Are you trying to lose weight and thinking it seems impossible?
Do you lose weight only to find it again in just a short window of time so your weight feels like a yo-yo; up and down, up and down?
You are definitely not alone! Weight loss is not only a major issue and major menopause symptom, it’s a huge problem for millions of people, both men and women. Now a new study looks at a medication that shows a lot of promise as an effective weight loss regimen – even after you stop taking it.
It’s called semaglutide and 2.4 mg of it is given under the skin weekly. In all, 803 patients received the medication for a total of 20 weeks.
The article, reported in JAMA, found that people in the study lost on average 10.6% of their body weight. That means that if you weighed 200 pounds, 10.6% of your body weight would be 21.2 pounds.
The people in the study all had difficulty losing weight. All were overweight or obese and many also had high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, or heart disease. They did not have diabetes to be sure the weight loss wasn’t from treating the diabetes.
The dose started out lower at 0.24 mg/week and increased every month until it reached 2.4 mg/week where it stayed for the rest of the study.
If the patients lost weight over the first 20 weeks, they were given the opportunity to continue in the study for an additional 48 weeks.
Half the people continued to take the medication and half were given a placebo. People were also taught how to reduce their food by 500 calories/day and how to do 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week.
At the end of 20 weeks, many people continued to lose weight even if they stopped taking the medication and were getting the placebo.
A family member of mine (not in this study) lost 20 pounds on this medication over a 5 month window and continued to lose 15 more pounds even though she stopped taking the medication at 20 weeks. Her dress size dropped from 14 to an 8. She had by then developed new habits and saw herself in a totally new light.
I like to think of this type of medication and treatment as priming the pump, or resetting the thermostat. If you can find a way to improve your diet, if you can create a habit of 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, and if you can work with someone to provide you with a combination of coaching/support plus a medication such as semaglutide to reset your weight control thermostat, it is possible and doable to lose weight and keep it off.
In 2013, the AMA declared obesity a disease that affects 42.8% of middle aged adults. That distinction makes it very reasonable to get medical help. People who are obese aren’t lazy or have too little willpower. There are genetic reasons, medical reasons such as low thyroid function, impaired metabolism, or menopause, certain medications and psychological reasons that can contribute to obesity. It doesn’t mean a person is lazy. And obesity can contribute to other medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers.
To me, the trick is to internally get to a point where you believe you can, you have a big enough why that your health matters enough to make weight loss something you really want to do, and identifying a knowledgeable weight loss person to provide you with the jump start of the medication. That combines willpower, determination and medical help. When that happens, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
Weight loss is possible. It may be time for you to give it a shot.