In the journey of weight management, semaglutide — known by brand names like Ozempic and Wegovy — has emerged as a powerful tool for those struggling with weight loss, especially in the context of diabetes management. As this medication trends in the health and wellness space, it's important to approach its use with a comprehensive strategy.
As a registered dietitian and wellness expert, I've guided countless individuals towards achieving their nutrition and wellness goals, and today I want to give you my TOP tips for success while using semaglutide and after coming off of it.
Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication that mimics the action of the GLP-1 hormone, which is naturally produced in the body. This hormone plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and appetite.
By activating GLP-1 receptors, semaglutide slows down gastric emptying, which means it takes longer for the stomach to empty after eating. This action helps decrease appetite and food intake, leading to weight loss. Additionally, semaglutide improves insulin secretion, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, helping them manage their blood glucose levels more effectively.
Here are five pivotal tips to ensure you not only succeed while using semaglutide but also maintain and possibly enhance your weight loss achievements after transitioning off the medication:
What to eat on ozempic and other semaglutide drugs shouldn’t be complicated. There isn’t a specific semaglutide diet plan that I recommend, but following a balanced eating pattern is key. It's not just about what you eliminate but what you incorporate. Focus on creating a balanced plate: incorporate lean proteins to maintain muscle mass, choose complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, and add plenty of vegetables for fiber and micronutrients. These choices will help manage hunger and stabilize blood sugar levels, and can help mitigate semaglutide constipation, a common side effect.
Sleep is often overlooked in weight loss plans. In fact, losing out on those important Z’s has been associated with weight gain and adverse blood sugar control. Adequate rest is essential for regulating hunger hormones, like ghrelin (hunger hormone) and leptin (satiety hormone), which can be particularly beneficial when using semaglutide. Here are some additional benefits of quality sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, establishing a consistent sleep schedule to support your weight loss goals.
Combining semaglutide with regular physical activity can amplify weight loss results. Exercise not only burns calories but also improves mood and insulin sensitivity. Choose activities you enjoy, be it walking, cycling, or yoga, and gradually increase intensity and duration for best results. More specifically, people who want to maintain their weight should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, but if you are starting from 0, it’s totally fine to start small and build your way up, the most important thing is to just start!
Before eating, take a moment to assess your feelings and ask yourself if you're really hungry. During the meal, eliminate distractions, really taste and enjoy your food, and notice when you start to feel full. This practice isn't just about controlling weight; it's about making healthier choices and developing a healthier relationship with food, which naturally leads to better weight management habits.
Setting achievable milestones throughout your semaglutide journey can keep you motivated and focused. Celebrate each success, no matter how small, to build confidence and commitment to your long-term health goals. Whether it's reaching a new low on the scale, fitting into a smaller clothing size, or simply eating more whole foods, recognizing your progress is crucial.
How much weight you can lose with semaglutide varies but it’s important to focus on the bigger picture, your health. Looking beyond semaglutide, it's essential to lay the groundwork for sustained weight management. Begin by slowly integrating habits that you can maintain without medication, like choosing whole foods, limiting processed foods, and continuing with regular physical activity.
The goal is to transition smoothly, maintaining the weight loss achieved with semaglutide and continuing on a path of health and wellness. Remember, the journey to wellness is not just about the weight you lose but the healthy habits you gain.