With so many fad diets and weight-loss supplements advertised, it can be hard to know what is actually effective. Alli is the only over-the-counter weight-loss supplement approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The supplement is not a stimulant or appetite-suppressing drug, but rather aides in weight loss by blocking about 25 percent of the fat you eat from being absorbed. The key to the supplement's effectiveness is through promoting behavior change and diet adherence.
How Alli Works
Taking Alli can boost your weight loss, resulting in an extra pound lost for every 2 that you lose through diet and exercise. One gram of fat contains 9 calories -- compared to protein and carbohydrates -- which each contain 4 calories per gram. Eating a lower-fat diet can lower your total caloric intake for the day. There are diet-related side effects with taking Alli that may be more prevalent if you consume more than 15 grams of fat per meal. Alli excretes excess fat through your digestive system -- which can result in loose or hard-to-control bowel movements. Alli reinforces the need to stick to a low-fat diet.
Many foods can easily fit into the Alli diet. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and high in fiber which can help you feel fuller longer. Add fresh or frozen berries to your morning oatmeal, or order salad as your main or side dish for lunch or dinner. Request low-fat salad dressings -- or bring your own -- and lightly drizzle them on your salad rather than drowning it in high-fat dressing. Baked potatoes with low-fat sour cream, nonfat Greek yogurt or salsa are lower-fat alternatives to french fries. Grilled fish and chicken tend to be lower in fat than red meat or fried options -- select these more often. Restaurants often provide larger portion sizes -- meaning more calories and fat. Keep in mind that a serving of meat or poultry is about the size of your palm.
The Alli eating plan recommends that snacks contain no more than 3 grams of fat and less than 200 calories each. Some examples of snacks meeting this criteria include: an apple with 1-ounce of low-fat string cheese, a mini bag of low-fat microwave popcorn, 1-cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt with half a banana, or one serving of baked tortilla chips with 1/4 cup of salsa.
The Alli program provides guidance on meal planning for diets ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day. On a 1,600-calorie diet, your breakfast might be four 4-inch pancakes, 3/4 cup of blueberries, 1 teaspoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar-free syrup and 1-cup of fat-free milk. A peanut butter and sugar-free jelly sandwich on light, whole-wheat bread, 1 cup of baby carrots, one-half banana and 1 cup of fat-free milk could be lunch. You might have a stir-fry for dinner with 6 ounces chicken, 1/2 cup of snow peas, 1/4 cup of water chestnuts and 3/4 cup of brown rice sauteed with 1/2 cup of pineapples and juice topped with slivered almonds. A small snack of cheese and crackers finishes the day.
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