On this page

Easy to follow alli diet and exercise plans

Woman's hands mixing tomatoes together on a plate
On this page

alli is a weight loss pill that contains orlistat. It’s the only type of orlistat available over the counter without a prescription.

If you’re trying to lose weight and thinking about starting alli, it’s important that you speak to your GP for advice first. alli is an effective weight loss aid, but it has to be taken in the right way, as part of a healthy diet and exercise regime.

How do alli diet pills work?

The active ingredient in alli is orlistat, a chemical that prevents some of the fat in your diet from being digested. Instead, the fat is passed out of your body in your poo. In total, alli prevents about a quarter of dietary fat from being digested.

When taken correctly, alli can help you achieve 50% more weight loss than you would through diet and exercise alone. However, for alli to work, you need to adopt a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet, and do regular exercise. If you don’t make these changes to your lifestyle you may not see results.

Although alli is available over the counter, it isn’t suitable for everyone, so check with your GP before you try it. alli should only be taken by adults over the age of 18 with a BMI of at least 28. To check your BMI use our calculator. alli is also unsuitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to take alli

All the information about taking alli can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine. You should take alli exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.

  • alli comes in capsule form. You should take one with water at each meal you eat that contains fat. If the meal doesn’t contain any fat, or if you skip a meal altogether, you don’t need to take a capsule.
  • Don’t take more than three alli capsules in a day.
  • alli can reduce the absorption of some important vitamins. You should take a multivitamin containing vitamins A, D, E, and K every night before you go to bed.
  • You shouldn’t take alli for more than six months.

What is the alli diet plan?

It’s important to stick to a healthy, low-fat diet while you’re taking alli. Ideally, you’ll begin dieting and doing regular exercise before you start taking the capsules.

As detailed in the Patient Information Leaflet for alli:

  • Women should aim to eat between 1,200 and 1,800 calories each day, depending on their weight and how often they exercise
  • Men should aim to eat between 1,400 and 1,800 calories each day, depending on their weight and how often they exercise

In addition to counting calories, you’ll need to keep an eye on your fat intake. No more than 19g of fat should be eaten with each meal – on average, most people taking alli should aim for around 15g per meal. As an example, a standard supermarket cheese sandwich contains between 15g and 20g of fat.

Free resources to help with your alli diet

If you think you might struggle to diet while taking alli, don’t worry.

There are plenty of free resources out there to help you reduce your calorie intake, and cut back on high-fat foods. Most of the time, it’s simply a case of planning your meals properly, and making sure you track calories and fat content.

One excellent resource for low-calorie, low-fat meal planning is the NHS 12-week weight loss plan. This diet plan is designed to encourage sustainable, gradual weight loss, and is based around the concept of eating 600 fewer calories each day. If you’re trying to stick to an even lower calorie limit (as recommended by alli), you may need to tailor the meal plan.

Another option is the American website for alli, which offers some personalised tools to help you plan your diet and track your weight loss. This site isn’t designed for UK users, but you can still sign up for suggested meals, recipes lists, and to log your weight loss.

A typical alli diet menu

alli doesn’t have a diet recipe resource for people in the UK. However Norfolk NHS has prepared some suggested meal plans for people taking orlistat.

Here’s an example meal plan for one day:

  • Breakfast: Two slices of toast with low-fat spread and one boiled egg
  • Lunch: Non-cream soup with bread or toast, salad, and one portion of fruit
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with a jacket potato and vegetables, followed by fruit salad

The brand’s American website also has plenty of alli diet recipes to try.

Here’s an example meal plan for one day:

Exercise and alli

As well as eating healthily, you’ll want to make sure that you exercise regularly while you’re taking alli. This will encourage weight loss and generally improve your health and mood. The NHS weight loss plan includes lots of free resources designed to help you exercise.

Weight loss service