Does Propranolol cause weight gain? (3 research studies revealed the truth) 

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Page last updated: 23/09/2022

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Does Propranolol cause weight gain?”. Propranolol is one of the most commonly prescribed medications to manage high blood pressure and heart rate. 

However, it can cause a number of side effects, one of which include weight gain. This blog will cover why Propranolol causes weight gain and what could be done to get rid of those extra pounds. 

Does Propranolol cause weight gain?

Yes, Propranolol does cause weight gain in some individuals. However, this is not considered a common side effect and it only affects a few people. The maximum weight gained because of Propranolol is around 3 kgs, which is not that much. 

However, it may cause more weight gain in some people as meds affect everyone differently. 

What does research suggest? 

Many researchers have investigated the effects of Propranolol on metabolism and fat deposition in the body. A 1990 research study monitored the effects of Propranolol in 3000+ men and women. 

They were divided into two groups, placebo and Propranolol group and the study was conducted on patients who had suffered from a heart attack earlier. 

After around 40 weeks of trials, people who were receiving Propranolol gained much more weight as compared to those men and women who were receiving placebo. 

This indicates that Propranolol is associated with weight gain to some extent and it may affect some people more than the others. Another 2004 study investigated the effects of Propranolol on metabolism. The study concluded that there is a logical reason behind Propranolol induced weight gain. 

After gathering data from several research studies, it was concluded that Propranolol can reduce the body’s ability to melt fat. This means that when you’re being treated with Propranolol, your body burns fats slower than usual and this is how you end up having more fat in your body. 

The study indicated that this effect can be minor and may not affect people greatly, but it’s impossible to predict how Propranolol will work in every other individual.

Another study investigated the effects of Propranolol and tried to look for more explanations behind Propranolol induced weight gain. This study later revealed that Propranolol is capable of retaining water in your body. 

This means that Propranolol can increase your fluid weight that makes you bulkier on the scale. These three research studies have provided logical explanation and evidence that Propranolol can indeed cause weight gain. 

At the same time, experts have tried to explain that it may not happen for everyone. Meds always affect people differently. If Propranolol makes me gain weight, it doesn’t mean it’ll make you gain weight as well. This is one thing we need to understand. 

What could be done to get rid of Propranolol induced weight gain? 

There are a few things you can try to get rid of Propranolol induced weight gain. These include:

Talk to your doctor

The first and the very basic step is to talk to your healthcare provider. In order to lose those pounds, you need to make sure if Propranolol is good for you in the long run. 

If you continue to gain weight on Propranolol, it may lead to some other health conditions and no matter how much you lose that weight, you will eventually gain it back. 

If your body adjusts to Propranolol and you stop gaining weight, it means it’s safe for you to continue using this medication. This is exactly why talking to your healthcare provider is the first and the most important thing that you should do. 

If you’re not sure about the safety of your medication in the long run, is it worth using? It is something for you to think about. 

Does Propranolol cause weight gain? (3 research studies revealed the truth) 

Change your eating pattern

You can try changing your eating patterns if you wish to lose some weight. You can try Intermittent fasting, which is a technique of eating only during a specific time frame while fasting the rest of the day. It can help lose some weight without reducing your calorie intake. 

You can literally eat anything, including your favourite foods, but only at the timing which is supposed to be your eating window. The most common Intermittent fasting methods include:

Alternate day fasting (ADF): This method involves fasting on alternate days. During the non-fasting days, you can literally eat anything you want, but then you won’t be eating much the next day. However, you can still drink calorie free beverages like black coffee and green tea. 

The 16/8 method: This method involves fasting for 16 hours straight and eating only during an 8-hour window. Now, you can totally decide the best timing according to your own schedule or whatever time fits you best. 

The 20/4 method: This method involves fasting for 20 hours straight and eating only during a 4-hour window. This method can not be used by everyone. People living with some underlying health conditions may not find this method easy and convenient to do. 

One meal a day (OMAD): In this method, you take your meal once and fast the rest of the day. Make sure your meal has at least 800 to 1000 calories, as you’re eating just once. 

Make exercise an important part of your routine 

Whether medication induced or not, exercise is considered crucial when you’re trying to lose those extra pounds. Make sure you work out the best way possible. Add cardio, strength training, yoga and stretching, all in your exercise regimen.  

