What is Orlistat and why am I taking it?

Orlistat is a fat-blocking drug designed to treat obesity and i’m taking it as part of my weight loss journey to get down from 135KG to less than 100KG.

Orlistat works by blocking the enzyme that breaks down fats in your diet. This undigested fat then passes out of your body in your bowel movement. Orlistat does not block the absorption of calories from sugar and other non-fat foods, so you still need to restrict your total intake of calories. So I am currently eating 3 meals a day (some days I do have snacks and try my best to make them as healthy as possible) and trying to keep my meals to between 5-15g of fat. (Trust me, this has been an eye opening journey so far, realising just how much of my previous diet was full of fat, no wonder I wasn’t losing any weight! I have had to cut out or reduce a huge amount of things I used to love to eat like sausage rolls, dairy, cheese, pies and I’m now sticking to portion sizes of chocolate if I have any!)

As you may have read on my blog previously, I am currently undertaking a weight loss journey to improve my health, lose weight and overall start feeling better about myself.

My obesity has been something that has caused me a lot of mental and physical health issues and in summer 2021, I had had enough of feeling so low, that I didn’t want to carry on living. It sounds dramatic typing it, but when basic things like walking the dog, running for the bus or even climbing the stairs were hard and that I was suffering incredibly bad hip and knee pain, I knew I had to do something about it. Rob and I are engaged and really want to add to our family one day, and I know that my weight has not helped my fertility issues, so I knew that if I wanted to live a healthier, happier life and have a chance at my personal goals, I needed to lose the weight. I decided to go back to my doctor again, showing him my varicose veins, leg pains and more and explained everything in full. It felt like a weight was lifted off of me, being that truthfully honest, holding the mirror up to the problems I had been avoiding, made me feel like I was really going to get somewhere. My doctor was fantastic and immediately helped me with talking therapies, physio exercises I could do at home, gave me things to research to help my weight loss journey and prescribed me Orlistat.

When I first went to the doctor in September 2021, I was 135KG (and change). After a couple of months on Orlistat (and i’ll be honest, not sticking to it as well as I could have, I blame myself and the Christmas season) I still managed to go back to the doctor in late January and found myself weighing 126KG.

I was so proud of myself and my doctor prescribed me Orlistat again to take for another 12 weeks and also put in my referral for bariatric surgery due to my BMI being in the 40s. I started at 126KG in February (that is what is now on my medical record and when I got my prescription in the post) and I have been given a weight loss goal of 6KG. So over 12 weeks, I need to lose 6KG whilst taking Orlistat, eating fat-controlled and calorie-controlled diet whilst also maintaining a decent amount of exercise and drinking water. I will be going back for my update appointment with the doctor at the end of May 2022. Once I have had it, I will update this blog post with my results.

It’s very important for me to meet this goal not just to get closer to a healthier weight but also so that I can show the doctor that I can meet a goal that has been set for me, as he has sent a referral for me to have bariatric surgery. This is a big deal, a huge operation and something that if once approved you can still wait two years for (possibly longer thanks to the Covid back log). I am currently waiting to hear back if my referral has been accepted, I will add the update to this post at the end of May 2022.

What is it like to take Orlistat?


Secondly, you must keep track of your fat intake. If your meal has over 15G of fat, and you take your tablet, be prepared to make good friends with your porcelain throne and to have a sore stomach. I’ll be honest, it took me about two weeks to really get used to taking it after my meals, measuring out my ingredients and logging everything on Myfitnesspal.

For meals like a salad or cereal or even my sandwich thins with sliced turkey in, I don’t take my Orlistat afterwards because the fat content is so low in the meals, the tablet would not work. So, I try to mix my meals up between a mixture of low fat meals (less than 5G) and those that are 5-15G. I have adjusted my Myfitnesspal diet settings so that it alerts me if I’m close to going over my 45G a day (for the first month I had it on 60G a day and I still lost 2.5KG) and I’m trying to drink 2 litres of water a day.

As for exercising, I’m still getting used to incorporating more of it into my daily routine. Now that Spring has sprung, I’m taking Albie out for longer walks. I was told to up my walking as anything more strenuous than that, I risk injury so I’ve set myself a daily minimum goal of 5000 steps (aiming for 10K a day). I’m also trying to hold myself to stricter standards in terms of keeping the house tidy, which gives me a good full body workout everyday ha! I have my gym membership and I am adding small workouts into my routine too, I’ve never been a big fan of the gym so I found one local to me thats women only and small. It makes for a much more relaxing atmosphere for me, especially as most times I’m the only one there!