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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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A New alli for Weight Loss

On June 14 a new over the counter weight loss product is coming to store shelves. It is called alli and is a smaller dose but the same drug as the prescription drug orlistat, or Xenical.

alli is available without a prescription. As a prescription drug, orlistat was given in doses of 120 mg and has been on the market since 1999. alli is orlistat, but it is a 60 mg dosage instead. The clinical trials have shown that it helps people lose up to 50% more weight than dieting alone. If you lose 10 pounds on your own, you may lost 15 pounds taking alli.

How does it work?
alli works in the digestive tract and blocks about 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed and digested. That means you are not getting calories from the fat, leading to a calorie deficit.


Because the fat is not absorbed, it is excreted in an undigested form. Please use caution when taking alli because the more fat you eat, the more fat is excreted. As you can imagine, this can create some undesirable side effects such as oily gas or diarrhea and urgent bowel movements. While this does not sound pleasant, if you follow the instructions and don’t eat more than 15-20 grams of fat per meal that you take it, you will not experience these unpleasant side effects.

Another word of caution, the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, recommends taking a multivitamin daily if you are taking alli. Some medical professionals are concerned that you will not absorb some fat soluble vitamins due to not absorbing some fat, but the research has shown that vitamin levels stayed in normal range. Taking a multivitamin is just assurance just in case you are not absorbing completely anyway.

Get help
GlaxoSmithKline is offering a 152-page book called are you losing it? for sale to use along with alli. The book is full of answers and encouragement from top weight loss experts. I recommend getting the book and visiting the alli website if you want more information or plan on using this new product. Another good website to check out is www.questioneverything.com. Of course, I always recommend seeing a Registered Dietitian for assistance with your diet.

No magic pill
Weight loss is one of the most difficult things for many people to master. This pill is not magical and MUST be used in combination with changing your lifestyle incorporating a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise in order to have success in losing weight and keeping it off!
Product logo courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline.
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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