June has finally arrived and with it, my annual body image neurosis. Every year I am more determined than the last to wear a teeny bikini without exercise – having my cake and eating it too. Of course, I have yet to succeed. This year’s magic pill of choice was Alli, otherwise known as Xenical, otherwise known as Orlistat. I set out for my neighborhood Target and shelled out about $60 for an Alli starter kit, and what follows is a review of the product from someone who has actually tried it.
What is Alli?
Alli is an FDA-approved non-prescription weight loss aid. The generic name for Alli is Orlistat, marketed as a prescription drug called Xenical. The difference between non-prescription Alli and prescription Xenical is the dosing. Alli is sold as 60mg tablets and Xenical is prescribed as 120mg tablets.
Alli works by blocking the enzyme the body uses to absorb dietary fat. Fats not absorbed are passed through the intestines and are eliminated via stool (bowel movements). Alli will block only the absorption of fats eaten during a meal. Alli does not break down fat already stored.
The major con to using Alli is its method of evacuating dietary fats from the body. Alli carries the side effect of gastrointestinal distress otherwise known as gas, leaking oil, and diarrhea.
The starter kit that I purchased included the following:
A Read Me First brochure
Convenient Carrying Case
Up to 30 day supply (90 (60mg) capsules)
MyalliPlan Quick Start CD (recipes and activity trackers, etc.)
The Alli Experience
Already on a low-fat diet and obsessive about counting calories, I decided to add Alli to my regimen in lieu of increasing physical activity. I use the terms physical activity rather than exercise, as it seems less daunting. Increasing physical activity means nothing more than adding a nice long stroll or a bike ride to my daily routine.