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Zoloft and weight gain - loss
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Zoloft and weight gain - loss

Hello all zolof so called addicts!
I have been on Zoloft for 10 years (!) and finally decided to try without it. I don't think I need it anymore and I'm sick of being about 50 pounds overweight...My doctors tell me I have to lose weight and lover my blood pressure..I kind of get annoyed because I eat very healthy, cook my own food, bake my own bread (whole grain), exercise,and HARDLY EVER eat suger. I don't even like it!

I have tried numerous of times to get off Zolof but always ended back on the meds. This time I have done better. I tapered off and I now only take 1/10 of 50 mg once a week. I haven't felt dizzy or anything but my conern is - HOW DO I LOSE MY WEIGHT???? I have gained 50 pounds and I would REALLY like to get back in shape. I eat right, exercise, and really try to keep my carbs down...

I think it's been easy to get off the med since I'm really happy at work and I also think I'm in love...
Anna
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Weight Watchers is very successful.  They teach you how to measure food.  I've known so many people that lost weight on that, even when they ate healthy on their own.  May be an option.
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I quit Zoloft because of the weight gain and decided to quit just cold turkey- not a good idea.  Glad you did it the right way- good luck to you!  :)
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I am an ex-personal trainer and I gained 20 pounds on Zoloft.  It freaked me out!  The drug just made me tired, lethargic and lazy.  I tapered off the Zoloft and quit all together in October and found that my lack of motivation did not return.  I just started a new drug, Effexor, and hopefully that will help my motivation.  In the meantime, I can tell you that if you are eating right, watching carbs and exercising...you are on the right plan.  However, how do you define "eating right?"  You need to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, a protein base (meat or beans) and that you are drinking LOTS of water.  Don't saturate your food in sauces or dressings, avoid sugar and if you're drinking soda (even if it's diet)...try to taper off that as well but substitute with low sugar beverages like Crystal Light or diet Minute Maid...oh and did I mention water? And monitor your portions.  A good guide is to not serve up a portion size larger than your fist.  When you start to feel full...stop eating.  Make sure that you are getting at least 30 minutes of solid cardio a minimum of 3x a week and that you combine that with muscle toning. And be patient.  If you don't see immediate results, don't get frustrated and stop doing what you are doing.  If you are losing weight the healthy way...it won't just all fall off like you see on television programs like the Biggest Loser.  Remember that those people are working out several hours a day in multiple sessions with the guidance of trainers.  Proper weight loss starts slowly and you will start to notice more weight loss more quickly as you get healthier.  Good luck!
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I gained over 20 lbs, using Zoloft for about 5 months. Although I was feeling better during drug intake process, I was not aware of physical change until months later. After 6 - 7 mos of leaving zoloft, I am finally loosing weight, due to accupunture!! Perhaps meds cuased blockage in body and potentially altered metabolic rate. After avoiding zoloft, I was walking 9 miles a day, but, w/o any weight loss....

In the end, Zoloft reduced depression/anxiety, weight gain started to create anxiety issues. In the long term, zoloft seemed to be quite ineffective.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Anna, It's incredibly frustrating not to be able to lose weight!  It's not your fault.  It's chemical.  Your brain keeps telling you to eat or that you're not full.  I am a physician and have helped hundreds of people on antidepressants lose weight and keep it off.  Check out The Serotonin Power Diet which is proven by reserach studies at MIT to be effective for people on antidepressants to lose weight.  The reason it's so effective is that it takes away food cravings.  Eat the right carbs (yes, you must eat carbs) and your brain will make serotonin.  Serotonin shuts off your appetite, reduces your cravings, and makes you feel good.  Just everyday foods - no herbs, drugs, or supplements.  
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Are you saying this diet is effective to help people lose weight while they are on the meds, or that is helpful to help them get off the meds. I feel so much better on the zoloft, but I have gained 15 pounds and really want it off. I saw the book online, but just wanted to clarify. Will it help me lose the weight even if I stay on the meds?
Thanks
JS
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for anyone starting a new anti-depressant--------
I would suggest to weight yourself every week or couple of weeks.  This is the way the weight sneaks on.  If you only go by how your clothes fit, you may assume you' ve gained 5 pounds when you've really gained 20.  I gained a lot of weight on Zoloft, but I was unaware of this side effect.  I went months without weighing.  If you see you're gaining weight, you can increase your exercise, lower your calories, etc.

