“Not all weight loss is healthy. While shedding excess fat mass has many benefits for health, shedding lean mass – which includes muscles and bone – is associated with poorer health trajectories and reduced lifespan” says Dr Peter Attia.
I wanted to start with this quote as an introduction to my blog as I share my insight into the new GLP-1 receptor drug for weight loss called Ozempic (Semaglutide).
It has grown in popularity from Tik Tok to the new talk at cocktail and dinner parties, but what many people don’t realise is there are some serious side effects, including an aged appearance known as the ‘Ozempic Face’. Google it!
What it clearly shows is that we have a distorted relationship with food, with our bodies and what it means to be healthy, and that we will do anything to be thin for easy weight loss, regardless of the consequences.
When it comes to weight loss our goal should be that it’s sustainable long term, it promotes health, it is the right weight loss and that it changes our relationship with food. It should promote a new way of eating.
As I have always said, healthy weight loss is a byproduct of healthy eating BUT you have to be willing to put in the work and change, invest in yourself. There is no quick drug, pill or potion.
What is Ozempic & Potential Side Effects
Ozempic is a drug which was approved in 2017 in the US for type 2 Diabetes. It has grown in popularity as a miracle weight loss drug from celebrities. Even Elon Musk is a fan, showing massive weight changes in a short time, and now available to anyone who wants it and can afford it, as it is not cheap.
These are some of the side effects that one can experience, along with risks:
- Gut inflammation
- Sagging ageing face skin (we need fat under our skin as we age)
- Risk of Thyroid cancer
- Risk if Kidney issues
- Risk of Pancreatitis
- Risk of Proctitis
- Shedding lean mass, not weight loss you want
At least Ozempic are being clear and transparent about the potential side effects, this is pulled from their website.
Important Safety Information
What are the possible side effects of Ozempic®?
Ozempic® may cause serious side effects, including:
- inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Stop using Ozempic® and call your health care provider right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away, with or without vomiting. You may feel the pain from your abdomen to your back.
- changes in vision. Tell your health care provider if you have changes in vision during treatment with Ozempic®.
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your risk for getting low blood sugar may be higher if you use Ozempic® with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include: dizziness or lightheadedness, blurred vision, anxiety, irritability or mood changes, sweating, slurred speech, hunger, confusion or drowsiness, shakiness, weakness, headache, fast heartbeat, and feeling jittery.
- kidney problems (kidney failure). In people who have kidney problems, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may cause a loss of fluids (dehydration), which may cause kidney problems to get worse. It is important for you to drink fluids to help reduce your chance of dehydration.
- serious allergic reactions. Stop using Ozempic® and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; problems breathing or swallowing; severe rash or itching; fainting or feeling dizzy; or very rapid heartbeat.
- gallbladder problems. Gallbladder problems have happened in some people who take Ozempic®. Tell your health care provider right away if you get symptoms which may include: pain in your upper stomach (abdomen), fever, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), or clay-colored stools.
The most common side effects of Ozempic® may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach (abdominal) pain, and constipation.
So, aside from the side effects, how sustainable is it? Will the weight loss remain when you stop taking it?
Perhaps we need to look at natural ways to boost GLP-1 receptors for weight loss that are sustainable and healthy.
Natural Ways to Boost GLP-1 Receptors for Weight Loss
Studies (PMID: 34981502) show that the following natural herbal-based substances have modulatory effects on GLP-1 expression and secretion.
In addition, chia seeds (packed with fibre, protein, and healthy fats) and avocado (rich in healthy fats and fibre) are excellent for boosting GLP-1.
My suggestions as always, is keep things simple.
- Eat real food
- Cook from scratch
- Berberine before meals
- Have protein at each meal
- Start the day with protein
- Ditch the constant snacking
- Don’t let your weight define yourself worth
- And ladies don’t aim to be the thinnest person in the room – you will never achieve this imagined ideal of beauty and acceptance. Instead it will make you obsessed, hungry and self-destructive.