Weight Loss Drugs May Make You Thin, But Not Necessarily Healthy - Episode 20

Weight loss medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy have become popular topics lately. And while they can help with weight loss,  Andrea Petersen argues that maintaining overall health requires more than just relying on medication. According to Dr. Amanda Velazquez, director of obesity medicine at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, “When people lose a lot of weight quickly, they lose not only fat but also lean muscle mass. “Lean muscle is important for strength and metabolism (since muscle burns more calories than fat) and high-protein foods like chicken, fish, eggs and tofu contain the amino acids that are building blocks of muscle.” Here are a few habits that can help you live healthy whether you take these medications or not:

Exercise is essential for heart health and muscle strength, reducing risks of various diseases. Strength-training is especially important when you lose a lot of weight quickly. Dr. Todd Shaffer recommends focusing on your legs and buttocks. “As your body’s biggest muscles, that’s where you have the opportunity to build the most mass.” Start with squats and lunges with just your body weight, says Neal Pire, an exercise physiologist. The elderly, are advised to engage in resistance training to prevent muscle loss and maintain independence.

Choose nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains, as each bite becomes more vital due to reduced consumption. 

Stay hydrated as these medications can lead to reduced thirst. Try setting alarms throughout the day if you tend to forget to drink for hours at a time. Use bottles with markings to see how much you’re drinking throughout the day. Staying hydrated can also help with weight loss, notes Dr. Shaffer. Try drinking water first when you feel your hunger rising. “Sometimes when people think they are hungry, they are actually thirsty.”

Consider incorporating vitamin C and zinc-rich foods such as kiwi, lemons, oranges, beans and cashews. As well as foods like yogurt, kefir, and tempeh with active cultures to promote immunity and gut health, says Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes, a registered dietitian.

While weight loss is an important goal, the overall objective health and quality of life. A commitment to healthy habits such as exercise, a nutrient-rich diet, and proper hydration can help in achieving and maintaining holistic well-being.


Peterson, A. (2023). Ozempic Can Make You Thin, Not Necessarily Healthy. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/ozempic-diet-exercise-healthy-43eee86c

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