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TOPIC: Tips for losing weight on birth control pills

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May 10, 2011 6:42 PM
I've been working really hard to lose weight for the past few months and so far I've been pretty successful -- I'm focusing on more of a lifestyle change than just losing weight, but seeing results has kept me motivated.

But I've recently decided to get on birth control, and I've been researching different types of oral contraceptives. I'm very uneasy about the things I keep reading regarding weight gain, but I'm more so bothered by the fact that many women who were trying to lose weight claim to have noticed a decrease in their weight loss progress that corresponds with birth control.

I've read a lot about Lo Loestrin Fe, and it sounds like a much better option for someone trying to lose weight, so I was wondering if anyone has any input about it or experiences with it. I have only read about positive experiences with it, but nothing about weight loss, and It is also a relatively new product.

Also, does anyone have any tips on how to keep losing when while on birth control?

Doctors claim that birth control causing weight gain is a myth, but the high number of women posting about their birth control related weight gain suggests otherwise. I'd like to believe that exercise and diet will prevent it, but I I'm scared to try anything until I have input from women with experience.

Please help! Any input is appreciated!
May 10, 2011 6:45 PM
I'm currently on Loestrin 24 Fe and I've been losing weight just fine (when I actually stick to eating right and working out).
May 10, 2011 6:46 PM
Can only talk about my experience, but I have been back on the pill for a month now. Just started (again) MFP last week, and lost 1.8 pounds. According to scale, I am on track for positive things this week too. I too was scared about gaining, but so far, so good. Friend me if you want and we can do our own science experiment to see how our weight loss goes.
May 10, 2011 6:46 PM
Hi, I am currently taking Ortho cyclen and I have never had a problem with weightloss. As long as I diet and exercised as anyone should, I have lost. I have lost 50 pounds once while on the pill.
May 10, 2011 6:46 PM
I recently started using Sprintec (orthocyclen), first time using a pill. It's a really low dose pill, I guess. I've noticed my appetite has decreased, but my skin is reeeeeally oily.
I was uber worried about gaining from using the pill, but so far, so good!
My dosctor said the same thing about the pill not causing gain...I think in some people it makes them more hungry and they indulge in that (which is natural), and next thing they know they've gained weight...either that or maybe some women retain more water due to the hormone change?
That's my 2 cents, anyway.
Best of luck to you!
May 10, 2011 6:47 PM
I gained weight because I ate too much - nothing to do with my birth control pills. I lost weight when I was on Loestrin FE but changed to Microgestin because I was having break through bleeding with Loestrin FE (haven't had that problem with this pres.). I am still on Microgestin and am losing weight now that I'm eating right and watching my calories.
May 10, 2011 6:47 PM
I'm on seasonique and never gained weight from it, and haven't had problems losing weight.
May 10, 2011 6:48 PM
its not the birth control it self that makes you gain . The birth control increases your appetite and with that being said you eat more. Im on birth control and i ben doing fine. I do get hungry alot more often but you have to find things with less calories or exercise more. Hope this helps :)
Edited by l3xii On May 10, 2011 6:50 PM
May 10, 2011 6:48 PM
I've been on birth control for a long time... about 8 years now (GOSH that makes me feel old). I was off it briefly for about 6 months and during that time I DID lose a lot of weight (without trying); about 10lbs. of course there were some "lifestyle" changes/stresses during that time, but none of which were intentionally toward weight management.

I've been on generic brand ortho-tri-cyclen for the majority of this time. it's not like my weight has BALLOONED or anything, but I did notice a difference.

If it's really a concern and it seems to be holding you back, I've heard that lower-estrogen versions will work better for this issue - but I couldn't tell you WHAT those low-estrogen ones are.

