How our Program Works with GLP-1/ Semaglutide Medications

It's difficult to ignore the effect the "Ozempic craze" has had on Hollywood and the general population- many people suddenly and seemingly effortlessly losing weight without surgery.  Often clients and prospective clients ask about how semaglutide can complement working with a coach on a healthy eating program like ours.  Choosing to work with a weight loss and wellness coach while taking a GLP-1 medication can help ensure you lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. 

But first, what IS Ozempic, and how does it work?

Ozempic (approved by the FDA in 2017) is a once-weekly injectable medication which helps adults with type 2 diabetes manage their blood glucose, lower hemoglobin A1C (a measure of blood glucose over time) and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.  Although it’s not officially a weight loss drug, studies show that individuals taking Ozempic typically lose about 10% of their bodyweight when using the product for 6 months (1) . The active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide (GLP-1) is FDA-approved at higher doses (2.4 mg) for treating people with obesity and other weight related medical issues under the name Wegovy. 

Semaglutide increases the release of insulin by the pancreas in response to food intake, which helps to manage blood sugar levels. It also decreases the release of glucagon—a hormone that raises blood glucose—which also helps control blood sugar. It’s important to note that Ozempic is *not* insulin – rather, it assists your pancreas in producing more insulin when your blood sugar is elevated. Semaglutide mimics a naturally occurring hormone, and as those hormone levels climb, the molecules send the message to your brain that you’re full. This helps with weight loss by reducing hunger levels, appetite and cravings and delaying gastric emptying – essentially making you feel fuller, longer (similar to the effect of bariatric surgery).

We know that when coupled with diet and exercise, semaglutide not only supports weight loss, but also decreases the risk of cancer, diabetes and coronary disease in obese individuals.  Studies conclude that they are far more effective for weight loss than any preceding medications and should be first-line pharmacotherapy for clinical obesity. 

The Risks : Flu Like Symptoms and Regain Upon Stopping

Doctors warn strongly against the use of GLP-1’s strictly as a *cosmetic* weight-loss drug. It is important to note that this medication may be a lifelong choice in order to retain your results. Research has shown that if you stop taking Ozempic (or Wegovy), most people regain the majority of weight lost (2). Specifically, one year after stopping medication, participants regained two thirds of weight lost and their cardiovascular health returned to pre-medicated levels.

There are also many potential unpleasant side effects such as bloating, heartburn, gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, yellow eyes/skin, and “Ozempic face/butt” (excess wrinkles and sagging skin due to rapid weight loss). Most importantly though, it has been linked to much more serious/life threatening risks, including but not limited to, allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, cardiovascular complications, gallstones, swelling of the pancreas/pancreatitis, kidney failure and increased risk of thyroid cancer/tumors.


How does Working with a Weight Loss Coach Help My Results on Semaglutide?

We are often asked if we work with clients on GLP-1 medications and the answer is ABSOLUTELY.  While the majority of our clients come to us because they have opted to make lifestyle changes without leveraging medication, we do have clients who are using our program in conjunction with a GLP-1 medication. This helps ensure you are not only achieving weight loss, but health and longevity focused weight loss, fueling your body with real whole foods, not just eating less!  This helps protect the results you achieve from semaglutide and ensures this is a life long change for good, even if you decide to transition off medication. 

When you join our program you do sign a non-disclosure agreement stating you will not share our materials, but this agreement does not apply to your medical providers and we actively encourage you to share our program with your physician to determine if it is appropriate for you. 

Interested in learning more?  Sign up for a free call to learn more and discuss how our program can complement your GLP-1 medication.


(1)  Ghusn, W., Sacoto, D., Cifuentes, L., Campos, A., Feris, F., Hurtado, M. D., & Acosta, A. (2022). Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity. JAMA Network Open, 5(9).


(2) Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Kandler K, Konakli K, Lingvay I, McGowan BM, Oral TK, Rosenstock J, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Yokote K, Kushner RF; STEP 1 Study Group. Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2022 Aug;24(8):1553-1564. doi: 10.1111/dom.14725. Epub 2022 May 19. PMID: 35441470; PMCID: PMC9542252.

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