Does Alli work?

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    Jun 27, 2007 3:32 PM GMT
    OK, this is a fitness site, so here's a fitness question. Has anyone tried Alli? I've been on Jorge Cruise's 3-hour diet and have lost 20 lbs. I was thinking I'd add Alli for the month of July and see if it helps. I hear horror stories about, well, you know, poopy stuff. Is it effective? Is it worth the poop?
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    Jun 27, 2007 4:11 PM GMT
    What is Alli. A weight loss program? Never heard of it.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 27, 2007 4:24 PM GMT
    The website for Alli is distressing. Whichever PR agency came up with "treatment effects" as a euphemism for oily, uncontrollable diarrhea had a real challenge to deal with.

    Alli is a drug that interferes with the enzymes in your gut that digest fats, allowing a portion of the fat you eat to pass through your body undigested. Like Olean. And like Olean, it leads to the same unpleasant problems coming out the other end.

    The website spins this in a clever way, saying that the "treatment effects" (uncontrollably oily stool) are merely a "good sign that you ate too much fat" and need to cut some from your diet. Which makes Alli seem more like a drug that helps condition you to eat less fat, not one that allows you to eat fat and just not digest it.

    Certainly, if it functions the way they claim, it would "work" in the sense that it would prevent you from digesting about 1/3 of the fat you eat, which would save you from those calories. But as far as I can tell it will do nothing for carbohydrates or proteins. So basically taking Alli removes 1/3 of your fat calories from your diet without having to stop eating the fat (if you don't mind occasionally shitting yourself at work -- seriously, the website recommends "wearing dark pants and bringing a change of clothes until you are comfortable with the treatment effects." Yikes.)

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    Jun 27, 2007 4:36 PM GMT
    I liked Oleans description of their side effects. They called it "anal leakage". Great PR.

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    Jun 27, 2007 5:37 PM GMT
    I suggest Vaxadrine from Prescott pharmaceuticals. It is the only diet supplement endorsed by Dr. Stephen T. Colbert DFA. It lowers the amount you eat by causing temporary blindness. Because no one thinks about eating if they are blind. Side effects include permanent blindness and increased appetite.

    I feel like fat is the least of people's dieting woes. It's not like the body takes fat and directly deposits it as fat in your body. It comes down to a balance of good carbs and fats and lots of fruits and vegetables and protein. There are no cheats. It sucks, but the old fashioned way is the best. I lost 50 lbs the old fashioned way.
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    Jun 27, 2007 6:00 PM GMT
    Protein Power blog's Michael Eades, M.D. on Alli

    Funny commercial for competing weight loss product
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    Jun 27, 2007 11:06 PM GMT
    Sound like the tablet I am using "XENICAL", doctor suggested with no side effect what so ever, except for a greasy toilet bowl in the morning. I try chitosan before, they are not so effective.
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    Jun 27, 2007 11:18 PM GMT
    Alli sounds gross. If you want to lose weight, I suggest eliminating gluten from your diet. No bread, no pasta, etc. It's amazing how the pounds just melt away when you don't eat that crap. Substitute brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc. There are some pretty darn good rice breads out there. If you do your own baking, try a gluten-free flour. I make a great blend that substitutes 1-for-1 with no problem. I'd be happy to post or email if you'd like.

    I'd also suggest getting off as much dairy as possible. Try rice and almond milk instead of regular milk. Cut back on eggs too. Cook with coconut oil instead of butter. Try agave nectar instead of sugar. Far less carbs, way low glycemic index, and very yummy! Stay away from anything processed!

    Finally, portion control is key. We eat like pigs in this country. Learning to properly portion your meals - and to eat smaller, more frequent meals - is essential.
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    Jun 28, 2007 12:23 AM GMT
    I've done a good job, I think, of eating mostly whole grains. And the portion control concept I'm using helps. I'd like to believe that I can replace the other bad things in my diet, like eggs and cheese, but the best I can do is use Eggbeaters and 2% cheese and control the portions. Which I why I want to believe that Alli is magic. But I don't think it works well with my high blood pressure medicine.

