Real Stories: "I Took Adderall To Lose Weight"

Raise your hand if you've ever taken pills to help you control your eating. Yeah, us too.

Ever felt so desperate to stop your bingeing and get thin that you took drugs or diet pills? Yep, so did HealthyGirl.org reader Amanda, 20. When she went to college and joined a sorority, her eating and restricting got out of control. But the good news is, she’s found a way to get better. Here’s her Real Story:

I had always been a healthy kid who played sports and ate right until high school. The trouble began senior year when I decided I wanted to be thinner for college. I began eating 800 calories a day writing down everything and keeping track. I looked great, and my confidence level rose.

I joined a sorority my freshman year and things started to spiral out of control. I couldn’t stick with my 800-calorie a day diet so I began to gain weight. I would buy adderall pills to curb my appetite and not eat for days.

The only days I would eat would be when I didn’t take a pill and then I would binge on huge amounts of food. I tried throwing it up but luckily it never worked for me. I stopped going out because I thought I was too fat and stayed in my room when all my friends would go out for the night.

My binge cycle would start and end with me sitting on the bathroom floor crying trying to make myself throw up. I came home freshman year 100 pounds. Fortunately I could not buy pills that summer so I was forced to eat and exercise daily. I would continue the binge cycle at home and wait for my parents to go to bed when I would raid the pantry. I tried to restrict my diet but I was lost without the appetite suppressant.

I went back to college sophomore year and moved into my sorority house. If I thought things couldn’t get any worse I was wrong. Living with a bunch of girls was hell on earth for me and I found myself rummaging through the kitchen whenever I was alone. I ended up gaining a total of 40 pounds. I lost all my friends since I stopped going out at night and food, it seemed, was my only friend. I eventually made my way over to campus health and started to go to a food group where girls could talk about their problems. I saw a nutritionist and therapist and tried to get back in the right mindset. I eventually did, and lost majority of the weight through diet and exercise and now I am a recovering binge eater.

I am back at school for my junior year, and still have days when stress makes me want to run to the kitchen and eat everything in sight, but I remember all the work I put in to get back to where I am and I do not want it to go to waste. I know I ate when I was upset, stressed, when I didn’t think I was pretty enough, or a guy didn’t call me back and now I realize how much I was hurting myself in the process. Now that I am aware of these triggers I can take myself out of the situation and do something more productive rather than hurt myself because it won’t make things better. —Amanda, 20

Have you ever taken pills to control your eating? What happened? And please tell me you don’t anymore!

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14 Responses to Real Stories: "I Took Adderall To Lose Weight"

  1. Sunny says:

    I’ve taken pills. Not prescription, but these awful herbal things that landed me in the doctor’s office with heart palpitations! I took them for about a year in college, just desperate for anything to help me lose weight and stop bingeing. They didn’t even do anything more than make me jittery, but I became psychologically dependent on them. xo…Sunny

  2. Trish says:

    Definitely did the pill thing … not adderall, but does anyone remember Stackers? Took so many of them I almost gave myself a heart attack…plus they barely worked! The only positive thing to come out of it? I eventually had to go to the hospital because my heart wouldn’t slow down, and the doctors found out that I had mitral valve prolapse — a slight problem with one of my heart valves that is treated with medication. That is the ONLY positive thing pills ever did for me.

  3. Britt says:

    I also took adderall for over a year off an on when I could get my hands on them. I also took concerta last year, bought it from my EX boyfriend, it was worse than adderall, so addictive and made me SOOOO depressed I wanted to die, but what I thought was that I would rather die than be overweight, so I took the pills. It wasn’t until I started getting back into church and seeing a metor/counselor who helped pull me out of that mind set. Pills do not work, and the reason it was so depressing is because of the reality in knowing that one day the pills would run out..but there is Hope, and I have found it now after going through that ugly period!

    Thanks for this great website, so thankful to be able to comment/and learn. :)

    • Dansta says:

      @Britt- iknow you probably won’t see this, but whatevs! might as well speak my mind.

      The actual reason you got depressed while on concerta is because of the way concerta works. Levoamphetamine (concerta) works on the mind as a depressent, unlike Adderall (dextroamphetamine) which works on the mind in a more ‘psychedelic’ way. I cant remember the actual word for how adderall works, and i’m too lazy to pull up wikipedia. I was prescribed both concerta and adderall at young ages, and while i was on concerta- i had horrible, HORRIBLE depression. It didn’t exactly get better when i swapped to adderall, because i guess i’m prone to certain side effects. I get hit with ALMOST everything in the side effects booklet of adderall whenever i take it. Dehydration (i try to keep up on fluids, but its hard for me whilst on adderall) Irritation, raised blood pressure ( i go from 110/65 to about 125/70)depression, pains in the back of the throat when swallowing anything, etc. The only side effect from adderall that doesnt hit me like a frat boy hits mailboxes with bats, is the talkative/god-like feelings. While explanations do get MUCH more verbose and repetitive when i take adderall, i don’t feel compelled or have the desire to talk.

