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How to Lose Weight Fast on Metformin

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Ever wondered if there’s a magic pill to shed those extra pounds? 

Well, enter the world of Metformin—the not-so-secret weapon in the battle against the bulge. 

In this guide, we’ll uncover the secrets of how to lose weight fast on Metformin, exploring its surprising effects beyond its diabetes management role. 

From the science behind its modest weight-loss powers to the nitty-gritty of combining it with other medications, we’ve got your metabolism covered. 

Can Metformin Actually Help Me Lose Weight?

how to lose weight fast on metformin

Metformin is primarily used as a medication to treat type 2 diabetes. While not intended as a weight loss drug, some research has found metformin may help with modest weight loss or prevent weight gain:

  • Studies show metformin can help reduce weight in overweight or obese non-diabetic individuals in outpatient settings.
  • Weight loss seen with metformin is usually modest, around 2-3 kg on average. It works by decreasing appetite and food intake.
  • Metformin therapy has also been found effective in treatment of weight gain associated with certain conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Its effects on weight are secondary and it cannot replace a healthy diet and exercise for sustainable weight control.

While some anecdotal reports credit metformin with more significant weight loss, its primary action is managing blood sugar levels rather than targeting weight.

How To Lose Weight Fast on Metformin

Safe and effective weight loss with metformin:

Doctor consultation

Always consult your doctor before taking metformin or changing your weight loss approach. They can assess your individual needs, ensure medication suitability, and guide you on safe and effective methods.

Healthy diet

Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, while limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.

Regular exercise

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.

Realistic goals

Set realistic and sustainable weight loss goals. Losing more than 1-2 pounds per week is generally not recommended.

Patience and consistency

Remember, sustainable weight loss takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and stay consistent with your healthy habits.

How Much Weight Can I Expect to Lose with Metformin?

Studies have shown that people taking metformin for diabetes experienced an average weight loss of:

The amount of weight loss varies between individuals. On average, most people lose 1-3 lbs per month. Some may lose more or less. Weight loss tends to plateau after 6-12 months on metformin.

The primary mechanism is likely reduced appetite and lower glucose/insulin levels. Weight loss effects are modest and metformin should not be used solely for weight loss. Other lifestyle changes are usually needed for better long term results.

How Safe is Metformin for Weight Loss?

Existing research indicates metformin can promote small amounts of weight loss safely in non-diabetic adults, especially when combined with lifestyle modifications. 

As with any medication, risks and benefits should be discussed with a medical provider.

Are There Different Types of Metformin? Which is Best for Weight Loss?

There are two main types of metformin medication – immediate release and extended release.

Immediate release metformin tablets are released into the body faster after ingestion. They are typically taken twice a day, with meals. Extended release metformin tablets release the drug more slowly over an extended period, so they are usually taken once a day.

Some studies have found that both types can aid in weight loss, though the effects are typically modest. In general, metformin works best for weight loss when combined with lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and exercise. The type of metformin may not have a large influence on weight loss results.

Metformin is most effective for weight loss in people who are overweight or obese with prediabetes or insulin resistance. Its effects on weight tend to be small, around 2-3 kg on average. Weight loss results vary between individuals.

No significant differences in weight loss have been shown between immediate release and extended release metformin when used as directed. 

The best type depends on individual factors like dosage schedule and lifestyle. Consult your doctor to determine which formulation may be most suitable.

Can Metformin Help Me Burn Fat Faster?

how to lose weight fast on metformin

While metformin may aid in modest fat loss, especially for insulin resistant individuals, it is not primarily intended or proven to be very effective as a fat burning supplement. Lifestyle factors like diet and exercise typically play a bigger role in fat loss.

Metformin can help reduce body weight by 3-5 kg on average over 6-12 months, likely by reducing appetite and food intake. This weight loss appears to be primarily a loss of fat mass rather than muscle or bone mass.

The weight loss effects of metformin seem to be more significant in people who are insulin resistant. Metformin works by improving how the body responds to insulin, which can help the body burn more fat and calories.

However, metformin alone is not usually very effective for weight loss and is not approved as a weight loss drug by the FDA. Any fat loss would be gradual and modest. A calorie-controlled diet and exercise are still needed for more significant fat loss.

Can I Combine Metformin with Other Medications for Weight Loss?

Some studies have also found that the combination of metformin with other drugs, such as the diabetes medication liraglutide or the blood pressure medication mirabegron, led to significant weight loss in participants.

However, certain medications can interact with metformin and affect blood sugar levels. It’s important to speak to your doctor about any other medications you are taking to make sure there are no drug interactions. 

Medications that commonly interact with metformin include antipsychotics, corticosteroids, and some antibiotics

Can I Take Metformin Without Having Diabetes?

Metformin has shown effectiveness in helping with weight loss in non-diabetic individuals who are overweight or obese in some studies.

It is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat prediabetes or help with weight loss, fertility issues, and some cancers even without a diabetes diagnosis. However, more research is still needed.

The magnitude of weight loss seen with metformin tends to be modest, around 2-3 kg on average according to some reviews. Individual results may vary.

Those without diabetes who are considering taking metformin should first discuss risks and benefits with their doctor, as it can cause side effects like nausea and is not approved for non-diabetic use. More evidence is still emerging.

Will I Gain Back the Weight After I Stop Taking Metformin?

If you stop taking metformin and do not have diabetes, it is unlikely to directly cause weight gain on its own. Metformin is not intended as a weight loss drug.

When stopping metformin, there is a risk that blood sugar and diabetes symptoms may worsen again if not managed with diet and lifestyle.

Studies show average weight increases of 2-3 kg (4-7 lbs) occur within 6-12 months after long term metformin treatment is stopped. The beneficial impact on weight does not seem to sustain long term after stopping.

Are There Natural Alternatives to Metformin for Weight Loss?

berberine as alternative to metformin

There are some natural alternatives to metformin that may aid in weight loss according to studies:

Berberine – An extract from plants like barberry. Studies show it can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels similar to metformin. It may also promote weight loss. However, more research is still needed directly comparing it to metformin for weight loss.

Gymnema Sylvestre – A plant that grows in India and Africa. Research suggests it may help control blood sugar levels and aid weight loss. However, more high-quality studies are still needed.

While some natural supplements show promise, metformin remains the gold standard treatment for type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes like healthy diet and exercise are also important for sustainable weight loss. 

More research on natural alternatives is still warranted before recommending as substitutes for prescription medication like metformin.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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