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How Does The Weight Loss Effect Work?


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#1 Due2Aphrodite

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:53 PM

Since being on Wellbutrin (and starting to eat healthy/exercise mildly) I've lost about 7lbs... and now I'm afraid to go off the Wellbutrin. It's not doing SH*T as far as my depression goes (been on it for almost 2 months now), but I'm wondering if it's helping me lose weight.

My question is:

How does Wellbutrin help you lose weight? Does it suppress your appetite and "want" to eat? Or does it just make you lose water weight?
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#2 creepy

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:41 AM

wellbutrin probably promotes weight loss by inhibiting dopamine reuptake in the areas of the brain implicated in reward-seeking behaviors.
I think when I took it, I actually got the 'stimulant munchies'. I dont recall it working to suppress appetite. The only thing thats ever done that to me is things that make me nauseous and topamax, which made me stoopid. =)
Theres a lot that happens in depression with regard to motivation and reward. It may be that stimulating these functions gets someone who is depressed motivated and active again. It certainly did that to me.
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#3 shiny

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:47 AM

The first time I tried Wellbutrin I dropped 30 lbs. over a few months.
I ate less - wasn't hungry and moved a whole lot more.

This was back in the days before I was dx'd BP so my guess is hypo/mania - what's your dx?
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#4 mj1127

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:24 AM

The first time I tried Wellbutrin I dropped 30 lbs. over a few months.
I ate less - wasn't hungry and moved a whole lot more.

This was back in the days before I was dx'd BP so my guess is hypo/mania - what's your dx?


Similar experience except I was taking it with Zoloft. I am fairly sure it was not hypomania - it got me out of my depression, but just barely. I think I was a little less hungry and more active as described above, but I don't think I was eating all that much less. The reason I mention the Zoloft is that I am taking Wellbutrin now without any other ADs and am not losing weight (though perhaps that's because I have lithium to keep me fat, which it does at this dosage, and to be fair, I'm not terribly fat, just fatter than I'd like).
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#5 SecretDamage

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 02:34 AM

I'm taking Wellbutrin & zoloft. I've got absolutely NO desire for food. It's wonderful though I know I need to watch out that I don't lose too much weight. Before starting this combo I weighed abour 160 lbs (I'm 5'8"). Now I'm 140. The sum total of food I eat over the course of a 24 hour period would equal 1 meal. Food just isn't interesting. There's no pleasure in eating. I've definitely lost real fat weight, not water weight. I never want to come off this combo.

Maybe supplementing the wb would help with your depression?
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#6 bergsonisme

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 05:05 AM

I took generic bupropion (i.e. Wellbutrin) for two weeks and all I ate was a quarter of a watermelon. For the entire period. Kept it cut in little cubes in the fridge. Quenches both hunger and thirst, I was thinking back then. I also shaved all my hair, which also helps with weight loss :mad:

Edited by syntaxfree, 22 October 2010 - 05:06 AM.

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#7 dustie

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 06:39 AM

i never lost any weight on wellbutrin, though i've never taken it alone. for the first four years i was on it for major depression in addition to the klonopin i was already taking for panic disorder. then seroquel was added, which caused weight gain. i've lost a good deal of that weight with metformin. i wonder what the percentage is of people taking wellbutrin who experience weight loss with it; it has that reputation, but i haven't seen many who actually found it to do that.

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#8 In_Remission_iisabelle

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:28 PM

For me, Wellbutrin greatly reduces cravings as well as my regular appetite. I snack way less, and when I do feel hungry it's almost like it's less noticeable or the need to eat is less pressing. I have also developed somewhat of a distaste for food, actually, which is slightly worrying as one of my meds needs to be taken with ~500 calories twice a day. By distaste for food, I don't mean that food tastes bad now or anything, but only that I find that I will avoid eating for hours and hours because the idea of food is not appealing enough to warrant cooking/cleaning or going to the store. I'm just not interested enough to bother. This might sound like a good thing to some people but honestly it kind of makes eating a chore.

I've been on it a little over a month and I've noticed a bit of weight loss already which is surprising, considering I started at 5'3 120lbs. Just to give you a tale of personal experience from somebody for whom weight loss is not necessarily a good or desired side effect.

