How to Lose Weight on Lexapro


With obesity an American epidemic and more people now on antidepressants (like Lexapro) than ever before, some people find themselves wondering if there is a correlation between the two statistics. It certainly seems that depression and obesity may share some common ground, especially in the areas of lethargy and a nonchalant attitude toward one's diet. With just a little modification to their daily routine, however, and some active willpower at the dinner table, Lexapro users may find losing weight a less daunting challenge than they once thought.

Consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. While most people are fit enough to begin mild to moderate exercise without consultation, doctors may be aware of some serious issues well before they become apparent to the patient.

Extraordinarily obese individuals, or those with previous medical issues, are most at risk of unexpected problems when embarking on exercise programs, especially as the program becomes more intense. Unforeseen complications may be avoided by working closely with your physician while losing weight, so be sure to have your doctor's buy-in before getting started.

Develop a detailed diet and exercise plan. Despite whatever fad diets and exercise crazes may currently be popular, the most effective way to lose weight in almost any circumstances is via a routine lifestyle of healthy diet and moderate to rigorous exercise. By developing a detailed diet and keeping a written "checklist" of your daily consumption with you at all times, you can help stick to your plans and not overindulge. The same goes with exercise, as scheduling time with yourself for an exercise session (and actually carrying out your exercise plans) will help ensure your weight-loss success.

Do not deviate from your Lexapro prescription, regardless of how good you feel. Lexapro, like many other antidepressants, works by blocking the re-uptake and dissolution by your body of the chemical serotonin, a naturally occurring compound that regulates everything from sleep to aggression. As more serotonin is retained in your body, the chemical helps even out and regulate your mood; since it also helps alleviate lethargy, continuing your prescribed dosage of Lexapro and keeping up your serotonin levels will actually make you more inclined to exercise.

As you begin to exercise and increase your exposure to both rigorous physical activity and sunlight, your body will naturally begin producing larger amounts of serotonin. After several months of routine exercise, you may consult your doctor about being phased off Lexapro. Regardless of how good you feel, though, never stop taking antidepressant drugs without first consulting your doctor.

Get support while you are trying to lose weight. There are a number of websites that offer support to anyone who is trying to lose weight, and many of these sites are free or available at a nominal cost. (See Resources.) A simple blog detailing your progress and milestones may also be effective, especially when shared with close friends and your medical professional. The knowledge that you are being held to somewhat public expectations may help you maintain your motivation, leading to a more effective program.

Continue your diet and exercise routine until you reach your desired weight, then maintain that weight by adjusting your exercise routine. While you are losing weight, you will want to exercise rigorously and often. Once you reach your target weight, though, you may be able to reduce your exercise activity and maintain a healthy weight by resisting dietary temptations and maintaining a moderate level of activity. If your weight begins to fluctuate upward, exercise more intensely to regain your ideal weight and shape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many people experience "plateaus," or long periods with little or no progress, while losing weight. These plateaus are normal, and should not cause you to lose focus on your weight-loss goals. Remember to keep taking your Lexapro on your prescribed schedule; since the drug regulates the amount of seratonin (which fights lethargy) in your body, it may actually increase your desire and ability to exercise.
  • Antidepressant drugs like Lexapro have been associated with suicidal thoughts. If you experience any such thoughts while taking this drug, contact your physician immediately.

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