In this blog, we will discuss how zoloft makes you gain weight, the science behind it and what actual people have experienced. Zoloft is one of the medicines which are often blamed for weight gain, but is there any truth to it?
If yes, then how much weight you could possibly gain from zoloft, and how hard is it to lose those pounds? Stay with us if you wish to know what people on zoloft have to say about it.
Zoloft weight loss and what people have to say about it
Zoloft is known to cause weight gain. In fact, it is one of the most common side effects. Over the years, many people have come forward and shared their experience. One zoloft user states:
“I gained a lot of weight on Zoloft and I just couldn’t lose it back..”
It is pretty believable as that’s what the study suggests as well. But this zoloft user has something entirely opposite to say:
“I actually lost weight on zoloft. When my depression started, I started eating more and more but when my doctor suggested me to start taking zoloft, it cured my depression symptoms, including overeating and I ended up losing weight.”
Now, this experience might surprise you a bit, but it’s true. Many people have experienced stable weight loss while being on zoloft. One more user says,
“After starting zoloft, I have less cravings. I sometimes feel like binging again if I forget to take my zoloft.”
A few people out there have experienced both weight gain and weight loss, while being on zoloft. This one states,
“I have both lost weight and gained weight while being on Zoloft. First i started gaining weight while i was on zoloft and after some time, i started losing it, while being on zoloft again. I personally don’t think that zoloft causes weight gain.”
Now, this creates variation, doesn’t it? But what is the reason behind this variation? Us! Yes, we are the reason behind variable effects on zoloft, as medicine is all the same. It’s not differently designed for each one of us. It is just the same.
It is because every human body is different. Just like every human being reacts differently to different situations, similarly every human body reacts differently when they are exposed to medications.
If the medication increases your appetite and you eat more, you’ll gain weight. For some people it decreases their appetite and they lose. It’s not solely the medication itself, but how your body reacts to it.
If you continue to eat as you were before taking the meds, your weight might not change at all.
Zoloft and weight gain
Zoloft, along with other SSRIs, is said to cause weight gain among its users. This has been a topic of research for a while now and many studies have been conducted to determine whether white gain is associated with SSRIs or not.
A 2017 study used data from 2334 adults from two stages (4.4 years apart) of the North West Adelaide Health Study, to determine the relationship between SSRIs and weight gain.
It concluded that SSRIs use was associated with weight gain in the presence of unhealthy behaviours including poor diet, inactive lifestyle and smoking.
Research suggests that around 20% of people who take an antidepressant will experience some form of weight gain, usually only a few pounds. It’s been suggested that SSRIs and other antidepressants can impact our metabolism.
It makes your metabolism less efficient at burning calories so you might not feel like you’re eating more, but your body becomes much less efficient at burning those calories away and more of them are stored around your tummy.
Some users of antidepressants have reported that they have an increased craving for foods that are heavy in carbs such as breads, pastas, cakes, biscuits etc.
Foods that are heavy in carbs lead to increased amount of sugar in your blood and eventually lead to more fat cells being stored by your body. This makes you gain weight.
Some experts actually believe that as antidepressants start to work and the serotonin and dopamine in your brain becomes more regulated, you start to experience emotions more deeply.
Therefore, when you are tasting food, you’re tasting it with more pleasure than previously and that actually can lead to you overeating certain foods that might be pretty unhealthy and this causes weight gain.
How does zoloft make you lose weight?
Zoloft affects people differently. It causes loss of appetite in some people and actually makes them suffer from signs of anorexia. This results in a reduced amount of calorie intake and you end up losing weight.
It also causes gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Such conditions normally make eating much less desirable, specifically diarrhoea which makes it extremely difficult for you to consume solid foods.
It also expels whatever you eat out from your body and your body does not get enough time to absorb nutrients from it. This makes you malnourished and your body starts using stored fats as energy for performing basic metabolic functions.
How to lose weight on zoloft
If you’re one of the unfortunate ones, who end up gaining weight while using zoloft, here are the few tips that might help.
Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals is the worst thing you can do to yourself, especially breakfast. Your body needs energy to perform basic physiological functions. Where do you think you get energy from? Food!
