Unless you've been vacationing on a deserted island, you've probably heard of alli, the first FDA-approved diet drug cleared for over-the-counter sale. Everyone is interested, but not everyone is willing to try it so fresh out of the box. Along with the release of the pills is a new book called The alli Diet Plan. This book includes menus, recipes, and and a fitness program written to go along with the alli pills. We've taken a look at both and want you to know what we've learned.
Alli is the OTC version of orlistat, also known as Xenical. It is a fat blocker that actually works, unlike the so-called fat blockers you've seen for sale at health food stores for years. Alli works by blocking enzymes that digest fat, preventing the body from absorbing about 25% of the fat you consume. This doesn't mean you can eat fatty foods without the guilt. Alli works best with a low fat diet.
Alli makes a very big promise that is sure to draw sales:
"With your hard work and alli, you can lose about 50% more weight than with just dieting alone. That means if you could lose 10 pounds through dieting, you could lose 15 with alli."
Consumer Reports magazine gave a less than promising report on alli:
"Data presented to the FDA suggest that Alli works best in those who are very overweight, that it must be used in conjunction with a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet, and that results are modest. In clinical trials, severely overweight subjects who took the drug for six months lost about 5 pounds more than those taking a placebo. In a separate four-month trial, moderately overweight people lost about 2 1/2 pounds more than the control group. Benefits are also likely to be short-lived. Alli is marketed for short-term use only, and follow-up suggests that people start to regain weight once they stop taking it."
It appears that the benefits of alli are not as great as hoped, but you may still feel encouraged to give it a shot. The treatment effects, on the other hand, will probably influence your decision to try alli. Since a portion of the fat you consume is not digested, it has to go somewhere. With any luck, you'll pass it with a regular "movement". More likely, you'll pass it when least expected. You could have an oily discharge, gas with oil, and uncontrollable loose stools. We've heard of people staining their furniture, or finding themselves in embarassing situations in public. According to the stats above, losing just one pound of fat will be very expensive.
The alli diet plan - your essential guide to success with alli, is the companion book that includes a diet and fitness plan to follow along with the alli medication. But you don't have to take alli to follow the plan and see results. It's so well designed that it will work very well without the diet pills. What's in the book? We expected a thick promotional brochure for alli, but what we found was a fluff-free book jam-packed with everything a dieter needs! You'll find flexible menus, a dining out guide with calories and fat for meals from over 100 restaurants! There's a good fitness plan, and diet tips. There are also over 200 recipes to make it even easier to eat well and stay on plan.
The alli diet plan consists of 3 phases. Each phase also breaks down into three calorie levels of 1200, 1500, and 1800 calories per day. Pick the level you need, then follow each phase until you reach your weight loss goal. The plan even includes meatless options!
There are over 300 pages in the alli diet plan book. Unlike most diet books, this one is practically filler-free, so you just get the good stuff. The plan is calorie controlled and low fat, and you can't go wrong with this plan even without the alli diet pills!
If the alli diet plan is so good, why take the pills? It's a personal choice. You have to watch your calorie and fat intake while taking alli diet pills, regardless of what diet plan you choose. Those that take the alli pills say it keeps them on the straight and narrow because they are less likely to go off plan. It's just not worth the risk of embarrassment or discomfort. So the alli pills are more of a behavioral tool than a weight loss miracle.
Whether you take the alli diet pills or not, we think the alli diet plan book is worth a read!