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Whole Grains Health

What You Need to Know



Lexapro (escitalopram) is a drug that is often prescribed to treat depression or anxiety disorders. Lexapro belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This class of drugs works by increasing levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mood. When serotonin levels are in the normal range, you feel happier, calmer, less anxious, and more focused.

While Lexapro is generally very helpful, one of the side effects is weight gain or loss.

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Lexapro and weight

Many antidepressants can affect weight. Some people are more likely to gain weight than others. One study found that risk factors for weight gain include a sedentary lifestyle, smoking or a high-carb diet, processed meats, and dairy products.

Weight gain

A person taking Lexapro may experience some weight gain, especially with long-term use. There can be many reasons for this. One is that Lexapro increases serotonin levels and serotonin has a role in weight management. In addition, Lexapro can increase a person’s appetite, which usually leads to eating more and gaining weight.

One study found that people who took some of the newer antidepressants, including Lexapro, had slightly higher weight gains.

However, Lexapro can only cause slight weight gain. An older study showed that after six months of treatment with Lexapro, about 13% of participants gained more than 2 kilograms (about 4.4 pounds) in weight. A medical record review found that participants had moderate weight gain of 1.1 kilograms (about 2.4 pounds) after nine months of Lexapro treatment.

Weight loss

Although less common, weight loss is also a possible side effect of Lexapro. There have been some reports of people losing weight when they first started taking Lexapro, but there isn’t much research to support this.

When serotonin levels rise and symptoms are relieved, some people have more energy, which leads to a desire to be more active. Some people may also find that they are able to stop their unhealthy eating habits, such as binge eating. Both can lead to weight loss.

Lexapro and depression or anxiety

Both depression and anxiety can affect a person’s appetite. For example, some people feel too anxious about eating. This can result in someone having less appetite or less enjoyment from eating. Other people can find solace in eating and develop eating habits.

If Lexapro helps improve your symptoms of depression or anxiety, it may have a positive effect on your eating habits. In return, you can lose or gain some weight. These changes in weight may therefore be due to an improvement in symptoms rather than a side effect of the drug.


Depression can affect all aspects of life, such as work, relationships, and eating habits. Most people with depression experience deep sadness. Other symptoms of depression may include loss of interest, tiredness and loss of appetite, or overeating.

A study from Finland looked at the possible link between depression and obesity as a result of emotional eating. Emotional eating is when someone eats in response to negative feelings. This study found that adults with depression who engaged in emotional eating were more likely to gain weight.

Because Lexapro helps improve your symptoms of depression, you may notice changes in your eating habits or energy levels. These changes can ultimately affect your weight.


There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder. When you have an anxiety disorder, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode more or longer than the average person.

A fight-or-flight reaction can lead to physical symptoms that affect the digestive system, such as constipation, indigestion, and nausea. These symptoms can make a person feel so uncomfortable that they no longer want to eat, or the food becomes unsavory.

Stress associated with anxiety can also affect your weight. People react differently to stress or fear. For some people, mild stress can cause them to overeat. For others, excessive stress can cause them to lose their appetite completely.

Men and women can also react differently to anxiety and stress. One study showed that women eat more calories when they are anxious. This study also linked higher levels of anxiety in women with higher body mass index (BMI).

As with depression, as Lexapro improves symptoms of anxiety, you may notice changes in your eating habits or energy levels, which in turn can cause you to lose or gain weight.

Other side effects of Lexapro

Lexapro can cause other side effects, including:

Some of these side effects, such as loss of appetite, nausea, and difficulty sleeping, can affect a person’s weight.

There is also the potential for serious side effects with Lexapro. Get help right away and contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or mouth
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Rash
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • confusion

Weight control with antidepressants

Medicines can have very different effects on people. Some may experience significant changes in weight while others may experience no change at all.


Exercise not only helps with weight management, it can also improve sleep and reduce stress. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults ages 18 to 64 to exercise 2.5 hours each week. The good news is you don’t have to do all of this in one sitting. You can break it down into smaller periods of time throughout the week. It’s best to find a routine that fits your schedule and commit to it.