good luck!
May 10, 2011 6:50 PM
I am on Previfem, it is a same dosage pill for the whole 3 weeks. I had been on a tri-pill where each week was a different level of hormone strength, but I didn't like how that pill made me feel plus I felt like I had a lot more cravings on that pill as compared to this one - the tri-pill made my stomach feel awful for the first few days of the next strength of pill.. I have had no issues with my weight since going on the pill. I have just continued to watch my calorie intake as I had before and have continued to lose weight. Some of it too is you have to give your body time to adjust to the pill, which usually takes up to 3 months. If you are going to have any side effects they will typically be the worse in the first 3 months until your body adjusts and gets used to everything.
May 10, 2011 6:50 PM
Im on Yasmin and I lose weight when I workout and eat well .... when I started 4-5 years ago I never gained weight, but lost 5 pounds!
May 10, 2011 6:51 PM
I think it's a myth, and I think people use it as an excuse. I am on Tri-cyclen and I haven't had an issue losing weight.
May 10, 2011 6:51 PM
The weight gain problems on the pill aren't due to the pill. Those gains are due to the fact that the pill makes us have cravings or think we're hungry and the women who give in to that gain weight. If you are still careful about what you're eating and you keep up your exercising, it really shouldn't be an issue. I've been on the pill my whole journey and I'm losing weight just fine.
May 10, 2011 6:52 PM
Women on any hormonal birth control pill gain the same amount of weight as women off the pill, an average of 3 pounds per year. While it's true that some women will gain 15 pounds and some will gain 0, what happens with you is up to you. If you put in the effort with a healthy diet and exercise there is no reason that birth control pills should have any effect on your weight loss.
May 10, 2011 6:53 PM
Ok, first of all the doctor's you have talked to are quacks, because I have been on birth control since I hit puberty, and nothing makes my weight fluctuate like birth control. I have taken Lo esterine Fe before, and it did affect my weight. I gained 40lbs in 2 months, and considering I am already overweight, I didn't need that pill to help me in that department. I have been taking Orthotricyclen Lo for the last almost 3 years. This is the only pill that hasn't messed with my weight. My weight has been pretty consistant since I started it, until now because I am trying to lose it lol...well I hope that helps!
May 10, 2011 6:53 PM
Hey, I think in the newer days of the pill there was in increase of weight gain but now the pills have been developed to prevent this from happening. It also depends on how your body reacts to increases in hormones, you may have to have a play around with it until you get it right but may find that the expected weight gain was the least of your worries with some of them! I have just had my 2nd implanon removed because my body just went weird - extreme mood swings, painful cramps, exhaustion, depression, huge weight gain - my hubby 2b was ready to leave me bless him! Now i'm on levlan/microgynon 30 and it is perfect! It really is trial and error but mention your concerns to your nurse and they will be able to help you choose right. If your diet is healthy and your doing some physical exercise you should be fine. Good luck and enjoy your freedom ha!
May 10, 2011 6:53 PM

I'm currently on Loestrin 24 Fe and I've been losing weight just fine (when I actually stick to eating right and working out).

Ditto! i dont notice any difference. I used to use it as an excuse but I can't anymore.
May 10, 2011 6:54 PM
I've heard that the weight gain due to BC pills was just due to retaining water. I think if you make sure and get enough water, it won't be an issue. I've been on OrthoTricyclen and Yaz and have lost weight on both.
May 10, 2011 6:55 PM
i just started on ortho tri cyclen and haven't really noticed if it has affected my appetite but like you i do worry how being on the pill will affect my weightloss
May 10, 2011 6:57 PM
A little bit off topic, I didn't like how birth control (oral) reacted with my body. I did gain 15 lbs with it. Granted it could have been my life style, but still!

This time around I got the Paragard IUD. I LOVE it, and haven't gained any weight or had any other issues.
May 10, 2011 6:57 PM

I think it's a myth, and I think people use it as an excuse. I am on Tri-cyclen and I haven't had an issue losing weight.

AGREED! I was on Birth Control for 8 years and now that i'm off (not because of trying to loose weight) I haven't lost weight any easier than if I was on the pills before. They didn't make me gain weight at all. That was all me and what I put in my mouth and living a sedentary lifestyle.

I was on Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo, Ortho Tri-Cylen, and Loestrin. None of them made any difference.
May 10, 2011 6:58 PM
MD Checking in :)

It's not that weight gain on birth control is a myth, it's that the percentage of people who experience it, and the amount of weight they gain, is grossly exaggerated. Yes, there is a small percentage of women who, after using the pill for an extended amount of time (on the order of years), will gain 1-3 lbs.

Remember that what you are reading is an internet forum: made, ran, and populated by mostly lay-people (albeit good intentioned, helpful ones). Also, remember that most of the people who do not have any problems with their pills (which is the majority) are not coming on forums to complain about them. You wouldn't come to the Apple forums if you didn't need help with your iPhone, right?
May 10, 2011 6:59 PM
I've been on 3 different birth controls, started on Tricyclen Lo, then Linessa and finally Seasonale.

The first change was because my doctor was giving me free samples and when I got covered he switched me, no problems on Tricyclen. Probably on it for about a year. Didn't take anything for 10 months until...

Linessa started off ok, I found that going on this one I "gained" but really it was like 5 lbs and that was propbably due to the fact that it made me crazy. It made me have terrible mood swings and suffer from PMS (food cravings hence the minor weight gain) when I never had before. On for 9 months and took 6 months off before...

Finally, Seasonale has been great, I gained weight again after being off for a while but I also was on vacation so who can say for sure, again very miniscule amounts. This has definitely been the best pill I've been on, it's great for me since I have periods once every 4-6 months when not on the pill.

All in all, watch your sodium, and don't have anxiety over possibly gaining weight. Be aware of what's happening in your life and don't blame the pill for bad eating/exercise habits :)
May 10, 2011 7:04 PM
I ditto what a few others have said about making you hungrier. I've been taking the pill for 12 yrs. The only time since then that I didn't take it (besides during pregnancy) was the 6 wks after pregnancy, and I had a normal appetite during those 6 weeks. As soon as I started the pill back I became ravenous and it did effect my weight. That's part of the reason I joined MFP. I knew I had to get my hunger in check. Now that I've been doing this since January I have a lot less problems with the hunger. Maybe my hormones have leveled back out, maybe I've just gotten used to eaten less, or a combo of both. So with all that said, yes it did increase my appetite, but as long as I watch my calories (thru MFP) I can lose weight.
May 10, 2011 7:20 PM
Edited by KES9898 On May 10, 2011 7:20 PM


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