Also, working out at Curves helped me.  You put muscle on your body which increases your metabolism and calories burned.
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I have gained 50lbs on Paxil and I am now slowly coming off of it. Your not alone. Keep trying to come off the meds or switch to another. And keep eating right.

It's very hard, I know the feeling.

Jmana
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I've been taking 100mg zoloft for almost a year (increased from 50mg due to panic attacks) and have now decided to stop! I too have gained weight...not even sure how much b/c I refuse to get on the scale! I can still fit into my clothes (barely) but it's just frustrating feeling helpless! Here's my catch 22...I know I should be working out or exercising in some way but the medicine has me feeling lazy and fatigued!!!! I can't even get motivated to work out...and even when I'm mentally motivated..I'm physically exhausted! What can I do?????
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How did you cut your 50 mg Zoloft into 10th's.  I want to tapper off the drug but don't know the best way to reduce what I'm taking.
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I am SO glad I decided to do my own research before starting Zoloft.  I gained 30 lbs on Lexapro and stopped taking it after a few months.  It's been 4 months since I stopped taking Lexapro and I'm just now able to lose weight without trying.  But when I shared my concern with my doctor, she assured me that I shouldn't have a problem with Zoloft.  Well...thanks to your comments, I have decided I rather learn how to deal with anxiety and depression without the help of drugs and chemicals.  I'm happy already knowing that I won't be gaining weight unnecessarily :-)
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I have not gained any weight on Zoloft HOWEVER:

I drink 8 glasses of water a day
I exercise 3 to 4 times a week
I don't eat more than 1800 calories a day, most days less like 1200
I eat fruit, veggies, protein and the right amount of carbs
I don't drink soda anymore

