Ozempic® and other brands with the same active ingredient, semaglutide, have become popular on TikTok and other social media platforms for their ability to aid in weight loss, particularly when struggling with obesity. However, it is important to understand that while these medications can help you lose weight, they are not miracle cures for obesity, and all weight loss efforts do require healthy diet and exercise habits.
But if you are looking for a little extra help losing stubborn weight, Ozempic may be able to help. Take a look at this guide to learn more about what Ozempic is, how it might help with weight loss, and whether or not it could be right for you.
What Is Ozempic?
Ozempic is an injectable prescription medication that is used to help control blood sugar for those with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic works as a diabetes medication by helping the body produce more insulin when blood sugar is high, thus helping to stabilize potentially dangerous blood sugar spikes. Ozempic is typically self-administered weekly when used for this purpose.
Although Ozempic is not FDA-approved for use as a weight loss aid, studies have shown that semaglutide, its active ingredient, can effectively reduce body weight. Other brands of medication such as Wegovy® that use this same active ingredient have been FDA-approved for weight loss.
How Does Ozempic Help with Weight Loss?
In addition to its ability to help improve blood sugar levels, Ozempic has been shown to reduce hunger cravings by causing the stomach to empty more slowly. Thus, you feel full for longer, reduce overeating, and ultimately lose weight.
As Sanctuary Medical Center’s own Dr. Azza Halim told Rolling Stone, however, “[…] there is no magic pill. You still have to do the effort. All the studies have shown that once you do stop the semaglutide, people regain up to two-thirds of the weight they lost. Unless you do behavior modification, you will regain some of that weight.”
Thus, Ozempic and other semaglutide medications work best for weight loss when combined with healthy lifestyle changes, such as getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, focusing on eating fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats, and minimizing sugary foods and drinks.
How Quickly Do You Lose Weight with Ozempic?
Some people may begin to notice weight loss within 1 to 2 weeks after starting Ozempic, while others might not see significant results for several weeks. The rate at which you lose weight and the amount of weight that you might lose with Ozempic will vary from person to person and can depend on a variety of factors, including lifestyle habits like diet and exercise regimens. Generally speaking, most people see a reduction of 5% of their starting body weight by at least 12 weeks after starting Ozempic.
Studies have shown that people who are working with a doctor to lose weight with Ozempic tend to see better long-term results.
Benefits of Ozempic for Weight Loss
When used properly and under the supervision of a physician, Ozempic can be beneficial for weight loss for a number of reasons. Not only does Ozempic help to reduce food cravings and help you feel full longer, but it also has these added benefits:
- Ozempic improves blood sugar levels by causing your body to release insulin when needed to stabilize blood sugar spikes.
- Ozempic helps to reduce the amount of sugar that your body stores as fat by decreasing blood sugar spikes. Otherwise, the longer your blood sugar stays high, the more likely your body is to store that excess sugar as fat in order to remove it from your bloodstream.
- Ozempic may also reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks for those with type 2 diabetes or who are at an increased risk of cardiovascular events.
- Ozempic may serve as motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to see and keep optimal results.
Drawbacks of Ozempic for Weight Loss
Ozempic for weight loss typically comes with few side effects when used under the supervision of a physician. However, there are some caveats you should be aware of before trying Ozempic for weight loss:
- Ozempic must be injected under the skin. Although it is self-administered, those with an aversion to needles may find this to be a drawback of using Ozempic for weight loss.
- Ozempic must be combined with traditional weight loss methods such as making dietary adjustments, getting enough exercise, and managing stress. Long-term weight loss results with Ozempic depend heavily on a patient’s ability to maintain these healthy lifestyle adjustments even after stopping Ozempic.
- Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, constipation, or diarrhea are possible side effects of semaglutides.
Who’s the Best Candidate for Ozempic for Weight Loss?
The best candidates for Ozempic for weight loss generally have a BMI of 30 or higher with or without an existing medical condition such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease. Those with one or more of these existing medical conditions and a BMI of 27 or higher may also be good candidates for Ozempic for weight loss.
Before taking Ozempic for weight loss, it is important to have realistic expectations about what this medication can and cannot do. While Ozempic can help to control blood sugar spikes and reduce hunger cravings, it must be used in conjunction with healthy behavioral changes for best results.
Alternative Options for Weight Loss
If you and your doctor don’t feel that Ozempic is the right weight loss aid for you, you might consider other options such as non-surgical body contouring. EMSCULPT® NEO, CoolSculpting® ELITE, and UltraShape are some of the most popular body contouring devices currently available.
As with Ozempic for weight loss, these body contouring treatments work best when paired with healthy lifestyle habits. However, unlike Ozempic, these treatments do not require that you take any medications or injections and can produce results fairly quickly. Results from these body contouring devices are typically long-lasting, provided you maintain healthy eating and exercise habits.
Ozempic is an injectable medication available by prescription that can aid in weight loss efforts when combined with healthy lifestyle adjustments. If you think Ozempic could be right for you, talk to your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks, as well as your unique health and fitness goals to create a customized treatment plan.
Still have questions about how Ozempic works for weight loss, or interested in body contouring weight loss alternatives? Call our Boca Raton office at 561-246-5375 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Halim or another of our experienced medical professionals today.