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Metformin is a medication used to treat type-2 diabetes.

It helps the body regulate insulin to balance blood sugar and improve insulin resistance.

While Metformin’s main purpose is managing diabetes, it has also shown promise in assisting with weight loss in non-diabetic patients.

We’ll go over the evidence around Metformin for weight loss and how it may benefit a fitness plan.

How Do We Gain Weight?

Weight gain is complex and caused by many factors, including undiagnosed conditions that affect metabolic health.

In general, our bodies put on weight when we eat foods that are converted into glucose. These foods include carbohydrates like sugar and bread. Fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can slow the absorption of carbohydrates, which is why a balanced diet is important.

When we eat more sugar and carbs than our body can use for energy, it’s stored as fat. Eating large amounts of high-glycemic foods can also spike blood sugar levels, which can lead to high blood sugar over time.

Eventually this may develop into insulin resistance and diabetes, which are also correlated with weight gain.

How Can Metformin Help with Weight Gain?

Metformin supports metabolic health by improving blood sugar levels. It also reduces appetite by increasing your sensitivity to leptin and insulin.

  • Insulin is responsible for moving blood sugar into the cells to be used as energy.
  • Leptin is a hormone that tells your body it’s full and satisfied.

Both of these hormones are crucial to weight maintenance and a healthy metabolism.

There is also evidence to suggest that Metformin increases the production of GLP-1, which is a hormone responsible for triggering the production of Insulin and Glucagon. Studies show that GLP-1 and medications that mimic its effects (like Semaglutide) have a significant impact on weight loss.

What’s the Evidence Supporting Metformin for Weight Loss?

Metformin has been studied as a potential tool to help with weight loss.

In one study, participants with a BMI of more than 27 received up to 2,500 mg per day of Metformin for six months. The Metformin-treated group lost around 13 pounds, while the control group gained an average of 2 pounds. Patients with more severe insulin resistance saw the most significant results.

In another research analysis, researchers deduced that Metformin has potential as a weight loss aid for those with obesity and metabolic complications. Its effects on the hypothalamus, gut health, and metabolic hormones show promise in obesity treatment. The study concluded that more research into Metformin’s effects would be beneficial.

A woman stares hopefully to the right as she stretches on a yoga mat as she works toward weight loss.

Metformin with Diet and Exercise

It’s important to combine any weight loss aid with a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy diet should:

  • Emphasize fruits and vegetables
  • Focus on whole grains over processed refined grains
  • Include lean meats like seafood and chicken and limit intake of fatty meats like beef
  • Avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats, sugars, sodium, and cholesterol

For exercise, you can start with the American Heart Association’s recommendations:

  • 150 minutes of low-impact aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity aerobic activity. Low-impact activity include walking, while moderate-impact activities would running, dancing, or biking.
  • Strength training with resistance bands or weights at least two times per week.

As your stamina increases, you can add more high-intensity cardio and strength training to your routine. This helps build muscle, which in turn helps improve your body composition.

Body composition is the percentage of muscle, fat, and bone in your body. A healthy body composition has a higher percentage of muscle and a lower percentage of fat.

Overweight and obese patients typically have a high fat percentage compared to muscle. Physically thin people can also have an unhealthy body composition if their ratio of fat to muscle is imbalanced.

Metformin for Weight Loss with Defy Medical

Weight gain is complicated, and weight loss isn’t as simple as consuming fewer calories than your body burns for energy. Defy Medical’s weight loss clinic offers comprehensive and individualized plans to help you reach your goals.

We understand the nuances of weight gain and offer tools like Metformin to help (as appropriate). We also screen for common conditions that cause weight gain, like thyroid disease.

Whether you’re just starting your weight loss journey or trying to push past a plateau, our provider-guided plans can help.

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