Do certain medications lead to weight gain?

Plus: Is The Pill causing depression in young girls?


Medications And Weight Gain

Tim Allen Mirror GIF by filmeditor

When it comes to weight management, understanding the impact of certain medications can be crucial. While the fundamental principle of weight gain or loss is calories in versus calories out (CICO), it's important to recognize that certain medications can significantly influence this equation.

Now, before we get any further, let’s clarify one thing. CICO is not a total dismissal of food quality or the fact that some foods impact hormones and weight gain differently than others. There is a lot of nuance when it comes to nutrition and weight management that cannot be distilled down to simply CICO. That said, CICO is the fundamental principle that dictates weight loss or weight gain in MOST people in MOST scenarios. 

All that said, medications can absolutely alter one's appetite or affect hormones related to satiety, potentially leading to increased calorie consumption and unwanted weight gain. 

When you are on certain medications and trying to manage your weight, things can quickly get more complicated than just cutting calories. Managing appetite and satiety can be challenging when pharmaceuticals are altering your hormones, especially given the abundance of food options in our modern environment. 

This is precisely why certain weight loss drugs have become so popular lately. These drugs suppress appetite, leading to weight loss. However, many other drugs have the opposite effect. 

Some medications may slow down your heart rate and exercise tolerance, reducing the total number of calories burned. Therefore, even if you maintain the same habits, you could gain weight because activity levels and calorie output have decreased. Additionally, certain drugs can impact mood, influencing motivation and interest in making healthy eating choices or exercising.

So, what can you do if you find yourself having to take some of these medications? Focusing on a diet rich in protein, vegetables, and fruits and limiting processed foods, combined with regular exercise, is always the way to go. If you want to take things a step further, counting calories can offer a clearer picture of your intake, but for many people, measuring and weighing all their food is usually a step further than they are willing to take. 

The key takeaway? Understanding the role of medications in weight management can be helpful for many people. Certain medicines, especially those for diabetes, mental health, epilepsy, and blood pressure, can cause weight gain. These drugs might stimulate your appetite, slow down your metabolism, or cause water retention. Others might make you feel tired or short of breath, leading to reduced physical activity. Either way, they can have a very real impact on the calorie in or calorie out side of the CICO equation. 

Just remember, while the principle of CICO underpins weight gain and loss, various factors, including medications, can complicate this simple equation. Understanding and addressing these factors is critical to effectively managing weight without getting burnt out, failing into a cycle of yo-yo dieting, or losing your mind. 


Support Our Team 🧡

We're all about making your journey towards better health enjoyable and insightful. By becoming a member of The Daily Tonic family, you're not just supporting us, you're elevating your own wellness journey!

We believe in the power of community and the impact of your support. Your membership helps us continue delivering the best health and wellness newsletter around. If you enjoy starting your day with a dose of wellness wisdom from The Daily Tonic, consider joining us as a member.

🌿 Continue Reading

This is the web version of The Daily Tonic.

Subscribe to get full access to all our newsletters with more subscriber-only content. Get science-backed health news and stories straight to your inbox. See you there 📬