Can birth control help in weight loss? This is a question that is being asked quite often. As you know, there are women who believe that it can cause weight gain, although there is no substantial evidence to prove it. In fact, research indicates that there is no link between birth control and weight loss.
Would you like to know more about the link between birth control and weight loss? Then this post is what you must read.
Studies On Birth Control Pills And Weight Loss
Certain brands of birth control pills have a formulation that is different from others. As you may know, most pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. These particular brands use a form of progestin hormone (known as drospirenone) that is different from the type usually used (1). It is claimed that this hormone has the ability to work with the chemistry of your body by affecting excess water and sodium.
So, what does this mean? It means that it may be able to counteract bloating by acting as a diuretic.
Bloating is a common side effect that is experienced by a large number of women who take contraceptive pills. Therefore, the truth is that the only weight that you can expect to lose is that which is caused by water retention. When you are on the standard pill, the maximum weight you can expect to gain is one or two pounds. Experts say that the amount of weight lost while on birth control pills would be the same (2). They believe that it is highly unlikely that you would lose 20 pounds with the help of a pill.
A study with 300 women on a certain birth control pill brand showed results where they were able to lose two pounds after taking the pill for 6 months. Sadly, the effects did not last long as it was found that the weight returned after about a year (3).
Can Birth Control Cause Weight Loss?
No matter how much you want to believe it, birth control does not cause weight loss. The fact is that the pills simply decrease or retain the water in your body. It is nothing but the weight of water. The amount of fat you have in your body remains the same. It is best to stop associating birth control with weight loss. If you want to shed those unwanted pounds, choose a healthier and more effective way.
The side effects of birth control depend on how your body reacts to the hormonal changes. As mentioned, weight gain caused by birth control occurs only in some women. In most cases, it is those who are prone to quick weight gain that experience this side effect. It is believed that the number of women who gain weight is equal to the number that experience weight loss while taking birth control pills.
Like the belief that birth control can cause you to gain extra pounds, it is a total myth that it can make you lose weight.
[ Read: Can Birth Control Cause Weight Gain? ]
How To Lose Weight While Taking Birth Control Pills
Millions of women across the world complain about weight gain due to birth control, and particularly due to contraceptive pills. No study has found any evidence to support this. According to experts, birth control pills do not play any role in weight gain or loss. However, the illusion of weight gain can be created because of their side effects. What you can do is mitigate these side effects and follow an exercise and diet plan to prevent you from gaining weight. This can also help in contributing to weight loss while you continue to take your birth control pills.
Steps To Losing Weight
- The first thing you need to do is pick a birth control pill that has estrogen in the lowest amount possible. In some cases, this hormone can increase the size of fat cells, making you feel like you have put on a few pounds. Remember that new fat cells are not actually added to your body. According to experts, changing your current pill to one that has low levels of estrogen can prevent this effect. Your doctor can recommend a pill that has estrogen in levels that are appropriate for your specific needs.
- Although birth control pills can cause water retention, you need to drink plenty of water and other fluids. This will help in flushing out the excess water and preventing any more water from getting retained in your body. Once you are able to establish the right balance of fluids in your body and maintain it, the excess water weight will be lost.
- One of the side effects of birth control is an increase in appetite. This is why it is important to monitor your intake of calories. Due to this increase in your appetite, you may be consuming more calories than you should without even realizing it. Keep track of the amount of calories you consume and compare it to the amount that you burn. Make adjustments to your daily calorie intake or physical activities so that you get the right balance to help you with steady weight loss.
- Make it a point to take your birth control pills at the same time every day. This will help you gain hormonal stability. As shifts occur in your hormones, changes can be seen in your mood as well. This can result in changes in the levels of appetite and fatigue. Emotional eating or having less energy for workouts can also be caused by hormonal shifts.
- To lose weight healthily, whether you are on the pill or not, a balanced diet and regular exercise are important (4). Eliminating processed foods from your daily diet will help with weight loss and improve your general overall health as well. If your appetite increases because of the birth control pills you are taking, the amount of food you require to satisfy you will also increase. This is why it is important to stick to fresh, healthy foods, and increase your physical activity. Regular workouts will help you burn calories and support your efforts for weight loss.
As you can see, losing weight while being on the pill is not hard. Birth control pills do not cause weight loss, but you can feel better about your body despite the bloating and water weight by making an effort to lose weight or maintain it.
Birth Control Options
Nowadays, there are a lot of options that women have when it comes to birth control. As you know, oral contraceptives are the most commonly used. There are others like diaphragms, cervical caps, birth control sponges, birth control patches, vaginal rings, birth control shots, intrauterine devices or IUDs and the emergency contraceptive, which is a pill that needs to be taken within 72 hours to avoid pregnancy. There are also surgical and non-surgical options that prevent pregnancy permanently.
No matter which option you use, you will find that it cannot help you lose weight in any way. As mentioned earlier, weight gain or loss is nothing but a side effect of birth control that lasts only for a few months. Even if you do lose weight, it is unlikely that you will lose more than a pound or two.
Losing Weight The Healthy Way
Have you ever considered birth control pills for weight loss? If you want to lose weight, it is best that you do it in a way that is healthy. Do not try to use birth control as a tool for weight loss. Obviously, the best way to lose weight effectively is to follow a well-balanced diet that is full of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and other foods as well as regular exercise. Experts recommend a cardio workout every day to help you lose weight, especially if the birth control method you are using causes water retention. It will help you lose the water weight and burn calories as well.
It is important to talk to your health care provider before following any weight loss plan. You need to be sure that the plan you are going to follow suits your body and does not have an adverse effect on your health. If you are under any prescribed medication, it is again important to make sure that any changes that you make to your diet or lifestyle do not affect any condition you may have.
So, can birth control cause weight loss? The answer is a big No! Birth control is a way to prevent pregnancy and should be taken for this purpose, only under the supervision of your doctor. Consult your physician and discuss all the different options and find one that suits your body and your needs perfectly.
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