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What food should I eat with alli?

See also: How alli worksCan I buy alli?Alli supportHow to take alliBMI CalculatorAbout OrlistatWeight loss target calculator

Alli's dietary regime is the most crucial aspect of the treatment, as well as the most misunderstood. Quite simply, Alli will make you change the way that you eat. It is important to note that Alli is more than just a "weight loss pill". It is, in fact, an entire system that only works if you follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet. Alli makes you aware of when you are not doing this, as will be described below. It is because Alli promotes responsible eating, as well as helping you to lose weight, that it has been licensed by the authorities for over-the-counter sale in pharmacies in the UK. It is the first medicine of this type.

image What food should I eat with alli?

What foods to eat

The alli website recommends a range of food-types to take in conjunction with alli. In fact, with alli comes a whole range of online support tools to help you get the most out of alli.

However, you may choose to ignore the online support, and follow your own dietary philosophy. Express Chemist offers some advice for eating healthily with Alli:

Fat
Your fat intake should be reduced to no more than 15 grams per meal. It is quite easy to consume fat without noticing it. Here are some tips for reducing the amount of fat in your meals:
  • Avoid deep-fried food. Instead, fry your food in a pan, or, even better, grill it.
  • Use only a tiny amount of cooking oil when frying your food. If your food starts to stick to the pan, use water to wet the pan rather than more oil.
  • Poach eggs rather than frying them. They taste exactly the same!
  • Use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk rather than full-fat milk.
  • Cut out cream and use natural yogurt.
  • Avoid mayonnaise. It is surprisingly fatty.
  • Try dark chocolate with 70% cocoa as an alternative to milk chocolate.
  • Chips are fatty, even shop bought ones. You could make your own by boiling potatoes, cut weges and roast with a tiny amount of oil.
  • Processed food often contains hidden fat. Simple meals don't have to come from premade packets. Fresh cooked chicken strips can replace chicken nuggets for example.
  • A vegetarian diet is not necessarily the best option. In particular, cheese and pastry contain huge amounts of fat. Instead try quorn or soya based produce, pulses and beans - filling and full of protein.
  • High quantities of red meat is fatty and hard to digest. Cut down on red meat, introducing more chicken, turkey and fish.
  • Takeaways contain lots of fat, particularly curries, kebabs and fish and chips. It is better to cook things yourself so that you know what is in them.
  • Principally, if you cook things yourself from scratch from raw ingredients, you can see for yourself what you are putting in them, so there is less chance of "hidden" fat sneaking into your food.

Sugar
As well as fat, many people tend to eat far too much sugar. Here are some tips for reducing your sugar intake:
  • Avoid sweet drinks such as cola and lemonade. They contain huge amounts of sugar. A can of a leading cola drink contains just over 9 teaspoonfuls of sugar! Try fresh juice or a smoothie instead and get one of your "5-a-day" in the process.
  • Note that "diet" versions of drinks, and artificial sweeteners, are all well and good, but will not break you out of the routine of liking sweet drinks. It is good to wean yourself away from having a sweet tooth.
  • Processed foods often contain "hidden" sugar. For example, tomato ketchup contains more sugar than one might think.
  • Try honey as a sweetener.

Vitamins
Because Alli prevents fat from being absorbed, this in turn can make some other nutrients pass through your body quicker, including some containing vitamins. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your vitamin intake is sufficient. If you take a multivitamin before bedtime, you can help to ensure that you do safeguard against vitamin deficiencies.

Further advice

Here are a list of additional thoughts and opinions from the Express Chemist team:

- Mathematically speaking, the weight gained or lost by a person is related to the difference between the number of calories eaten by the person, and the number of calories used by that person. Generally speaking, if you eat more calories than you use up, then you will put on weight, and if you eat fewer calories than you use up, then you will lose weight.

- Some people have a problem with the types of foods that they eat, rather than the quantity. They will eat fatty or high-calorie foods. In this case, switching to healthy alternatives is the answer. In this case, filling up with lots of fruit and veg, lean meats rather than fatty processed meats, complex carbohydrates rather than sugar, and most of all, lower-fat foods, is the best way of reducing your calorie intake.

- Some people have a problem with the quantity of food that they eat, rather than the type of food. They may already eat healthy foods, but just a bit too much in quantity. In this case, a gradual reduction of portion size will help to reduce your calorie intake.

- Some people say that you should never finish your dinner, and always leave some food on your plate, just to make a protest against the culture of always finishing your dinner.

- Some people say that you should chew your food 10 or even 20 times. The satisfaction derived from food is related to the amount of time that it takes to eat it, so the longer it takes the better.

- Avoid grabbing your meals. Take time to savour and enjoy them.

- If you like jam on toast for breakfast, then you can still have it. But have one slice instead of two, and eat it twice as slowly.

- Some people say that you should just really avoid thinking too much about your food, because if you become obsessed with dieting then you end up spending more time thinking about food, and often end up eating more

- Most people say that you should never skip a meal, because you are then twice as hungry for the next meal, and then you stuff your face.

- Some people count calories. The manufacturers of alli recommend about 1400 calories as an average. However, short people may need far fewer calories, perhaps only 1000.

- Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcoholic drinks tend to contain far more calories than non-alcoholic drinks. Furthermore, being drunk tends to lead to poor dietary decisions, such as over-consumption of kebabs, curries and other takeaways. Before a big night out, prepare a healthy snack for when you get back, rather than passing by the late-night burger van on the way home.

Note, however, that alli does not interact with any foods. So, for example, if you choose to drink alcohol with your meal, then it is perfectly safe to take alli, and alli will still work to reduce the amount of fat absorbed from that meal. It's just that the alcohol will add to the total number of calories that you consume. It is also perfectly acceptable to take alli with a totally fat-free meal (such as a leafy salad). However, it is totally pointless to do so, as alli reduces the amount of fat absorbed from a meal.

What if I continue to eat high-fat meals with alli

If you continue to eat high-fat meals whilst taking alli, you will soon notice! This is because it causes quite a noticeable side effect, which is explained as follows:
  • Alli works by reducing the activity of the enzyme that digests fat in the intestines
  • this prevents some of the fat from being absorbed into the body, and hence reduces the effective calorie count of your meal
  • however, this causes the undigested fat to pass straight through the system intact
  • this means that your poo will contain a lot of undigested fat
  • the more fat you eat, the more fatty and oily your poo will be
  • this is very unpleasant!
We at Express Chemist therefore recommend that you greatly reduce the amount of fat that you eat when you are taking alli. We like to look on the bright side, and see the alli side effects as a gentle but mucky reminder to watch what you eat!
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