Try to change your workouts. This way you won’t get bored and exercising will remain new and interesting for you. If you’re jogging or running one day, you can try a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session the next.

HIIT is known to burn equal amounts of calories as you burn while running on a treadmill for 50-minutes to an hour. Workout will really help counteract all the factors that can affect your weight while you’re on Propranolol.

Drink plenty of water

Don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water. Water boosts your energy levels and it’s a calorie free beverage. Avoid drinking soda or energy drinks, which usually have high sugar content. 

Sugar tends to make you lethargic. You can add fresh fruits in your water like berries, kiwi, oranges etc. You can also try adding cucumber, lemon, ginger in your detox water. 

Try to cut back on alcohol 

Make sure you cut back on alcohol as much as you can. Alcohol has a lot of calories and it can significantly affect your weight. Studies suggest that wine contains as many calories as chocolate. Alcohol has a lot of other negative impacts on your health as well. 

Make sure you’re buying healthy snacks 

One survey suggests that the majority of people who are overweight, have unhealthy snack choices. It is okay to consume good calories in the form of any one of the meals of the day. 

You are a living, breathing person and you need energy for even the basic metabolic functions of your body. However, it’s the unhealthy snacks taken between the meals that make you gain weight like crazy. Make sure you stick to healthy snacks. 

Even if you’re buying stuff, make sure you read the labels. Snacks and breakfast cereals are packed with sugar and other unhealthy carbohydrates. It is important to make sure you stick to healthier options if you wish to keep those extra pounds at bay. 

Drink warm lemon-honey water on an empty stomach in the morning 

Lemon honey water has a lot of benefits when it is consumed on an empty stomach as the first thing in the morning. It is, in fact, considered one of the best weight loss hacks in Asian countries. 

As we have previously discussed in this blog that Propranolol slows down your fat deposition, this lemon-honey water hack can significantly help to reverse this effect. 

This concoction can boost your metabolism up and will speed up the fat burning process. However, you do need to give this hack some time and you can’t just expect it to work overnight. 

Do not overeat 

Overeating is one of the most common ways of gaining weight. As we know Propranolol slows down your fat breakdown, consuming large amounts of heavy food can increase the quantity of fat deposition and you will end up with excessive body fat. 

This fat can be dangerous, especially if it is deposited around your stomach. Studies suggest that visceral fat is associated with more disease as compared to any other fat deposition. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed Propranolol induced weight gain. However, this is not considered a common side effect and only affects a few people. The maximum weight gained because of Propranolol is around 3 kgs, which is not so much. 

However, it may cause more weight gain in some people as meds affect everyone differently. Just make sure you talk to your doctor about this. It is extremely important to ensure the safety and efficacy of Propranolol for you in the long run. 

If you continue to get affected negatively by this medication, your doctor may switch it to some other beta-blocker or some other class of medicine. 

FAQs: does propranolol cause weight gain 

Can propranolol make you fat?

Yes, Propranolol does cause weight gain in some individuals. However, this is not considered a common side effect and only affects a few people. The maximum weight gained because of Propranolol is around 3 kgs, which is not so much. However, it may cause more weight gain in some people as meds affect everyone differently. 

How can I avoid weight gain on propranolol?

  • Talk to your doctor 
  • Change your eating habits 
  • Make exercise an important part of your routine 
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Try to cut back on alcohol 
  • Make sure you’re buying healthy snacks 
  • Try drink warm lemon-honey water on an empty stomach in the morning 
  • Do not overeat 

What are the most common side effects of propranolol?

The most common side effects of Propranolol include:

  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation 
  • Flatulence 
  • Acid reflux 
  • Depression 
  • Fatigue 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Abnormal pain
  • Acid reflux 
  • Flu like symptoms 
  • Skin rash

Can you lose weight while on beta blockers?

Yes, you can lose weight on beta blockers if you continue to eat well and make exercise an important part of your routine. Beta-blockers do not cause excessive weight gain. The maximum weight gained because of beta-blockers is around 3-6 kgs, which is not so much. 

Does propranolol affect appetite? 

Propranolol does not affect your appetite. It can make you gain weight without making you feel hungry all the time. Propranolol can reduce the body’s ability to melt fat. This means that when you’re being treated with Propranolol, your body burns fats slower than usual and this is how you end up having more fat in your body.

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