To eat healthy food

Healthy eating also plays an essential role in weight management. A healthy, balanced diet includes a combination of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and proteins. Improving your eating habits can take time. The CDC recommends the following approach:

  • Reflect about your good and bad eating habits and your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
  • Substitute Combine your unhealthy habits with healthier ones.
  • Strengthen Your new, healthier eating habits.

Medication changes

Although most antidepressants have the potential to cause weight gain, some may be at greater risk of causing weight gain. Your doctor may be able to change your medication to find the most suitable medication for you if you are concerned about weight change with Lexapro.

When to see a doctor

If you are concerned or notice significant changes in weight while taking an antidepressant, you should speak to your doctor. A doctor may be able to change your medication, change your dose, refer you to a nutritionist, recommend a lifestyle change, or help you with questions or concerns about your medication.

frequently asked Questions

How much weight gain is normal with Lexapro?

Each person is unique, so there is no way of knowing exactly how much weight you might gain while taking Lexapro. There are many factors that can affect weight gain such as: B. Lifestyle choices or other health conditions. Not everyone who takes Lexapro will gain weight.

How long does it take for Lexapro to work?

It can take up to six to eight weeks for Lexapro to take full effect. However, some aspects such as appetite, sleep, or energy levels may improve within the first few weeks.

How do you wean yourself from Lexapro?

You should never suddenly stop taking Lexapro. When you do this, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, dizziness, nightmares, headaches, nausea, or a tingling sensation on the skin. Your doctor will slowly reduce your dose of Lexapro to avoid these symptoms when you stop taking the drug. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication.


Although Lexapro is effective in treating depression and anxiety disorders, it can cause unwanted weight gain or loss. The drug affects the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is involved in weight control. You may also notice changes in weight as your symptoms improve. Not all weight changes are bad. If you have any concerns about this, speak to your doctor.

A word from VeryWell

Weight changes are a possible side effect of taking Lexapro. Some people may experience only minor increases or decreases, while others may experience larger fluctuations. This is generally a normal part of treating your condition with Lexapro.

On the flip side, relieving anxiety or depression symptoms can also have an impact on your weight. Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential to recover from mood and anxiety disorders. They can also help prevent weight changes.

Sometimes weight gain or weight loss can lead to other health problems, so it’s best to speak with your doctor to make sure you have the best treatment plan for you. It is important that you do not stop taking Lexapro without talking to your doctor first.

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Whole Grains Health

The Pros and Cons of Vegetarian Diets



Many people follow a vegetarian diet to improve their health. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well documented. But this diet also has disadvantages. When thinking about following a vegetarian diet, consider these pros and cons to make sure it is right for you.

Pros: A vegetarian diet can lower your risk of disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are at the heart of a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet. These foods provide an abundance of health-protecting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can lower the risk of common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

Cons: Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

On the other hand, if your vegetarian diet includes a lot of highly processed foods instead of whole plant foods, the risk of some chronic diseases may even increase. There are plenty of junk foods that can fit into a vegetarian diet but are not good for you – think soda, chips, and cookies, among others. Packaged vegetarian meals and snacks can contain high amounts of added sugar, sodium, and fat and offer little to no nutritional value. Remember, as with any diet, there are ways to make a vegetarian diet healthy and turn it into a diet disaster.

Pros: You have options when it comes to going vegetarian.

You can determine the type of vegetarian eating plan that will work best for you. Some people cut meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but eat eggs and dairy products. Others only allow eggs or only dairy products. Some occasionally contain seafood. A vegan diet eliminates all foods that come from animals, even things like honey.

Downside: You may be nutritionally deficient.

Some essential nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron are not found in many plant foods. Vegetarian diets can provide these nutrients as long as food intake is properly planned, but supplementation is sometimes required. The main sources of these nutrients for vegetarians include:

  • Vitamin B12: Found in animal products such as eggs and milk (as well as meat, fish and poultry). Also found in some fortified grains, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes, and soy milk.
  • Vitamin D: In addition to eggs and fish, it is also found in fortified vegetable milk and mushrooms. Vitamin D is also obtained from exposure to the sun.
  • Calcium: In addition to dairy products, calcium is found in fortified plant-based milk, grains, juice, tofu, kale, kale, broccoli, beans, and almonds.
  • Iron: You can get iron from eggs, but also fortified grains, soy, spinach, Swiss chard, and beans. Combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, or tomatoes to increase your intake.

