For a while now, I've suspected that my birth control pills were sabotaging my weight loss efforts. When I look back at my weight cycles, I can draw almost direct correlations between weight gain and going on the pill, and weight loss and going off of it. While on the pill I've struggled to loose weight, having to resort to drastically low calorie counts and punishing workouts, and seeing very little results. This has not felt healthy in the least, however when I voiced my concerns to medical professionals, I was met most often with the voiced opinion that the pill were not causing any weight gain, and that it was a myth that weight gain was a side effect of birth control pills.
No matter how much anecdotal evidence I've heard, or how much my own experience seemed to point to it, as one nurse bluntly told me "You may think your not eating a lot, or your exercising enough, but you're obviously not, since the pills do not cause weight gain."
Now a study has come out that seems to validate my thoughts. It was cited in Women's Health Magazine (although I'm having trouble finding it on their site). For those of you who are brave enough to try to untangle the scientific speak yourselves, the full article can be found here. According to the nifty chart-type graphic in WH, the average weight gain over 3 years on The Pill is 3.2 lbs. with an average increase in body fat of 1.63%.
I've been on the pill for a solid six years, this go around. If we were to just take the "average" weight gain from that chart, I'd have an additional 6.4 lbs hanging out on my hips from just the pills.
I'm going to do a little unscientific study of my own. I'm going off the pills. This terrifies me, as the idea of having my reproductive cycle out of my control scares me. But I've gotten to the point where I think that being on the pill is negatively affecting my fitness and overall health. I'm not giving up on diet and exercise, I intend to eat healthy and exercise for fitness instead of pushing myself to the point of injury and starving myself into irritability for the sake of weight loss.
I've got my fingers crossed on this one.