How to Avoid Weight Gain from Taking Antidepressants?

Written By Alla Levin
January 11, 2022
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How to Avoid Weight Gain from Taking Antidepressants?

Have you recently started taking antidepressants? If so, you are probably worried about gaining weight. Nevertheless, you will be pleased to learn that you can practice certain tips to avoid weight gain. There is no reason to stop your medications because of such side effects. As long as you eat a proper diet and exercise regularly, you won’t gain a single pound.

Increasing serotonin levels has proven effective in reducing appetite and cravings. Serotonin can be boosted through physical exercise and eating the right kinds of foods. Follow the tips below to prevent antidepressant weight gain.

Be careful with sodium

Large amounts of sodium are enemies to anyone interested in eating healthily. Nevertheless, patients on antidepressants should be extra cautious in view of consuming sodium. You should refrain from eating canned and processed foods, which contain too much sodium. The daily intake of sodium shouldn’t exceed 2,300 mg, but most Americans usually have about 3,500 mg a day.

Individuals taking antidepressants should be cautious regarding hyponatremia, a term describing low sodium levels in the blood. Visit this site to see the symptoms of low sodium levels. Being wary of hyponatremia is particularly recommended during the first twenty-eight days of taking antidepressants, as low levels of sodium might cause serious health problems. The usual signs of hyponatremia include nausea, dizziness, lethargy, cramps, seizures, and confusion.

Increase potassium intakeIncrease potassium intake

Another tip for avoiding weight gain from taking antidepressants is increasing potassium levels in your diet. A diet rich in potassium is excellent for people planning to prevent weight gain from antidepressants or to lose the pounds gained from taking such medications.

Moreover, the role of potassium is to flush out sodium, along with providing many other health benefits. Your health stands to gain from potassium intake by experiencing lower blood pressure, lowering the risk of osteoporosis, and getting protected against stroke. The most beneficial potassium-rich foods are sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, spinach, potatoes, beets, black beans, etc.

Eat small but frequent meals

Certain antidepressants can increase your appetite and stimulate you to eat more. Most patients wonder why do antidepressants cause weight gain and how to cope with it. The best way to avoid weight gain is by eating small meals frequently throughout the day instead of consuming three large meals. Hence, you won’t have time to get hungry between snacks. Six meals of small size are recommended instead of three meals of large size.

Additionally, patients on antidepressants should be able to distinguish between the feeling of hunger and having an appetite. Hunger makes you eat any food immediately, whereas appetite stimulates you to eat without feeling the same urgency. If you cannot tell the difference, ask yourself whether you will eat a meal/snack you don’t really fancy. If yes, you are definitely hungry.

ExerciseProduce more serotonin

Another tip for avoiding weight gain from taking antidepressants is staying active. Physical exercise is believed to have tremendous health benefits on both the body and mind. Regular exercise isn’t necessarily supposed to be intensive to provide the desired health benefits. You should try walking or yoga if you aren’t active at all.

Produce more serotonin

Individuals wishing to prevent weight gain from antidepressants should try producing more serotonin through food. This mood stabilizer can reduce appetite, eliminate food cravings, and cause an overall feeling of satisfaction. There are certain foods that increase serotonin levels, such as cheese, eggs, tofu, pineapples, nuts, seeds, salmon, and turkey.

Furthermore, these foods contain tryptophan, from which serotonin is synthesized. People with mood disorders like depression are thought to have tryptophan depletion. When eating foods low in tryptophan, serotonin levels get lower.

By consuming any of the above-mentioned foods, the brain is provided with tryptophan, which is used by this organ to produce serotonin. Visit this URL, https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/high-tryptophan-foods.php, to see the foods highest in tryptophan.

Give intermittent fasting a try

Intermittent fasting is another useful tip to try when struggling to avoid weight gain from antidepressants. Individuals are encouraged to try not eating anything in a twelve-hour window, starting two-three hours before hitting the sack.

In addition, avoiding protein at dinnertime is a wise decision. Instead of protein, you should eat carbohydrates, which will provide your brain with greater stimulus to produce serotonin and keep you full until it’s time to go to bed.

Check whether your stomach produces too much acid. It’s not unusual for antidepressants to stimulate the production of acid, which imitates the feeling of hunger. If you’re feeling hungry too often, you should try taking an antacid medication. In case hunger goes away, you should look for the right treatment for reducing stomach acidity.

How to avoid weight gain: a final note

The above-mentioned tips are easy to follow. Do what it takes to boost your mood while keeping your weight optimal!

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