Some people would find this topic taboo, even the Google search and social media algorithm would “limit” its views. But today we’re going to discuss psych meds and weight gain. I started tracking macros again as much as most people/nutritionists recommend “intuitive” eating. It’s not the best for someone who’s taking anti-psychotic medications like Tegretol and Seroquel. I gained 10kg since I started taking my psych meds, even with my regular exercise. I have trouble feeling “full”. It caused me to be conscious every time I see my belly growing in front of the mirror.
Tracking macros let me know, “hey, you just need to eat this much” My calories on My Fitness Pal are on MAINTENANCE, so losing weight is not the goal. Keeping it the same is. Why am I writing this? I want to be accountable.
Quick Mental Health Recap
To give you a summary, I was diagnosed to have Bipolar-1 disorder in July of 2020. I had myself checked with a psychiatrist and got the exams, interviews, and whatnots to have the necessary medications for me to get better. My disorder is affecting my loved ones, and I want to get better for them. Unfortunately, the compatible psych meds for me were Tegretol, Xanor, and Serotia.
- Tegretol – This is my maintenance medication for my Bipolar disorder to stablize my mood.
- Xanor – For anxiety
- Serotia – For insomnia
Psych meds and weight gain
What psych meds make you gain weight?
Many medications have the potential to cause weight gain. Some examples include:
- Antidepressants like mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), imipramine (Tofranil)
- Antipsychotics like aripiprazole (Abilify), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pimozide (Orap), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), ziprasidone (Geodon)
- Mood stabilizers like lithium, valproic acid (Depakote/Depakene), carbamazepie (Tegretol)
How do you fight weight gain while on antipsychotics?
Will power. Strong will power. Imagine, you already have a mental disorder and you still need to have a strong will to control yourself from overindulging in food. Huhuhu. I’m going to share with you a few tips that worked for me. Since doing these, I’ve managed to keep my weight.
- Don’t skip meals – I tried fasting and baby, it didn’t work. It only made me feel crazier. Eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Track your macros – This is for someone who has difficulty in knowing how much is too much. Calculate your macros here and input them on My Fitness Pal, my favourite macro tracker.
- Quality, not quantity – Cliche as it may sound. Avoid junk food at all costs. Eat more protein as it is much more filling. Eat your vegetables. Rice is not the enemy. Know when to stop.
Sometimes our illness doesn’t let us know enough is enough, causing us to uncontrollably eat. It is best to know your portions. For example, it’s okay to have a scoop of ice cream, not 5 scoops. It’s okay to have a slice of cake, not the whole cake. Do you feel me?
I hope my story and post helps with what you’re going through. I’ll probably bookmark this for personal use too! Sometimes we need that self pep-talk. We can do this! It is not shameful to rely on psychiatric medications, it only means we want to be the best that we can be! Cheers! (Oh, and happy birthday to me!)