Qsymia weight loss experiment

I started on Qsymia this morning. It is the most promising of the two recent weight-loss drugs approved by the FDA.

This is not my first journey into weight loss drugs. I took Rimonabant for over a year a number of years ago, and it worked a bit, giving me a little over a 5 percent weight loss. That experiment ended when the European's pulled it off the market, and the Mexicans followed suit. The FDA never approved it. (I have a screed to insert here, but will demur. That's another topic.)

Qsymia has side effects in many people, though most do not have any major ones. The concern for me is possible loss in cognition, which is most of what I am about. I may be a little dimmer over the Christmas season: I may know if I start watching daytime TV, or napping too long and too much. So far, after a few hours, I have a metallic taste and a mild headache, both are common and transient.

My expectations are a ten percent weight loss, and a good chance that metabolic syndrome signs diminish or vanish. Less weight also means less wear on the joints, and fewer aches associated with the exercise I take. The reports suggest a rather rapid weight loss, probably faster than the literature suggests, which is about a pount a week.

So, I am watching my nuitrition balance, taking vitamins daily (lots of ingredients, no excessive amounts save more D) and making sure to drink a lot of water. I will continue my usual coffee and chocolate consumption, though they both can raise the probability of side effects.

The other expectation is that this is a long term solution, i.e. that one doesn't lose the weight and then stop the medication. There is a common perception that obesity is all about habit. It mostly isn't, it is about homeostatis setpoints, mostly in the brain. These drugs change the setpoint.

It is certainly true that one can permanently change their weight by changing behaviours, an extreme case of which is the Turkish Prison Diet. This is mostly what my cats are on.

One especially interesting approach is found on sticK.com. Which would you rather do, lose a pound in the next week, or make a large donation to a charity you hate? (For the creator of the site, the anti-charity is the George W. Bush library.)

I have seen many of these approaches work, but I require the same five-year standard to declare a cure that oncologists do. I have seen many friends scared skinny, perhaps by a heart problem, lose a lot of weight and keep it off for a while. Five years later they are as large or larger than they were when then started out. I haven't looked recently, but in the past I read a growing number of papers suggesting that this pogoing is less healthy than just being fat.

I am starting at 117.8kg, and will put up a chart of my progress here.

23 December 2013