  4. Nina says:

    Yes! I took a lot of different stackers type of products. As well as laxatives and even resorted to cold and flu tablets. I definitely would NEVER do any of this anymore. Not only does it not work, it keeps you in “binge” mode. After you come off the pills you end up binge eating even more because your body has been pushed so hard

  5. sara says:

    I also took adderall when I was about 9. Eventually I got so skinny you could see my ribs so my mother took me off it. I went from 90 lbs to 150 lbs up until I reached the 7th grade, there I was 160 at my highest. I then started taking adderall but not only for my ADHD this time. Although my grade skyrocketed, I felt like a zombie and became very unsocial (due to fact that I was drugged constantly) (maybe too high of a dose? -20mg) Adderall made me very jittery and my breath smell bad (yuck) but I did end up dropping to 130 lbs. I felt GREAT, looking back I dont think I realized how skinny I was (miss that) but after my weight loss after the 8th grade summer I stopped Adderall right away. Then this year for my birthday (3 years later) I looked a picture my friend had took of me and I noticed I WAS HUGE AND I HADN’T EVEN NOTICED THAT BIG OF A WEIGHT GAIN. I figured I’d only gained 10-15 lbs so I finally weighed myself. 209lbs. I became very depressed and lost all self confidence in myself. My junior year has been nothing but a waste of time and very uncomfortable. I feel so digusting and people often comment on my weight gain. One girl even commented in the school bathroom.. “wow you got big” It got to the point last month where I almost dropped out of school because of how embarrassed I am about my self image. The school wouldn’t let me home school this late in the year so I told my mom the only way I’d go back if I was back on my Adderall. I’ve been on it for two weeks and I already feel skinner but I am NOT happy about how I’m doing it. I’m very irritable and jittery again. I would say adderall isnt the answer because you will gain it back!!!!!!! And gaining an amount of weight like I did really effects your MENTAL HEALTH.

  6. Rach says:

    My weight issues go back as long as I can remember. When I was 7 I rode my bike to the local pharmacy after saving up all my allowance for weeks. I bought a dozen fruit punch weight loss drinks. They never even questioned me. I followed the directions as best I could at 7, and got really sick. My parents found out and were livid. That was just the beginning of what I can remember. I just started therapy a few months ago, so its been a long, long haul with this.

  7. rondavue says:

    I am 5’10″ 320lbs. and have been heavy all my life and am on 40 mg of celexa for anxiety, came across adderall from a friend on a day when i had alot of work to do and had no energy, which i’ve battled as long as i could remember. The adderall was 30 mg and i took it the first time and i thought i had hit the lottery, never in all my 38 years had i felt so GREAT!!!! One pill all day and i actually got off the couch, cleaned my house, went for a walk, didn’t need to stop and nap for 2 hours. Although I had to remember to eat and one night I couldn’t sleep but was not irratable the next day and i took it late in the day so i’m sure that aided in the sleeplessness. I took it for 5 days in a 2 week period and maybe i hadn’t taken it long enough to witness the bad side of it but those were the happiest 5 days i’ve had in 30 years, and i’ve made an appt. with my doctor to see if i could be prescribed this with his supervision. If anyone has dealt with very low metabolism all your life as i have then you can understand finally there is something for me and it may not be the outcome I want but i have to try!

  8. Fatty. says:

    hello, my body always changed as i was younger, when i was 7-12 i was over wieght i was 5’2 and 200 punds i think, but i was very fat, i started takin adderall && i lost so much pounds !! but in middle school i stopped taking it because i was 5’5 and 90 pounds. right now im 5’7 and like 190 i feel like a cow, i feel as if im so fat and im the biggest girl around, im going to start taking pills again to make me lose it, i know its not healthy, but my body is so ugly&& maybe if i become skinny people will look at me diffrent.? i dont know what the point of this was, id just thought i would share.

  9. Mandy says:

    I am 5’5″ and have weighed 135-150lbs since college (160 was my highest weight while in college). I have taken Adderall since June of 2011 for a sleep disorder, but also to loose weight. I’ve never really considered myself to be overweight, but I hated looking at pictures of myself…especially standing next to my 5’10″ 118lb younger sister. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t wear any clothes that hugged my curvy body. It was embarrassing for my muffin-top to bulge over the top of my size 10 blue jeans, so I always wore loose t-shirts to hide it. I felt better about myself during the two times I reached a weight of 135, but I could never loose any more than that. Since taking Adderall, I have gotten down to 120lbs and I feel GREAT about my body! I am supposed to be taking one 30mg tablet in the morning and another in the early afternoon, but I never take the second dose. I often skip lunch due to the decrease in appetite, but I always make sure I eat a full meal for dinner. I want to be skinny, but I don’t want to look sick. I have told my close friends and my family to keep an eye on my weight and to let me know if I start to look too skinny since it’s hard for me to know what I look like from other peoples’ perspectives.
    I’m no longer ashamed of wearing tighter clothes and I’ve actually had a close friend tell me that I “started dressing like a girl” since I lost the weight, lol. My self-esteem is much higher and I now have the confidence I was lacking before I started taking it. Adderall has changed my life =)

  10. Sarah says:

    Growing up I was always very heavy and unhealthy. I started Adderall when I was about 12 and I lost a crucial amount of weight and looked really good. I kept on it all thru highschool and stayed petite and healthy looking. A year after I got out of high school I got pregnant and had to stop the adderall right away. I went from 150 to 262! I had an appatite for the first time in 8 years and i ate EVERYTHING!! I just recently got back on it and I went from 262 to 215. Im still struggling and trying to get back to my normal weight but im very fearful of not being prescribed this adderall anymore. I dont recomentd anyone to get on it for weightloss like I have..it gets addicting and you can spiral out of control.

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