Weight Loss: Pros and Cons of GLP-1 Drugs

3.7 min read

If you’re struggling with weight loss, GLP-1 drugs may be an effective tool for weight management – but, there are potential drawbacks.

GLP-1 Drugs: Benefits

  • Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
  • Curb Appetite and Cravings
  • Facilitate Weight Loss

GLP-1 Drugs: Challenges

  • Side Effects: Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation
  • Muscle Loss
  • Supply Issues and Cost
  • Difficult to Maintain Long-Term

Not a Long-Term Solution

While GLP-1 drugs may offer initial weight loss, potential drawbacks can include unpleasant side-effects, muscle-loss, and weight regain upon cessation.

It’s crucial for patients to understand that while GLP-1 medications are revolutionary tools that accelerate weight loss…to reach their goals they still need to make [healthy] lifestyle changes, fix relationships with food, and work on exercise consistency.

Dr. Maria Anton, Endocrinologist and Pritikin Educator

At Pritikin, we understand your weight loss journey is not without challenges. You can reach your goals with support, guidance and tools. We are the leaders in weight loss and prevention of lifestyle diseases.

Best Way to Prevent or Reduce GLP-1 Drug Side Effects

Some users of GLP-1 drugs struggle with muscle loss and gastrointestinal side effects. Here are some ways you may help to lessen negative effects.

Prevent Muscle Loss

GLP-1 drugs suppress appetite and food cravings, leading you to consume fewer calories. GLP-1 drugs lead to drastic caloric restriction – a type of weight loss that can cause the body to lose muscle mass.

Muscle loss makes up to 20 to 50% of weight loss – it can affect the cardiovascular system, increase risk of falls and fractures …and, makes it more difficult to lose weight

Lon Ben-Asher, Registered Dietitian and Pritikin Educator

To mitigate muscle loss during weight loss, clinical guidelines recommend adopting healthy lifestyle habits that include exercise and an eating plan that focuses on water-rich, nutritious, whole foods with sufficient protein. (This is the Pritikin Program.)

An expert panel of physicians provided clinical recommendations to help patients manage some of the side effects of GLP-1 drugs – those recommendations are in complete alliance with the Pritikin Program.

Lon Ben-Asher, Registered Dietitian and Pritikin Educator

Prevent GI Side Effects

Effective strategies to reduce gastrointestinal side-effects of GLP-1 drugs exist. Clinical guidelines to reduce GLP-1 side effects involve making changes to lifestyle habits – something your doctor probably doesn’t have time to help you implement. At Pritikin, optimizing lifestyle habits is a key element of its Medical Program.

The Pritikin Plan aligns perfectly with clinical recommendations for GLP-1 drugs for weight loss:

  • Nourishing, water-rich foods
  • Fiber-rich foods
  • Lean protein
  • Eating mindfully
  • Listen to hunger cues
  • Challenging, Pain-free Movement

Proven Weight Loss Results

The Pritikin Program is built on a foundation of science and medical supervision. The nutritional strategies, mindset and exercise outlined in published clinical guidelines to reduce GLP-1 drug side effects are the lifestyle Pritikin Guests learn at Pritikin Longevity Center.

Our experts have helped thousands of people achieve long-term weight loss.

Pritikin Can Get You There

At Pritikin, our extensive health education and physician services offer you opportunities to gain the knowledge, skills and support necessary to successfully navigate your weight loss journey with, or without, GLP-1 Drugs.

If you have weight loss goals, we invite you to come visit Pritikin – where we can help you establish the best nutritional and exercise program to optimize your results.

Dr. Maria Anton

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References

  • Front Endocrinol 2021; 12: 748477
  • J Clin Med 2023 Jan; 23(1): 145
  • Endocrinol Metab 2020 Mar; 35(1): 1-6
  • Curr Diabetes Rev 2021; 17(3): 293-303
  • JAMA 2023; 330(18): 1795-1797
  • Postgrad Med 2022 Jan; 134(1):14-19
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Are you taking or considering a medication for weight loss?

By combining the Pritikin Program with Ozempic, Wegovy, or ZepBound, you can safely accelerate weight loss, reduce side effects, preserve lean body mass, and enhance long-term metabolic health for optimal success.