Should I Use Ozempic or Wegovy?

Jun 26, 2024

The decision to use Ozempic or Wegovy for weight loss is a deeply personal one and requires careful consideration, especially if you are someone who struggles with eating disorders or disordered eating. As a practice of dietitians specializing in weight neutrality and Intuitive Eating, our goal is to provide you with comprehensive information to help you make an empowered and informed choice. 

*Please know this is not medical advice, but rather a source of information to support your decision making process. Much of this information is sourced from Size Inclusive Medicine, which we encourage you to explore as well.*

ozempic

Understanding Ozempic and Wegovy

Ozempic and Wegovy are GLP-1 agonists that were initially developed to manage type 2 diabetes but have gained significant popularity for their weight loss benefits. These medications work by mimicking a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar, reduce appetite, and slow digestion.

Why Would a Person Consider Ozempic and Wegovy?

  • A Medical Diagnosis:
    • Weight loss is often seen as a one-size-fits all method to alleviate symptoms of a chronic condition. While some people do need these medications to help manage specific conditions, it’s important to know that health behaviors may support management for many individuals as well. This is where the concepts at Heath at Every Size comes in. HAES promotes the idea that people of all sizes can adopt healthy behaviors to improve their well-being, regardless of whether they lose weight. It encourages a focus on overall health, including mental and emotional well-being, rather than just the number on the scale. Here is a library of resources about how this concept applies to certain conditions.
  • Diet Culture:
    • In a society that often emphasizes thinness and equates it with health and success, the pressure to lose weight is everywhere. This pressure can come from the media, family, even healthcare providers. The promise of rapid weight loss with medications like Ozempic and Wegovy is enticing, especially when diet after diet has not given your ideal results.

In short – your desire to lose weight with these drugs makes sense! However, it’s crucial to understand that these medications are not a magic solution and come with their own set of considerations and potential drawbacks.

ozempic

5 Aspects to Consider Before Using These Medications

  1. Temporary Solution: Studies have shown that weight loss achieved with these medications can be regained once you stop taking them. This can be particularly challenging for your mental health and body image.
  2. Impact on Relationship with Food: While these medications can reduce your appetite, they do not address underlying issues related to your relationship with food. For those with eating disorders or disordered eating, this can potentially worsen these issues or create new ones.
  3. Mental Health and Emotional Consequences: Many of us have experienced the emotional journey of weight loss and potential weight regain. Consider how this might affect your mental health and self-esteem.
  4. Side Effects: Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. There are also risks of more serious side effects like pancreatitis and gallbladder issues.
  5. Medical Supervision: It is crucial to use these medications under the continuous supervision of a healthcare professional to monitor side effects and overall health.

Mental Health Effects of Stopping Ozempic and Wegovy

  • Dissatisfaction with Body Image: Experiencing weight loss followed by weight gain can put stress on your relationship with your body. This might lead to or worsen harmful thoughts about food and body image, along with guilt and shame.
  • Feelings of Anxiety About Hunger: After stopping the medication, normal hunger cues may feel overwhelming, again leading to stress and fear around food. You might feel like you’re binge eating or be frustrated by strong cravings.
  • Compensation Behaviors: To compensate for no longer taking the medication, you might engage in disordered eating behaviors like restrictive eating, purging, or over-exercising. These behaviors can escalate and impact long term physical and mental well-being.
ozempic

Another Option: Weight-Neutral and Intuitive Eating Approach

With all the increased noise around these medications and  weight loss, it may feel like there is no other option. But remember, you are empowered to make your own choice and there is another route to consider. Choosing a weight-neutral approach means focusing on health and well-being rather than the number on the scale. Intuitive eating encourages you to honor your body’s hunger and fullness cues, fostering a healthier and sustainable relationship with food and yourself. This approach is also associated with improved physical and mental health outcomes.

Making an Empowered Choice

Yes, some people may benefit from these medications, but before deciding to use Ozempic or Wegovy, consider the following questions:

  • What are my motivations for wanting to lose weight with these drugs?
  • How might weight loss or regain impact my mental health and body image?
  • Am I addressing underlying issues related to my relationship with food and body?
  • Do I have a support system in place, including healthcare providers and mental health professionals?

Getting Support

While Ozempic and Wegovy can be effective tools for certain diagnoses, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, especially for those struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating. It’s essential to be aware of the benefits and risks as you consider how these medications might affect your overall well-being.

If you are considering these medications and need guidance, our personalized nutrition therapy sessions can provide tailored support to your unique needs. Contact us today to schedule your first session and learn more about how we can help you make an informed and empowered choice.

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