By skipping meals, you are actually slowing down your metabolism. It might make you a little lighter on scale, buf not for long. Soon it will start adding pounds and you won’t even know why.
Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fibre and lots of protein in your diet. Watch what you are eating, instead of starving yourself. You can try eating in small proportions.
Refrain from overeating
Overeating is the key to gaining weight. Stuffing up your stomach to the point where you can no longer breathe is terrible for your health. Eat everything, but in small proportions. This way you can enjoy your favourite foods without harming yourself.
Exercise is considered a main element when it comes to weight loss. Your weight gain is associated with the use of a med, so exercise is crucial for you.
It will release endorphins in your body, often known as ‘happy chemicals’. It not only helps you in losing weight, but it will also make your depressive symptoms better.
Don’t give in to ‘emotional eating
Depression is a disease which is often associated with emotional eating. A condition where you are not actually hungry, but you keep eating even if your stomach is full.
What do you think this excess food does to you? It messes you up. People, in this situation, usually go for foods with high sugar content like chocolates, icecreams, cakes, candies etc.
This is pretty harmful as it spikes your blood glucose level and makes insulin work more than it should. This condition can easily turn into Type II diabetes without any warning.
Drink plenty of water. Water clears out toxins from your body. Try making a detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring.
This will not only add taste, but also makes your water nutritious and full of antioxidants. Not just this, water also gives you energy and maintains your blood volume.
Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a well known technique used by people to help them lose stubborn fat. This technique can also help you lose weight while being on zoloft.
When you fast intermittently, you only eat during a specific eating window and fast for the rest of the day. It also helps you lose visceral fat and can make your insulin receptors more sensitive to insulin.
In this blog, we learned about some zoloft weight loss stories. This blog helped us to look at variable results of zoloft. It causes weight gain in some people by spiking their sugar cravings.
It also results in weight loss if it makes you lose your appetite. It’s hard to tell how increased amounts of serotonin will affect you. It simply depends on your physiological makeup.
Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if you face any complications. If you experience unexplained weight loss or weight gain, report it to your doctor.
FAQs: zoloft weight loss stories
Does zoloft help you lose weight?
Zoloft is often associated with weight gain, instead of weight loss. SSRIs are known for making their users gain weight. But it varies from person to person. If the med makes you eat more, you gain weight. If it makes you eat less, you lose weight.
Is it possible to lose weight on sertraline?
Yes, it is possible to keep your weight balanced while using sertraline.
- Do not give in to emotional eating.
- Add fruits, vegies, whole grains, fibres and lean protein in your diet.
- Focus on exercise, especially yoga. Your brain releases happy chemicals in your body when you workout.
- Stay hydrated.
- Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
- Sleep for at least 8 hours.
How can I avoid gaining weight on Zoloft?
Keep your lifestyle and your eating habits normal. Go for a walk everyday and drink plenty of water. Adopting good habits can solely help you to fight against zoloft induced weight gain.
Does everyone gain weight on Zoloft?
No. Every human body is different. Just like every human being reacts differently to different situations, similarly every human body reacts differently when they are exposed to medications.
If the medication increases your appetite and you eat more, you’ll gain weight. For some people it decreases their appetite and they lose. It’s not the medication itself, it’s how your body reacts to it.
If you continue to eat as you were before taking the meds, your weight might not change at all.
What does Zoloft make you feel like?
Zoloft helps relieve the symptoms of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD etc. It produces side effects as well, like weight gain, decreased libido, diarrhoea, tiredness, drowsiness, loss of appetite etc.
- Zumin Shi,1 Evan Atlantis – Antidepressant use potentiates weight gain in the context of unhealthy lifestyles: results from a 4-year Australian follow-up study (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5629701/
- Antidepressant utilisation and incidence of weight gain during 10 years’ follow-up: population based cohort study (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5964332/
- Zoloft weight loss reviews https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10515248/any-weight-loss-while-on-zoloft
- Faruk Uguz, Mine Sahingoz, Buket Gungor, Fadime Aksoy, Rustem Askin – Weight gain and associated factors in patients using newer antidepressant drugs https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25467076/