• Gastroenterology

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Weight-loss medications alone are not a quick fix

One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to lose weight. Many may be wondering if weight-loss medications can help them reach their goal. Medications called semaglutides — better known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy — have been shown to help people lose about 15% of their body weight. But as Dr. Andres Acosta explains in this Mayo Clinic Minute, these medications alone are not a quick solution.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

"What we need to know about taking any intervention for obesity, including these two new medications, is that they're not a quick fix. They're not a magic pill or, in this case, a magic injection," says Dr. Acosta, a Mayo Clinic expert in treating obesity and co-author of "The Mayo Clinic Diet Rx."

He says in order to achieve healthy, long-term weight loss, tools like weight-loss medications need to be part of a multidisciplinary program that includes diet and exercise routines.

"The diet is still key. What this medication is doing is suppressing our appetite, so I don't feel that hungry, so I can eat less. So, diet is important," says Dr. Acosta.

Dr. Acosta recommends sticking to a healthy, low-calorie, high-protein diet to ensure healthy weight loss.

"When the medications or effects are coming off, or we want to stop the medications, it's important that we consider what diet intervention I'm going to do — what changes I'm going to do to my lifestyle, to my diet, in my exercising, my physical activity — in order to keep that weight off for a longer period of time."

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