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Long Island Certified Nutritionist Discusses OZEMPIC AND WEGOVY – Is this the new miracle weight loss drug??????

ozempic medication for weight loss

The news has been flooded with reports of Ozempic and Wegovy. Originally developed to treat diabetes, people have experienced rapid weight loss when taking these medications. 

As a registered dietitian with over 30 years working with patients to attain and sustain their weight loss goals, I am concerned the past will be repeated – rapid gain once the mediation is stopped.

I want to address Ozempic and Wegovy in this blog post in two parts. 

Part I is to answer the questions you need to ask:

If I don’t take this medication for life, what happens to my weight when I stop?

If I take the medication for life, will I be healthier?

Part 2 will answer the questions:

If I do take the medication and lose weight, how do I sustain the weight I lost?

If I don’t take the medication, how can I lose weight?

To answer the first questions, research is now showing that if you stop taking Ozempic, the weight you lost will likely return, and return fast. People who ceased using semaglutide (Ozempic or Wegovy) gained back, on average, a full two-thirds of the weight they had lost on the drug within one year, according to an August 2022 study, the Wall Street Journal reports. Even worse, research published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism indicates that once people stop using the medication any weight they’ve lost is likely to return.

Experts say Ozempic Rebound occurs because the drug is not a cure, and it does not prevent the metabolic adaptation that occurs during weight loss. According to Dr. Ibiye Owei, Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso “It works by making people feel full sooner and suppressing the appetite, so people do not feel as hungry, One of the ways it does this is by slowing emptying the stomach so there is a feeling of satiety.” Hunger management is therefore a significant component of weight maintenance.  The problem is that you don’t learn and develop management strategies – behavioral, lifestyle, dietary – when you stop Ozempic. You need to learn them preferably prior to but certainly while taking Ozempic.  That way you are prepared when the medication is stopped.

This leads to the second part of this blog post: Understanding and developing successful strategies for weight loss and maintenance.

Now to answer the second question – Unless you implement lifestyle changes that include a healthy food pattern and physical activity, you may be thinner but not healthier.  A  healthy eating plan includes the foods are body requires to provide the nutrients we need to promote health and prevent disease.

Learn more about Ozempic and Wegovy here. Talk to your primary care physician or make an appointment with a registered dietitian nutritionist to understand your individualized needs to attain a healthy weight as well as to promote health and prevent disease.

More Resources

Weight Regain After Stopping Ozempic

Ozempic Can Make You Thin, Not Necessarily Healthy

Why Some People are Claiming Life on Ozempic is Miserable

Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects