Does Metformin Help You Lose Weight

    Does Metformin Help You Lose Weight

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    Does Metformin help you lose weight? Even though Metformin may reduce weight, it is still essential to consume a balanced diet and engage in regular physical exercise to maintain the weight loss you have achieved while taking medicine. Only then will you be able to keep the weight off for good, and the weight you have successfully dropped will only remain off your body if you do this.

    Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are typically given the medication metformin, which is also sold under the trade name Glucophage. Suppose you use this medication to treat your diabetes. In that case, you are probably already aware of some of the unfavorable side effects of this drug, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, muscular aches, and exhaustion. These side effects are common among people who take this medication, and its possible drug is to blame for these undesirable side effects. 


    Metformin's adverse effects can be both physically and psychologically bothersome, but if you've had trouble losing weight in the past, you could look forward to experiencing one of them. If you have struggled in the past to shed extra pounds, you might be glad to share one of the adverse side effects that Metformin can cause. If you have tried to lose weight in the past using various methods but have been unsuccessful, it is crucial to keep this in mind, as it will be beneficial to you.

    Researchers have uncovered a relationship between the pharmaceutical metformin and weight reduction, even though Metformin is not a treatment that is expressly meant to produce weight loss. Even though Metformin is not a therapy intended to have weight reduction on its own, this association remains. The findings of a long-term trial carried out by the Diabetes Prevention Program and published in the journal Diabetes Care suggested that the medication might be effective as a therapy for obesity caused by excessive fat storage in the body. The findings of the trial were published in the journal Diabetes Care. The outcomes of this experiment showed that the medicine might be effective; however, further research is necessary to confirm these findings.

    What Is Metformin, And How Does It Work?

    "[Metformin] has been considered a first-line medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and it primarily works by lowering the amount of glucose released by the liver," says Minisha Sood, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist who resides in New York City. "[Metformin] has been considered a first-line medication in treating type 2 diabetes." For a significant time, [Metformin] has been utilized as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. 


    Metformin has consistently been recognized as the medication of "first-line option" for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In addition, it increases the performance of a hormone known as insulin by helping build muscles use glucose more effectively, which improves insulin's capacity to carry out its role. This cycle continues until the forces can optimally use glucose. When insulin performs its function in a person's body more effectively, and insulin sensitivity increases, the insulin levels in that person's blood are lower than they would be otherwise.

    Although there is no therapy available that may cure the effects of type 2 diabetes, the appropriate medication, when paired with a healthy lifestyle, can assist and contribute to the stabilization of blood sugar levels. Achieving this result should be the end goal of any treatment that is undertaken for diabetes.

    Not only will you feel better as the medication restores your body's ability to respond to insulin and helps your body properly metabolize glucose from the breakdown of food. But there is a possibility that you will be able to avoid the complications of high blood sugar, such as heart disease, kidney and nerve (diabetic neuropathy), and eye damage. You can prevent these complications by taking the medication regularly (retinopathy).

    Why Does Metformin Cause Weight Loss?


    Even though several hypotheses might account for variations in weight, it is not clear how variations in weight and Metformin are linked to one another. On the other hand, many different scenarios may play out. One of the potential side effects of Metformin is a reduction in the quantity of hunger a person experiences. This impact is only one of a variety of possible adverse reactions. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is the case.

    Metformin, for instance, has been shown to alter the signals the brain sends about whether or not a person feels hungry. This effect may be seen in people who take the medication to treat diabetes, and people who have diabetes are more likely to experience this consequence. In one limited study, twelve obese women with type 2 diabetes who were not taking insulin were randomly assigned to receive either one of two dose levels of Metformin — 850 milligrams (mg) or 1,700 mg — or a placebo three times a day for three days. The study was carried out over three days. 

    You carried out the research over three consecutive days. Each participant completed the examination three times to acquire a feel for each dose of the placebo given to the control group. Once every three days, the participants were given a meal test, during which they were asked to evaluate how hungry they felt before eating. This rating was noted and then used to calculate an average. 

