Table of Contents

In the relentless battle against obesity, medical science has sought effective solutions to help individuals shed excess weight and improve their health. One promising contender in this arena is semaglutide, a medication to treat type 2 diabetes. However, recent studies have uncovered its potential as a weight loss aid, offering hope to millions. 

This article delves into the efficacy of semaglutide for weight loss and its mechanisms of action. It also provides insights into how individuals can access this groundbreaking treatment.

What Is Semaglutide? 

Semaglutide is a medication that gained approval for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, its potential for weight loss has garnered research interest.

How Does it Work for Weight Loss?

Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These drugs mimic the action of the hormone GLP-1, which plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels, appetite, and food intake.

When semaglutide is administered, it binds to GLP-1 receptors that control appetite and food cravings. By activating these receptors, the medication increases feelings of satiation, reduces hunger, and decreases food intake. Semaglutide may also slow the emptying of the stomach, leading to a prolonged sense of satiety after meals.

Some studies suggest it can improve insulin sensitivity, promote the burning of fat, and reduce fat storage, contributing to weight loss and metabolic improvements.

Semaglutide Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria are similar to those for its use in diabetes but with a focus on individuals who are overweight or obese. 

  • Body Mass Index (BMI): Prescribed to adults with a BMI of 30 kg/m² or greater (classified as obese) or a BMI of 27 kg/m² or greater with at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, or type 2 diabetes.
  • Physician’s Assessment: A healthcare provider will assess the patient’s health, medical history, weight loss goals, and current medications.
  • Inadequate Response to Lifestyle Interventions: Semaglutide is recommended when lifestyle changes alone have not resulted in sufficient weight reduction.
  • Patient’s Willingness and Ability to Comply: Patients must adhere to the regimen, including injections, and follow-up with their healthcare provider as recommended.
  • Absence of Contraindications: Similar to its use in diabetes, semaglutide for weight loss may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions or circumstances. 

Medical Conditions that May Impact Eligibility

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Individuals with gastroparesis or inflammatory bowel disease may not be suitable candidates due to its side effects.
  • Pancreatitis: A history of pancreatitis or predisposition to pancreatitis.
  • Thyroid Disorders: Semaglutide may affect thyroid function so that individuals may require monitoring.
  • Renal Impairment: Patients with renal impairment or end-stage renal disease may require dosage adjustments or alternative treatments.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of semaglutide during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. Healthcare providers will assess the risks and benefits before prescribing the medicine.
  • Allergies: Individuals sensitive to semaglutide or its components should not use the medication.

Obtaining a Prescription for Semaglutide

Consulting a Healthcare Professional

  • Schedule an Appointment with a Healthcare Professional: This could be a primary care physician, endocrinologist, or weight management specialist.
  • Discuss Weight Loss Goals and Medical History: Discuss relevant health conditions or medications you take during the appointment. Be honest about your lifestyle, diet, and physical activity level.
  • Consider Semaglutide as a Treatment Option: The healthcare provider will evaluate whether semaglutide is an appropriate treatment option based on factors such as your BMI, weight-related health conditions, previous weight loss attempts, and health status.
  • Undergo Necessary Assessments: The doctor may measure your weight, BMI, and blood pressure and perform blood tests to assess your health and suitability.
  • Discuss Risks and Benefits: Your healthcare provider will discuss the potential benefits and the risks or side effects. They will address all concerns and provide information.
  • Receive Prescription and Instructions: If semaglutide is deemed appropriate, the doctor will provide a prescription and instructions, including dosage, administration technique, and necessary precautions.
  • Follow Up with the Healthcare Provider: Monitoring your progress, adjusting the treatment plan as needed, and addressing concerns or questions is essential.

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Besides taking semaglutide, you should make lifestyle changes, such as adopting a wholesome diet and increasing physical activity, to enhance the effectiveness of your weight loss efforts.

Ready to make an appointment?

Choosing the Appropriate Dosage and Treatment Plan

Proper Administration of Semaglutide

  • Injection Technique:
      • Semaglutide is administered as a subcutaneous injection, often in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.
      • Rotate injection sites to minimize the risk of injection site reactions.
  • Injection Timing:
      • Semaglutide is injected once weekly on the same day.
      • Choose a convenient time to administer the injection, and keep a consistent schedule.
  • Preparation:
      • Check the expiration date and the appearance of the medication before each injection.
      • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the injection pen or prefilled syringe.
  • Injection Technique:
    • Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab and allow it to dry.
    • Pinch a fold of skin and insert the needle at a 90-degree angle.
    • Administer the injection according to the prescribed dosage.