Starting a vegetarian diet can be difficult when shopping for groceries, dining out, and dining in social settings. Over time this will get easier, but will require some work. Read the product labels and familiarize yourself with common animal ingredients like casein, whey, and gelatin. In restaurants, remember that meatless meals can be made with dairy or other animal products such as beef or chicken broth. So ask questions to make a choice that is right for you. If you’re eating at home, it’s best to bring a vegetarian dish that anyone can enjoy.

If you are committed to a vegetarian lifestyle, a registered dietitian can provide helpful tips to better meet your nutritional needs.


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Whole Grains Health

Falling for weight loss myths



I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This may sound like soapbox talk and we apologize, but trust us when we say this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste time on these:

Myth: Diet pills help with fat loss

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for them. The “magic pill” has yet to be discovered (it was discovered – exercise. It just doesn’t come in pill form). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your wallet than you lose weight.

Don’t take a pill – instead, burn calories with exercise.

Myth: You should starve to lose fat

Trying to lose weight by starving is not only ineffective but also dangerous. It may seem like a severe calorie restriction would result in the fastest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so disrupts your metabolism and slows down your results.

Don’t starve yourself – instead, eat healthy, small meals throughout the day.

Myth: Lots of crunches will straighten your abs

We all want our midsection to look toned while walking on the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the solution for tight abs. To achieve a slim look, you need to focus on burning off the layer of fat that covers your abs.

Don’t be obsessed with crunches – focus on burning fat instead.

Myth: Eat Packaged Diet Foods For Quick Results

It is amazing to see what foods are packaged as “diet” or “weight loss” aids. In most cases, these products contain refined sugars and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods – stick to nutritious whole foods instead.

Myth: You have to avoid carbohydrates to lose fat

Carbohydrates get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbohydrates while you are losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t go without all carbohydrates – stick with healthy carbohydrates instead.

Fred Sassani

Now that you know what not to do to look your best this summer, it’s time to go over your beach-ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 easy steps:

First: cut out the trash

The best way to do this is to start cleaning your kitchen. Avoid sugary, processed, and high-fat foods. Once the rubbish is cleared away, don’t buy anything more. Remember, your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat trash.

Second: focus on whole foods

Replace the junk food in your life with a lot of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Clean eating is that easy.

Third, start an exercise program with a fitness professional

This is the most obvious step. When you’re ready to get into tip-top shape, find a fitness professional who can help you along the way by creating a simple, step-by-step program. Invest in your health and watch the rest of your life change too.

Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at or visit

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Whole Grains Health

How to Tell if Your Baby is Ready to Stop Drinking Formula – Cleveland Clinic



Make the formula. Feed your sweetie. Wash, rinse, repeat. For parents of babies who drink infant formula, you did this dance several times a day (and night) for what felt like an eternity. But could the end finally be in sight? When do babies stop drinking milk?

The Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

“A healthy baby should drink breast milk or formula up to the age of 1 year. Formulas are fortified with the vitamins and iron they need, ”says pediatrician Radhai Prabhakaran, MD. “In general, babies aged 9 months to 1 year should have at least 24 ounces per day. But once your baby is on a full diet of nutritious solid foods, switch to cow’s milk, which contains protein and vitamin D. “

Indicates your baby is ready to wean the formula

Whether babies are ready to board the milk express depends on their taste for table food. “Some babies get used to a mostly solid diet early (between 9 and 12 months) because they like it and they are okay with it. If you have a nutritionally balanced diet, it is okay to wean your baby from infant formula before the age of one. “

A healthy solid food diet for a baby should include:

  • Fruit.
  • Grains.
  • Protein from meat, eggs, or boiled beans.
  • Vegetables.

