Published On By Rachel Nall

is weight loss possible on metformin?

Metformin is typically prescribed for managing type 2 diabetes and has also shown potential in aiding weight loss. It may reduce appetite, change fat storage and utilization, and alter gut bacteria composition. However, it is essential to note that the FDA has not officially approved Metformin as a weight loss pill.

This article will explore Metformin’s efficacy and potential in supporting weight loss. It will also compare Metformin’s benefits against the potential risks and disclose Metformin’s usage guidelines that could potentially aid in weight loss.

The article shall also provide details about the available scientific studies that support Metformin’s weight loss effects. Read along to discover Metformin’s function and whether it could be linked to weight loss.

What Is Metformin?

Metformin is a medication primarily prescribed for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It may reduce the liver’s glucose production and improve insulin sensitivity.

Such effects help the body utilize sugar efficiently and enhance its effectiveness, which could aid weight loss.

In some cases, women with PCOS are also prescribed Metformin for mitigating PCOS symptoms.

However, it is vital to consult a doctor before starting or making any changes to Metformin usage, as discomfort may be experienced as a side effect.

Signs of such adverse effects might include dizziness, stomach pain, nausea, tiredness, or sleeping difficulties.

How Does Metformin Work?

Metformin could reduce the liver’s glucose production, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. It assists the body in effectively utilizing sugar for energy by improving insulin sensitivity in muscle cells.

Some researchers believe Metformin could suppress the appetite, leading to a decreased calorie intake. Such virtues may contribute to weight loss gradually, especially when taken alongside a proper diet and regular exercise regimen.

It might alter the composition of gut bacteria, which may influence weight management. However, more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms behind Metformin-induced weight loss better.

The FDA has not officially approved Metformin as a weight loss pill. Regularly monitoring blood glucose levels and overall health is recommended while taking Metformin.

Best Ways To Lose Weight With Metformin

Metformin alone will not cause weight loss. However, taking Metformin with a proper diet, a consistent exercise regimen, and an active lifestyle may provide noticeable weight loss outcomes.

  1. Engage In Regular Physical Activity

    Establishing a consistent workout routine could enhance the effectiveness of Metformin for weight loss.Engaging in physical activities or strength training exercises helps burn calories and aids in reducing body fat and enhancing muscle tone. Try incorporating at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise (moderate-intensity) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week.

    A consistent strength training regimen could reduce fat mass while retaining and improving muscle mass and strength. It may increase calorie burn throughout the day and improve body conditioning.

  2. Follow A Balance & Nutritious Diet

    Indulge in whole, natural foods and minimize processed and sugary foods to achieve weight loss objectives.

    Consume complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole-grain bread, which contain a high fiber content. It improves satiety and delays glucose absorption in the bloodstream, potentially aiding weight loss.

    Nonstarchy vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli may delay carbohydrate metabolism and support weight loss efforts. Consuming healthy fats from food sources like nuts, fish, or olive oil could also expedite weight loss.

    Processed foods often contain preservatives, additives, and unhealthy fats that might contribute to weight gain and poor health.

    Sugary foods and beverages might lead to weight gain and raise the risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Limit your intake of desserts, processed snacks, and sugary drinks.

    Maintaining adequate water intake supports digestion, helps flush out toxins, and keeps you feeling full and satisfied. Drink at least 8-9 glasses of water daily, and consider swapping sugary drinks with water or herbal tea for a healthier alternative.

  3. Prioritizing Rest

    Getting enough rest is vital in getting rid of body fat. Insufficient sleep patterns and a lack of rest may negatively impact weight management and overall health.

    Insufficient sleep may disrupt the appetite-regulating hormones and cause an imbalance. These effects may increase hunger cravings and eating frequency, which leads to overeating and weight gain.

    Strive to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Follow a consistent sleep routine to help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock). Such effects make it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed.

    Limiting screen time before bed also contributes to better sleep quality by mitigating exposure to blue light. Such a mechanism may ensure healthy melatonin production (a hormone that regulates sleep) and aid in getting quality sleep.

  4. Manage Stress

    Relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing exercises, or meditation may help calm the mind and body, reducing stress levels. These techniques may promote relaxation, allowing people to avoid stressors and prevent emotional eating or other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

  5. Reducing Alcohol Consumption

    Reducing alcohol consumption is an essential aspect of weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Many alcoholic beverages contain a high sugar content, which may contribute to weight gain. Excessive sugar consumption could increase body fat, including fat accumulation in the neck area.

