How to Lose Weight While on Methotrexate

Methotrexate is a prescription drug used for the treatment of several illnesses, from psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis to breast cancer. Weight gain is a common side effect associated with methotrexate. According to a, women treated with methotrexate for breast cancer commonly experienced weight gain as a side effect. Gaining weight while taking methotrexate might be frustrating, but the excess weight can be managed. Make healthy adjustments to your lifestyle to lose weight while on methotrexate.

Talk to your doctor before starting a weight loss program while on methotrexate. Ask if certain activities should be avoided while undergoing treatment. For example, rheumatoid arthritis patients should ask about exercises that might place additional stress on the joints.

Adjust your daily calorie intake to create a deficit, which facilitates weight loss. Use an online calculator, such as, to figure out your basal metabolic rate, or the calories you need for basic functioning. Subtract 500 from your BMR calorie total to calculate the calories needed to lose about 1 lb. per week.

Clean up your eating habits. Stay away from processed foods and snacks that are high in refined sugars, trans-fats and sodium, which can contribute to weight gain. Eat healthy snack foods such as fruits or vegetables. Prepare your meals with foods in their natural forms, such as lean meats, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy fats such as nuts or seeds.

Increase your activity levels. Engage in exercise at least three days per week. Include a balance of strength training and cardiovascular exercise to increase metabolism and burn calories. Participate in activities such as swimming, walking or biking. Take a group fitness class such as indoor group cycling or step aerobics to add variety to your routine.