Short version: No, there are better, natural and safe options.
Yes, even if you have failed many times before. See this.
Let’s face it.
We’re in the midst of an obesity crisis.
And not surprisingly, the primary reason for that is because we are exposed to an increasing range of junk and unhealthy foods like never before in history.
Couple that with reduced physical activity, a stressful life, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for weight gain and lifestyle diseases.
It almost seems impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle in today’s unpredictable schedule of this fast-moving world. So even if you want to and wish to eat healthy, clean foods; you end up eating at least a bit of unhealthy foods, or hidden sugar almost every day.
And hey, you can’t deny how these junk foods are (made) tempting to our taste receptors!
Usually, let’s admit it, the first thing we do is we look for shortcuts to lose weight.
For example, we search for shakes, tummy tuck belts to “burn belly fat” or even try those weight loss pills.
Of course, these companies spend millions to capture our attention with unrealistic ads where a woman weighing 180lb quickly drops to 150 in a few weeks! Silly, at best!
With repeated exposure, the infomercials try their best to brainwash us. But do these products work?
Can a person really lose weight by applying a ‘cream’ or wearing that belt? Or can someone turn healthy by gulping down pills like Lipozene or Phentermine?
The answer, unfortunately, is no.
And to continue this horrible trend of trying dangerous products, we now have women trying the popular anti-depressant tablet, Wellbutrin XL for weight loss!
Yes, an anti-depressant… for weight loss.
And that’s why I decided to come out of hiding with this blog, which I had not updated since 2014 (wow, can’t believe it’s been thaaaaat long!).
So today, let’s review Wellbutrin and see whether it will help you lose weight.
Wellbutrin is a brand that manufactures an anti-depressant, Bupropion.
Technically, this pill is a prescribed medicine used for people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) and/or seasonal affective disorder.
MDD is a medical condition where a person feels sadness, despair and hopelessness, and this feeling of depression does not go away easily.
Most of us know that the major risk factor of depression is that it interferes with your day-to-day life by holding you back from enjoying the little joys of life.
Seasonal affective disorder on the other hand, affects a person’s feelings and emotions only during the change of seasons. This usually happens in the autumn or winter months due to a lack of sunlight. This kind of depression usually goes away automatically once the season changes.
Bupropion helps the patient “feel good” by restoring the balance of certain chemicals present in the brain.
Now, is there any specific dosage of Wellbutriun for weight loss? No, because it was never meant for losing weight. So there's no docuemented Wellbutrin weight loss dosage.
When you talk about prescription drugs, you know they all come with some side effects.
For instance, I often invite diarrhea when my Doc puts me on antibiotics, or I almost start throwing up every time I consume any NSAIDs.
Similarly, even Bupropion has a few nasty side effects.
The common side effects of this medicine includes - nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, headache, constipation, increased sweating, joint aches, sore throat, blurred vision, diarrhea, strange taste and dizziness.
Yeah, not fun!
Out of all these side effects, most people complain about dry mouth and nausea.
And if that wasn’t enough - the product also warns about severe side effects like chest pain, fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, unusual weight gain (yes!), anxiety, hallucinations and memory loss.
[Advisory note: It is strongly advised to visit your doctor as soon as you experience these serious issues.]
However, these common side effects do not overpower the effectiveness of this medicine to ease depression. Hence, doctors prescribe it (only) for true mental illnesses.
Now imagine using such a pill for losing weight!
Weight loss is just a side effect of this drug.
Even though people have successfully reduced weight with this medicine, have you wondered what would happen once you stop using it?
You would almost always get back to your previous weight as there is nothing controlling your hunger anymore, and you would most certainly gain all those pounds back (and usually more!).
The (not so) funny part is, the side effects of this drug can even make your joints and limbs pain… without working out!
It’s so horrible for some people that, well, read it for yourself... the Wellbutrin weight loss stories.
One Bupropion user reviewed this drug on drugs.com saying…
“I was losing my weight, but today, I have stopped taking this drug. I wouldn’t be able to eat anything at all. I felt like throwing up whenever I tried to eat something.
