If you’ve been following my medical weight loss blog over the last 15 years here, you know I’ve tested and researched every option available. I know what works, what doesn’t work… how they work, who they are suited for, and what results can be expected.
I usually have low expectations for the weight loss meds that hit the market today… I often feel they are headed in the wrong direction and often have disturbing side effects (hello Xenical.)
That said, I was intrigued when I started the research into Semaglutide (Wagovy) and was almost tempted to have high hopes when I learned the FDA had approved it for weight loss.
Skipping ahead, I’ll tell you now that the research was impressive, the statistics were impressive, and my experience with my first round was beyond impressive; over 10 lbs lost effortlessly and without any unexpected challenges other than food backing up in my fridge that I simply couldn’t eat.
What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. That’s fancy science talk for a prescription medication that controls blood sugar.
It has been used successfully for years, to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and even death, in patients with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and blood vessel disease.
A beneficial side effect of Semaglutide in these cases, has been weight loss. And now, it has been officially approved by the FDA for this purpose. I’ll add that this is the first prescription medication the FDA has deemed acceptable for this purpose since 2014.
My First Round with Semaglutide (10+ lbs lost, without diet or exercise)
As my readers know, I never discuss a fitness or weight loss medication without trying it myself. That is exactly what I did here.
In recent years, I’ve been successful with various peptides and lipotropics to maintain my weight loss from hCG years prior.
In recent years, I opted not to use hCG; the challenging protocol simply does not work with my lifestyle requirements at the moment (um, single Mom that feels the urge to exercise and eat foods and have rare wine nights with the girls- things that simply aren’t allowed on that protocol.)
So, obviously I was intrigued by a new option that would allow me to eat, drink and be merry, and still lose weight.
In all honesty, that is exactly what happened.
I am now on my 6th week with semaglutide. Last week, I weighed myself and had lost 10.4 lbs.
I deliberately did the following to test the reports of this med:
- I did NOT watch what I ate. In fact, I ate out a LOT (my sweetheart is an extreme foodie) including a holiday in Napa where we tried half a dozen fine dining establishments and endless wine tastings. I did not hold back, folks!
- I did NOT exercise. I love to move, but for the purposes of this review, I deliberately avoided the gym, didn’t go for walks, and even took a break from yoga.
Now mind you, these are not only permitted but encouraged while taking Semaglutide, I simply wanted to see what the results would be with and without these efforts.
Going through My Diet Doc, their semaglutide protocol starts patients with .25iu for several weeks before increasing to .50. I found this to be a good approach, considering a major complaint from patients is extreme nausea and racing heartbeat or palpitations, when immediately started with a higher dose.
In fact, it’s common for Semaglutide to be prescribed with an anti-nausea medicine because of this.
Personally, I prefer the slow but steady route and not wanting to lay in bed feeling ill, and struggling to keep down what little food I’m eating.
Day by Day
Day 1-3: I began by injecting .25 of Semaglutide, as a subcutanous injection in the belly as instructed. Normally, I prefer subq injections in the hip, but decided to follow the doctor’s exact protocol, so I could share exactly what others can expect. (Spoiler alert: The 2nd week, I injected in the back hip as I prefer, felt absolutely no difference, and obviously this did not influence my results.)
How I felt: I wasn’t expecting to feel much… but several hours after my first injection, I felt a ‘buzz’ effect, almost like I had caffeine. It was extremely mild; I don’t usually drink caffeine or stimulants of any kind, so I tend to be sensitive and notice these things quickly.
Day 3-6: My appetite was not “gone” but definitely different. I began noticing it took me longer to feel hungry than usual, and actually forgot to eat when I normally do.
Day 6-7. I still feel that pep, although it’s still mild. I notice a significant difference in my appetite and my what my tastebuds are reporting. I normally am ravenous by lunchtime… I forgot to eat lunch today.
I noticed that my hunger signals are faint. I still feel hungry at times, but it is never a strong urge to eat something… which has made my food choices much wiser. I’m not starving, so there is no need to grab a handful of my son’s peanut butter crackers for a fast hunger fix.
The changes happened slowly, but doing regular “check-ins” to consciously monitor my experience, I realized that there were BIG CHANGES.
- Most notably, it took significantly longer for my food to digest, leaving me feeling full for incredibly long periods. For example, for our anniversary, my Sweety booked an amazing dinner at a 5 start restaurant, including a 12 course meal of a few tiny bites each. (Did I mention he’s a foodie?) It was some of the most amazing food I have ever had in my life! And I couldn’t eat it all!!!! Halfway through, I felt so stuffed, I thought I was going to burst. I had to start letting him finish my courses and by the last few, it was all I could do to taste the food but not actually have a full bite. Such a pity.
- My appetite signals were faint and different. This one is hard to describe. I would still feel hungry, and could recognize when I was extremely hungry… but it still would not feel urgent to eat. This was great for me, since I’m a busy mom; there wasn’t such a need for convenience foods, but instead, I could take time and make wiser food decisions. Instead of grabbing something quick, I could actually wait, and make something healthier.
- My cravings vanished and while I would still have and enjoy something sweet, it didn’t have the same magnetism as before. This made it easier to pass on foods, or simply have 1 cookie instead of a handful of them.
It’s worth saying that while Semaglutide is not cheap, what I saved in my food bill, significantly improved the value in my book. While to me, my health is worth this investment, it was nice to have a food expense that was several hundred dollars cheaper than prior months.
You can find the current cost of Semaglutide here.
Tips for Semaglutide Rounds
Here are a few things I wish I would have known prior to starting my round.
- I wouldn’t stock up on groceries. My appetite steadily declined with each passing day, as well as how much food I could consume at each. meal. I very quickly ended up with a surplus of food in my fridge, which I had to pass along so it woudn’t be wasted.
- Ask a few extra questions ahead of time. I had done enough research that I was comfortable with the the medication and protocol from the start, but a friend who started at the same time as me, had a significant amount of questions from the moment her RX arrived at her door. She had questions regarding side effects, injection options, etc. I suggest thinking ahead and asking questions during your initial talk with the doctor.
- Keep your care coordinator’s contact info on hand. This will be sent in your confirmation email. I recommend putting it in your phone, should you have questions.
- Ease up on the exercise at the start while your body adjusts to the medication.
- Remember to eat, even when your appetite begins to fade. This is really important, and it also gives you an opportunity to start retraining those hunger signals.
- Make sure you are not losing weight. too fast. Slower results = longterm results.
Final Thoughts & Where to Get Semaglutide
As you can tell, I’m excited to recommend this weight loss solution. I think many people will find this as a simple, healthy option for longterm weight loss.
If you are interested in trying Semaglutide, or simply have questions, visit mydietdoc.com and schedule a virtual appointment with a Care Coordinator. They will answer your questions and help you decide if this is the best option for your needs.