The recent explosion in drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro has dominated health and diet conversations this past year. Now that these interventions have been in popular use for a while in patients with diabetes or obesity, a slew of clinical trials and articles are coming out about how the drugs actually affect large numbers of people before, during, and after use.
So what are some things to be aware of if you’re considering going on—or off—these medications for weight loss reasons, and what role does everyday nutrition play in keeping weight loss consistent?
These are prescription drugs, so of course, you’ll need to discuss them with your doctor to get the full picture on whether you’re a good candidate for them in the first place, what side effects to expect, and other important information. In addition to a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider, here are some things to keep in mind!
By now it’s clear that GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic (semaglutide) have proven to be effective for weight loss in many. While some brands market a 20% loss of body weight, the real-world results are more like 10%. While this is still quite the figure, it’s important to note that a high percentage of the weight loss is made up of lean body mass, AKA muscle!
In fact, it’s not uncommon for 60-70% of the weight loss from these drugs to be attributed to muscle loss. That’s an alarming percentage, given how important muscle mass is for overall health, not to mention its ability to determine physique!
Not only is muscle integral to basic bodily functions, it should also be thought of as a metabolic organ that helps us process carbs more efficiently and burn fat when we’re at rest. When it comes to weight loss, what most of us actually want to shed is excess fat specifically, not muscle.
Life After Oz
Most people don’t want to be on a weight loss drug for the rest of their lives! So what about when you go off these prescriptions?
What we’re seeing is that many people gain weight back rapidly after going off drugs like Ozempic. A 2022 study found that people gained back ⅔ of their weight 1 year after going off the drug. Another study indicated similar results, with a placebo group regaining weight gradually after 20 weeks of Ozempic use. When getting off it, common side effects included increased cravings and hunger, blood sugar spikes, and weight gain, and more.
Experts agree that in order to sustain post-medication weight loss, nutrition needs to play a major role. Making smarter choices for the long haul, like Scotty’s baking mixes and pantry staples to satisfy carb filled and sugary cravings without spiking your blood sugar or flooding you with empty carbs, can be key for keeping weight in check.
What Else To Know
There are also other things to consider, such as a range of reported side effects, risks, withdrawal symptoms, convenience, other lifestyle factors, and of course, expense. These drugs are typically costly. That being said, many experts are looking at these meds as meaningful ways to help prevent more invasive procedures, like bariatric surgery, for some.
With all this in mind, these meds should be considered a helpful option for certain people as advised by their doctors, and definitely not a magic pill for everyone.
There’s no getting around good nutrition! People who have healthy diet and exercise habits tend to see the best results when going off weight loss drugs. Most patients don’t want to be on these medications forever, so it’s best to start making smart food choices now that you can also sustain after going off Ozempic.
Scotty’s Everyday can help you stick to your nutritional goals with products that are keto-friendly, free of refined sugar, gluten-free, and only 0-1 grams net carbs per serving, like our new Allulose Sugar Replacement.
Talk to your doctor first about YOUR best course for healthy weight management. Whether you’re looking to avoid or go off a weight loss drug, or just achieve your best health, it’s always going to be important to focus on nutrition to support your goals.