Everyone’s talking about Ozempic lately because a lot of people are using it to lose weight. What is it exactly? Well, it’s a prescribed medication which is used for people with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar – but it’s also effective for those who want to lose weight.
Like any medication, Ozempic (the brand name for semaglutide) produces slightly different results for different people because no two people have the same exact biology. Because of this and the fact everyone who takes Ozempic will have a different starting point – it means it’s virtually impossible to predict how long it will take you to lose weight using Ozempic.
Clinical trials of semaglutide, however, have given us some information on when prescribing healthcare professionals can expect to see results in their patients. So, we’ll give you a full rundown here about just how Ozempic works, how it’s dosed, and whether or not it might be a good fit for your needs.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic (semaglutide) is manufactured by Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company based in Denmark that also manufactures Wegovy. It has been FDA-approved since 2017.
Both Ozempic and Wegovy contain the same active ingredient. The only difference between the two is that Wegovy provides a dose that titrates up to 2.4 mg semaglutide, whereas Ozempic is available in a maximum 2.0 mg dose.
The results from clinical trials
How much weight you can lose with Ozempic depends on what dosage you’re taking and for how long—along with a myriad of other factors. For example – how well you tolerate the side effects of the drug can influence how quickly you can increase your dose.
Most people taking Ozempic experience few side effects but some side effects are fairly normal and don’t pose a serious risk to your health.
The most common side effects of Ozempic include: nausea; diarrhea; vomiting; constipation; abdominal pain; headache; fatigue; upset stomach; dizziness; feeling of being bloated with belching or gas; heartburn; and loss of appetite
You can talk to your doctor about any side effects that are worrying you and that don’t ease off. It’s important to remember you should use Ozempic only as directed by your healthcare provider. If you experience any severe side effects, seek immediate medical care.
Back to how to lose weight using Ozempic
Some people may see results with lower doses of Ozempic while others may need a higher dose to reach their goals. In the STEP-1 clinical trial of Ozempic, patients taking semaglutide lost 15.3 kg compared to the placebo group, which saw a weight loss of only 2.6 kg. The study was completed after 68 weeks of treatment (roughly 17 months) and the dose used was semaglutide 2.4mg weekly.
The STEP-2 study found that semaglutide helped participants lose about 10% of their body weight after 68 weeks. The STEP-2 study was done with people with type 2 diabetes and the dose used was semaglutide 2.4mg weekly.
It’s important to note that the outcome of these clinical trials was influenced by the fact that study participants were supported by the research team with lifestyle changes including dietary modifications and exercise recommendations. Simply taking the medication without simultaneously working to improve your day-to-day routine won’t not produce the same results.
A company called Calibrate sets up what they call the Calibrate Metabolic Reset which positions people for success with Ozempic by providing coaching plus a program of exercise and diet changes so you can make lasting changes.
With Calibrate, members can expect to start seeing results after a couple of weeks of tapering up on the medication. You’ll likely notice some changes in appetite and reductions in food cravings within the first week.
How does Ozempic actually work?
Ozempic works by mimicking the incretin hormones that your body naturally produces when you eat food. Incretin hormones are gut hormone signals released by the small intestine which travel throughout your body, signaling to your brain, endocrine system, and gastrointestinal system that food has been consumed and is ready to be metabolised for fuel.
This results in a complex cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters that work together to communicate feelings of satiety (or feeling full). Increased satiety can, in turn, help reduce cravings and make healthy eating a little easier.
GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is one such incretin hormone, but it does more than just influence satiety – it also plays a big role in the management of blood sugar levels and can lower blood sugar and reduce A1C in people living with impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes, or diabetes.
As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, Ozempic works by imitating the effects of the GLP-1 hormone produced naturally in your body. In those with type-2 diabetes or who are overweight or obese, natural GLP-1 production may be lower than normal. By injecting Ozempic once weekly under the care of a physician, blood glucose levels are more easily controlled.
Like other GLP-1s — such as Mounjaro, Saxenda, Wegovy, Trulicity, and Rybelsus — Ozempic is a medication which makes it easier to lose weight and stick to healthy habits. However, it’s not a ‘weight loss drug on its own: It has to be used in combination with other tactics to support metabolic health and avoid weight regain. These tactics include changes to your diet, how and when you exercise, and other healthy lifestyle changes.
By learning to eat more whole foods and fewer fast-digesting carbohydrates, improving sleep quality, participating in exercise that you actually enjoy, and managing stressors, you’re setting up both your mind and body for real results. With this foundation in place, Ozempic can work even more effectively to reduce high blood sugar and help you lose weight.
If you want more information about Calibrate, you can find out more here.
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