I spent weeks without eating, just drinking liquids.
My eyesight went from perfect 20-20 to blurry. I now need prescription glasses, never needed them in my life until taking Contrave. Suddenly I have this pain on my side, I’m constipated. I have this bad taste in my mouth constantly, like 24x7.
First, I thought it was because of something I ate, but it wasn’t that. I brushed my teeth and a while later I felt the same horrible taste so there I go brushing my teeth again. I feel like this all day long. It’s horrible. It isn’t worth it.”
Another Wellbutrin weight loss story, a woman named Anne wrote this on a popular forum:
“I was desperate. There's no other way to say it.
I had tried almost all the popular diets; Atkins, Keto, Low Fat and what not. Though some of them showed hope, I could never stick with them after a few weeks.
Which led me to Wellbutrin, I had heard that it helps with losing weight, so I thought WTH, I am trying this too...
How does all this sound - severe constipation, dry mouth, appetite loss, a horrible headache, and I don't know if it's related, but started getting this weird sensation in my chest.
All in all, NO, I will never try Wellbutrin for losing weight, nor will I recommend anyone of you to try it. The side effects are so horrible I'd say being fat is MUCH better!"
Wellbutrin and weight loss do not go hand in hand, even though sure, it is a great drug to cure or control mental disorders.
But using the same drug for weight loss is definitely not a smart move.
The above Wellbutrin review shows you that you might even ruin other aspects of your life by using Bupropion for weight loss.
You could suffer from various health hazards like chest pain, anxiety and sore throat. If you have noticed, every shortcut has some or the other side effects.
Did you know?
The easy hack to a beautiful and younger looking skin, Botox, too has side effects. People commonly experience headaches, teary eyes and flu-like symptoms after doing Botox.
The most effective way for weight loss is to maintain a healthy diet and follow a healthy workout. These two things will remain to be effective always. Establishing a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important steps one needs to take to lose weight.
There is no doubt that the number one cause we gain weight as we age is because our metabolism goes down (we need less food than in our younger days), yet our food remains the same or increases.
This imbalance in energy in versus energy out coupled with hormonal changes and the increase in easily available sugary/fatty foods creates the body you see in the mirror today.
So the solution?
As clichéd as it may sound - improving EVERY factor that contributes to your weight, or what we call a complete lifestyle change.
Easier said than done though. However, there’s a solution I developed for it.
Remember, your food choices constantly affects your body every day.
Meaning, your food choices not only affect your weight but also your stress level, aging, skin quality, literally everything.
One funny thing I have noticed is, it takes weeks of healthy eating to gain that healthy-looking skin, but it takes just one unhealthy meal for a zit to pop out.
That is how it works with weight as well, if you took a month to gain 10 pounds, you need to work hard for OVER a month to lose even 3-5 pounds.
A healthy lifestyle comprises of 3 basic things:
You cannot miss out on any of these three aspects if you want to stay fit.
If you make sure you follow a healthy diet, be active (even a little bit helps), and get enough sleep, chances are you will probably never face the problem of obesity in your life.
So how should your diet look like?
Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to follow a strict diet. You need to stay away from unhealthy and junk food. Avoid processed and canned food as much as you can.
Instead of tearing a packet of chips in the evening, pick a fruit to kill your evening cravings. Make sure you include Protein, Minerals, Fiber and Vitamins.
Also, remember that you cannot delete Fat and Carbs from your diet. They too play an important role in the overall functioning of your body. But see to it that you consume Fat and Carbs in moderation.
Do you need to follow heavy workout plans?
No, one of my close friends went from obese to lean without joining any gym. So how did he reduce his weight? He cycled for 30 minutes daily and minimized the use of vehicles for a short distance.
Similarly, you could opt for skipping or running too. The only thing you need to remember is that your body needs activity to stay fit. You will not lose weight if you live a sedentary lifestyle.
In case you want to make your workout program interesting, you can even join dance or fitness classes.
How much sleep is sufficient sleep?
Poor sleep is one of the major reasons for obesity. Even though sleep requirements vary from person to person, studies have found that people who sleep less than 7 hours observe changes in their weight.