    The researchers found that the metformin group had significantly lower hunger levels overall, particularly after the participants took the 1,700 mg dose of Metformin. That was discovered when the researchers compared the levels of hunger the participants experienced while taking a lower amount of Metformin or a placebo to the stories of need they shared while taking a higher dose of Metformin.


    Even though the medication is assisting you in better controlling your hunger and cravings, it is possible that taking Metformin will give the impression that you are eating less than you are. Metformin affects the hormones that control appetite, which is why it has this effect. On the other hand, it is quite probable that the total calories you are consuming right now for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are much less than the amount of food you typically consume in a day. The slight but observable shift in hunger levels may be responsible for the slow but steady loss of weight that has been seen.

    If you frequently have stomach pain or diarrhea, which are possible unfavorable side effects of the medication, your ability to eat healthily may also be affected.

    According to Suzanne Magnotta, RD, CDCES, the vice president of clinical services for Achieving Better Control in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the temporary gastrointestinal disturbance commonly encountered at the beginning of therapy with Metformin may also play a role in weight reduction. That is the opinion of Suzanne Magnotta, a registered dietitian, and a certified diabetes educator.

    Patients who take metformin tablets in their original formulation have the most common complaint about the medication being that it causes them to experience side effects related to their gastrointestinal system. A published study published in the Journal of Research in Pharmacy Practice was released between April and June 2017. The study was conducted between April and June 2017 and was released between April and June 2017. The symptoms of feeling unwell, having diarrhea, and vomiting are the adverse effects of this medication that occur the most frequently. 


    There is a wide range of variation in the percentage of people who exhibit these symptoms, from 2 to 63 percent. If the pain is particularly intense, you might not feel like eating very much, reducing the number of calories you take during the day. Clinical investigations showed that formulations of Metformin with a more extended release had a lower risk of adverse effects.

    Is Long-Term Weight Loss Possible On Metformin?

    Even while Metformin can assist you in losing weight, the amount of weight you shed while taking the prescription may be substantially less than you had anticipated before beginning treatment with the drug. During the study, those participants who took the medication for a whole year and were part of a research project published in Diabetes Care noticed that they lost a decent amount of weight, an average of 6 pounds, as a result of taking the medication.

    Metformin is frequently prescribed to people with high insulin levels who struggle to reduce their body fat. However, even though it is commonly prescribed in these situations, Metformin is not a miracle cure for weight loss, according to Dr. Sood. Metformin is not a miracle cure for weight loss, even though it is frequently prescribed in these situations. To put this another way, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and consistently overeat, you shouldn't expect a significant decrease in the weight you carry. 


    Suppose you want to see any substantial improvement in your weight. In that case, you need to follow a well-thought-out weight-reduction plan that incorporates nutritious eating foods and regularly engaging in physical activity. That is necessary if you want to see any change in your weight. You will not be able to detect any significant change in your weight until you do things in this specific manner.

    She warns that even taking Metformin won't result in weight reduction if the individual taking it isn't also engaged in healthy behaviors such as exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. Taking Metformin won't make a difference in a person's condition if they don't also engage in behaviors that benefit their health. "If [you are] prone to high insulin levels, it is crucial to have a balanced diet that is low in processed sweets and carbs," says the author of this article. "It is also important to exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep." It is necessary to have a well-balanced diet with a minimal number of processed sugars and carbohydrates. That will ensure that the medication can provide the possible benefit given the conditions.

    It is essential to remember that even if the number that shows on the scale goes down while you are taking this medication, the effects of this weight reduction could only be temporary, even if the number that shows on the scale might go down. That should be at the forefront of your thoughts at all times. You must keep up a healthy way of life since there is a chance that you will gain weight if you stop taking the drug and your appetite goes back to how it was before you started taking the prescription. That means that it is essential for you to maintain a healthy way of life.