I should be losing weight, but (in my non-medical opinion) that I am working to stay the same weight
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Avatar_n_tn
In my research, losing weight is actually a more common side effect of zoloft although some people do gain weight. I take 75mg of zoloft and have been taking it for 5 months. In the beggining I had zero appetite and lost 5 lbs. Now my appetite has increased slightly but I still am not as hungry as I was before I went on the zoloft. I have lost 10 lbs overall and hope not to lose anymore since I am a petite person to begin with. I just wanted to make people aware of this possible side effect. Weight loss and weight gain may be difficult to manage while on SSRIs so it should always be taken into consideration. I take zoloft for anxiety and it has been a tremendous help. My doctor simply monitors my weight and we are working together to make sure I eat properly and don't loose too many pounds.
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Has anyone had success at loosing weight gained due to Zoloft???  I had been on 100mg of Zoloft for 3 1/2 years, and gained 40 lbs in the process.  I started to taper off the drug, and have been completely off it since April 07.  I'm excersizing and eating well but absolutely not a pound will budge.  I'm so desperately upset about this.  I feel like my body's metabolism has been completely ruined.  Will I ever be able to take off this weight??  
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I can totally understand.  I've been on Zolof for 5 months and I have gained  20lbs.  On top of that I've been on medication for 13 years due to inactive thyroid.  I've decided to take myself off of Zolof.  I'm so glad I'm not alone!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I've lost 80 pounds in the last six (well, my wife says four) months. The way I did it was eat only every other day. On the "off" days I drink milk, like half a gallon of it. I found that once my stomach shrunk I didn't get hungry any longer, it became really easy. Also, at least once a week I walk ten miles. I went from 240 pounds to 160 pounds so quickly that people around me thought it was a symptom of my depression. Also, I'm monitored by a nurse, who says my health doesn't appear to be adversely affected at all.
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I'm so glad to get a response to my post.  I was on zoloft as a treatment to prevent chronic tension headaches, and  since going off of it, my headaches actually became even less frequent.  At any rate, I wasn't in danger of having a serious psychological issue by getting off of it.  I don't know what your specific medical situation is, but if you and your doctor feel you can go off of it, I would.  Be glad you've only gained 20 lbs so far.  Hopefully you'll be able to lose the extra weight more quickly than I have.
el-dave, I find your method of losing weight very intriguing.  I may very well have to try that.  
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I was on Zoloft for almost 2 years.  Went from 130-135 to 150lbs while on Zoloft.  I have been Zoloft free for 3 months.  6 months ago I started a rigorous exercise routine and began watching what I eat very carefully.  Not a pound has come off.  No Dr's I've talked to have any answers.  It is very frustrating.
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I have just started zoloft.  I have no appetite at all.  I feel full all of the time and have lost 5 pounds.  I was actually coming on this site to see what strategies people are using to keep up their energy levels etc.  I usually do a lot of physical activity but I'm finding that hard with the change in my appetite and an upset stomach.  Anyway, your thoughts are appreciated.  I'm sorry to hear people are also experiencing the opposite reaction.  Both are frustrating.  I am, however, feeling much more even emotionally which is lovely.
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I have been on Zoloft for a year now.  I take 50mg for panic attacks and I gained 20lbs as well.  I am very frustrated to hear that people are not loosing weight after they stop Zoloft.  I was really hoping that I would loose weight once I stopped taking it.  I feel so much better, my panic attacks are gone and I learned so much from my therapist that I really think I will be fine once I stop (which I plan on doing soon).  I just hope I can loose the weight, I will end up very depressed if I can't and then I'll probably end up back on meds!
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I just wanted to report a sliver of hope to all those struggling to lose weight after zoloft.  Although it's been painfully slow, I have managed to lose 18 lbs in the last 7 months.   It was one year this past April since I was completely weaned off Zoloft.  Suddenly, at that one year mark, I was able to lose a little.  Of course this is clearly still a work in progress, and I still have 25 lbs to take off until I reach my pre-Zoloft weight, (in which I was a size 6), I'll take it, even if it is very slow.  We'll see how long it takes me to get back down, but I know how discouraged everyone feels, so needed to share my small success.   Hang in there everyone!
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I have had tremendous results following a hypoglycemic diet. There is also a stricter version of it for weightloss that really works if you stick with it.
Good luck!
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I too have been on Zoloft for almost 3 yrs now. Started at 25mg then to 50mg.  I've gained 20lbs since then.  I have a small frame and have always been under weight.  Since the zoloft, I have a much fuller frame.  I have always worked out (5 days a week including long running drills) for years.  It's like I don't look like I even work out but I DO look like I eat all the time.  I keep asking my Dr. and he said it's not the meds.  Plus my thyroid is fine.  I have been struggling with infertility for 5 years now and I am beginning to think 3 of the 5 have to do with my weight gain and zoloft.  Nothing I do helps.  I could eat fruits and veggies all day and drink OVER 80+ oz of water daily.  Nothing works, I get even more depressed about my weight, then I throw in the towel and eat like a pig.  Will this ever end?  I want to wean off and get back to my org. weight of at least 125lbs.  Help!!!
~ Plump in CT
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I am now on 25mg of Zoloft a day. I used to be on 100mg. I will see the doctor next month about getting off completely. I started in 2007 and gained over 30 pounds. I started the gym last month, not 1 pound has come off. I will continue to go but I am losing hope. I keep thinking that once I am completely off of Zoloft, it will make NO difference. Is this true? Email me: ***@****

Thanks!
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I never noticed weight gain with Zoloft, but my doctor had me on Zyprexia and I gained at an unbelievable rate.

I've struggled with weight for years.  "Healthy" eating just didn't seem to do it for me and diets are so difficult.  The thought of the long road ahead, caused me to loose willpower. I am happy to report that I have lost 34 pounds since spring and here is how I did it.

I set a start date on the calender.  I told myself 30 days.  I can do this for 30 days.  I went on a low carb diet.  I like Atkins diet because of the meal bars and shakes make portion control easy and they actually taste good.  I did not cheat at all for thirty days and I think it is because my goal was not to loose 30 pounds but to just loose as much weight as I could in 30 days.  I didn't starve myself.  I exercised as much as I could find time.  

