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Is Wegovy the magic bullet for weight loss?


When trying to achieve a healthy weight, many people use weight loss medications to help them. One such medication in the news today is Wegovy (generic name semaglutide). Marketed as a treatment for long-term weight management, Wegovy has shown promising results in clinical trials. However, like any medication, it is important to understand both the benefits and drawbacks before considering its use.


Benefits

  1. Effective weight loss: Clinical trials have shown that Wegovy can lead to significant weight loss in individuals struggling with obesity. In one study, people who took Wegovy alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity lost, on average, 15% of their body weight over a 68-week period. This substantial weight loss can have a positive impact on overall health and reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases.

  2. Reduced appetite: Wegovy works by imitating a hormone that reduces hunger pangs/appetite. (GLP-1). By promoting feelings of fullness and satisfaction, it can help you better control your food intake and reduce cravings, making it easier to stick to a healthier eating plan.

  3. Potential health benefits: Losing weight can bring about various health advantages, such as improved blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, better blood sugar control, and decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  4. Encourages lifestyle changes: Wegovy is usually prescribed alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. This approach encourages individuals to adopt sustainable habits for long-term weight management.

Drawbacks

  1. Side effects: The most common side effects reported in clinical trials include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These symptoms are usually mild to moderate and tend to lessen over time.

  2. Cost: The cost per dose is being kept under wraps by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – the body which approves the use of medicines and treatments in the health service.The NHS is spending £40 million on a two-year pilot study. As a possible guide, in the USA, it costs each person about $1,400 a month.

  3. Long-term safety: Although Wegovy has shown promising results in clinical trials, its long-term safety is unknown. In rodent trials, it seems to increase the risk of thyroid tumours.

  4. Not a magical solution: It seems to be an effective tool in the short term but people who stop taking it find they ‘rebound’ and gain all the weight back. One reason could be that if you flood your body with the artificial appetite suppressing hormone, your body stops producing it naturally, so that when you stop taking the drug, you feel even more hungry. Another reason could be that like other quickfix weight loss approaches, the body does not feel ‘safe’ at the new lower weight and does its best to restore the previous level.


The Eat Well Get Well view

Relying solely on medication without making broader lifestyle modifications may limit its effectiveness and long-term benefits.



We believe from our own experiences and working with people in our groups that eating a real food low carbohydrate diet (thus avoiding ultra-processed foods which are so bad for us), getting good quality sleep, as much sunshine as we can, managing our stress and having rewarding social connections will build a healthier life for all of us in the long term.

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