Forks with tape measure wrapped around it on pink background, orlistat weight loss, e-Surgery

The Weight Loss Pill That Works

Orlistat, the medication that can really make a difference during your weight loss journey. If you’ve never heard of Orlistat, or you’ve just been prescribed it, you might be wondering: Do Weight Loss Pills Work? 

Frequently prescribed by doctors and pharmacists as part of an effective treatment plan for obesity, Orlistat works by blocking some of the absorption of fat in the body (around 30%) [1]. Orlistat is the medication of choice when it comes to weight loss, as not only does it effectively reduce your fat intake, but it is well-tolerated when taken as prescribed[2].

Whenever starting a new medication it is important to consider side effects and discuss any questions you have with a healthcare professional. You can find more information about Orlistat in the Orlistat patient information leaflet. Orlistat is only intended for those with a BMI over 30 or a BMI over 28 with other weight-related issues (such as diabetes or hypertension)

Does Diet Matter?

Orlistat can certainly help you lose weight, but only when taken as part of a wider treatment plan. These are not miracle capsules that make you thin regardless of your diet or lifestyle! When it comes to weight loss, your diet is the most important factor. By choosing the right food for your body, you can really boost Orlistat’s effectiveness and avoid potential side effects of the medication.

So, what should you be eating (or avoiding) when taking Orlistat?

The Low Fat Plan

Fat is an important part of our diets, and you don’t want to cut it out completely. But when it comes to weight loss, restricting the amount of fat you consume is essential, particularly when taking Orlistat. Orlistat can prevent some of the fat you eat from being digested, but this doesn’t mean you can snack on biscuits and cakes without consequence.

Your diet should be well balanced between carbohydrates, protein and fat, with fat taking up less than 30% of your caloric intake. Try including some of these vitamin rich Super Foods.

If you continue to consume a high fat diet when taking Orlistat, you may not lose weight and you’re more likely to experience side effects such as:

• Abdominal pain and/or discomfort

• Increased or urgent need to open bowels

• Oily or liquid stool

In general, your diet on Orlistat is intended to be mildly hypocaloric – you expend more calories than you consume. But this doesn’t mean you should stop eating 3 square meals a day. 

Try taking your Orlistat capsules alongside low fat meal plans that include a healthy mix of high fibre carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and protein sources. If you’re out of ideas, we’ve provided some easy examples to get started with.


Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure you’re getting the right nutrients out of your mornings. This is one of those meals with plenty of low fat options that doesn’t require much substitution.

Start with some fresh fruit. How about berries with low-fat yogurt, chopped bananas with reduced fat nut butter on toast, complemented with a small glass of unsweetened fruit juice?

When it comes to spread, swap out butter for a low fat margarine. A couple slices of a whole grain toast could be a simple source of carbs, perhaps alongside a boiled egg instead of a fried one. 

Oatmeal, porridge and cereal alongside low-fat milk can really fill you up and provide that slow releasing carbohydrate energy. Add fruit and seeds for a burst of flavour.

Bowl of yogurt with berries and honey on the top | The Orlistat Diet: Avoid These Foods! | e-Surgery


This is the food that’s going to power you through the afternoon until your evening meal. Don’t skip out here – you can pack in plenty of tasty, nutritious food on a work break while still staying low fat.

Sandwiches are often the go-to for a quick lunch. Remember to pack in some salad, and if you’re having a meat filling, go for lean meats such as skinless chicken, turkey or even fish such as tuna or salmon. 

Jacket potatoes with low-fat cheese and beans is an easy, hot meal with high fibre carbs and proteins. No-cream soups with slices of bread for dipping can be a great way to pack in vegetables – think carrot and coriander, tomato and basil, or moroccan chickpea for protein.

Instead of cake and biscuits for snacks, go for fresh fruit. If you’re really craving a biscuit to dip in your tea, go for something more plain like a digestive or ginger nut.

Avocado and tomato on toast on a rustic plate | The Orlistat Diet: Avoid These Foods! | e-Surgery

Evening Meal

You don’t have to give up pasta or rice with Orlistat. In fact, they can still be a staple build around for your evening meals, as they’re filling while being low in fat – think spaghetti bolognese or chilli con carne. But portion size is important here. Starchy foods can be calorie dense when consumed in large portions, such as in a hefty plate of pasta bake or spaghetti. So, try including carbs in a more balanced proportion on your plate, alongside salad or steamed veg.

Lean meats, fish and dairy such as eggs can be a great way to include protein alongside greens and starchy food. For dessert, skip the chocolate cake and mix it up with diverse fruit salads with low-fat yogurt.

Cooked fish and green beans on a white plate | The Orlistat Diet: Avoid These Foods! | e-Surgery

Foods To Avoid

A low fat diet on Orlistat can be nutritious, flavoursome and filling, but it does require cutting down on certain foods, or avoiding them altogether.

Foods to avoid include:

• Fried and battered foods

• Fatty cuts of meat

• Salad dressings and creamy sauces

• Ice cream

• Cream cheese

• Crisps

• Snacks and desserts such as chocolate biscuits, pastries, pies and cakes

If high-fat foods aren’t appropriately avoided, you could experience more significant side effects from your Orlistat medication, and you may still be consuming too many calories to lose weight.

You Can Do It!

Committing to weight loss means a lifestyle change, not just taking medication. Diet can influence so much in our life: our weight, daily energy, motivations and mental health (Can Healthy Gut Bacteria Make You Happy?)

As such, it can be daunting to make that change. But with the help of a medical professional and the knowledge that Orlistat in combination with diet and exercise really does work as an obesity treatment, your weight loss goals are totally achievable.

If you’re looking to find some fun ways to burn calories during your low fat diet, check out these 9 Ways To Stay Active At Home.

Can I Buy Orlistat Online?

Orlistat and the branded counterpart Xenical are both available from reputable online prescribers such as e-Surgery, available at just £16.95 and delivered quickly and discreetly to your front door in our eco-friendly recyclable packaging.

Remember, Orlistat and Xenical are specifically prescribed only to people with:

• A BMI (Body Mass Index) of 28 or more, alongside weight-related conditions including diabetes and hypertension.

• A BMI of 30 or more.

Further Reading

  1. Orlistat | National Institute For Health And Care Excellence
  2. Orlistat Capsules | PatientInfo
  3. Start The NHS Weight Loss Plan | NHS
  4. Obesity and Overweight | WHO