Ozempic – Does It Work?
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a weekly injection of semaglutide that has been FDA approved to address Type II Diabetes. It works by helping your pancreas to produce more insulin when your blood sugar is high and prevents your liver from making and releasing sugar. What this means is that it helps to improve your HA1c levels. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach so you feel less hungry and thus eat less.
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy is another semaglutide injection drug, which has been approved by the FDA for people who are obese or overweight with other health complications. It works essentially the same way as Ozempic.
What are the side effects of Ozempic?
The most common side effects of Ozempic are digestive issues: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. More serious side effects are pancreatitis and thyroid tumors including cancer.
Do Ozempic and Wegovy work for weight loss?
It depends on your definition of “work.” Personally, I’d say no.
Based on Ozempic’s own research, their two studies showed:
– 8lbs of weight loss at 0.5mg dose; 10lbs of weight loss at 1mg (avg starting weight 202lbs)
– 12lbs of weight loss at 1mg; 14lbs of weight loss at 2mg (avg starting weight 219lbs)
– Oh, and some people actually gained weight on the drug
I’m not trying to knock their results – helping people move towards a healthy weight is a great goal.
However, the caveat with taking these drugs is the usual – “when paired with a reduction of calories by 500-1000 and 3x/week exercise…” (Umm, you’ll lose weight just doing that, by the way.)
Well, if it was so easy to make these changes, would you even need the drugs (and their side effects)?
Furthermore, it looks like almost everyone regains all that weight when they come off Ozempic. So for the rest of your life, you have to deal with digestive challenges and an increased cancer risk for just 8-14lbs of weight loss?
Alternatives to Ozempic and Wegovy
There has to be another way!
In my clinical experience, when it comes to weight loss, there is only one proven way: changes to your diet. You cannot outrun a poor diet. (Exercise is good, but in my experience it’s only 20% – diet is 80%.)
Just think about how we evolved: our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. They could only hunt and gather what was available each season.
In the summer and fall, carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables were abundant – so they ate them. And gained weight as a result, which was perfect for surviving the winter. During the winter, you could only eat what you caught (animals) or stored (root vegetables). They survived off what they could eat and the body fat they had stored on their person earlier in the year.
We literally evolved to turn sugar into body fat. Storing fat easily and holding onto it was a valuable survival adaptation. That’s why so many of us are good at it! 😉
What Else Can I Do?
So once I cut carbs (bread, pasta, corn, rice, processed foods, anything made from grains or beans, dairy, and straight up added sugar) – what else can I do to enhance my weight loss?
Herbs can help with not just weight loss, but also the health challenges that go with increased weight – digestive challenges (like diarrhea, IBS, and ulcerative colitis), high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Herbal Weight Loss Protocol*
– Metabol Complex: 3-4 tablets per day
– Berberine Active: 4 tablets per day
– Milk Thistle Forte: 4 tablets per day
This protocol is best utilized in addition to a low carb (sugar) diet, as well as intermittent fasting. Doses can be cut back, if desired, after 1-2 months.
(Berberine is best taken 2 hours away from medications and herbal teas that contain tannins.)
Metabol Complex is a combination of Fenugreek, Black Cumin seed, Bitter Melon and Cinnamon to provide multi-action metabolic support, specifically the metabolism of fats and sugars. This product is great if you are also struggling with Type 2 Diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high cholesterol levels, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
Berberine Active contains berberine from Phellodendron. When berberine remains in the gut, it helps with various digestive challenges like IBS, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea. It can also help maintain a healthy gut flora balance.
When used more for weight loss, it is best paired with milk thistle because it has a low oral bioavailability – aka, it has a very low absorption rate. When taken with milk thistle, it helps with high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects!
Milk Thistle Forte
Milk thistle is known to help support healthy liver function, so it is often used in detoxes. It also helps increase the bioavailability of berberine.
Build Muscle Mass
Once you get your diet dialed in, then it is time to get exercising! The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn just by being alive.
The best way to put on muscle mass is strength training. We highly recommend the X3 system – it is a resistance band system that can help you more safely put on muscle mass. If you supplement with Fortagen, you’ll maximize your gains because you need the protein to help build the muscles up.
If you are still struggling with losing weight despite dialing in your diet, supplementing with herbs, and strength training, it may be time to take a look at your liver. All of us are exposed to toxins in our food, air, water, personal care products, etc. These toxins can accumulate in your liver, who is doing its best to clear them out, but sometimes it needs help.
That’s where the 21-Day Purification Program comes in. This program is specially designed to help nourish and promote gentle detoxification of your liver through a combination of shakes and supplements. If you follow the program properly, in my clinical experience, most people lose at least 10lbs in 3 weeks.
Those who really want to get back on track can do a second round of the 21-Day Purification Program.
* Disclaimer: As always, consult your healthcare practitioner to see which supplements and their dosages would be best for you and your condition. All supplements are contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation unless otherwise directed by a qualified healthcare professional you are under current care with.
– Medications Containing Semaglutide Marketed for Type 2 Diabetes or Weight Loss. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/medications-containing-semaglutide-marketed-type-2-diabetes-or-weight-loss
– Wegovy vs. Ozempic: The truth about new ‘weight-loss’ drugs. Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, UCHealth. April 5, 2023. https://www.uchealth.org/today/wegovy-vs-ozempic-the-truth-about-new-weight-loss-drugs/
– Ozempic. https://www.ozempic.com/
– Clinical Review Report: Semaglutide (Ozempic): (Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.): Indication: For the treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycemic control, in combination with metformin (second-line treatment), and in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea (third-line treatment). NIH. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544016/
– Morgan M. Phellodendron Bark: Focus on Gut & Metabolic Health with High-Dose Berberine. Phytotherapist Perspective No. 158, March 2019 and references cited therein.