This is because lack of sleep increases your appetite. Your body creates more Ghrelin, a hunger hormone, which stimulates cravings and yearnings.
Poor sleeping habits adversely affect your food choices!
It is necessary to give your body an adequate amount of rest to restore and heal.
Also, your body stops encouraging physical activity if it does not get the right amount of sleep.
Thus, it is crucial to manage your sleep along with a right diet and physical activities to have your desired weight. You need to remember that no pill can lead you to a healthy life. Some healthy changes are crucial to have a lean physique.
Remember to take your time. Making life changes isn’t easy. It’s important to implement these changes slowly, giving yourself time to adjust and see what works for you.
Not everyone can gulp down vinegar, or take on an intense exercise routine, or eat high levels of lean protein.
You have a higher chance of success if you give yourself time to successfully implement what works for YOU. Since you know that in reality, crash diets don’t work - why would a crash lifestyle change work?!
What I mean is - Talk to your doctor before even thinking of Wellbutrin for weight loss. It has severe withdrawal symptoms.
What you’re reading here is my account of the changes I undertook to lose belly fat and make myself healthier. (And after trying Wellbutrin!)
However, I knew from my own relationship with my doctor that I was in a good place to add vinegar, start exercising more, remove sugar from my diet, etc.
Never start an exercise routine without confirming with your doctor that you are healthy enough to do so. The same goes for dietary changes-you should never take extra supplements without speaking to a healthcare professional first!
Don’t beat yourself up if you fail at first.
Using 'aids' such as Wellbutrin might make you think that it's easy, just pop a pill and presto, but it's far from that in real life.
These changes I keep mentioning are meant not only to help you lose weight, but also to change your lifestyle (which is often interchangeable!). You want to do things that will help keep the belly fat off permanently, and to do so takes commitment and dedication.
There are going to be times where you eat because you’re stressed, or a moment when you reach for the brownie instead of the apple, or when you have a couple of drinks with dinner.
As long as you keep trying, you will eventually reach your results! That's a given.
Don’t forget to treat yourself. Cutting yourself off cold turkey from all the delicious things you love is essentially a recipe for disaster.
You need to remember to reward yourself for good behavior, and to keep yourself engaged in your commitment.
Set yourself up for success. Pill popping might sound easier, but it takes a whole lot of skill to setup your (healthy) life.
Things like meal prep, packing snacks, scheduling time in your week specifically for exercise or relaxation - these are all ways that you’re helping yourself achieve and your goals, and all ways that you tell the world: I am making changes to my life! I can do this!
Believe in yourself.
I used to look at pictures of women in magazines, or see friends from high school who had stayed in shape, or even the unattainable levels of celebrities, and I felt like their looks, their lives, and their workout regimes were light years away from anything I could ever attain, and to some degree, that was true...
I was never going to be someone who picked up a Crossfit workout style, or cut out all breads/cookies/pastas completely, or became a 100% vegan, but I was wrong to tell myself that I couldn’t do this, or that I couldn’t look good.
Believing in yourself gives you the drive to get started, to push yourself forward when you feel defeated, and to feel amazing every time you reach a goal.
So here, I'll give you the first friendly boost - you can do this, seriously, YOU CAN DO THIS!
Speaking of goals, make sure you set small ones - they’re easier to attain.
You shouldn’t tell yourself that you’re only going to stop once you have a set of 6-pack of abs. That’s going to get you nowhere, fast!
You need to set small goals, so that first, you don’t get easily defeated, and second, you can set paths for yourself that make sense/you can follow.
Again, waiting until you achieve a set of 6-pack of abs will take a long time, and you may falter as you approach this goal.
However, if you set a goal that you walk 30 minutes a day, or that you run a mile, or that you cut out all sweets from your diet for 2 weeks-these are all things you can build up to, and the more you set these goals, the more you’ll meet them, and then you’ll be able to set new ones!
Remember to inspire yourself.
Are you doing this so you can fit into a bikini? Or so you can have more energy?
