Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Diet Pill, "Alli"

My certifying body, American Council on Exercise (ACE), recently came out with a very short, yet informative article on the FDA approved over-the-counter weight-loss pill, Alli.

Facts: Alli is is the half-strength version of the prescription weight-loss drug Xenical (Orlistat). It works by decreasing the amount of fat absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract during the digestive process and should be taken before every meal that contains fat. Research has shown that when individuals used Alli in combination with diet and exercise they lost up to 50 percent more weight on average than if they had only dieted and exercised.

Sounds great. What's the catch? Well, the side effects aren't pretty. Alli has several documented side-effects including excessive flatulence with an oily discharge, frequent and difficult-to-control bowel movements, and loose stools. However, these side effects are related to your diet. The more fat you consume, the more you increase your risk of getting these side effects.

The most important part: Simply taking the pill without altering one's lifestyle (i.e., exercising regularly and adhering to a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet) will produce little or no noticeable results. Most weight-loss experts contend that without the contributory effects of diet and exercise, Alli's beneficial weight-loss effects will be very limited.

The bottom line is while Alli may aid in the weight loss effort, diet and exercise are still key to long-term weight loss success. I guess the old saying is right- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Now it's your turn. Have you used Alli or another OTC drug that claimed to help you lose weight? Share your stories, successful or not, by commenting below. Remember, you can leave your comment anonymously if you wish.

I hope that your experience will help another member of the Body by Kelly community.