Recommended Dosage Guidelines

  • Starting Dosage: The typical starting dosage is 0.25 mg once weekly.
  • Titration: After four weeks, the dosage may be increased to 0.5 mg if tolerated and if additional weight loss is desired.
  • Maintenance Dosage: The maintenance dosage is 2.4 mg once weekly. This is the maximum recommended dose.

Monitoring Side Effects and Adjusting Treatment

  • Common Side Effects: Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.
  • The severity of Side Effects: Report severe or persistent side effects to your healthcare provider.
  • Monitoring Parameters: The healthcare provider may recommend monitoring weight, blood pressure, and laboratory parameters, such as renal function and lipid levels.
  • Adjusting Treatment: If side effects are intolerable, the doctor may adjust the dosage or frequency or consider discontinuing the medication.
  • Follow-up Visits: Attend scheduled follow-ups to assess your response to treatment, monitor side effects, and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Incorporating Lifestyle Changes Alongside Semaglutide Use

Dietary Recommendations

  • Balanced Diet: Focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  • Caloric Intake: Monitor portion sizes to create a calorie deficit while ensuring adequate nutrition. Aim for gradual, sustainable weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.
  • Limit Processed Foods: Minimize intake of high-calorie foods, sugary beverages, refined carbohydrates, and foods high in saturated fats and sugars.
  • Meal Timing: Consider incorporating meal times and spacing meals throughout the day to manage hunger and prevent overeating.
  • Hydration: Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated and control appetite. Limit consumption of sugary drinks and alcohol.
  • Mindful Eating: Practice techniques such as paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, eating slowly, and savoring each bite.
  • Nutritional Support: Consult a registered dietitian or nutritionist for dietary guidance and support tailored to your needs and preferences.

Exercise Guidelines

  • Aerobic Exercise: Engage in brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or aerobic classes for at least 150 minutes per week or as recommended by the healthcare provider.
  • Strength Training: Incorporate strength training exercises at least two days per week to build and maintain muscle mass, which can support weight loss and improve body composition.
  • Flexibility and Balance: Include exercises such as yoga, Pilates, or stretching routines to improve flexibility, mobility, and physical function.
  • Gradual Progression: Increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise over time to avoid injury and improve fitness levels.
  • Variety: Incorporate different exercises to keep workouts enjoyable. Mix the routine with other activities.
  • Consistency: Schedule regular workouts and make physical activity a priority.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust the routine based on how you feel. Rest and recover when necessary to prevent overtraining and burnout.

Tracking Progress and Evaluating Results

Monitoring progress allows individuals to assess their progress, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to their approach. This can be accomplished through various methods:

  • Weight Tracking: Weigh yourself using a reliable scale and track your weight. Keep a record to monitor trends and progress toward your weight loss goals.
  • Body Measurements: Measure your waist, hips, and thighs to track body composition and identify changes in body shape.
  • Food Diary: Keep a diary or use a mobile app to record your food intake, including portion sizes and calories. This can help you identify patterns, track adherence to dietary goals, and make adjustments.
  • Physical Activity Log: Include the type, duration, and intensity of exercise sessions. Tracking physical activity can ensure you meet your goals and stay active.
  • Behavioral Tracking: Monitor factors influencing weight loss, such as eating triggers, emotional episodes, stress levels, and sleep patterns. Identifying these factors can help you develop strategies to address them and promote healthier habits.
  • Health Markers: Keep track of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and energy levels. Monitoring these markers can provide insights into your well-being.
  • Self-Reflection: Reflect on your progress, successes, and challenges. Celebrate achievements, learn from setbacks, and adjust your approach to move toward your goals.
  • Regular Check-ins: Schedule visits with healthcare providers, registered dietitians, or fitness professionals to review your progress, discuss challenges, and receive guidance.

Long-term Management Strategies for Weight Loss

Long-term strategies involve maintaining healthy eating habits, physical activity, behavior modification techniques, and ongoing support systems. It’s crucial to view weight management as a lifelong journey, emphasizing consistency, flexibility, and a positive mindset to sustain long-term success and promote wellness.

Medical House Calls Offers a Semaglutide Weight Loss Program

Successful weight loss and long-term management require a multifaceted approach that includes healthy eating habits, physical activity, behavior modification, and ongoing support. Tracking progress and evaluating results are essential components of this journey, providing insights into individual successes, challenges, and areas for improvement. 

Individuals can stay motivated and sustain long-term success by monitoring weight, body measurements, food intake, physical activity, and other health markers. With dedication, consistency, and a positive mindset, embrace a healthier lifestyle, enhance well-being, and enjoy the benefits of improved health for years to come.

Medical House Calls offers weight loss management services with its semaglutide program, which involves weekly therapy injections in the comfort and safety of your home. After an initial consultation in person, we’ll deliver all the necessary supplies to you. Text or call us to book a same-day or next-day appointment today.