Are you struggling to lose weight? Have you heard about Ozempic or Wegovy and their potential for weight loss? These prescription medications, originally designed to treat Type 2 diabetes, have gained a lot of attention for their side effect of weight loss. In fact, they have become so popular that the FDA has classified them as in shortage due to the high demand. As the owner of “Losing Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical,” I want to share with you everything you need to know about these medications and my number one tip to ensure that the weight you lose doesn’t come back.
What is Ozempic and Wegovy?
Ozempic and Wegovy are injectable medications containing semaglutide, which is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist. Initially approved in 2017 to control blood sugar in individuals with Type 2 diabetes, these medications were discovered to have an additional benefit – weight loss. This led to further studies, and Wegovy was FDA-approved as a weight loss medication for adults with a BMI greater or equal to 30 or 27 with certain conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
How do Ozempic and Wegovy work?
GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, mimic a natural hormone called incretin. Incretin is released by the digestive tract after a meal and helps lower blood sugar levels by triggering insulin release and slowing down gastric emptying, which makes you feel full for longer. By curbing your appetite and reducing the amount of food you eat, these medications can assist in weight loss.
What should you know about taking Ozempic and Wegovy?
Both Ozempic and Wegovy are administered through a single-use injection pen once a week. The dose is pre-set, and you can inject it on the same day every week, regardless of food intake or time of day. It’s essential to rotate the injection spot to prevent injecting into the same area repeatedly. The initial dose for both medications is 0.25 mg weekly, gradually increasing each month. Wegovy offers higher doses, ranging from 0.25 mg to 2.4 mg, while Ozempic is available in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1.0 mg pens.
Side Effects and Tips for Success
As with any medication, there are potential side effects to be aware of. Some common side effects include burping, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and bloating. It’s crucial to discuss any changes in mood or behavior with your healthcare provider, as rare cases of mood changes have been reported. Additionally, there is a slight risk of pancreatitis, so it’s important not to use these medications if you have a history of chronic or idiopathic acute pancreatitis.
To maximize the effectiveness of Ozempic, Wegovy, or even Saxenda (another weight loss medication), it’s crucial to create and maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Avoid fried foods, sugary drinks, and processed foods as much as possible. Focus on increasing your intake of protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables high in vitamins, and whole grains. Calorie intake should typically range from 2000 to 2500 calories per day, depending on your energy demands.
Expectations and Beyond
Weight loss results with Ozempic and Wegovy can vary from person to person. Some may notice significant weight loss within the first four weeks, while others may experience more gradual progress. On average, studies have shown that participants lost around 35 lbs or 14.9% of body weight compared to a placebo group that lost only 6 lbs or 2.4% of their weight. It’s essential to remember that weight loss results depend on various factors, including starting weight, eating habits, and physical activity levels.
One thing to consider is the cost of these medications. Wegovy can cost around $1,300 per month, and insurance coverage may be limited. Insurance companies often classify weight gain as a behavioral problem rather than a disease, making it challenging to obtain coverage. Additionally, weight regain may occur after discontinuing the medication, as the “I’m full” signal to the brain diminishes. One way to mitigate this is to focus on eating slowly, allowing the hormonal cross-talk system to work and communicate properly.
By giving your brain enough time to receive the fullness signal, you can enhance the effects of the GLP-1 hormone and maintain your weight loss. Eating slower also improves digestion and activates other hormones, such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin, which contribute to the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating.
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