Recently, all of us have been treated to a rare situation regarding “celebrities” and other famous individuals. They are willing to discuss using a medical weight loss treatment known as semaglutide (Brand name Wegovy). Generally speaking, when we see a famous individual who looks like they have lost weight and are healthier, we assume all kinds of things. Did they get surgery? Are they using some special diet? What famous trainer are they working with currently? In this case, individuals are being transparent about what they are using.
The so-called “miracle drug” Wegovy contains semaglutide as the active ingredient. This is a once-weekly injectable diabetes medication used along with diet and exercise to control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. For blood glucose control in people with diabetes, semaglutide is sold under the brand name Ozempic. For weight loss, semaglutide is sold under the brand name Wegovy (which contains slightly higher doses of semaglutide).
Semaglutide in the Headlines
Semaglutide shot to the headlines after billionaire tech tycoon Elon Musk publicly admitted to taking it. Musk has been criticized for his unhealthy habits and body shape, even by his own father. Recently, when someone on Twitter asked Musk his secret to looking “awesome, fit, ripped and healthy,” Musk replied, “Fasting” and “Wegovy.”
Moreover, rumor is that Kim Kardashian is using Wegovy for weight loss. Kim has confirmed she lost 16 lbs in 3 weeks to fit into the iconic Marilyn Monroe dress she wore to the 2022 Met Gala. The Kardashians haven’t publicly admitted to taking Wegovy, but speculation is rife.
Besides A-grade celebs, a slew of influencers on TikTok are going gaga over the benefits of Wegovy. So much so that there was a shortage at one point, and the manufacturer had to temporarily stop making the lower (starting) dose strengths to prevent new users from starting Wegovy.
How does Semaglutide work?
Semaglutide is FDA approved for chronic weight management in adults who are overweight or obese and have at least one weight-related condition like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Not everyone qualifies for this medical weight loss treatment. But if you have some pounds to shed to your goal weight, you may be a candidate for semaglutide treatment.
Semaglutide (brand name Wegovy) works by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1 that targets parts of the brain that control appetite. It makes you feel less hungry, and as a result, you eat fewer calories, which leads to weight loss.
But remember, semaglutide works with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. It is not a substitute for these healthy lifestyle habits. Experts warn, and we here at The Beauty Barn agree, that you should not think of this medical-weight loss treatment as a magic bullet that will melt fat away.
What semaglutide can do is help you lose weight by reducing food cravings. Weight loss can lower your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Studies show that losing just 5-10% of your body weight can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. So, the benefits go beyond just looking good.
Are there side effects when using semaglutide?
Before starting any new medical treatment, it is essential to undergo a thorough medical exam. At The Beauty Barn, we require all patients wanting to start a semaglutide treatment to undergo a medical consultation first. This will ensure you are a good candidate and allow you to ask any lingering questions.
The most common side effects we see are issues with the stomach, like nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Some others may include fatigue or headache. At The Beauty Barn, we routinely monitor our patients to ensure they meet their weight loss goals while monitoring side effects that might deter treatment.
Does Wegovy work?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has studied the safety and efficacy of Wegovy in four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials over 68 weeks. More than 2,600 patients received Wegovy as part of the trials. One trial found that individuals with an average BMI of 38 kg/m2 who took Wegovy lost 12.4% of their initial body weight compared to those who took placebo (an inactive substance).
A trial sponsored by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy, found that, on average, adults lost 35 lbs or 15% of their body weight while taking Wegovy over a period of 68 weeks, compared to only 6 lbs or 2.5% body weight in those on placebo.
What happens when you stop using Wegovy?
Weight gain after Wegovy is a concern. Some patients can gain back lost weight after stopping Wegovy. Ideally, once a healthy lifestyle and better eating habits have taken hold after a patient’s success with treatment, there won’t be a need to stay on semaglutide treatments forever, and weight gain will not be an issue.
Ultimately, if you want to find out what all the celebrity buzz is about, you’ll have to try semaglutide for yourself. Semaglutide is taken as a once-weekly injection under the skin. You start at a low dose and gradually increase your dose over 16-20 weeks. If you qualify for semaglutide, it may help you get rid of some stubborn weight, provided you’re willing to put in the proper effort with diet and exercise.