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What are these new weight loss medications I keep hearing about?

By now you have probably  heard of Semaglutide or Wegovy, Ozempic, Trulicity, something along those lines. But what is it? These drugs are the latest and greatest in the never ending battle of the bulge for many Americans. They belong to a drug class called GLP-1 agonists or Glucagon like peptide. They started originally as diabetes medications to help lower A1C. Quickly , three or four years ago, we as healthcare providers realized their utility for weight loss. For many years our only options were stimulants or calorie deprivation diets to help people lose weight. With these medications we have another option where we can help people stay full feeling longer and thus eat less calories in a given day. 

   Certainly if you have been a guest in the clinic you have heard me talk about calories in , calories out and the rule of 500. We need to decrease the daily amount of calories taken in or increase the calorie burn by 500 per day in order to lose one pound of body fat per week.  1 pound of fat is 3500 calories so 3500\7 = 500 per day. But for many that is easier said than done. Hunger is a real thing, habits die hard and beginning a weight loss journey and attempting to decrease calories by 500 is very difficult day in and day out. 

   Alas with these medications we can slow down emptying of the stomach, keep you full longer, and help you to eat less. Most of my patients have been able to lose 1-2 pounds a week for several months. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise , these FDA approved, safe and effective medications just may be your key to turning your life around and losing that stubborn weight we all struggle with.