Is Alli Diet Supplement a Scam?

Can long-term weight loss really be achieved with the help of a pill?

alli-diet-supplementsNearly everyone has seen the television commercials promoting a new weight loss aid called Alli. These commercials promise users that they will be able to shed excess weight with the help of their little blue pill. So simple. So easy. Almost like magic. If every overweight person in the United States could lose weight so simply and so easily, the obesity epidemic would surely just go away for good.

This pill, known as Alli, has been developed for and marketed specifically to overweight adults who have struggled to lose weight for years. But really, can this be the answer to all your prayers? Maybe, maybe not.

What is Alli?

xenicalAlli is manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo-Smith Kline. It is a medication known as Xenical (Orlistat) which is used to treat severe obesity but in much smaller doses. Alli is typically given in 60 mg doses as opposed to the usual 120 mg of Xenical a patient with severe obesity would be given. Xenical was originally developed to be used as an “aversion therapy” drug for obese patients because of the severe side effects patients would experience when they consumed large quantities of fat in their diet. Orlistat works as a lipase inhibitor. Lipase is one of the enzymes used by the body to process dietary fat into fat stores. By inhibiting the lipase enzyme from working properly, Xenical effectively reduces caloric intake. It is meant, however, to be used in conjunction with a low-fat or fat-reduced diet, not as a way to just “get rid of fat”.

Alli has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use over the counter and does not require a prescription in order to be purchased. It is recommended for use only by people over the age of 18.

Are there any concerns associated with Alli?

FDA-Warning-AlliThe FDA began a review of Alli’s safety in 2009 after receiving numerous reports of adverse side effects. Some people who had used this supplement reported that they had sustained serious liver damage while taking it.  After concluding its study, however, the FDA was unable to link liver damage to Alli as a possible side effect or concern. They did, however, recommend that labels be added to the packaging warning people of possible side effects and telling them of potential warning signs such as jaundice or light colored stool.

Specifically how does Alli work

Alli is able to enable weight loss by decreasing the amount of fat which can be absorbed by the intestines in the digestive tract. This prevents extra calories (and some needed nutrients) from being absorbed and processed. Because it disables the body’s ability to utilize the enzyme, lipase, the body is incapable of breaking down fat and this fat is eliminated from the body in the form of feces.

When Do I Take It?

Users are instructed to take one tablet before each meal they are going to consume which will contain fat. The makers of Alli recommend that people consume no more than 15 grams of fat with each meal they are going to eat. Consuming more than 15 grams of fat with a meal can lead to some very unpleasant side effects such as severe stomach pain, diarrhea or explosive flatulence. Other people have reported that they have experienced oily spotting while using Alli.

How much weight should I expect to lose while using Alli?

In all honesty, doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have said, after studying the effects of Alli, that it will help you lose weight but that it will likely be only a modest amount. Certainly no more than you would normally expect to lose by using a healthy diet and exercise. The average person using Xenical (or Alli) can expect to lose between 5 and 7 pounds after one year which is less than they would expect to lose if on a weight loss diet and doing regular exercise three to four times per week. As with most products of this nature, your wallet will end up being lighter than your body will  be after a year with the product.

The reason I say this is because Alli is fairly expensive. And, as with all “diet pills” there is absolutely no guarantee. It’s a jungle out there and you have to be extremely careful before proceeding with products like this. I truly believe that you would be far better off to eliminate one fast-food meal each week from your diet and skip dessert three out of seven nights each week for a  year than you would be buying and/or using a product like Alli. Experience has taught me that there is simply no such thing as a “magic pill” when it comes to weight loss. There is no easy way to get around it. You simply have to put in the time and the “sweat equity” in terms of exercising if you want to see any results that are going to be long-lasting.

Top 5 Over The Counter Pills

Over the counter diet pills get a bad reputation for not working. I’ll agree that the vast majority of them are little more than marketing hype filled snake oil. With quite a bit of trial and error, though, I’ve discovered five over the counter diet pills that will help you see dramatic results. They all don’t work for every person, but these are all great diet pills that you won’t be able to beat without switching to a prescription option.

Green Tea Extract

green-tea-extractGreen tea has been a favorite of eastern cultures for thousands of years. It is delicious, caffeinated, and is told to have a long list of health benefits. Drinking several cups a day can give you a huge boost in life, but this is especially true when it comes to losing fat.

Green tea is at the top of every list for natural and over the counter diet pill options. I can’t encourage people enough to give this a shot. There as a study that used 250mg capsules to research the effects. The findings were outstanding.

Each time the participants took a capsule of green tea extract, their metabolism shot up by 25% for three hours or more. That is three hours of pure fat burning. Look at it this way, if you burn 500 calories an hour running, green tea will help you burn an additional 100 calories. That adds up after a while!

Fat Free by Applied Nutriceuticals

fat-free-diet-pillsApplied Nutriceuticals has made a name for themselves as providing some of the most powerful over the counter supplements to ever hit the market. Fat Free is relatively new, but it absolutely blew me away.

This is a unique diet pill in that it burns fat, but it also prevents muscle loss while you’re losing weight. Muscle loss happens when you lose too much weight, it happens. Fat Free prevents that from happening. I lost 15 pounds the first month that  I used this in combination with Insanity from Beachbody.

OxyELITE Pro by USPlabs

oxyelite-pro-diet-supplementOxyELITE Pro uses science to take control over your body and force it to burn fat. There are a few receptors that tell your body when to burn fat and when to hold onto it. OxyELITE uses the Beta-2, Alpha-2, and T3/T4 receptors to trigger the kind of fat burn that many other stimulant filled pills can’t touch.

The problem with a lot of people is that the fat that they are trying to lose is a different kind. The fat on your belly is different from the fat on your arms. It is much harder to lose. I spent years trying to get rid of it and didn’t have a lot of success. However, OxyELITE has been relatively more successful in getting rid of this kind of fat.

OxyELITE is a bit expensive, but it is worth trying just to see if it works for you.


alli-diet-pillsAlli is unique in a way that it actually stops your body from being able to absorb fat that you take in as part of your diet. There is a prescription version of this as well, but the over the counter version is just as effective. By turning off your body’s ability to absorb fat, you will pass it as you would any other unused nutrients. People report losing 2-3 pounds a week without changing their diet very much.

The problem with that is that many people continue to eat a high fat diet and run into problems. By eating a diet that is high in fat, you are going to cause your body to produce oily feces and cause a lot of indigestion. If you are willing to make the diet changes that are necessary, then this is a good option. I haven’t tried it, but according to their website a lot of people seem to have success with it.

Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite by MuscleTech

hydroxycut-hardcore-eliteHydroxycut Hardcore elite is one of the top selling diet pills of all time. The combination of green coffee, caffeine, yohimbe, and cocoa extract makes it absolutely unstoppable. This is the latest form of a diet pill that used to have ephedrine in it, but they have managed to mind a formula that gives the same effects, without having to rely on banned stimulants.

The caffeine is standard to most over the counter diet pills, but that’s because it works. Caffeine rises your temperature, burns fat, and gets your heart pumping. The green coffee, yohimbe, and cocoa extract are all also proven to drop fat off of you without much of a change in diet or exercise.

Personally, I’ve tried several of these and saw great results. They aren’t miracle workers, but they will provide the much needed boost if you going to need one. Knowing which one is best for you is going to come down to knowing your own body and your diet. Whether your problem is carbohydrates, fats, a lack of hormones, or just bad genes. There are lots of things that can stop you from losing weight, but the effort to find what works is worth it. Pick one and try it out consistently for sometime along with your exercise regime and see if it works out. Let me know what kind of results you have. Happy Losing :)