How long does it take for Orlistat to work?

28th August 2019

Everybody knows that weight loss cannot be achieved overnight. In many instances, people would start a weight loss regimen only to lose interest after a few months of not seeing any tangible results. Even people who succeeded to lose some weight have the tendency to take it easy after a while and gain more than the weight that they initially lost.

It takes determination, dedication, and patience to lose weight. It also requires weight loss aids that are proven to work. Many people have tried diet and exercise but still, they failed to lose a significant amount of weight.


Orlistat is a drug that effectively aids in weight loss or reduces the risk of regaining the weight that was already lost. When used with a reduced-calorie diet, doctor-approved exercise regimen, and lifestyle change, Orlistat significantly lowers a person’s weight. Orlistat does not only help in weight loss as it also lowers blood pressure and helps prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Orlistat works by blocking the production in the body of the enzymes that break down fats in the diet. Orlistat blocks about 30% of dietary fat in a person’s diet. The undigested fat is excreted from the body as part of the stool. While blocking the absorption of dietary fats, orlistat does not block the body’s calorie absorption from non-fat foods and sugars. It will help your weight loss program if you will be restricting your total calorie intake while you are taking orlistat. 

Orlistat should be taken three times daily with every main meal that contains fat. Orlistat should be taken during or up to one hour after a meal with dietary fats. The person taking orlistat should have a nutritionally-balanced diet that contains fewer calories and about 30% calories from fat. The consumption of protein, carbohydrates, and fat must be spread out over the three main meals of the day. When a meal does not contain fat or is missed, either intentionally or unintentionally, there is no need to take a dose of orlistat.

How long does it take for Orlistat to work?

Orlistat is a gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor that prevents the absorption by the body of dietary fats. The medication starts to affect how you digest fat within one to two days. You will feel the effects of orlistat within a day or two. However, do not expect any significant weight loss in the first few days of taking orlistat. 

After 3 months of continuously taking orlistat, you can expect to lose a few pounds of weight. You should continue taking orlistat if you lose 5% of your body weight after three months of use. People who want to lose weight should remember that there is a safe level of losing unwanted pounds. Losing weight too quickly can be unsafe. The safe weekly rate of weight loss is between 0.5 kg and 1 kg or between 1 pound and 2 pounds per week.

Understanding fat

Orlistat blocks the absorption by the body of dietary fats. When dieters speak of fat in the diet, they refer to the total fat of what they eat. When people are checking food labels, they should be looking for “total fat,” as this is the part of the diet that will cause weight gain and other unpleasant side effects. 

By regularly checking the food labels of the food that you buy and after determining the fat content of each food item, it will help dieters if they can switch to healthier options where possible.

You can cut down on your fat intake by observing the following tips:

  • If you are using butter or regular spreads, switch to low-fat spread.
  • Trim off the visible fats from your cuts of meat and remove the skin of your chicken. Avoid eating pork crackling.
  • Avoid added fat. Bake, grill, poach, or microwave your food if possible instead of frying.
  • Buy low-fat dairy products such as skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, reduced-fat cheeses, or low-calorie yoghurts.
  • Use low-fat sauces for your food.


Taking orlistat

Take orlistat as directed by your doctor. Make orlistat a part of a complete treatment program, which includes a doctor-approved exercise regimen, a calorie-reduced diet, and lifestyle changes. When eating, distribute your daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats evenly over your three main meals of the day. 

Take orlistat with a meal or within one hour after a meal that contains dietary fat. Your fat intake should not be more than 30% of your total calorie intake per meal. If you eat three main meals with fats, you should take orlistat three times in a day.

Your meal should not contain fats that constitute more than 30 percent of your calorie count. If your daily meal contains 1200 calories, your fat intake for the day should not be more than 360 of your total calories for the day come from dietary fats. 

You should carefully read the labels of the food you are going to eat and pay attention to the number of servings per container. Request your doctor or dietician to help you draw up a healthy eating plan.