YMMV. I'm on it for ADHD.

#9 KarenRB53

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 12:26 PM

I started Wellbutrin on March 5th and I lost 45 lbs by the end of June. I had put the weight on from taking Prozac for quite a few years. So in my case, it definitely has affected my appetite and I think because I'm an emotional eater, its cut back on my cravings and compulsion to just eat. I'm really happy with this aspect of Wellbtrin because I did need to lose the weight. I did start Weight Watchers (which I've never been able to be successful at before) the middle of February also so the Wellbutrin seemed to give me the motivation I needed to lose weight also. But now that my hair is thinning out so much....its hard to figure out if its the Wellbutrin or the weight loss that is causing it. I didn't notice my hair coming out more than normal until maybe the middle of June or so. I'm now at my goal weight and have been on maintence for several weeks.
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#10 dymphna

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 01:21 AM

I started Wellbutrin on March 5th and I lost 45 lbs by the end of June. I had put the weight on from taking Prozac for quite a few years. So in my case, it definitely has affected my appetite and I think because I'm an emotional eater, its cut back on my cravings and compulsion to just eat. I'm really happy with this aspect of Wellbtrin because I did need to lose the weight. I did start Weight Watchers (which I've never been able to be successful at before) the middle of February also so the Wellbutrin seemed to give me the motivation I needed to lose weight also. But now that my hair is thinning out so much....its hard to figure out if its the Wellbutrin or the weight loss that is causing it. I didn't notice my hair coming out more than normal until maybe the middle of June or so. I'm now at my goal weight and have been on maintence for several weeks.


That would be the key.

If you've gained weight because you are an emotional eater, an AD can help you lose weight - any AD.

If you've gained weight because you couldn't get off of the couch due to overwhelming depression and are now (due to an AD) able to get up and get moving, you can lose weight.

If you've gained weight because you weren't an emotional eater, but did have an established eating pattern due to your depression that was unhealthy, an AD can help you lose weight.

etc. etc.

Everyone is coming from a different place, which is why some people gain and some people lose on meds.


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#11 In_Remission_Burright

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:41 AM

I decided to discontinue taking Wellbutrin because it affects my memory. I experienced over fatigue and short term memory loss with these drug.

#12 KarenRB53

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:14 AM

I decided to discontinue taking Wellbutrin because it affects my memory. I experienced over fatigue and short term memory loss with these drug.


How long did you take the Wellbutrin?
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#13 In_Remission_welcome2thejungle

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:02 PM

I recently started taking Wellbutrin after being depressed for two months, and my level of self-control around food has increased dramatically. instead of just snarfling food throughout the day like I used to, I suddenly find myself being able to wait until meals...and I stay fuller for longer.

I don't know if because of anything the wellbutrin is doing to my appetite, or if it's that emotional eating thing. but I like it, whatever it is :mad:

#14 Rishka

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:58 PM

Since it can be used to curb smoking cravings, I would imagine it just curbs ALL cravings of any kind - I certainly do not crave food when on it, eating is a chore now, I only do it so I don't end up skeletal, and so I can function properly! (By properly, I really just mean 'at all'). Also, having something to eat if I am having anxiety side effects (which can be brutal!!) seems to calm them a bit, but there's literally no other reason to eat. I still like the taste of food when I eat it, but I don't ever get 'mouth hungry', only stomach hungry now. 5 days back on the welly, and 7lbs already gone...
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#15 lizziegoatgirl

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:30 PM

Since being on Wellbutrin (and starting to eat healthy/exercise mildly) I've lost about 7lbs... and now I'm afraid to go off the Wellbutrin.
My question is:
How does Wellbutrin help you lose weight? Does it suppress your appetite and "want" to eat? Or does it just make you lose water weight?


Ok,
1- why are you afraid to "go off" the WB?
2- when did you start it?
3- is your Pdoc taking you off of it?
4- how many MG are you on? XL or SR or neither?
5- What is your DX and what other meds are you taking?

WB has the propensity to be abused. I know in the past I have stayed on it and asked for higher doses so I could stay 'up" and lose weight/stay skinny. Learned my lesson on that. Hypomania in the past was my norm. Now its all f'd up.

