We are surrounded every day by messages telling us we need to be thinner. For many of us, though, weight loss is an ongoing battle that we never seem to win. There are many reasons why losing weight is harder than it seems, including our busy lives and the challenges of changing our habits. Medical weight loss uses a combination of medications and lifestyle changes to help you eat less and burn more calories. As a result, you can finally shed the weight and feel healthier and more energetic.
What is Medical Weight Loss?
It has become clear that making people feel guilty or ashamed of their weight does nothing to help them lose it. Medical weight loss recognizes obesity as a medical problem that can be successfully treated. Dr. Cobbinah specializes in medical weight loss programs that combine the four pillars of weight loss success:
- Physical activity
- Behavior modification
These weight loss programs use medications that affect your feelings of hunger and desire to eat, resulting in weight loss without fighting your body’s normal instincts. The drugs used in medical weight loss are FDA-approved and prescribed by doctors. They were originally developed as a medication for type 2 diabetes but underwent further testing when doctors found that patients lost weight and improved their health.
What is the Best Medical Treatment for Weight Loss?
While medical weight loss medications are exploding in popularity, many doctors prescribe them without creating a true weight loss program for you. Losing weight with medication alone can bring a new set of health issues, so these drugs should always be used as part of a comprehensive program that addresses your lifestyle and behavior.
Medical weight loss drugs are sold under several brand names. They are all versions of semaglutide, the most effective medical weight loss treatment available. Semaglutide is an injectable treatment. At Essential Med Clinic & Aesthetics, our semaglutide is prepared at a compounding pharmacy to ensure a consistent supply, even if you have heard that others are having difficulty getting this medication. It is the same drug at the same doses used in brand names, but our patients will not encounter the same supply chain issues.
Do I Need Diet and Exercise With Medical Weight Loss?
While semaglutide has been touted as a miracle weight loss drug, it should only be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Healthy, sustainable weight loss requires:
- Learning to choose lower-calorie, more nutritious foods in healthy portions
- Improving your health and building muscle tone with physical activity
- Changing your relationship with food through behavioral changes
Be skeptical of any provider who tells you that semaglutide is the single “magic bullet” to cause weight loss. Medication alone does not address the underlying causes of weight gain or the health benefits of physical activity. Semaglutide can make you eat less, but that means you will need to eat more nutritious foods; Dr. Cobbinah’s guidance is invaluable in helping you achieve lasting, healthy weight loss.
How Does Semaglutide Work For Medical Weight Loss?
Semaglutide is prescribed to people who are overweight or obese. It mimics a small but important signaling protein called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). This signal is released by your digestive system when you eat. When it binds to receptors in the brain, GLP-1 triggers the release of insulin and tells the brain that you are full.
Because it mimics GLP-1, semaglutide binds to the same receptors in the brain. As a result, your brain continues to receive the message that you have recently eaten and do not need to eat more. People taking semaglutide no longer have the same food cravings. They can still enjoy food but feel less hungry and have fewer urges to eat. They eat fewer calories, and weight loss naturally follows.
How Much Weight Can I Lose With Semaglutide?
Research on semaglutide is ongoing, but studies have shown that people can lose a substantial amount of weight with medical weight loss. Research has shown that weight loss starts within weeks of starting your weight loss program. In one study, half of the participants lost 15% of their body weight in 68 weeks, and almost one-third of them lost 20% of their weight.
This amount of weight loss can have a dramatic effect on your health. Losing weight is associated with a lower risk of many medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer. Adding improved nutrition and physical activity greatly increases these benefits.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of Semaglutide?
The side effects most often experienced with semaglutide are related to the digestive system, such as nausea, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea. These are not common and are usually not problematic enough to stop treatment. Individuals who experience side effects may benefit from a lower dose.
As with any medication, more serious side effects are possible. Dr. Cobbinah will discuss what to watch out for and when to contact your treatment team. Our team is always available to support and guide you throughout your medical weight loss treatment, unlike many other providers who do not offer our comprehensive treatment plans.
Am I a Good Candidate for Medical Weight Loss?
Most people who are overweight or obese can benefit from semaglutide. Good candidates should understand the need to combine medication with lifestyle factors to achieve their best, healthiest results. Candidates should have reasonable expectations and be prepared to commit to a medical weight loss treatment plan.
People with certain medical conditions should not use semaglutide. These include those with a history of pancreatitis or gallbladder issues, those who have had thyroid cancer, or those who have a family history of certain cancers. Dr. Cobbinah will discuss these with you during your consultation to determine whether this medication is safe for you.
How Long Will My Medical Weight Loss Last?
Weight loss from a comprehensive program can last a lifetime. If you take semaglutide but do not make any other changes, research has shown that most people regain their lost weight. For lasting results, this medication should be combined with new nutritional, physical, and behavioral habits, your results may not last as long. In addition, physical activity and nutrition will boost your overall health and the many benefits of weight loss.
Take the Next Step
If you have further questions about medical weight loss, please call us at (210) 568-7555 or complete our online contact form, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you. Essential Med Aesthetics is located in San Antonio, Texas.