    Golly, that sounds old. Hey, kids, get off my lawn!
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    Jun 28, 2007 12:32 AM GMT
    Ah yes, the miracle in a bottle. ;-)

    Stay away from wheat! I don't care if it's "whole grain" or processed to hell and back. Seriously. Try cutting out wheat for one month. It sounds like torture, but I've been off it now for 4 years and I don't even think about it. When I went gluten-free, I lost over 10 pounds in a month, changing nothing else in my diet or workout routine.

    Not only did I lose weight, but my chronic sinus infections and allergies vanished, I had more energy, and found myself to be in a generally better mood.

    If you're going to take some pill that makes you take oily sh*ts every morning for a month, why not try gluten-free? It's far less disgusting. ;-)
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    Jun 28, 2007 1:47 AM GMT
    Unable to digest fat...

    Besides leaving lots of fat for the various microbe cultures in your gut to proliferate out of proportions, has anyone asked if this would alter one's absorption of fat soluable nutrients and vitamines..?
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 28, 2007 2:36 AM GMT
    zakaria: According to the blog entry Paradox posted, Xenical and Alli are the exact same thing, it's just that the FDA approved it for over-the-counter, so they renamed it to Alli and made a bunch of colorful pamphlets about it.
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    Jun 28, 2007 2:51 AM GMT
    Try a sensible diet, and integrate in a modest exercise regime.

    Remember, if you take HighSierra's advice and just cut out one slice of white bread (at 100 calories) per day, and walk one mile 5 days per week, changing nothing else, you will lose about 1 1/2 pounds per month, maybe 2. That's 20-24 pounds per year.

    Accelerate the exercise program a bit, because you won't be able to keep up a strong diet long...because it's just not fun, and your body will crave food. But bumping the walking to 7 miles per week, and cutting out another slice of bread per day, will get you to lose 4 pounds per month, or nearly 50 pounds a year.

    I have no idea exactly what Alli is, except form reading the posts here. It sounds horrible.

    Unless you have researched the medical effects (and remember, you need SOME fat in your diet), this sounds very, very unhealthy.
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    Jun 28, 2007 3:10 AM GMT
    One small addendum with regard to HSierra's observation about gluten.

    One of the worst nights of my life in terms of intestinal distress was when I went to a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Oakland, renowned for its excellent food.

    I had the Mu Shu Pork, where the pork was some sort of compressed wheat gluten, that did, for all the world, taste like pork.

    My body could not digest the stuff...I had horrible cramps...and the rest you do not want to know.

    I am generally not allergic to wheat, but for some reason that concentrated gluten was like a stick of dynamite.
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    Jun 28, 2007 3:16 AM GMT
    NYCMusc: It absolutely does hinder your absorption of fat soluble vitamins. There used to be a warning with the Olestra/Olean in that frequent consumers of the products could find themselves deficient in vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene.

    This was compounded by the fact that olestra was used in junk foods, and the people that ate junk foods likely weren't supplementing their diet with fresh, raw sources of those vitamins from healthy foods.

    In terms of how it works, I'm guessing that it binds to the bile salts that are released by your pancreas when your body detects a fatty meal is on it's way down the chute. By binding some of those free salts, your body will not break down (emulsify) the fats. They pass right through you.

    On paper, it seems like a great idea, but if you're already eating a reduced calorie, low-fat diet, you could be jeopardizing your body's ability to perform a number of functions. As I mentioned, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. Fats are sources of essential fatty acids, an important dietary requirement. Fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell and membrane function. Surprisingly your brain is also a consumer of fats, and uses them to function.

