Obesity is one of the most common adverse conditions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number has tripled since 1975. Its prevalence has also risen dramatically among children and adolescents. In 2016, 41 million kids under the age of 5 and more than 340 million kids and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight and obese (1).
However, losing weight is never an easy nor an effortless process. You have probably heard of several weight loss tips, tricks, myths, and prescriptions like Phentermine. Phentermine can help you achieve your ideal weight, but not without hard work.
If you like to know to use Phentermine safely and correctly, while avoiding unwanted side effects and optimizing weight loss, then you are on the right page.
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is recommended for short-term use, up to 12 weeks, to treat obesity (2). This seems to be very helpful in overweight and obese patients with certain health risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
It is available in different popular brand names like Suprenza, Lomaira, Adipex-P, or you can have it in combination drugs like Qsymia. It’s a controlled substance because of its stimulating effects, making it available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Phentermine can be classified as an anorectic, also known as an appetite suppressant. It isn’t known exactly how this drug works, but it is thought to act by increasing the levels of brain neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine (3, 4).
An increase in the levels of these chemicals will help you fight off hunger. However, one may develop tolerance to the appetite-suppressing effects of Phentermine with a few weeks, hence it is important to use it along with a low-calorie diet and exercise.
Dosages and Forms
Phentermine is a prescription drug available as a capsule, tablet, or disintegrating tablet. Dosages will vary depending on its concentration and form.
Earlier, the available doses were only 15, 30, and 37.5 mg. But since doctors are advised to give the lowest effective dose, the FDA has approved the formulation of an 8-mg dose in 2016. This can be taken 3 times daily.
Side Effects and Precautions
As mentioned earlier, Phentermine is recommended for short-term use only. There are no long-term studies on its safety yet. While serious side effects are very rare, studies show several minor discomforts with Phentermine use, especially when combined with other drugs like Topiramate (5).
- Dry mouth
- Flushing of the skin
- Sleeping problems
- Heart palpitations
- Serious side effects that would require immediate medical attention include:
- Primary pulmonary hypertension
- Valvular heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Erectile dysfunction
Phentermine is contraindicated if you have hyperthyroidism, heart disease, glaucoma, pregnant, or breastfeeding (8).
It should also not be used in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which is being used for the treatment of depression.
Ways to Promote and Maintain Weight Loss While on Phentermine
Phentermine can be a strong aid for weight loss, but to keep it off for a long period of time, one must cultivate in healthy lifestyle behaviors which include (9):
- Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods: Fruits and vegetables contain a high amount of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are relatively low in calories.
- Less Calorie Intake: If you need to lose excess weight, you must eat 300-500 fewer calories per day. Consult a dietitian to help you tailor this range based on your personal needs and goals (9).
- Exercise: Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises every week while on Phentermine. Brisk walking or running are perfect examples (9, 10).
- Making these lifestyle changes can be hard and should not happen all at once. It will take time and a lot of effort, but the outcome will be long-term weight loss and optimum health.
Benefits of Exercising on Phentermine
1. Burns More Fat
While counting your calorie intake can help you lose extra weight, regular exercise can help increase your metabolic rate, which will burn fat and calories even at rest. Regular exercise is key to enhancing how your body uses and store the food you eat. Phentermine supplies your body with the energy needed to incorporate excise into your daily schedule.
Another study involving 141 overweight and obese people were monitored for 10 long months. They were split into 3 groups and not told to decrease calorie intake. Groups 1 and 2 are asked to do cardio 5 days weekly and burn 400 and 600 calories, respectively. Group 3, on the other hand, did not engage in any physical activity (14).
Results showed that group 1 lost 4.3% of their body weight, while group 2 lost more than 5.7%. The control group, which did not exercise, actually gained weight by 0.5%.
It is usual for dieters to lose muscle as they lose weight, but not only does this make the body burn less fat and slows down your metabolism, this also means the body will not recover well from the changes it is going through. Losing weight without toning up through exercises can help you reach your ideal weight, but not your ideal body.
Get a healthier and better body by incorporating cardio workouts to build muscle and tone up. Avoiding muscle loss can help counter the decrease in metabolic rate, which usually happens when you lost weight. This makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off (15).
Weight training like lunges and push-ups are also recommended at least twice weekly. Most of the benefits of exercise seem to come from improvements in body composition and metabolic health (11).
3. Enhances Mood
As well as physical benefits, exercise also enhances your psychological health. During exercise, the brain releases adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, giving a euphoric feeling.
4. Increases Energy Levels
One good thing about making the most of the energy boost you get from Phentermine and using it to fuel your exercise regime is that you’ll be rewarded with even more energy in return.
Exercise does not always make you feel tired, it can actually do the opposite and help you boost your energy levels. In the long run, doing physical activities can help your body process food into energy more efficiently by enhancing blood and oxygen flow and eventually boosting metabolism. You’ll soon get tired less easily and have more energy to do many things all throughout the day (17).
Exercising can help you sleep better too because you will naturally need to rest your body at night.
Tips to Make Your Phentermine Exercise Plan A Huge Success
You may know which exercises to perform while on Phentermine, but getting started can still feel a little daunting, especially if you haven’t tried it before, or not for a long time. If you are wondering where to begin, here are some tips to set yourself up for success with a Phentermine exercise plan:
1. Always Start Small
When setting Phentermine exercise goals, always start small. Drastic changes will push you too far of your comfort zone and you’ll likely end up feeling miserable and possibly risk an injury. This over-ambition will lead to disappointment and many people get discouraged and start giving up.
Start with something you know you can achieve. Give yourself some time to adjust. Walking is always a good place to start. Start walking around the block and once you get used to it, run a few miles a few days after. Set weekly goals and always take your lifestyle into consideration. Do not stretch yourself too thin!
2. Quality Over Quantity
To make sure that your Phentermine exercise program is going to be successful, you have to make sure that it has all 3 C’s – convenience, commitment, and consistency.
Exercising requires commitment. While you are busy with school or work, you should not have any excuse to skip working out on Phentermine. Planning is key! Add workouts to your daily schedule.
Do the exercises at your own convenience. You can do it at home at a time that you are not likely to be interrupted.
Lastly, be consistent! A few minutes daily is way better than waiting until you have a full hour to spare and only doing it a few times monthly. Research shows that breaking a sweat for only 10 minutes 3 times daily produces the same results as completing a half an hour session all at once (18).
3. Keep Challenging Yourself
People usually find happiness in doing things that they find challenging yet achievable. If something is very hard, we often get frustrated and give up. If something is just too easy, we become bored and give up as well. So, while you should start slow, break down goals and do what you can. But as you go on, do not be afraid to say yes to new challenges! Allow yourself to do more gradually.
It is quite clear that there are several benefits to including exercise into your weight loss journey with Phentermine. As well as being excellent for burning fat, increasing energy, and enhancing mood, the potential for keeping your weight goal once you reach it is far greater if you use Phentermine with diet and exercise.
If you intend to be healthy for life, Phentermine with exercise can help make this goal a reality!