Whatever your reasons, don’t forget to keep that inspiration/motivation visible, so that you can use it for reinforcement when you start to feel frustrated. I posted a picture of myself from my lacrosse days on the fridge - it was a nice deterrent when my hands sneakily tried to reach for the cookie dough ice cream!
When you eat counts. This is an especially important reminder, because I know that when I first started this whole adventure, I assumed that if you just ate less, you would lose weight.
Really, that’s not always the case.
First, It is extremely important to eat breakfast.
Associated with weight loss, breakfast has been shown to keep your metabolism elevated.
The best things to do are to eat within 30-60 minutes of when you wake up (to really take advantage of all that fat-burning ability within your body), eat a lot of protein (Greek yogurt and eggs) during breakfast, and add bananas (Time, 2015).
The rationale? Eating breakfast within an hour of your wake up time helps you to stay full for the rest of the day (which helps you avoid binge-eating, while eating protein (which is digested more slowly by the body) can additionally keep hunger under control, while the protein found in eggs decreases hunger, so that you eat less calories throughout the day (Time, 2015).
In addition, bananas (and oats!) are high in Resistant Starch, which helps you not only stay full throughout the day, but also helps your body burn more calories (because it tells your body to utilize fat as an energy source) (Time, 2015).
When I ate close to bed, I felt overly full and sort of sick, and when I woke up, I felt bloated and sort of gross. It makes sense-when you take in a large portion of calories prior to sleeping, your body isn’t going to burn off that energy and those calories through activity.
Your body is going to break down the nutrients, and then let them sit in your body. I’ve heard of eating a small amount of protein (like a small portion of cottage cheese) prior to sleep to keep your body from breaking down protein during the night, but I’ll allow you, dear Reader, to do the research on that and see how you feel about it.
Finally, I did the research on this, and to be honest, there doesn’t seem to be any enough evidence pointing majorly in one direction, but I can still tell you what I did that made ME feel better personally, and what you can do as well.
I started eating smaller (and healthier) meals throughout the day.
Eating 4-5 smaller meals full of vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy fats allowed me (personally) to feel less prone to binge dieting, to eating an unhealthy snack, and overall, less bloated (since I wasn’t eating a large amount of food where my stomach would become so distended).
However, scientific research doesn’t really seem to agree on whether or not this is actually helpful for losing weight.
Some experts say that it’s ineffective, as your body isn’t given the proper time to digest fats if you are eating all day. There is a lot of research out there: educate yourself!
Trust me you don't need to try dangerous stuff such as Wellbutrin to lose weight.
It might help you drop a few pounds, but Wellbutrin is not going to keep the weight off!
You stop taking it, you're back where you are (and usually with a few extra pounds).
Instead, start making tiny, wee, non-consequential changes to your life.
Then start tracking them, meaning, check how often you adhere to these tiny things.
Sounds simple, but when you 'stack' these tiny habits for weeks and months, that's when you start seeing results, and that's what called a "lifestyle change".
After taking the decision to start Wellbutrin for losing weight, I only had problems.
But then, when you're even thinking of Wellbutrin for fat loss, it means you've already tried and failed at most other things anyway!
So once I realized that almost ALL these 'magic solutions' out there are only either temporary, or ones that'll keep me 'hooked' forever, I decide to take matter in my own hands.
More like realizations, however when I started applying them in my life and held on to them, the results were amazing. Nothing like what you could expect with Wellbutrin or any other fat loss "aid".
Eventually, my increased fascination with weight loss, food in general lead me to become a personal trainer, get my nutritionist's degree and become a well known weight loss blogger.
Anyway, enough about me, the point here is - if you too wish to know these 3 steps, the 3 behavioral changes anyone who wishes to lose weight needs to take, read about them here.
Wellbutrin will maybe help you drop a couple of pounds at best, and that too while you're "on it". Once you stop using it, you'll be back at your old weight AND with extra frustration as you'll think, "this too failed!" when in fact, it was never MEANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL!
Think about that.
Losing your unwanted weight calls for a bigger decision - a change in behavior.
Let's begin doing that by copying my steps.
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