At the end of the 30 days I gave myself permission to go off the diet, but because I could see such good results, and because I had gotten into the habbit of eating this way, I continued on with my diet.  It really worked for me.  As I got closer to reaching my weight woss goal, I ate more, to slow down the weight loss.  Anyway, this is how I did it.  Hope this helps.
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Wow, thank you to everyone for their input on this post.  I posted a new one yesterday called 'how to safely taper off of zoloft'.  Any of your input on my situation would be helpful, but it sounds like what I am hearing is 'if you gained weight, it takes a long time to lose it even after you have stopped taking it'.  This terrifyes me!!!......
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Well... it's good and bad that i found all of these posts. i am also on 50mg of zoloft and a marathon runner. I run and work out a lot! on a usual day I do an AM run of 3 miles... an afternoon run of 3 - 6 miles and then do a 1hr spin/weights class at the gym. I run long runs on the weekend 10 - 20 miles and on the other weekend day I ride my bike for about 1 hr 40 mins. I have GAINED weight. Like 10lbs in the past three weeks. I have been working so hard. counting calories... adding an extra 20 minutes on the EFX machine before my aerobics classes. nothing. I have an appt with my dr for next Monday. If I plan on being any type of successful runner, I need to lose weight. I'm not sure if it's zoloft or another metabolic disorder. Now I'm depressed that getting off of zoloft won't work.

Thanks for the heads up.
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I am on 100 mg a day.  I have not gained weight but I run or walk almost every day and pretty much watch what I eat.  The drug, plus therapy, have helped me get my life back.  Without it I was skinny and depressed.  I'd rather exercise and be happy.

Good luck to all of you struggling with depression.
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I take zoloft for OCD/Bulimia along with Buspar and Inderal for anxiety and high blood pressure (as a result of my constant anxiety) and I have to say that I have to FORCE myself to eat on zoloft because I have ZERO appetite which is the extreme opposite of me a few months ago when I would binge on over 5,000 calories about 5 times a day.  I have no impulse to eat, I have no desire to binge...amazingly I have lost 14 lbs since being on zoloft without even trying.  I am shocked at all of the weight gain stories because I just have no appetite at all!  I wonder if the weight gain comes from the decreased energy you are getting from zoloft?  I am a very active person, I can't sit still so excersise for me begins when I get out of bed.  I'm surprised by all this weight gain, do you guys have cravings?  Hmmm
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I have posted about this on Effexor, but I was on Zoloft for 3 or 4 months (first half 50mg, second half 100mg) before I started Effexor, and was on Effexor for 4-6 weeks (lowest dosage).  It's been 5-6 months since I have been completely off Effexor and my weight will not budge.

I assure you, this is not because I'm eating too much.  Prior to my anxiety problems, I lost over 112 lbs doing it natural and hard work,  no drugs of any kind, supplements, etc.  I kept logs of daily food intake and measured everything out so I was positive I was eating exactly what I recorded.  I worked out 5-6 days a week vigorously for 45-1hr doing weights and cardio.  I was 342lbs and got all the way down to 230lbs.  I started taking Zoloft and then Effexor when I was around 230lbs and started gaining weight back, despite watching my calorie intake and exercising.  I am male 6'2, 259lbs now (29lbs heavier) and I am scared to death about gaining weight back.  Obviously, having been so big to start and losing it all, every pound that I see go on scares me.  I have tried my best to lose weight, and am doing everything I did previously, even harder, to lose but I cannot get 1lb to fall off.  I just don't understand it.  I regret taking these drugs.  I decided after 20lbs gain that I would quit the drugs and deal with anxiety on my own, and i've been successful at that.   But now I cannot lose this weight.  Every Saturday morning when I weigh myself and see no progress, I get quite upset and aggravated, because I know what definitely worked before and nothing I do is causing me to lose anything!  At my size, I'm eating 1800 calories a day and working out and I still can't even lose 1lb.  There's something wrong with that.  In the past, I was losing 2-3lbs a week doing exactly this.  Ive gotten some of my belly back, thigh fat, and fat under my arms.  It is driving me up a wall.

I really don't know what to do anymore.  I want to go back to the psychiatrist and cuss them out for this but I don't think that will solve anything.  They told me this would not happen and look what happened?  When I was gaining weight initially I talked to the psychiatrist and they said after 1-2 weeks coming off this would stop, well it hasn't.  I kept gaining weight for the next month or so after I quit the drug, then the weight gain stopped for the most part but I still cannot lose anything.

HELP!  PLEASE!