WB can trigger hypomania in patients with BP1 and BPII. Some people, when they are hypomanic, don't feel the need to eat. I am sticking to what Creepy wrote about dopamine and reward centers. You may know that WB is also used for smoking cessation as "zyban"

From the WB PI sheet.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY



Pharmacodynamics:


Bupropion is a relatively weak inhibitor of the neuronal uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine, and does not inhibit monoamine oxidase or the re-uptake of serotonin. While the mechanism of action of bupropion, as with other antidepressants, is unknown, it is presumed that this action is mediated by noradrenergic and/or dopaminergic mechanisms.

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder:

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that WELLBUTRIN SR is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression

Altered Appetite and WeightIn placebo-controlled studies, patients experienced weight gain or weight loss as shown in Table 3.


Table 3. Incidence of Weight Gain and Weight Loss in Placebo-Controlled Trials Weight Change

WELLBUTRIN SR 300 mg/day

(n = 339)

WELLBUTRIN SR 400 mg/day

(n = 112)

Placebo

(n = 347)

Gained >5 lbs

3%

2%

4%

Lost >5 lbs

14%

19%

6%


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What my actual diagnosis is: PMDD/MDD/GAD
Past Diagnoses
: Cyclothymia, Dysthymia, Depression, Seasonal Affective disorder, BPII

Other meds that I have tried
: Wellbutrin XL, zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Welbutrin SR, Abilify, Buspar, 5-HTP, Lamictal

Supplements
: Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, B-complex, Fish oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Vit E, multivitamin,
Possible pertinent info
: eat a gluten free/ dairy restricted diet. exercise regularly, spend a lot of time outside, I have a regular sleep cycle, in a great relationship, have a great life, and have really no reason to be depressed or anxious.
<p>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The question you have to ask yourself in these types of situations is: how crazy can you take it? -RLMay all beings shine to the light of their true nature. -Abe Lincoln
Don't look at bipolar as a bad thing; it makes you creative, intelligent, intuitive and gives you the ability to feel a full intense spectrum of emotions then most people ever could understand. -Dr. P
[font=georgia]From what I know so far about you, I see no evidence that you have bipolar disorder in any way. -Dr. B

#16 Nurse Ratched

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:53 PM

When I first started, I didn't snack between meals and I lost about ten pounds. That leveled off after a few months...
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Current Meds: Topamax 200 mgs, Seroquel XR 300 mgs, Wellbutrin 300 mgs, Vistaril 50 mgs x4, Klonopin .5 mgs, Ambien CR 12.5 mgs

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#17 lizziegoatgirl

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:08 PM

I have ALWAYS happily lost weight whenever I take WB. However, the weight this time is hard to determine because I am playing derby, workin out like crazy 3X/week.

At 300mg XL I was about 135 lbs or something-wearing a size 8 comfortably. (I am 5'11'') At this point I am super toned and solid and about 165 or something. I wear a size 12 comfortably.
I love WB. Without it my life would suck pretty hard.
LGG
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What my actual diagnosis is: PMDD/MDD/GAD
Past Diagnoses
: Cyclothymia, Dysthymia, Depression, Seasonal Affective disorder, BPII

Other meds that I have tried
: Wellbutrin XL, zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Welbutrin SR, Abilify, Buspar, 5-HTP, Lamictal

Supplements
: Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, B-complex, Fish oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Vit E, multivitamin,
Possible pertinent info
: eat a gluten free/ dairy restricted diet. exercise regularly, spend a lot of time outside, I have a regular sleep cycle, in a great relationship, have a great life, and have really no reason to be depressed or anxious.
<p>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The question you have to ask yourself in these types of situations is: how crazy can you take it? -RLMay all beings shine to the light of their true nature. -Abe Lincoln
Don't look at bipolar as a bad thing; it makes you creative, intelligent, intuitive and gives you the ability to feel a full intense spectrum of emotions then most people ever could understand. -Dr. P
[font=georgia]From what I know so far about you, I see no evidence that you have bipolar disorder in any way. -Dr. B