    If you are thinking of combining Metformin with a weight loss prescription, it is best to talk with your primary care physician first. That will ensure that you are making the most informed decision possible. Because of this, you can decide as well-informed as possible. Even though there is very little data from clinical trials to support this claim, Sood suggests that this combination may help you lose more pounds and ensure that the weight stays off, even though there is no evidence to back up this claim. Sood suggests that this combination may help you lose more pounds and ensure the weight stays off.

    Can People Without Diabetes Take Metformin?

    Even for those who do not have diabetes, the possibility of receiving treatment with Metformin is something that should not be discounted.

    What actions should you take if you have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? If Metformin is helping you shed extra pounds, is it safe to keep taking it even after you've reached your goal? The response will be yes because this is a pretty good question, and the answer will be yes because the reaction will be yes. Metformin has been used "off-label" for weight control, which means that it has been used in a way that is not consistent with how it was initially intended to be used following the prescription. Sood noted this. Sood calls this drug used to manage weight an "experimental" use of the medication.


    A study that investigated the efficacy of Metformin for weight loss in people who were overweight or obese but did not have diabetes concluded that the drug could significantly reduce body mass index in both adolescents and adults. The study was conducted on people who were overweight or obese but did not have diabetes, and people who did not have diabetes were used in the research for this study. The inquiry was written and published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology journal in December 2018. The article's title was "A Study to Determine the Efficacy of the Drug Metformin in the Management of Obesity and Excess Weight.

    However, because you can only obtain this medication through a doctor's prescription, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved this medication's use in treating obesity. Your physician will likely recommend you try more conventional weight loss methods first. Some of these methods include the following:

    • Avoid sugary beverages.
    • Drinking water before meals may help you feel full for a more extended period, which will, in turn, encourage you to consume fewer calories during the meal.
    • Set a goal to exercise for at least half an hour on at least six of the seven days of the week. Make this your daily routine.
    • Cooking whole foods, such as the fruits, vegetables, and grains listed in the previous paragraph, can help bring out their natural flavors and nutritional value.
    • It would be best if you made it a priority to lessen the number of ready-made meals you consume regularly.
    • Consume a diet high in protein but low in carbohydrates and fat, or vice versa. That will help you build muscle.
    • Practice portion control.


    If your doctor determines that you are obese and have difficulty losing weight, they may still prescribe that you take this prescription even if you do not currently have type 2 diabetes. That is because obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. To repeat, Metformin is not intended to be used in place of making changes to one's eating habits to include more healthy foods and engaging in regular physical activity. 

    These are two of the most significant aspects that lead to effective weight reduction over a more extended period, and they are both your responsibility. Adopting these behaviors can also help you lose additional weight if you have type 2 diabetes but cannot take Metformin due to a medical problem. That is because these behaviors encourage you to eat healthier and move more.

    Regardless of whether or not a diabetic patient is given an alternative medication as part of their treatment, it is of the utmost importance for them to modify both the foods they eat and how they live to maintain control over their blood sugar levels. That holds regardless of whether or not the diabetic patient can treat their condition using the medication metformin. 

    Patients unable to take Metformin may suffer from conditions such as chronic renal illness or various other health problems. According to Magnotta, the essential aspects of learning how to properly manage one's stress, limiting the number of carbs that one consumes, and increasing the amount of physical exercise one receives are the most important ways to improve glycemic control.

    "Get up and move around at least once every hour, whether in the room, the yard, or the block. That benefits your health in many ways and will help you maintain your health. Her justification was that "the accumulation of short bursts of physical activity throughout the day adds up to a higher total, which in turn leads to the burning of more calories."

    The Bottom Line On Metformin And Weight Loss


    Does Metformin help you lose weight? Metformin may cause some users to experience a slight weight loss; however, this is almost certainly caused by the adverse effects of the medication, which include a reduction in appetite and stomach distress. Metformin is prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. However, although the medicine helps lose weight, it is not intended to take the place of other, more conventional approaches to diet. Therefore, if you want to reduce the speed at which you lose weight and maintain your new weight for a longer time, you need to improve both the quality and quantity of the food you consume and the amount of physical activity you obtain.