People are always looking for new ways to lose weight that work quickly and take the least amount of effort to implement. Despite the recent movements promoting body positivity, people all around the world have become obsessed with finding the next best weight loss aid.
One of the more recent trends for enhancing weight loss is through the use of Adderall. Although Adderall is typically not prescribed for the purpose of weight loss, many users have reported shedding substantial amounts of weight while taking it.
In fact, one woman reported losing 80 pounds after being prescribed Adderall to treat her ADHD. So, is this just a random story, or is weight loss like this while on Adderall really possible?
Here, we’ll explain the link between Adderall and appetite and discuss whether or not this ADHD medication can be used to lose weight.
Weight Loss On Adderall
Adderall is a medication consisting of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, as it stimulates the production of certain chemicals in our brains that help with easing the symptoms of these conditions.
Possible side effects of Adderall include decreased appetite and weight loss. Some doctors have used amphetamines for weight loss in the past, but that has been put to a halt more recently after learning about their addictive nature.
Today, the FDA has not approved Adderall for weight loss. That’s why most healthcare practitioners focus on other sustainable approaches and lifestyle adjustments that have been proven to work.
Researchers state that relationships between obesity, ADHD, and the ability to self-regulate are pretty complex. People with ADHD often have problems with weight gain, as it is harder for them to control impulses which can lead to overeating, especially when it comes to junk food.
With proper medication management, using stimulants can help fight obesity in people with ADHD due to the loss of appetite. However, the misuse of Adderall for weight loss has become a growing concern in recent years.
One study showed that 12% of young adults reported non-medical Adderall use for weight loss. This was connected to stress-related eating, poor body image, unhealthy weight-loss strategies, and an occurrence of eating disorder symptoms, such as vomiting.
So, the non-prescription use of Adderall for weight loss has been linked with many problematic behaviors in young adults. In addition, misuse of Adderall can cause irritability, anxiety, headaches, cardiovascular problems, and other severe side effects.
Why Does Adderall Cause Weight Loss?
Adderall affects brain chemicals including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are linked with positive feelings, calmness, and non-impulsiveness.
By regulating their levels and uptake, Adderall manages to lower your appetite, thus leading to weight loss in many users.
Why Does Adderall Suppress My Appetite?
The primary mechanism of reducing appetite is dopamine management. Dopamine is a chemical deeply rooted in our brain’s reward system.
When it’s released, it’s our brain’s way of telling us, “Hey, this is good, do more of this.” That’s what happens after a meal.
People with ADHD often struggle with low dopamine levels and they tend to overeat because they don’t get that “dopamine reward.” Adderall increases the concentration of this chemical in the brain and it tells the brain that you are satisfied and no longer hungry.
So, you can get away with eating much less food as you’ll have a decreased appetite.
Does Adderall Speed Up Metabolism?
Adderall can increase blood pressure and heart rate which leads to higher energy expenditure. Some studies have suggested that amphetamines could alter rats’ metabolic rate and fat metabolism.
However, the main mechanism behind Adderall weight loss is not a change in metabolism, but the altered chemical concentration in our central nervous system.
How To Prevent Losing Too Much Weight On Adderall
Unfortunately, Adderall misuse for weight loss is so prevalent that some people call it “Adderall diet” or “speed diet.” So, how fast do you lose weight on Adderall? The answer depends on many factors, but the effects can be seen quickly in many people.
Remember, Adderall is a highly addictive drug and not some magical weight loss pill. That’s why you should only take it under medical supervision. The best way to prevent losing too much weight on Adderall is to follow your doctor’s prescription and not experiment with higher dosages unless they’re prescribed to you.
Even though Adderall can help you lose weight in the short term, you’ll most likely put it back on after going off the medication. There are much better solutions for long-term weight loss that center on lifestyle changes such as being more active and having a healthy diet.
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Studies You Can Read About Adderall And Weight Loss
- The Relationship Between Executive Function, AD/HD, Overeating, and Obesity (Western journal of nursing research, 2011)
- Stimulants for the Control of Hedonic Appetite (Frontiers in pharmacology, 2016)
- Non-Medical Use of ADHD Stimulants for Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss (Chemically Modified Bodies, 2016)
- Misuse of prescription stimulants for weight loss, psychosocial variables, and eating disordered behaviors (Appetite, 2013)
- Dopamine: Functions, Signaling, and Association with Neurological Diseases (Cellular and molecular neurobiology, 2019)
- The effects of amphetamine on body weight and energy expenditure (Physiology & behavior, 1992)
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