#18 beatrice

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 06:11 AM

For me, I think Wellbutrin helped me lose weight by giving me just enough of a boost that I was able to get off the couch and go exercise. I have had the same "oh, is it worth it?" attitude towards food a few times, though. Not that food is distasteful, but that nothing sounds particularly appealing.
I also take .5/mg (going down to .25/mg) of Klonopin in the morning and 1mg at night.
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#19 Her

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:01 AM

I think that Wellbutrin was weight-neutral for me (I only took it for about three months), but it greatly affected my appetite. A lot of foods seemed distasteful, and I had a lot of stomach aches. Mostly, I wanted to eat baked potatoes. Somehow those features added up to weight-neutral.
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#20 forgetmenot

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:49 PM

I've taken XL for awhile now. It shot me into a mixed episode (or at least didn't help) back in March-ish I believe but then after a break from it, I was put back on it and it has worked wonderfully now. I DID lose weight initially but it leveled off over a few months. I didn't gain any of it back though, so that's good. I randomly lost 30 lbs between the end of August and middle of Sept but started an AP then so it's all leveled off. I'm sure if I was off the AP I'd still be losing. I take 450 mg of wb XL/day. I can't explain what it did to me appetite-wise. I just made me...not want to eat, I guess. Hard to explain since not eating is part of a mixed state for me as well.
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#21 peanutbutter

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:06 PM

I wasn't ever hungry at first, now I get hungry but, I don't careto eat. I can be sitting around with a growling stomach and have no interest in eating and just ignore my hunger until a. time that suits me. I used to enjoy eating. Now, even sweets and my favourite junk foods are a chore. If we go by bmi, I was on the lower end of healthy and now I'm slightly underweight and this side effect bothers me a lot. I consider going off the drug for that reason but, it has helped a lot and medication changes are hell and despite absolutely no enjoyment from my once favourite foods or desire to eat, it isn't worth the risk.
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#22 jackkgoeswilde

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:20 AM

I've been taking wellbutrin for 9 months and I've lost a great deal of weight, I don't know exactly how much but I lost 3 pants sizes.

I don't know how it works, exactly. I used to eat semi-healthfully to maintain my weight (I'm overweight anyway), wellbutrin melted off the pounds and I let my eating habits go to shit because I could (bad, I know). It makes me not really crave food or want to eat as much, but I don't know the specific mechanism by which the weight loss works.

But, it's pretty cool. So.
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come as you are.

#23 Crab76

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:35 PM

For me it makes my cravings for things (especially sweets) go away. I LOVE sweets so it's weird not to crave them.

When I first started 150mg I really felt the reduced cravings. But then as I got used to it...it went away. I just upped my dose to 300mg and I'm feeling it again. I could care less what I eat. I get hungry but I don't desire anything so I just eat whatever.

I am also on Abilify which made me gain weight. I thought the wellbutrin would counterbalance the weight gain on abilify but it didn't. So I increased my wellbutrin and am weaning off abilify. I have already lost 5 lbs. :-) 5 more to go. Should be no problem cuz I have no appetite. :-)
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#24 mistyp

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:00 AM

For me it elevates my mood so much that I'm excited about whatever I'm working on, so I'm not sitting around being sad, bored, and dreaming about food.
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#25 guest10935

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:52 AM

I took generic bupropion (i.e. Wellbutrin) for two weeks and all I ate was a quarter of a watermelon. For the entire period. Kept it cut in little cubes in the fridge. Quenches both hunger and thirst, I was thinking back then. I also shaved all my hair, which also helps with weight loss :mad:

Wellbutrin is not "well". We need to eat not only for the body but for the mind. Water is needed for the body to function. As much as I would love to be thinner this shit is awful.
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Current Meds: Lexapro, Ativan , Trazodone Bupropin SR

Past meds: Serax, Stelazine, Prozac, Trilifon, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Cogentin, Celexa, Geodon :(, Risperdal, very brief time on Haldol brief time on an older antidepressant (prob tricyclic) and cheap awful generic wellbutrin from hell

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#26 gaga

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:15 PM

i haven't lost any weight on it yet (only been taking it for a month) but i was crazy with food over the last few months, couldn't go a day without sweets, seriously i would go out of my way to get something sweet... and now i don't really crave them anymore.
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#27 Jerod Poore

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:22 PM

My question is:

How does Wellbutrin help you lose weight? Does it suppress your appetite and "want" to eat? Or does it just make you lose water weight?