    So, if you're eating 30g of fat a day as a part of a reduced-fat diet, you wouldn't want to reduce that even further using orlistat (alli). See a nutritionist and ramp up a vigorous cardio program. It's better for your body.
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    Jun 28, 2007 3:26 AM GMT
    That sounds horrendous, fastprof. :-( A lot of people are gluten sensitive. They might not be full-blown allergic, but their sensitivity can definitely contribute to things like allergies, sinus problems, and intestinal distress. I used to think I was lactose intolerant. I ate Lactaid like it was candy. When I went gluten free, my lactose intolerance improved immediately. I asked my nutritionist about it and he said that it's quite common for a gluten allergy to create symptoms of lactose intolerance.

    I think it's all quite simple, really. Look at which cultures are the healthiest (or were, before the western diet of death invaded), and follow their lead...
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    Jun 28, 2007 4:33 AM GMT
    highsierra, "...That sounds horrendous, fastprof. :-( A lot of people are gluten sensitive..."

    Consider it a punishment for my shameless flirting with men. :-)

    But getting back to skjpm's question...there was another Forum thread about the South Beach Diet, or was it the Atkins diet. All attempts to sell someone an approach to losing weight, as if it is a quick-fix. I understand that some research, as pointed out by Obscencewish, supports the Atkins...

    But, usually, any of these that promise fast weight loss are doing so (the weight loss) by forcing water loss. This excites the dieter into thinking that they are losing fat...when they may be, but not the total weight they lost in fat, if that makes sense.

    Cutting gluten out, or desserts or anything is fine, and probably wise. Changing the balance between calories in - calories out, while maintaining a healthy diet is the easiest way to do it.

    I know...I did it, without suffering through "anal leakage", or depriving myself completely of desserts, or anything else. In the end, I had a healthy diet, much higher in fruits and vegetables, but I am still allowed to "cheat" on desserts and a beer. Of course, I work out like a maniac.

    skjpm doesn't have to do that. If you read down to the kind of diet/exercise plan I suggested to him...it's pretty tame...and I ask skjpm if, in two years, he weighed 100 pounds less than he does now (if that is too much, then modify the diet) would that be better than stomach cramps, diarrhea?

    P.S. I think Highsierra lives in Lake Tahoe...let's wish him well with the forest fires up there.
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    Jun 28, 2007 4:43 AM GMT
    Thanks fastprof. Yes, I live on the south shore, but the Nevada side. The fires are on the opposite side of town, so I'm very fortunate. Many people are not so lucky. The fire is mostly in a year-round neighborhood, not vacation homes, etc., so it's a major blow to the community. Thanks very much for the good wishes!
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    Jun 28, 2007 12:38 PM GMT
    To atxclimber:

    Tq for educating me. If Xenical is Alli, I guess as a user I can tell you, I have nothing but positive thing to say about it. Last year when my weight get to its peak 111kilo, around 240 lb, I start to develop chest pain and breathing difficulties . Upon seeing the doctor I was told that I have sleep apnea. They do X Ray on my heart , and found that it swollen. However I pass all my ECP test and was told my problem is obesity related not heart related and everything will be ok as soon as I loss weight

    To help me in losing weight he suggested I take Xenical. Sure enough, it really work and I have been on it almost one year now. However the tablet is really expensive so I only use it when I lack will power to resisted high calories food. Also those occasion that I must eat a lot especially family gathering, dinner function and etc.

    Even though I truly believe the reason I manage to loss weight is because I exercise more and eating right, Xenical do help especially on the day when I occasionaly letting go of my self.

    I have not suffer any side effect that you guys mention in this forum. However probably because my body is more suitable to it.

    Probably this Xenical is Alli , it just they market it differently in United States and right here in the Far East.
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    Jun 29, 2007 8:14 PM GMT
    Well I didn't want to use the term quick fix, but its approriate I reckon. I eat fairly well and exercise regularly. However, I've got about 15 extra pounds that I'm finding hard to get off. It always easier to put it on (in the bad way). For those in the know, would this assist me in my goal of dropping that 15 lbs quickly so I can get on with my life?