Why Medication Might Be Your Partner in Long-Term Weight Loss

African American woman shopping for produce in grocery store and following a healthy diet for long term weight loss
Medically Reviewed
May 21, 2024

Congratulations! You’ve reached your weight loss goals. Months of dedication to diet, exercise, and perhaps the help of a medication like Ozempic, Wegovy, or semaglutide have paid off.  

But now what?  

Is it time to ditch the medication and celebrate with a victory cake?

Here at Nava Health, we offer a medical weight loss option featuring s Semaglutide NavaRX.

We often get this “Now what?” question from our clients. But, like everything here at Nava Health, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. For some individuals, staying on medication can be a crucial part of a sustainable weight loss maintenance program. 

Understanding Weight Loss and the Relapse Trap 

Let’s be honest; weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. While medications like semaglutide can be incredibly effective in jumpstarting weight loss, the real challenge lies in keeping it off.  

Studies show that a staggering majority – upwards of 80% – of people who lose weight regain it within five years. This “relapse trap” often stems from the body’s natural tendency to return to its set point – a weight range determined by genetics and lifestyle habits. 

So, When Should You Consider Staying on Medication? 

Here are some key factors to consider when discussing long-term medication use with your doctor: 

  • Your Initial Weight Loss and Set Point: Individuals with a significant amount of weight to lose or those with a higher set point may benefit more from continued medication support. Semaglutide can help regulate hormones that influence appetite and satiety, making it easier to maintain healthy eating habits that keep you within a healthy weight range. 
  • Comorbidities and Metabolic Health: If you have underlying health conditions like type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or high blood pressure, semaglutide can offer additional health benefits beyond weight management. Continued use can help control these conditions and improve overall metabolic health. 
  • Individual Response and Lifestyle Factors: Everyone responds differently to medications. If semaglutide significantly improves your ability to manage hunger cues and cravings, continuing it can help you maintain a healthy eating pattern as part of your weight management plan. 

Weight Loss Maintenance: A Comprehensive Approach 

Now, let’s address the misconception that medication alone equals weight loss maintenance. It’s a team effort!  

Here’s how medication integrates with other strategies to create a successful program: 

  • Functional Nutrition: This personalized approach to food focuses on optimizing your body’s function at a cellular level. Nutrition counseling with a clinical nutritionist can work with you to identify dietary patterns that support weight management, manage blood sugar levels, and address any underlying nutrient deficiencies. This sets the stage for long-term success. 
  • Mind-Body Practices: Stress, anxiety, and emotional eating can all play a role in weight regain. Techniques like mindfulness meditation, therapies like massage or acupuncture, and related stress management can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and maintain a positive relationship with food. 
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity is crucial for weight management and overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Find activities you enjoy, making exercise a sustainable part of your lifestyle. 

What Does a Weight Loss Maintenance Program with Medication Look Like? 

It’s a personalized journey, but here’s a general outline: 

  • Regular health checkups: Maintaining open communication with your integrative practitioner team. They will monitor your weight and overall health and adjust the medication dosage as needed. 
  • Nutritional Guidance: A clinical nutritionist can help you develop a sustainable eating plan that complements the medication’s effects. They can also provide guidance on managing potential side effects with dietary adjustments. 
  • Lifestyle Support: Your integrative medicine team can offer support with stress management, sleep hygiene, and developing healthy coping mechanisms to prevent emotional eating. 
  • Continued Self-Monitoring: Tracking weight, food intake, and activity levels can help you stay accountable and identify any potential issues early on. 

The Takeaway: Medication as a Long-Term Partner 

Think of semaglutide as a powerful tool in your weight management toolbox. While medication alone won’t guarantee long-term success, it can be a valuable partner in a comprehensive program that combines functional nutrition, mind-body practices, and regular exercise. By working with your integrative medicine team, you can create a sustainable weight loss maintenance program that fosters lasting health and well-being.

Remember, it’s not just about the number on the scale; it’s about empowering yourself to live a healthier, happier life in the long term. 

StephanieM Headshot Doctor - Nava Health

Stephanie is an autoimmune advocate and Functional Nutritionist who blends science, humor, and herbalism to create personalized nutrition and integrative health strategies. With over five years of clinical experience, Stephanie has helped numerous clients overcome various health issues, from weight management to autoimmunity and hormonal balance.