Pros and Cons of Using Weight Loss Medication

Woman on bed eating a healthy snack to illustrate good nutrition helping with using weight loss medication
Medically Reviewed
October 16, 2023

Using weight loss medication is a serious undertaking. You may have navigated your way through many medical weight loss options and found that among these options, semaglutide stands out for you as a good choice for sustainable weight loss.

This FDA-approved medication, found in Ozempic and other brands, has certainly revolutionized approaches to weight loss. We’ve written about how these medications work. So, let’s now look at the benefits and possible cons of using weight loss medication like semaglutide.

Pros: The Bright Side of Weight Loss Medication

Imagine a medication that not only helps you shed those stubborn pounds but also promotes sustainable weight loss as part of your journey to optimum health. Semaglutide works by regulating your appetite and has proven its effectiveness in curbing cravings and helping keep weight gain at bay.

Overall Health Boost

However, it’s not just about the numbers on the scale; it’s also about your overall wellbeing. Weight loss medications, especially those containing semaglutide, have shown additional positive impacts on health markers such as

  • improved blood sugar control and blood pressure (shedding even 5% of your weight can lower both),
  • cardiovascular benefits due to lower weight,
  • less joint pain as joints are under less pressure, and
  • improved sleep – because glucose intolerance and insulin resistance are associated with poor sleep. Improve these via weight loss and you may improve your sleep.

This means that the benefits extend far beyond achieving a certain clothing size – they positively impact your entire body.

Physician Supervision: Monitoring Your Weight Loss Journey

Another advantage of opting for weight loss medication like semaglutide is having the supervision of a healthcare professional. Your physician becomes your ally who can

  • monitor your progress,
  • adjust your medicines as needed, and
  • provide you with valuable nutritional guidance throughout your weight loss journey.

This personalized approach ensures that your weight loss plan is tailored to your unique physiology and health needs, increasing your chances of success. We’ll mention in a moment the important role of also targeting the root cause of your weight gain with a functional medicine approach.

Nutrition Guided Support: Making Your Weight Loss Sustainable

A medical weight loss program like NavaRX – which includes using semaglutide medication where appropriate – offers support from certified nutritionists to help you make meaningful changes to your diet and lifestyle.

The bonus is you ensure a positive experience by making real lifestyle changes that positively impact your overall health through nutrition. At the same time, on your program, you maximize the weight loss potential and have the tools and set behaviors to ensure you sustain your target weight long after you complete the program.

Mental Health Considerations

Another “pro” for using weight loss medication is that weight loss isn’t just a physical journey; it’s deeply intertwined with your mental health.

Some weight loss medications, especially those with semaglutide, have shown positive effects on mental wellbeing. For example, you may experience a boost in your mood and a reduction in some of the emotional struggles associated with trying to manage your weight.

In addition, studies are in progress looking into how semaglutide impacts addiction centers in the brain because users are reporting absence of “food noise” – which means they no longer have continual cravings and thoughts about needing food.

Cons: Navigating the Challenges of Weight Loss Medication

Potential Side Effects

Like any medication, weight loss drugs come with their share of potentially uncomfortable side effects. Semaglutide side effects have included:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation
  • Headache, fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when used with other antidiabetic medications
  • Injection site reactions, such as redness or itching

As stated earlier, having a physician-led program can make a difference to a successful weight loss program experience. Be wary of online deals that don’t offer some form of expert practitioner oversight and support.

Other Considerations About Using Weight Loss Medication

The integration of semaglutide into your weight loss treatment merits thoughtful consideration:

Why do you want to use it?

How does using weight loss medication align with body positivity versus conforming to societal norms? You may be at your target weight for you and your overall health optimization. Please don’t think being skinny is any healthier than being what your body needs you to be. The goal is to maintain a healthy weight to support your overall wellness.

Will semaglutide use help you foster longer-term sustainable lifestyle changes you’re prepared to stick to?

Like yo-yo diets, using weight loss medication is not a magic pill! It’s a “help” along the way to tackle a problem that’s seemed intractable so far.

That said, it’s time to look at the crucial role of functional nutrition and physician monitoring while using weight loss medication.

Venn diagram showing how functional nutrition and physician monitoring intersect with using weight loss medicationLong-term Weight Loss Sustainability with Integrative Medicine

In your journey towards healthy weight loss, pharmaceutical interventions often lead to promising results. But the question of long-term sustainability remains!

At Nava Health we believe in taking an integrative functional medicine approach to weight loss. That means we also focus on

  • finding the root cause of your problems and
  • helping you cultivate sustainable lifestyle changes that support your use of medication.

The good news is that reaching your target weight and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle in this way gains you added years of healthy longevity.

So let’s put integrative healthcare under the microscope for a moment and look at the Intersection of medication, functional nutrition, and monitoring.

It works like this. Weight loss with semaglutide injections can be sustainable when there’s a strong connection between

  • using weight loss medication,
  • integrating functional nutrition, and
  • working closely with your physician.

Functional Nutrition

The efficacy of your medication will increase if you understand how specific dietary and lifestyle choices complement semaglutide. This isn’t about restrictive diets! It’s about nourishing your body with the proper fuel to support your health goals long term.

Your unique personalized nutrition plan, designed with the guidance of a licensed nutritionist, will amplify your weight loss success.

Physician Monitoring

In addition, regular check-ins with your healthcare provider offers you a safe weight loss journey. Physician monitoring ensures that the medication

  • suits your body’s unique responses and
  • can be adjusted in a timely manner, helping you stay on the path to a healthier you.

This collaboration between you and your functional nutrition healthcare team is essential for optimizing the benefits of using weight loss medication while managing potential challenges.

Weighing the Options for a Healthier You with Nava Health

In the vast landscape of medical weight loss options, the use of semaglutide-based options presents many opportunities for healthy weight loss. The small challenges of semaglutide weight loss can be managed!

At Nava Health, we use both functional medicine and cutting-edge technology to find the right weight loss journey that will reward you with many healthy and enjoyable years in the future.

Contact us today to discuss the best way of using weight loss medication for you.

Article reviewed and approved by Nava Health Certified Nutritionist, Stephanie Misanik, MS, CNS, LDN

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Pros and Cons of Using Weight Loss Medication
Using weight loss medication hand in hand with functional nutrition and physician oversight leads to more pros than cons! Learn how.