It's not a diuretic. The only information I could find regarding its mechanism of action for weight loss was in a paper about the Wellbutrin + naltrexone cocktail (Contrave).:

Bupropion, an antidepressant of the amino-ketone class, is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Its structure closely resembles that of diethylpropion, an anorexiant and sympathomimetic agent. Bupropion is a white crystalline compound that is highly soluble in water. It is related to the phenylethylamines, which are known for their stimulant effects.


The mechanism by which the combination of naltrexone SR/bupropion SR induces weight loss is not entirely understood. Research on CNS pathways that regulate food intake and body weight has identified the hypothalamic melanocortin system and the mesolimbic reward system. These systems are the target of this combination.6
Pro-opiomelanocor tin (POMC)-producing neurons in the hypothalamus release α–melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) and β-endorphin. α–MSH mediates the anorectic effect of POMC, whereas β-endorphin is responsible for autoinhibitory feedback, which inactivates the anorectic effect.79 Bupropion can be used to stimulate the POMC neurons, whereas naltrexone can be used to block the autoinhibitory feedback that is associated with a decline in weight reduction.7,8 It is suggested that the combination’s mechanism of action might also regulate the mesolimbic reward pathways, which may lead to further weight reduction by modulating reward values and goal-oriented behaviors.6,8


In English: pretty much the same way stimulants do, just not as strongly.
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#28 Nickchou

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:55 AM


To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest every 24 hours. To lose your excess pounds, you need to increase your RMR and decrease your calorie intake. Here’s how:
  • Cut back on calories

    Eat 500 calories less than your RMR daily and you will lose one pound of excess weight per week.

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#29 Blue Heron

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:18 AM

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest every 24 hours. To lose your excess pounds, you need to increase your RMR and decrease your calorie intake. Here’s how:

  • Cut back on calories

    Eat 500 calories less than your RMR daily and you will lose one pound of excess weight per week.


It's not so simple. Once you've been overweight, your body wants to stay at, or go back to, that weight. If someone's overweight because of a medication, it can be even more difficult to lose the weight. And even if you lose it, not gaining it back can be a real challenge.

Your oversimplistic posts like this leave me wondering if Crazy Meds Talk is a good fit for you.
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"Note also how we don’t worry about taking medicine for pain the way we often do about taking 'happiness' pills like antidepressants. We worry that by artificially changing our mood we risk not being 'us.' But no one feels inauthentic because he took ibuprofen to relieve his back pain."

--"Happiness and Its Discontents," essay in the New York Times by Daniel M. Haybron, the author of the book, Happiness: A Very Short Introduction.


#30 MsNoir

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:36 AM


To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest every 24 hours. To lose your excess pounds, you need to increase your RMR and decrease your calorie intake. Here’s how:

  • Cut back on calories

    Eat 500 calories less than your RMR daily and you will lose one pound of excess weight per week.


It's not so simple. Once you've been overweight, your body wants to stay at, or go back to, that weight. If someone's overweight because of a medication, it can be even more difficult to lose the weight. And even if you lose it, not gaining it back can be a real challenge.

Your oversimplistic posts like this leave me wondering if Crazy Meds Talk is a good fit for you.


I have tried to loose weight with eating less - it made me obsessed about food and hungry all the time. Just eating less is not always an option for people with med issues. And it seldom works that easy.
I have gained 50 pounds over the last year with Abilify and Cymbalta.
I have taken Wellbutrin in the past and lost alot of weight in a rapid way and am going to ask my pdoc to change me back to it to assist in weight loss. I am concerned with mania due to my Bipolar 1 diagnosis, but gaining weight has made me more angoraphobic and not want to leave the house, not go shopping for food and afraid of running into someone I know.
Had to go get my blood drawn this am and had to take 2klonapine just to make it there and I shook the whole time as I was afraid everyone was looking at me because of the weight gain.

Ms Noir
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