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How to Lose Weight While on Antidepressants

Antidepressants and Weight loss

Weight loss while taking antidepressants can be difficult as most of these drugs tend to cause weight gain. It can be challenging because most people don’t know how to lose weight while on antidepressants.

Studies suggest that weight gain is a common side effect of short and long-term treatment with antidepressants.

That’s why in this article, we’ve come up with some easy tips that can help you manage weight loss while taking antidepressants.

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What are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

Weight gain is one of the common side effects of most antidepressants. Weight gain can be a direct effect of the drugs or can occur as a result of well-being which can be seen as an increase in appetite.

Weight gain can negatively affect a person’s physical and mental health. However, there are ways to manage weight while taking antidepressants.

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Tips to lose weight while on Antidepressants

Here are some tips on how to lose weight while on antidepressants:

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

If you are concerned about weight gain while taking antidepressants, talk to your healthcare provider.

Although, the primary goal of an antidepressant medicine is improvement in anxiety and depression. However, some people are very cautious about weight gain. In addition, weight gain can negatively affect other comorbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension too.

Obese and overweight individuals and those at risk of gaining weight rapidly should discuss their weight issues and concerns before starting an antidepressant.

Not all antidepressants cause weight gain. Bupropion in combination with Naltrexone, available by the brand name, COntrave has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity and weight loss.

However, it is important to note that not all antidepressants cause weight gain, and switching medications may not be necessary or beneficial for everyone.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Depression can have a significant effect on food taste and satiety. People try to adopt lifestyles that do not require much effort.

One such change in lifestyle is eating fast foods and junk which are ready and on the go and does not require any effort.

Eating a healthy fiber-rich diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables can help in fighting depression as well as avoiding weight gain with antidepressants.

Avoid taking sugars, sweets, beverages, and foods rich in saturated fats.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise, especially in the early hours of the day just before sunrise is associated with significant improvement in well-being.

An early morning workout is more effective than antidepressant drugs. In addition, exercise is best to maintain weight while using antidepressants.

Best exercises include brisk walking, running, jogging, swimming, and cycling. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily is recommended or at least five times a week or 150 minutes a week.

Monitor Portion Sizes

Weight gain is not only about eating fast foods and eating unhealthy foods. Even healthy foods like vegetables and fruits can contribute to weight gain if large portions ar consumed. Use measuring cups or a food scale to accurately portion out your meals and snacks.

Avoid eating out of large bags or containers, as this can make it difficult to track how much you are eating.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is eating when hungry. You eat to live not live to eat. Read your body and mind. Don’t overeat or eat unnecessarily. If you are full or about to be full, stop eating more.

This can help you eat less and avoid overeating. Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer, and take time to savor your food and enjoy the flavors and textures.

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Antidepressants and Weight Gain

Not all antidepressants cause weight gain, but some are more likely to than others. Here is some data about the weight gain/weight loss effects of different antidepressants


Weight Gain/Weight Loss

Fluoxetine (Prozac)Weight loss or no change
Sertraline (Zoloft)Weight gain
Escitalopram (Lexapro)Weight gain
Citalopram (Celexa)Weight gain
Paroxetine (Paxil)Significant weight gain
Bupropion (Wellbutrin)Weight loss

As shown in the table, fluoxetine (Prozac) and bupropion (Wellbutrin) are less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.

If you are taking an antidepressant that is associated with weight gain, talk to your healthcare provider about alternative medications or strategies for managing weight.

Try to convince your doctor to switch to Fluoxetine or Wellbutrin if you are gaining weight. In addition, fluoxetine has been shown to have a valuable effect on blood glucose compared to other antidepressants.

SNRIs like Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Venlafaxine (Effexor) are also considered weight neutral.

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In conclusion, losing weight while taking antidepressants may require extra effort, but it is possible.

By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, monitoring portion sizes, and practicing mindful eating, you can manage your weight while taking antidepressants.

Talk to your healthcare provider about strategies for managing weight and alternative medications if necessary.

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What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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