Dave
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on 50mg then 100mg of Zoloft for three months and i love it. I weighed 167 ponds at the beggining and i just got weighed yesterday and i weigh 123 pounds! I have no appatite and have to force myself to eat once a day. My mood is greatly improved. I have energy again. Plus i have bad dry mouth so i drink water constantly so that probably has alot to do with the weight loss. I also take a milti vitamin everyday because my diet is so poor. Hope this helps someone.
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Avatar_n_tn
desperate here. i was on 200mg on zoloft for about 18months, gaining weight, headaches etc - it was the third time i'd been on. since coming of it, about 3 months ago, i've put on another 20lbs!!!!! it makes NO sense!!! does it mess up your metabolism? permanently? feel awful :-( and know the doc won't take me seriously :-(
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I have been on Zoloft since January at first I went down in weight but once I hit the 3 month or so mark i started noticing weight gain.  I now am up 11 lbs! I have really been watching what I have been eating, but not dropping. Tonight I thought to search zoloft and weight gain and found all of this information. i am beginning to wean off tomorrow!! Now I am scared I won't be able to lose it. I have never had a weight problem and dont want one on top of depression. If I have to choose one or the other - i will take the depression. Please post any ways of successfully losing the weight...
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Avatar_m_tn
Been on zoloft for six weeks, recently increased to 100 mg/day.   I have lost 10 pounds in the past six weeks...probably due to the major depression.   My appetite has fallen off.  Been unable to focus/work.  I am walking 3.5 miles up and down hills 4-5 times a week.  I guess some report gaining weight while others report loosing weight on zoloft.   I am no doctor, but weigtht gain/loss comes down to simple math. Calories in vs. calories burned.  
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After switching from Zoloft to Effexor did you ever end up losing any weight with the drug switch?
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I've been on zoloft for 5 years 200mg a day,and yes I have gained weight,before the zoloft I was on prothiaden for 10 years.I am now doind 10 sessions in 5 days at the gym and have lost 44lbs in 8 months,I have to work harder than everyone else to lose the weight but it's worth it,I still need to lose about 80lbs.

Denise
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HI everyone, Zoloft actually does not cause me to gain weight, but i can eat when i start to feel better.  I get so sick with depression that I cannot eat, physically can't eat, but when I get stabilized with Zoloft I can eat again. My weight fluctuates.  Exercise is important though, for mood and weight.  good luck everyone
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Zoloft isn't supposed to give weight gain as a side effect. It is more related to habits, depression and such.

M4
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I have to respectfully disagree with you there, M4YOU.  I was on Zoloft for about 4 months and gained about 30 lbs and my eating habits were nearly identical during that time as they were previously.   That was what was so bizarre about it, really.  It was like my body just decided to store every calorie once it got some Zoloft in it.

But my cousin had the opposite reaction - she lost weight.  I thought SSRIs generally caused weight gain and figured her experience was a fluke until I read this thread and see that this is very common as well.

Anyway, I wanted to respond to those who are afraid that they would never lose the weight.  I got pregnant immediately after discontinuing Zoloft and gained another 35 lbs during my pregnancy, naturally.  So if you're keeping track at home, that's 65 lbs total weight gain in a little over a year, albeit some of it baby :)

Well, here I am with my 1.5 year old beautiful daughter, looking into taking Zoloft again in order to PUT weight on.  I went through a horribly stressful year (divorce) and the anxiety caused me to lose a ton of weight.  I just could not choke down food.  Now I look like a bag of bones and want to put some back on as well as deal with this horrible anxiety.  I may or may not go the Zoloft route, though, as I remember the weight gain came very rapidly and I didn't like the sexual side effects and general numb feeling.  I'm just exploring ideas.

