Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. A Look at the Most Popular Prescription Weight Loss Drugs

    Exploring Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound, and Mounjaro and their effectiveness.

    Weight Loss Drugs

    GLP-1 agonist weight loss drugs (think Ozempic and Wegovy) are all the rage right now, available at clinics and spas nationwide. They promise users a quick way to shed pounds, and many studies show they are quite effective in doing just that.

    But do they work long-term? What are the downsides? And are they right for you? Here’s a deeper look at these weight loss drugs, including pros and cons and how to use them most effectively paired with your Diet-to-Go meals.

    How Do GLP-1 Agonist Weight Loss Drugs Work?

    GLP-1 agonist drugs like semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy) and tirzepatid (Mounjaro and Zepbound) work by imitating a hormone that releases insulin. That, in turn, brings down blood sugar levels, telling the brain you’re full and lowering appetite.

    Doctors prescribe Ozempic and Mounjaro to people with type 2 diabetes, while the FDA specifically approved Wegovy and Zepbound for weight loss.

    How Effective Are These Drugs?

    Studies show that these weight loss drugs are extremely effective. For example, Wegovy helped 1,961 adults with BMIs of 30 or more lose an average of 15% of their body weight compared to a placebo group — as outlined in the results of a 2021 clinical trial. Another study of Ozempic users found statistically significant weight loss in users compared to the placebo group, as did studies of Mounjaro and Zepbound.

    However, while users of these drugs are likely to see results, Radio Host and Sports Medicine Physician, Dr. Gabe Mirkin cautions that the studies fail to outline the full picture.

    “Most people have regained two-thirds of their lost weight within one year after they stop taking these drugs,” Mirkin wrote in a recent article.

    That means most users would have to continue taking the drug to keep the weight off, a fact which itself comes with challenges surrounding cost, supply shortages, and unpleasant side effects.

    High Costs, Low Supply, and Adverse Reactions

    The most difficult hurdle for most people to overcome when it comes to long-term usage of weight loss drugs is cost, with insurers less likely to approve them and out-of-pocket costs topping well over $1,000 a month.

    “In 2022, about 60% of the new weight-loss drugs were approved by insurers, but today fewer than 25% are covered by insurance,” Mirkin said.

    Supply shortages are another problem, particularly with specific weight loss drugs like Wegovy, as demand surges.

    Providers at clinics, spas, and telehealth services also tend to prescribe them improperly, even referring customers to pharmacies that offer unapproved knockoffs.

    Side effects have the potential to be extremely unpleasant and can include:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Stomach pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Pancreatitis and kidney issues (in rare cases)

    Despite the challenges, many people have found them worthwhile, including celebrities like Oprah, who publicly announced her own usage of them and how she found success via a holistic approach.

    How to Use Them Most Effectively

    In late 2023, Oprah joined a growing list of celebrities who announced they used weight loss drugs like Ozempic to maintain their weight. She explored the latest trend in her special, “Shame, Blame, and the Weight Loss Revolution,” where she echoed what many experts say.

    Weight loss drugs are most effective if users combine them with other healthy lifestyle changes that involve incorporating fitness and, most importantly, healthy eating.

    Diet-to-Go’s meal plans are specifically made for a wide variety of people who want to eat delicious, nutritionally balanced meals without much thinking. Our meal plans include:

    • Balance and Balance-Diabetes: Calorie- and portion-controlled for individuals looking to lose weight* and maintain their blood sugar levels

    • Keto-Carb30: Carb-restricted with only 30 net carbs per day
    • Vegetarian: Heart-healthy with protein sources from dairy, eggs, beans and some soy
    • Mediterranean: Rich in whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, grains, fish, and lean meats

    “Recent studies show that GLP-1 agonists and bariatric surgery may help with weight loss, but the excess weight usually returns soon after you stop taking the drugs or have the surgery,” Mirkin wrote. “Before you take GLP-1 agonist weight-loss drugs or have bariatric surgery, be ready to follow the lifestyle changes necessary for long-term weight loss.”

    How Can I Get the Weight Loss Drugs?

    Prescriptions for weight loss drugs depend on your medical situation and history. However, many providers and insurers base it on your body mass index (BMI).

    Patients must have a BMI of 30 or more, or 27-29 combined with another condition, such as high cholesterol or blood pressure.
    The best way to determine if you’re a candidate is to discuss your options with your doctor.

    The Bottom Line

    Ultimately, weight loss drugs like Wegovy, Ozempic, Zepbound, and Mounjaro may be highly effective while using them. However, ensuring results last a lifetime entails a multi-pronged approach that includes fitness and healthy eating, too.



    Author: Caitlin H
    Diet-to-Go Community Manager

    Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.


    Nutrition Science
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