Proceed With Caution

Has modern medicine finally provided the miracle that society craves? I am often asked about my position on the most recent class of weight loss drugs, so here it is.

Consult Your Physician

In the last two years, a new class of prescription weight loss drugs has rapidly become mainstream. Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are not just in the news for their promising results but also in the hands of millions of patients across the U.S. 

Taking any medication is a personal decision that should be made after a discussion with your trusted physician. In other words, talk to your doc before you decide. However, if you have decided to go down this road with the guidance of a healthcare professional, here’s my perspective as a health and fitness professional.

If you are considering using or are currently prescribed one of these drugs, I would urge you to be informed of some of the unintended consequences or side effects that may go with your decision. 

  1. Be aware of the potential side effects. Your doctor should have discussed these with you before prescribing the medication. Some side effects can be more or less severe depending on the person, so it’s essential to promptly communicate any symptoms or concerns with your doctor to ensure adjustments can be made. Remember, even if your best friend, college roommate, or neighbor has had nothing but positive outcomes, your mileage may vary, as they say.
  2. Don’t forget that these new medicines will not change your old habits. Once you stop taking the medications, old habits may very well start to creep back into your life. Just like a yo-yo dieter, if you haven’t adjusted your behaviors once the medication is out of your system, you will most likely be back where you started. 
  3.  Weight loss from these drugs will come from both fat and … muscle (uh-oh). Loss of lean mass should be a genuine concern for anyone using these drugs. Muscle loss means a loss of function, more significant weakness as you age, and a slowing metabolism. Have you ever gone on a strict diet and lost weight only to gain it back and more once the diet was over? The same situation will most likely occur here.

Those are three things to know, now let’s talk about three things you should do if you are choosing one of these new weight loss drugs. But here’s the easy part: if you’re familiar with my approach to fitness, you already know what I am going to say. Keep your eye on the basics of your health and fitness, and always …

  1. Pay attention to WHAT you eat. Weight loss medications operate by a sort of “forced portion control.” You eat less, and you lose weight. But to minimize the muscle you lose, you must eat nutritious, minimally processed foods with adequate protein. 
  2. Exercise. The right way. I’m not talking about cardio. In fact, don’t do any cardio. Often, people on these medications reduce their calorie intake significantly. This is hardly the time to add more potentially muscle-burning cardio. Instead, opt for strength training. The basic lifts that work larger muscle groups are the way to go. 
  3. Work with a professional. Tying all of this together into a workable plan can be difficult. A professional such as Yours Truly can help devise a plan that works amidst your busy life and add the layer of accountability and support that is often the missing link to sustained weight loss success.

In other words, these medications don’t decrease the need to live healthfully. As these medications continue to become more popular, the role of the fitness coach will be more critical than ever. If weight loss is your goal, realize there is more to weight loss and leading a long, healthy life than can be captured in a pill or syringe.

Reach out if you have any questions for me. I’d love to help.

~Coach Brad

Related Posts