Saturday, June 16, 2007

How Average Joes do Diets: Alli

So Christians are friggen nuts when it comes to their body image issues ("IM NOT PRETTY CAUSE I DONT LOVE GOD ENOUGH!"), but what is a skeptic to do that wants/needs to get healthier?

The supplement industry is a mess, full of snake oils and caffeine pills-- what does the scientific community have to offer people who are not obese enough to need a physicians help, but still want/need to lose weight?

This week a non-prescription strength version of Xenical went on sale at Walgreens, Targets, and Walmarts near you, Alli. No, not A-leeee, A-lyyyy*.

Alli blocks the absorption of fats in your intestine. Well, technically it blocks the enzymes that break down fats in your intestines, thus the fats dont ever get to an absorbable form. Anyway, if you eat too much fat? S'okay! You arent going to really ever going to 'digest' it.

On the surface this is a great idea for people who have trouble regulating their calories. Everyone knows that weight loss/gain are a function of calories in + calories burned, and here is an aid for people to cancel out calories they accidentally over eat. And it works for the people who use it properly-- they can lose 15 pounds for every 10 pounds a non-Alli person loses.

I am admittedly anti-supplement-- Ive seen drastic changes in my own body with only adding protein powder (I dont eat most meats). And Im going to have to be anti-this-particular-scientifically-tested-supplement too. I think the side effects we will see in the general public is not worth the extra 5 pounds Alli can 'potentially' 'maybe' help 'some' people lose.

This is my problem-- Alli is directed towards people who dont know how to eat. Im not saying this to be 'mean', I didnt know how to eat 5 years ago. Too many simple sugars. Not enough protein. Not enough nutrients in general. This is the US-- we're all over fed and under nourished. People who are drawn to Alli are not eating healthy in the first place, so they arent getting the healthy fats you need, like almonds, olive oil, and salmon. Now Alli is compounding the not-enough-good-fat problem by reducing the uptake of fat soluble vitamins!

Your body needs fat! 'Fat' is not the problem. Bad fats and not eating properly and not exercising are the 'problem'!

The studies that I have seen with Alli are pathetic compared to what I would expect someone to lose eating better and exercising in general. I dont mean half-assing it, I mean really, really trying to get healthy. You can do better on your own than what you can do half-assing it with Allis 'help'.

And Im pissed as all get out that Alli is partnering up with the FDA to offer diet exercise support... if you spend $60 on Alli.

The FDA.

This makes no sense to me. Why do you have to buy a supplement to get dietary and exercise support from the FDA? Im revolted.


I suppose at the very least, you have to be 18 to buy Alli.

I will repeat-- If any of you readers want some help getting healthy (NOT just 'getting thin' or 'getting buff'), drop me a message! Leave a note here (anonymous if youre embarrassed, but you shouldnt be). If I cant answer your question or give you the advice you need, Ill find someone who can. I wont charge you $60. And I promise you wont spontaneously poop.

* Sorry, that annoys me. *rolleyes*


Ian said...

Thanks for the post - I have been mildly curious about Alli since it popped up out of nowhere a couple weeks ago, but not quite curious enough to look it up.

ERV said...

I think the opinion from fitness minded individuals is that its a fantastically stupid drug. Lose 15 lbs a year with Alli vs 10 lbs a year on your own. But all of us know anyone can lose more than 15 lbs IN A YEAR if they invest the time and effort into making their lives healthier.

Hell, you can lose more than an extra five pounds a year cutting one Coke a week out of your diet.

And again, the fact that fat is good... Stupid drug.

VWXYNot? said...

What the hell would something like that do to your digestive system, with all those extra undigested fats hanging around? Ugh, it's too early to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

Dave S. said...

I hear the undigested fats go right where you think they would...out the far side of the digestive tract, and in a not altogether controllable fashion I might add.

I think this 'suppliment' will simply be seen by those not eating well as an excuse to continue to do so, and perhaps even eat less well. After all, the drug will replace the hard work of actually eating better, won't it?

It's like cheating at cards. Cheaters tend to do less well overall because they rely too much on the cheating and let good praxis slide.

I'm sure we'll see plenty o' personal testimonials, some will make plenty of money ... but in the end, we'll still be a society in the same sad shape.

monado said...

One of the best ways for people to lose weight is to *honestly* write down everything they eat. Then they're appalled and become more conscious of it.

It helps to know what constitutes a serving, as well.

And exercise! And stop eating sugar.