Let’s talk about Semaglutide and its impacts on the overweight & obese adult community. Currently in the United States, according to the CDC, 42% of adults are considered obese. While obesity is the most prominent in the United States due to our diet, obesity is a global health challenge with very few pharmacological treatment options.
If you’re like the average person, getting invasive surgeries like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedure isn’t a feasible physical or financial option. These types of procedures are extremely costly and can alter your life permanently in both positive and negative ways. Semaglutide gives way as a viable non-invasive and affordable option to help sustain and maintain significant weightless through a once weekly injection.
What is Semaglutide?
By definition from the NEJM, Semaglutide is a GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) that has been approved to be administered subcutaneously once a week for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and reducing cardiovascular disease and events for those with type 2 diabetes. After months of research, they have found that utilizing a GLP-1 at a dose of 2.4mg weekly can lead to substantial weightless in individuals who are overweight or obese, with or without weight related complexities.
Why Choose Semaglutide?
While there are many studies supporting Semaglutide as a weight loss option, the data can get a little confusing and convoluted, so let me break it down to the basics.
Semaglutide in addition to a dietary and physical lifestyle intervention is an effective means of weight loss for adults with or without diabetes. It is the most effective in adults with a BMI of 30 or greater and has even been used by body builders and competitors as a means to “cut” during peak season.
Adults who did not have diabetes who had a once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide dosage + a lifestyle change were able to see a an average weightless of 14.9%. However, of the 1,047 participants in this study who took the injection, 50.5% of them lost 15% or more of their body weight over a 68 week period.
In addition to this, participants who received semaglutide had a huge improvement to their cardio metabolic system and an increase in physical energy. [SOURCE]
Are there side-effects to Semaglutide?
Like any medication there is going to be notable side-effects. For semaglutide, the top 5 side-effects according to GoodRX include:
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Stomach Pain & Discomfort
- Low Blood Sugar
According to a study by NEJM, the most common for their controlled group of participants was nausea and diarrhea and both were mild-to-moderate in severity and subsided with time. For reference, the placebo group had a significant drop rate due to gastrointestinal events which diet could be a contributing factor to most of the side-effects occurring with Semaglutide.
How should my diet be on Semaglutide?
With any diet with the goal of weight loss, your main focus should be on eating nutrient dense foods. Foods that align with a low FODMAP diet such as eggs, meat, high-fiber grains, vegetables and fruits with always be the best options to focus on.
However, with semaglutide and it being a GLP-1 medication, ensuring that with your decreased appetite you’re focusing on high protein, moderate carb and fat is going to help with maintaining consistent weight loss as well as maintaining your muscle mass.
What my clients have seen work best is following an example diet as follows:
- Breakfast: Protein shake with low sugar and a probiotic based drink or yogurt to help with nausea/constipation
- Snack 1: Fruit with a nut butter
- Lunch: Low carb wrap or salad loaded with a lean meat or plant based protein and vegetables for density with a side of choice OR a lean meat or plant based protein of choice, brown rice and a high fiber vegetable of choice such as broccoli or shaved brussel sprouts.
- Snack 2: Cheese with whole wheat crackers and a fresh fruit
- Dinner: Lean protein fish with a high fiber grain and either a vegetable medley or stir-fry or if you plan to exercise in the morning, a serving of pasta of choice for that extra energy boost.
What type of movement should I focus on taking Semaglutide?
With any lifestyle adjustment adding movement is going to be an important aspect of your weight loss journey and success. Equally, with any lifestyle adjustment we want you to safely ease yourself into increased movement if you’re not previously gym inclined.
This steady transition can include, light weight lifting with high reps and low weight, getting in 5-10k steps a day, and incorporating yoga or pilates. For more seasoned fitness enthusiasts, this can include small group or personal training, a light jog, 12-3-30 on the treadmill or recreational adult sports.
Our goal at Slym Wellness is to make sure you understand and have an effective weight loss journey using Semaglutide as a treatment option to being obese or overweight. By understanding the how the medication works, what side effects you may experience and how you should incorporate lifestyle changes to have a successful GLP-1 weight loss experience.