Nowadays there are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of various kinds of products, programs, and pills that offer free tips on weight loss and an ‘iron clad’ solution to anyone who wants or needs to lose weight. Weight Loss is a gigantic industry as is evidenced by the pharmacy shelves and searches done on the internet. And recently the FDA even approved certain over the counter weight loss pills known as ‘Xenical’.
Xenical (generic Orlistat), which were previously prescription weight loss pills, and approved by the FDA as such in 1999, is a fat-blocking pill that is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Alli (orlistat), a reduced strength version of Orlistat weight loss pills were approved as over-the-counter diet pills in 2007.
In a six month clinical trial using Xenical and a placebo (a sugar pill that has no metabolic effects) people were able to lose approximately 5-6 more pounds than people who took the placebo. But the drug company thought that the drug should be discontinued after six months.
However, because the weight loss pills were approved by the FDA for over the counter use, there is no way to police it’s use. FDA medical officer, Julie Golden, stated that in a previous study, people who used orlistat (generic name for Xenical weight loss pills) and then discontinued the drug, showed a progressive weight gain.
Xenical works by reducing the ability of the body to absorb fat from the diet, but it’s important to know that this also impacts the ability to absorb essential fatty acids and fat soluable vitamins. So the FDA recommends that people using Xenical also take a multi-vitamin supplement.
As you might imagine, there are side effects to using Xenical, which are related to the way it works in your system. As was already mentioned above, the body has no effective way of absorbing essential nutrients, so you can quickly become vitamin deficient with the multiple health risks associated with that, and Xenical also increases the amount of fat that is expelled through the stool, increasing the chances for diarrhea and cramping which can be uncomfortable and occur at inopportune times.
Overweight or Obese?
The terms overweight and obese, although used interchangeably by many people, do not actually have the same meaning. Overweight is an excess body weight that includes all tissues (fat, muscle and bone) while obesity refers only to excess fat. This distinction can be important when determining the best weight loss program or even the best weight loss pills that would better suit your particular needs.
There is no shortcut or easy way to reach your weight loss goals. Just like with anything else in life, if the promise sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Many people are searching for a simple answer to a very complex problem, and there are equally as many who would have these people believe that they have some magical weightloss brew that will help them to shed weight painlessly and with little effort, but seeking an easy path to thinness is a recipe for failure.
While Orlistat (Xenical) will help to block fat absorption and therefore lead to losing weight, you must change your eating habits or once you stop taking the pill you are destined to gain back all of the weight you lost, and probably even more. AND you can’t take the pill more than six months without health risks anyway.
Obesity and overweight are now considered diseases rather than failings, and people who suffer from increased weight are at increased risk for other medical problems that lead to premature illness or death. Decreasing weight by even a relatively small amount will likely lower blood pressure, reduce blood glucose and bring cholesterol under control.
Xenical is a short term answer to a long term problem. This supplement, along with additional support, diet changes, and motivation, can be an effective jump-start to a healthier new lifestyle, but relying solely on this method of weight loss will ultimately result in failure.
In the end, only you have the ability to make choices and find the right support you need to change your life. You can live a healthy life, and these weight loss pills can help you to get started in the right direction, but you must make the necessary lifestyle changes to make it stick.