the initial year of treatment, participants slowly regained the weight that they had lost.


A recent study found that a diet low in carbohydrates — without any medications — was just as effective as taking orlistat while following a low calorie, low fat diet. These results indicate that you can lose as much (or more) weight just by following a low carb diet than you could by taking Alli. 

Alli has some unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects. Because orlistat blocks the absorption of fat, Alli can cause a range of gastrointestinal issues, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Loose, oily stools

These issues are more likely to occur if you eat anything with a high or even moderate level of fat in it while taking Alli. Many Alli users have reported embarrassing accidents while taking the medication.

Taking Alli can also inhibit the absorption of certain fat-soluble nutrients, such as Vitamins A, D, E and K. It can also interfere with the absorption of some medications. Because of these effects, Alli should not be taken continuously for more than 24 months.

Alli also presents a risk of severe liver injury. While there have been relatively few reports of liver injuries, anyone who takes Alli should be aware of the possibility, and be alert for signs of liver damage. This includes itching, yellow eyes or skin (jaundice), loss of appetite, light-colored stool, and brown urine.

Is There a Better Alternative to Alli?

Alli may be effective in helping you lose a small amount of weight, in combination with diet and exercise. However, Alli has a number of potentially serious side effects. It can also inhibit your lifestyle because of its effect on your GI system. Because Alli is unlikely to lead to significant weight loss and due to its unpleasant side effects, Alli is not a good choice for most people.

Fortunately, there are better options. Ideal You is one of the only weight loss programs that doesn’t slow down your metabolism – which is often a consequence of cutting calories in an attempt to lose weight. Instead, Ideal You works to improve your metabolism so that your body burns fat instead of storing it.

Because Ideal You improves your metabolism, it is a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight. On this program, you won’t have to work out or take pills that may cause you to have an accident. Instead, you take all natural, food-based supplements, eat real food, and work with knowledgeable weight loss coaches to achieve your ideal weight. 

The Ideal You program works to fix the imbalances in your body by focusing on the very things that can lead to weight gain – such as food, sleep, and hydration. Working out, without addressing diet, often isn’t effective for weight loss, because it doesn’t address the hormonal imbalances that can make it difficult to lose weight. With Ideal You, you can lose weight quickly and safely – and keep the weight off long-term. 

Ready to Change Your Life? Reach Out to Ideal You Today.

We know how difficult it is to lose weight. Fad diets and diet pills promise to help, but they’re often ineffective or unhealthy – and tend to lead to weight gain as soon as you stop the program. That is why we created the Ideal You Whole Body Health program.

With Ideal You, you get a structured food list and weight loss journal, all-natural food-based supplements to improve your metabolism, regular one on one meetings with a weight loss coach, and daily support from a team of weight loss coaches and doctors. There are no shakes, bars or supplements to buy – just a healthy, sustainable approach to life-changing weight loss that happens fast. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Ideal You Health Center, reach out to us today at 800-433-2596 or simply book online.

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