But anyway...yeah.  Your weight can come off after taking Zoloft.  Hopefully not too much though, and hopefully not due to anxiety but rather as a natural consequence of no longer having Zoloft + good diet and exercise.
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i am more depressed now than ever! i have ballooned an easy 25-30 pounds on zoloft- tapered off finally and wondering how long until i am my normal weight? it made me crave wacky carbs- same thing happened 10 yrs ago on neurontin ( i also have migraines) but all women know fat can not occur- plus i am 43 and single in nyc-please help- i really would rather be thin & depressed b/c this is worse than awful
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Avatar_n_tn
I can empathize with you. I was on Zoloft from Jan '10-May '10. My dosage was 50 mg. I gained 30 pounds! I went on zoloft because my doctor said one of the side effects was that I would not gain weight and I figured this was the best route for me. I have not been able to loose a pound. I am on weight watchers, which was successful for me three years ago (lost 30 pounds) I walk 2-3 miles everyday in less then an hour at the gym. I am eating lots of veggies, staying within my points range, drinking lots of water and nothing. I rather be depressed then fat. Reading this at least allows me to see that I am not going nuts and something with my metabolism has obviously changed. I wonder how long this will last for. I wont give up on my healthy eating or gym habits I just wish the pounds would start to come off. Don't know what to do at this point. Will it ever come off?
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Avatar_m_tn
I can completely sympathize, I have been on and off of Zoloft for 7 years.  When I'm taking the medication I have insatiable cravings for sugar, most often doughnuts, soda, and iced tea.  While taking Zoloft I gained 24 pounds.  I slowly tapered down my dose about one and a half years ago until I was completely off of the drug, and by that time figured that this was just a normal body weight for me as I got older.  Lo and behold, about six months after I stopped the drug entirely I started to lose my cravings and the weight just dropped off (I don't exercise, and I wasn't trying to diet).  It took a little over a year for me to lose all of the weight.  I just wanted to let people know that it really IS the Zoloft causing cravings, and that they will go away.  Good luck!
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I have been on Zoloft for about 2 weeks and I have lost weight so is that what happen first then you start to gain the longer you are on it.  
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I have been taking Zoloft for about a year. I have had a number of unpleasant side effects such as terribly fatigue, very intense cravings for sweets, delays in my period. The worse part of all is that after I had my second child I worked very hard to lose my pregnancy weight. I lost about 20 pounds. Guess what? I stepped on the scale this morning and it's official. I have gained every last one of those pounds back plus three more. I am through with Zoloft. This is ridiculous. I exercise 6 days a week. I drink tons of water. I just pray that the weight will start to come off after this medicine is out of my system. I want my body back. I'll just have to learn how to deal with the depression and anxiety another way. Good luck to anyone else who is struggling with this. Not cool at all.....
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Avatar_m_tn
I started taking 100mg Zoloft for PTSD following my combat tour in Iraq.  As a front-line soldier, I weighed about 170 lbs of pure muscle.  Initially, I had no appetite and lost about 10 lbs.  After about 6 months, the appetite returned, and so did the unexplained weight loss.  I lift weights and do cardio 3-5+ times a week and eat very healthily.  After taking Zoloft for 3 1/2 years, I now weigh 225 lbs and am being forced out of the Army for being overweight.  I really want to ween myself off Zoloft so I can lose weight, but I am afraid of myself when I'm not on the drug.  Has anyone had sufficient success losing weight after stopping Zoloft?  I really want to continue my career in the military.
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Avatar_f_tn
wow.  this is all interesting.  i've been on zoloft for years.  more than ten years.  i'm up to 150mg now.  i'm basically dead w/o it, that's just how bad it gets.  but the weight issue is one that drs should really look into because it's for real.  I've gained over 50lbs.  i'm a vegetarian.  i exercise regularly.  i'm not a junk food eater.  but i know i can't be w/o zoloft.  i'll do more research and post again later.
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I started zoloft about 7 weeks ago, I am currently on 50 mg and I have gained 15 pounds. It seems like it started when the dosage went from 25 to 50 and it came on quite suddenly. The weight gain has made me more anxious then ever before, so I decided to switch to wellbutrin after discussing it with my doctor. Does anyone know if this also causes weight gain. Like a lot of others that have psoted, I would rather be depressed than fat.
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I have been on 50 mg of Zoloft for about 8 months. Before going on was losing weight nicely eating right and exercising 3-4 times a week. I have gained about 10 pounds after increasing my workouts to 5-6 times a week and eating more carefully. I am now uncomfortable in my size 8 clothes and have tried everything to not only lose but at least stay the same weight. Nothing has worked....even my husband who is a health nut says I'm doing everything I can. I am going to talk to my doctor about going off Zoloft because I feel worse now that I'm gaining weight and have no control. I have pushed myself the past 8 months to stay on top if everything and can't seem to get anywhere.
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