Phentermine is an FDA approved weight loss medication that is used to control appetite, it is approved for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) that meets medical criteria for obesity – a BMI over 30 kg/m2 or a BMI over 27 kg/m2 with obesity related medical conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or weight related joint pain. Phentermine effectively reduces hunger, cravings, and increases metabolism and for these reasons phentermine is a popular medication used for obesity and medical weight management. Phentermine is the oldest and arguably one of the most effective weight loss medications on the market, to add, it is the cheapest weight loss medication and therefore easy to access in most pharmacies across the country. Phentermine is the most commonly prescribed weight loss medication in the United States, however, despite phentermine’s vast use and longevity on the market there are common mistakes that patients make that can reduce short and long-term weight loss success.

Not Eating Enough and Skipping meals


I know what you’re thinking, isn’t the point of phentermine to NOT eat? No, it’s not. This is one of the biggest misconceptions with phentermine. Phentermine is not a starvation pill! The purpose of phentermine is to help control weight gaining signals in the body such as uncontrolled appetite, excess hunger, increased fat storage, poor food choices, and slow metabolism to aid in weight loss. Phentermine’s primary mechanism of action is to reduce appetite, however, not eating or skipping is not the goal and will lead to more problems in the long run. Many are aware that muscle weighs more than fat, when we lose muscle during a starvation or restriction diet it can be very exciting to see large weight loss on the scale, however, the muscle loss will eventually turn into a reduction in basal metabolic rate (BMR) which will make future weight gain easier. This is one phenomenon that can occur when patients misuse phentermine, they lose large amounts of weight to only gain it all back in a few months.

The next reason for Proper nutrition is imperative for all human beings, we all need the right combination of micro and  macronutrients in order to survive, using phentermine to aid in starvation is not the right method for weight  loss, primarily because it will not last beyond a few months and additionally because it can lead to poor nutrition and Many people using phentermine tend to make the mistake of starving themselves for too long, thinking this will stimulate the weight loss process.

Poor Diet and Improper Nutrition


Nutrition is the nourishment for humans responsible for health, wellness, and growth. The body needs nutrition. There are different schools of thought on the amount, timing, and type of nutrition but the one thing that we can all agree on is that a body lacking proper micro and macronutrients will not survive.

Poor or malnutrition can range from inadequate vitamins, minerals, micro and macronutrients to excess “bad” or toxic foods that can lead to various diseases and increased morbidity. Phentermine is a tool that helps reduce the intense hunger and many of the cravings for the wrong foods that lead to weight gain so that individuals can focus on the right foods, smaller portions, and proper nutrient balance. Proper nutrition will not only maximize weight loss results, increase energy and overall performance, but will reduce nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, and the rebound hunger and cravings that occur as a result of “crash diets”

Overestimate Phentermine


FDA approved weight loss medications are great tools; however, they are not magic pills. There is no magic, all weight loss occurs from controlling negative physiology that leads to weight gain and introducing positive habits and physiology centered around weight loss. Weight loss physiology involves more than just diet and exercise, there are multiple factors such as proper stress management, sleep, hormonal balance, environment, emotions, and many more. When individuals overestimate the effect of phentermine they are setting themselves up for disappointment. The medication has a wide range of effectiveness that is dependent on the person taking the medication along with their medical and obesity history, habits, other medications, and various other factors. Phentermine does not work for everyone, although there are individuals who will have a great response with phentermine for several months there are some who will have absolutely no response with phentermine, others who will have minimal to limited effect, and several who will have an effect that may quickly wear off. Phentermine works best in coordination with a proper diet and adequate physical activity, taking phentermine without changing poor habits will not create long-term weight loss and will increase the likelihood of future weight regain.

Taking Phentermine at the Wrong Time


Phentermine is a once a day medication that should be taken first thing in the morning. Taking the medication on an empty stomach or with food is not as important as making sure to take it early in the day. One of the side effects of phentermine is energy and focus which can lead to insomnia or trouble sleeping. The likelihood of insomnia increases the later in the day that the medication is consumed. It is important to that the medication in the morning so that sleep quantity and quality is uninterrupted, it’s important to remember that proper sleep is equally effective for weight loss.

Skipping or Forgetting to take Phentermine


It is important to take all medications as directed by the doctor, phentermine is no different. Taking phentermine daily especially in the beginning is very important. While phentermine is aiding in appetite reduction, increased metabolism, and elevated energy, stopping the medication or skipping phentermine can have the opposite effects. Premature discontinuation of phentermine may lead to intense hunger, cravings, and fatigue.

Phentermine is a great tool for managing and treating the disease of obesity, however, it is imperative to use under direct supervision of a physician or medical weight loss doctor and as directed with a comprehensive weight loss program.


Want to learn more?


Watch Dr Covington’s video discussing the most common mistakes people make with phentermine

Watch Dr Covington’s live video discussing phentermine and how it works