    Alcohol consumption may disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, known as the gut microbiome. Such an imbalance may lead to inflammation and weight gain. You may promote a healthier gut microbiome and support weight loss by reducing alcohol consumption.

Metformin Dosage & Intake

The specific dosage of Metformin varies depending on the individual and their condition and should be determined by a doctor.

For immediate-release Metformin tablets, the daily dose should be between 750mg-2,000 mg for adults. Liquid forms of Metformin have different dosage ranges for adults and children, with children following their doctor’s recommendations.

Metformin Usage Guidelines For Weight Loss

People with kidney disease, severe liver issues, a history of metabolic acidosis, or hypersensitivity to Metformin should refrain from using Metformin for weight loss.

Metformin is chiefly excreted through the kidneys, and those with kidney disease may have impaired kidney function. Therefore, using Metformin for weight loss could further strain the kidneys and potentially worsen their condition.

Metabolic acidosis is characterized by an imbalance in the body’s acid-base levels. Metformin might increase the risk of developing metabolic acidosis, and people with a history of this condition should avoid using Metformin for weight loss.

Metformin Side Effects & Risks

While Metformin is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience side effects. Metformin may cause swelling in some users, manifesting as swelling in the hands, feet, or ankles.

Some common side effects of Metformin include loose stools, upset stomach, acid reflux, or changes in bowel movements. These gastrointestinal symptoms may occur on initial Metformin usage but often improve over time.

Metformin might cause muscle aches or discomfort in some people. If you experience persistent or concerning muscle aches while taking Metformin, it is vital to seek medical advice.

Do Health Agencies Approve Metformin For Weight Loss?

Health agencies, including the FDA, have not approved Metformin specifically for weight loss purposes.

While Metformin is primarily prescribed for the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes, some patients may experience weight loss as a side effect of the medication.

However, it is essential to consult a doctor before considering Metformin for weight loss or off-label purposes.

Recommended: Sleep And Weight Loss: How It Helps And Daily Requirement Of Sleep

Studies Support For Weight Loss With Metformin

Some research studies have indicated that Metformin might reduce weight among people with prediabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and even those without diabetes.

The mechanism behind Metformin-induced weight loss is not fully understood, but it could involve decreased appetite, improved insulin sensitivity, and alterations in the gut microbiota.

Individual results could vary, and not everyone may experience weight loss with Metformin. Consulting with a doctor before considering Metformin for weight loss is advisable.

They could provide guidance and determine if Metformin is appropriate for individual circumstances.

Some Other Ways to Lose Weight

  • Create a sustainable eating plan that focuses on whole foods and minimizes processed and sugary food intake
  • Increasing protein consumption
  • Drink sufficient water, eat more slowly, and drink (unsweetened) coffee
  • Follow an active lifestyle
  • Get enough sleep
  • Minimize stress levels
  • Do cardiovascular exercises, like brisk walking or cycling

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are There Any Long-Term Effects of Using Metformin for Weight Loss?
    Using Metformin (long-term) may lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency, making you feel tired, breathless, or exhausted. It could also induce chronic diarrhea – even after several years of stable dosing. Therefore, consult a doctor before considering Metformin or any medication for weight loss to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  2. Are There Any Specific Dietary Guidelines or Restrictions to Follow While Taking Metformin for Weight Loss?There are no explicit dietary restrictions to follow while taking Metformin for weight loss. However, avoiding foods high in saturated and trans fat, limiting excess sodium intake, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption might expedite Metformin’s weight loss outcomes.
  3. Can Metformin Be Used as a Standalone Weight Loss Solution?Metformin is typically used with a proper diet and exercise regimen for weight loss, as it is not a standalone medication for achieving weight loss.
  4. Is Metformin Safe for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Individuals Looking to Lose Weight?Pregnant or breastfeeding women considering the use of Metformin for weight loss should consult a doctor beforehand. Doing so helps assess the potential risks and benefits of weight loss strategies during pregnancy or breastfeeding.


Metformin is generally prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes for diabetes management. However, some people might experience a modest amount of weight loss when taking Metformin.

Reducing body fat and overall weight requires a comprehensive approach that includes lifestyle changes, targeted exercises, and a nutritious diet.

Metformin may not contribute to weight loss, but combining it with the above tips could result in healthy weight control.

Tracking your diet and exercise, increasing exercise frequency, reducing sugar intake, and getting quality sleep are some natural measures to support healthy weight loss.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before using the product.

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