“Gradually reduce the amount of formula you drink as you eat more. Keep offering it to drink because sometimes babies are not full after eating solid foods, ”notes Dr. Prabhakaran. “But wait until they are 1 year old to introduce cow’s milk, even if they wean earlier.”

Signs your baby is NOT ready to wean the formula

Your baby should continue feeding if:

  • You’re not gaining weight.
  • Were born prematurely.
  • Have not established a balanced solid diet.
  • You need to proceed with the formula based on your doctor’s recommendation. (For example, if your baby has food allergies or has trouble digesting food or absorbing nutrients.)

Health conditions that affect how long babies drink formula

Certain underlying health conditions can affect how long it takes your baby to drink formula. Babies may need to stay on the formula longer if they:

“And if your doctor has already told you that your baby may need to be on a special diet, talk to him or her before weaning your baby off the formula,” adds Dr. Prabhakaran added. “They can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will make the transition safer.”

How to wean your baby off formula

If your baby likes the taste of cow’s milk:

  1. Start giving them a 2 to 4 ounce serving of milk for every two or three servings of formula.
  2. For up to 10 days over the next week, increase the servings of milk as you decrease the servings of the formula.
  3. Stop giving milk as soon as you have drunk the milk without any problems.

If your baby prefers the taste of formula:

  1. Build the formula as usual. Do not add cow’s milk to the milk powder.
  2. Mix together 2 ounces of prepared formula and 2 ounces of cow’s milk so you have a 4-ounce drink for your baby.
  3. Feed your baby the mixture.
  4. Over the next week to 10 days, add more milk and less milk to the mixture until it is all cow’s milk.

Bottle or cup?

Get ready to say goodbye to the bottle. Dr. Prabhakaran says that drinking from a bottle is a no-go from the age of 1. “Bottle feeding can affect tooth growth and cause tooth decay.”

Instead, switch your little one to a swallow, straw, or regular cup at around 9 months of age. “When you’re feeling adventurous, wean her off the formula and the bottle at the same time.”

Does my baby still need milk when he wakes up at night?

Dr. Prabhakaran notes that most babies of this age do not need to eat when they wake up at night. “When babies have doubled their birth weight (which happens after about 4 to 6 months) and are eating solid foods regularly, they generally don’t need extra calories and can sleep through the night. So encourage her to go back to sleep. “

Babies of this age also have the most milk teeth, so drinking milk or formula at night can lead to dental problems. Night feeding can also make them too full to eat what they need during the day.

But as always there are exceptions. “If your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor can give you other advice. Breast-fed babies can also take a little longer because the breast milk is digested more quickly. “

When to apply the brakes when stopping the formula

Dr. Prabhakaran says the transition to cow’s milk should be even slower once babies start drinking milk and experience:

  • Dramatic change in her bowel movements.
  • Abundance.

If these symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your baby’s pediatrician about a possible milk allergy. If necessary, your doctor can recommend safe milk alternatives for young children.

Signs that your baby may not tolerate cow’s milk include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Vomit.

What is the best milk for a 1 year old?

Experts consider whole cow milk to be the best milk for 1-year-olds after weaning. “The general rule is whole milk until they’re 2 years old, unless there are special circumstances,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

Your doctor may recommend 2% milk instead if your baby:

  • Is difficult for her size.
  • Drink more than the recommended amount of milk (16 to 24 ounces per day or 2 to 3 cups).
  • Is blocked.

Milk alternatives for toddlers

Unsweetened soy milk is one of the best cow milk alternatives for toddlers because it has a similar protein content. But soy milk has fewer calories – which babies need to thrive – than whole milk. The calorie content of unsweetened rice milk is slightly higher, but it contains less protein and more added sugar.

The best way to make a decision, says Dr. Prabhakaran, is to look at your child’s overall diet. “There are so many milk alternatives and the diets of babies are very different. It’s impossible to have a blanket rule of what’s okay. Some children eat a lot of yogurt and cheese. Some babies are vegan. Talk to your baby’s doctor about the best alternative to help your child with certain deficiencies and general nutrition. “

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