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June 28, 2007

Alli is Not Your Friend

There's a new diet drug on the market called Alli. (It's pronounced ally. Cute.) Alli is a lower dose version of the prescription drug Xenical that has been approved by the FDA for over-the-counter sale. It works by blocking the absorption of about 25% of the fat that a person consumes. The fat passes through the body undigested. Alli costs around $50 for 60 capsules or $60 for 90 capsules, which come in a kit along with access to the Alli website, where you are given "an individually tailored online action plan" with dieting info.

We were going to do a whole in-depth research thing on why this drug is a bad idea. But then we noticed that the official Alli website actually does a great job of openly explaining exactly why Alli is a bad idea, so now we can be lazy. Awesome.

Quotes from myalli.com, notes from the evil sluts:

How much weight can I expect to lose? That depends on how closely you follow a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet, get regular physical activity, and take alli capsules as directed. alli promotes gradual, modest weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds a week. If you could lose 10 pounds through dieting, you could lose 15 with hard work and alli. Results for each individual may vary. ["If you consume 2,000 calories a day and eat 30 percent fat, the fat-blocking benefits of Alli would translate to approximately 150 calories a day. A pound of weight loss equals 3,500 calories." ~Genius math from the Wall Street Journal]

You may start to regain weight after you stop taking alli. In order to maintain your weight loss, you may need to continue taking alli along with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet.

Should I use a multivitamin with alli? Take a multivitamin once a day at bedtime while using alli capsules to ensure adequate absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene. We recommend Centrum®, a balanced and complete multivitamin. [In addition to blocking the absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins, Alli also can't tell the difference between "good" and "bad" fats, which means that healthy fats like omega-3s are blocked right along with unhealthy ones like trans fat.]

The most common treatment effects come from eating meals with too much fat while using alli capsules. Undigested fat cannot be absorbed and passes through the body naturally. The excess fat is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza. [We think pizza should seriously consider suing GlaxoSmithKline for defamation of character.]
The treatment effects may include gas with oily spotting, loose stools, and more frequent stools that may be hard to control. Eating a low-fat diet with 15 grams of fat per meal on average can lower the chance of experiencing these treatment effects.
While no one likes experiencing treatment effects, they might help you think twice about eating questionable fat content. If you think of it like that, alli can act like a security guard for your late-night cravings. [Yes, we're telling you about the "medical breakthrough" that is our wonderful drug...but we'll still throw in some good old fashioned guilt and shame as a bonus.]
You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens.
You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.

So if I follow this diet plan, Alli will help me to lose weight slightly faster than I would by just exercising and eating right alone. But it will cost me a whole lot of extra money, especially since according to the website I apparently need to stay on it forever to prevent me from gaining the weight back. And when I have lost a whole bunch of weight and I look great...nobody will want to have anything to do with me anyway, because I'll be known as 'the gassy girl' or 'that weird chick who always changes her pants halfway through the day' or better yet, 'that girl who shit herself at the office Christmas party'. Sign us up!

Could we all just do ourselves a favor on this one? Skip it. Pay someone a compliment about the way they look, ask a friend if she wants to go walking or go to the gym together, buy more fruits and vegetables, try that yoga class, learn some healthy recipes that aren't "diet" recipes. Whatever you want. Spend the $5o on something that will actually make you feel good. (Hell, it would probably feel better and be better for you in the long run to just cut to the chase and flush the actual cash down the toilet.) Leave Alli on the shelf.

4 comments:

Nicholas said...

I believe that the word you are seeking is steatorrhea.

It is amazing how often words from "Depraved and Insulting English" can add spice to everyday conversations.

Anonymous said...

Alli, Ana and Mia. Way to not take weight issues seriously.

THE EVIL SLUT CLIQUE said...

In case anyone doesn't know, Ana and Mia are "nicknames" for anorexia and bulimia that are used by some people who have these eating disorders. There are a lot of pro-ana and pro-mia websites out there which serve as 'support groups' for people who feel that they can't recover, don't want to recover, or don't believe that anorexia and bulimia are actual disorders to begin with.

Pro-Ana

Pro-Mia

The Alli website has a brief mention of eating disorders, basically saying 'if you have an eating disorder you shouldn't take Alli, you should go and talk to a doctor instead'. There is also a chart with different weights listed by height, and they recommend that you only consider taking Alli if your weight is equal or higher than the number on the chart for your height. Of course, one of the concerns that has been raised about Alli is that since it is available over the counter, there are very few controls in place to prevent people who aren't overweight from taking it.

Galactichero said...

LOL.

I am the Galactichero and I approve of this message... :-D

The really amusing part isn't that it has side effects that are ... fucking gross ... or that they tell you to do what everyone knows you should do to lose a few pounds anyway, it's that otherwise intelligent, reasonably attractive, well-intentioned, more or less sane women are actually into this shit to lose weight they don't really need to lose anyway. It's the Barbie-doll culture, I guess.