If you’re on a mission to lose weight, you may have seen celebrities like Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian raving about trendy weight loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, and their wondrous effects on social media. Even rapper Eminem has given a shoutout to Ozempic in one of his latest songs.
These little attention seekers, I’m finna treat ’em like diabetics (what?)
Got ’em all on pins and needles (yeah), just like Ozempic, meaning
Zone.Health also uses these medications as part of its holistic weight loss solution to target the physiology of weight regulation and metabolism. Before you decide to jump on this trend yourself, here are four things to know about these medications:
- The background science – GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a naturally-occurring hormone in the body that is produced in the gut and plays an important role in appetite regulation and glucose metabolism. It does this by slowing down digestion, increasing feelings of fullness and promoting insulin release from the pancreas. GLP-1 agonists – known otherwise under brand names like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro- to list a few – are drugs that mimic the effects of GLP-1 and have been studied for their potential use in the treatment of obesity.
- The evidence – Studies have indeed proven these medications to be effective in inducing an average weight loss of 5 – 10% of body weight. When combined with other weight loss strategies like behavioral therapy and the integration of smart devices, average weight loss increases to reach 12-15%. These medications have also been consistently shown to help reduce the risk of other chronic diseases related to metabolic health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and fatty liver.
- The side effects – the use of GLP-1 agonists does not come without risks. For one, these drugs can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They can also lead to an increased risk of pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed.
- You may still be a non-responder – It is important to be aware that not all individuals will respond to GLP-1 medications in the same way. Some people may not experience the intended benefits of these medications and are referred to as “non-responders.” If you are considering starting a GLP-1 medication or are currently taking one and not seeing the desired results, it is important to speak with your doctor about the possibility of being a non-responder. Your doctor will be able to evaluate your specific situation and determine if there are alternative treatment options that may be more effective for you.
- Beware – It’s important to note that GLP-1 agonists are NOT a magic solution for weight loss nor a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. In order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, medications should always be used in conjunction with other weight loss strategies, such as a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
If you are considering using GLP-1 agonists for weight loss, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine if they are appropriate for you.