Is Semaglutide Worth It for Weight Loss?

Is Semaglutide Worth It for Weight Loss, image of a skinny stomach and the title of the blog post.

Semaglutide seems to be the talk of the town lately. Traditionally used for diabetics to help manage glucose levels, the FDA has recently approved the drug for chronic weight management. This magic medicine has shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, stop cravings, minimize your appetite and shed pounds. Let’s take a deeper look at Semaglutide and why it is suitable for many suffering from diabetes and/or excess weight and metabolic dysfunction.


Metabolic Dysfunction

One reason your doctor might suggest using Semaglutide is due to metabolic dysfunction, a metabolic disorder that occurs when abnormal chemical reactions disrupt the body’s metabolism. This can be caused by a variety of factors; including lifestyle and diet factors, genetics, hormonal imbalances, lack of physical activity, and even certain medications. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease have a link to metabolic dysfunction. Also, having high stress levels, a poor diet, and poor sleep can also play a role in the development of metabolic dysfunction.


What does Semaglutide do to your body?

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1) agonist. It promotes the production of insulin, the hormone that decreases blood sugar levels, by mimicking the metabolic hormones that stimulate GLP-1. It seems to promote the development of pancreatic beta cells, which are in charge of producing and secreting insulin. Additionally, it reduces glucagon production, a hormone that promotes the liver’s release of stored carbohydrates (synthesis of new glucose). By reducing hunger and delaying stomach digestion, it decreases food intake, which aids in the reduction of body fat. Semaglutide makes you not want to eat, lessens cravings for eating, and helps burn body fat.

Additional benefits of this drug include:

  • Reduced risk of future cardiovascular events such as heart attack and strokes in persons with type 2 diabetes who also have heart disease.
  • Lowered chance of developing nephropathy (the deterioration of kidney function) for those who are at high risk or already have cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • A sulfonylurea, insulin, or metformin may also be used in addition to this medication as a combination therapy for diabetes. It helps establish adequate blood glucose control faster.

Potential Semaglutide side effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) (1) which can be avoided by starting with small dosing and increasing slowly. 
  • Rats given semaglutide developed thyroid C-cell tumors, according to studies on animals. This has not been seen in humans with the current dosing of Semaglutide. 
  • May increase the risk of pancreatitis.


How quickly does Semaglutide lower blood sugar?

The speed at which Semaglutide lowers blood sugar can vary depending on the individual and the dosage used. However, in clinical trials, Semaglutide was shown to lower HbA1c levels (a measure of blood sugar control) within 4-12 weeks, and a significant reduction in blood sugar levels was observed as early as one week after starting the medication. As always, it is important to follow the instructions of your healthcare provider and report any unusual symptoms or concerns.


Semaglutide for Weight Loss 

Semaglutide is linked to decreased appetite and desires for food, improved eating control, and a decreased inclination for meals heavy in fat. Lean body mass adjustment did not change the resting metabolic rate between treatments. Studies show it helped with an 11 lb decrease in mean body weight compared to baseline, mostly due to decreased body fat mass.

The FDA has approved Wegovy, a once weekly Semaglutide injection, to be used in conjunction with a reduced caloric diet and increased physical activity in adults who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol). It has also been given the green light for use in treating obesity in adolescents aged 12 and older. This subcutaneous shot has been the first medication authorized for long-term weight management in individuals who are overweight or obese since 2014.

Another injectable Semaglutide medication is Ozempic


Is Wegovy exactly the same as Ozempic?

Technically speaking, Wegovy and Ozempic share the same active component of once-weekly injectable formulations of Semaglutide. They are both manufactured by the same pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk. The amount of Semaglutide in each injection pen is the main distinction between the two. 

For individuals with type 2 diabetes, Ozempic is recommended as a supplement to diet and exercise in order to enhance glycemic control and lower the risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events, such as cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke. Reduced body weight was a secondary goal in clinical trials. 

For people with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 (obese) or 27 kg/m2 (overweight) and at least one weight-related comorbid condition, Wegovy Semaglutide injectable 2.4 mg is recommended as an adjuvant to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia).

Wegovy, is available in slightly higher doses: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1.0 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg. Ozempic is available in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1.0 mg.

Both medications are usually started at the same 0.25 mg weekly dose and then gradually increased over the course of several months. With Wegovy, patients ramp up to a higher sustained dose of Semaglutide of 2.4 mg per week. 

There are also compounded injectable forms of Semaglutide with B12 available, check with your functional medicine provider. 

For patients who might not be able to tolerate an injectable medicine, there is a tablet form of Semaglutide, under the brand name Rybelsus.


Taking Semaglutide

If your Semaglutide is a weekly injection, it doesn’t really matter whether you take it in the morning or at night, just as long as it’s taken on the same day each week, at any time of the day, with or without meals.

If taken orally, The tablet should be taken on an empty stomach at least two hours after eating. You should not eat, drink or take any other oral medication for at least 30 minutes after taking Semaglutide tablets.


Can you drink alcohol on Semaglutide?

Before consuming alcohol while on this medication, you should speak with your healthcare provider. Although there is not much research showing adverse effects if you have an occasional drink, drinking alcohol regularly or heavily while taking Semaglutide is not advised. There are numerous explanations for it.

Your intestines may be affected by the combined effects of alcohol and Semaglutide. In conjunction with glucose, many nutrients like vitamins and minerals are less absorbed when taking Semaglutide. Alcohol has a similar effect, and patients with high alcohol use experience problems with malnutrition. This can also lead to hypoglycemia, a condition in which your blood sugar levels are lower than the standard range.


Bottom Line

Is Semaglutide worth it for weight loss? Depending on how much weight you need to lose, Semaglutide definitely seems promising. Consistency has reaped great results for many patients on Semaglutide. According to the National Library of Medicine, when combined with lifestyle changes, 2.4 mg of subcutaneous Semaglutide weekly resulted in a mean 10% to 15% weight loss (10 to 15 kg) over 68 weeks, versus 2%-3% (3 to 4 kg) taking a placebo. 70% to 80% of patients lost 5% or more of their body weight. About 75% suffered from gastrointestinal side effects, but only a few discontinued treatment. Unfortunately the weight was regained on discontinuation of the medication. If you’re overweight and have a weight-related disease, talk to your doctor to figure out if Semaglutide is right for you or make a 15 min complimentary call with me to check if you are a good candidate. 

While using Semaglutide, there should be behavioral modifications in your relationship to food. Many times it is the quality of food choices and how much food you consume that affects your re bound weight gain. Semaglutide can help with metabolic dysfunction and therefore correct the weight, glucose regulation and insulin resistance. You, the patient, must continue to change your lifestyle and diet to maintain your new found health. Slowly weaning off Semaglutide once you achieve an ideal weight and metabolic dysfunction has been corrected, gives a better chance to maintain healthy weight. Semaglutide appears to be a game changer for many patients, but close medical supervision is important. 

If you would like to finally lose weight or need help reversing chronic diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol or hormone dysfunction. 


Make a 15 min free complimentary call to discuss your personal health risk and if you have any reason you cannot use Semaglutide.

Learn More