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Are Weight Loss Medications Right For You?

Weight Loss Medications

Losing weight is a challenging journey filled with literal ups and downs along the way. Sometimes, following a healthy diet and exercise plan doesn’t seem to do the trick, despite putting your all into it. Weight loss medications can help by reducing your appetite, increasing your feeling of fullness, or reducing fat absorption. But you must work with your weight loss provider to find the proper medication for you. Here are some things you need to know before doing that.

How Weight Loss Medications Work

Weight loss medications work in various ways, depending on their active ingredients. Some work by suppressing your appetite, which makes you feel less hungry or fuller sooner. Others work by reducing the amount of fat your body absorbs from the foods you eat.

Regardless of the approach, these medications help create a calorie deficit. That’s key to losing weight because you need to expend more calories than you consume each day to drop the pounds. The medications might also enhance your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.

Types of Weight Loss Medications

Thanks to recent advancements in weight management, there are two main types of weight loss medications: oral medications and injections. Each type works in its own unique way to help you lose weight.

Oral medications like phentermine, orlistat, and a bupropion and naltrexone combo are taken in pill or capsule form. You typically take these medications daily or even twice a day. They work by suppressing your appetite or blocking fat absorption.

Weight loss injections like semaglutide and liraglutide are usually given via subcutaneous injection about once per week. They primarily work by suppressing your appetite and slowing down stomach emptying.

Oral medications and injections are both viable ways to lose weight. The best one to choose depends on factors like your health profile, weight loss goals, and the recommendations of a healthcare provider.

Effectiveness of Weight Loss Injections

Weight loss injections have been quite effective for many people. Since these injections help you feel less hungry, it means you eat less throughout the day and lose weight as a result. Results vary from person to person, however.

People who use these injections often lose more weight than diet and exercise alone. In fact, it’s possible to lose up to 20% of your body weight by sticking with semaglutide injections for at least one year. Changing to a healthier diet and moving more daily can further improve the effectiveness of weight loss injections. But it’s not always necessary for every person.

Besides helping you slim down, weekly weight loss injections can also potentially improve your health in other ways. For example, they might help lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Your weight loss provider can help you better understand how you could benefit from these medications.

Who Might Benefit from Weight Loss Injections

Weight loss injections may be an option if you’re struggling with obesity or are overweight with obesity-related health risks. These risks might include type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure that’s not well controlled despite taking medication.

Many people who are eligible for weight loss medications have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. However, a lower BMI of 27 may also qualify if there are other health issues related to weight, like sleep apnea or heart disease.

Weight loss medications are particularly helpful for people who have tried other weight loss methods like diet and exercise without success. Since oral medications and injections reduce hunger, they make sticking to a healthier diet easier.

If you have trouble controlling your eating due to constant hunger or cravings, you might find weight loss medications beneficial. Many of these medications help control the cravings so you can focus on keeping your calories within the target range daily.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Considering Weight Loss Medications

Before starting on weight loss medications, ask yourself some of the following questions to ensure they’re the right choice for you:

  • Do I regularly try diet plans only to gain the weight back soon after returning to a traditional way of eating?

  • Have I tried traditional weight loss methods without reaching my goals?

  • What are my health goals besides getting to a healthy weight?

  • Am I prepared for a long-term commitment to taking the medications and working on losing weight?

  • Do I understand the need for medical supervision while taking weight loss medications?

By reflecting on these questions, you and your healthcare provider can decide whether weight loss medications are a good choice for you. Also, be sure to ask your provider any questions about the medications when creating a weight loss plan. That way, you’re both on the same page when you get started.

At the Affordable Medical Weight Loss Centers of Kentucky, we focus on providing weight loss treatments that get great results without sweeping lifestyle changes. To learn what we offer, call (606) 394-5558 to speak with our team.

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