Weight loss can be a challenging journey. Fortunately, there are a growing number of FDA-approved anti-obesity medications available to help people reach their weight loss goals.
The newest weight loss medications: Ozempic®, Wegovy®, Mounjaro®, are game changing for weight loss and are proven tools for diabetes management.
BUT, Here’s an important thing to know: you will get even better results when anti-obesity medications are used in combination with a healthy lifestyle and “protein first” diet.
What we must remember is, despite their popularity, the basics of protein nutrition for fat loss and muscle retention still apply. You want to lose fat, not muscle.
Protein supplementation may be even more important when you are using these medications.
Just as in any weight loss scenario, there is a risk of losing more muscle than fat, which damages your metabolism and makes it very difficult to keep weight off for the long term.
To reduce the potentially dangerous effects of muscle loss, including fatigue and muscle weakness, it’s essential to understand the role that protein plays.
Regardless of HOW you lose weight, your goals should be:
- Avoid rapid, unsustainable weight loss, through starvation or poor nutrition.
- Don’t lose too much muscle through the weight loss process.
- Prevent weight regain by protecting your muscle and metabolism.
When you lose weight without the protective effect of high-quality protein, you experience muscle loss and a dramatic drop in metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn fewer calories each day.
Protect Muscle During Weight Loss
Combine smart nutrition and lifestyle changes with supervised medical therapies for best long-term results.
The goal is a healthier body composition – less fat, while maintaining or gaining more lean muscle.
The way to do that is by getting at least 30 grams of high-quality protein, like UNJURY® Medical Quality Protein™, 3 times each day while you are taking weight loss medications. You should also incorporate light weight lifting 3-5 times per week.
Other high-quality protein sources:
Common FDA-approved weight loss medications available on the market today.
Weight loss medications should always be used under medical supervision and in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. While they can help to support weight loss efforts, they are not a magic solution and do not replace the need for healthy lifestyle changes.
Phentermine (Adipex-P™, Lomaira™)
Phentermine is a prescription weight loss medication that has been approved by the FDA since 1959. It works by suppressing appetite and can be used for short-term weight loss in individuals with a BMI of 30 or higher, or in those with a BMI of 27 or higher with weight-related health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Orlistat (Alli™, Xenical®)
Orlistat is another FDA-approved weight loss medication that works by blocking the absorption of fat in the intestine. It is available over the counter under the brand name Alli™, as well as in prescription-strength under the brand name Xenical®.
Lorcaserin, marketed under the brand name Belviq®, is a weight loss medication that works by activating the serotonin 2C receptor in the brain, which helps to reduce appetite and promote feelings of fullness.
Phentermine/topiramate, marketed under the brand name Qsymia®, is a combination weight loss medication that combines phentermine with the anticonvulsant medication topiramate. Phentermine/topiramate works by suppressing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness.
Bupropion/naltrexone, marketed under the brand name Contrave®, is another combination weight loss medication that combines the antidepressant bupropion with the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Bupropion/naltrexone works by reducing appetite and cravings for food
Liraglutide (Saxenda®), Semiglutide (Wegovy®, Ozempic®), Tirzepatide (Mounjaro®)
GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) agonists are used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. They work by mimicking the effects of the hormone GLP-1, which is produced naturally in the body and plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels and appetite.
*Weight loss medications should always be used as directed by a healthcare professional. They require careful monitoring and supervision to ensure that they are used safely and effectively.
The Important Relationship Between Protein and GLP-1
We have known for years that protein is a very effective weight loss tool. Now we understand even more about why it’s so effective. Like the newest and most promising weight loss medications, whey protein has been shown to stimulate the release of GLP-1 from the intestine, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness and satiety.
Additionally, some studies suggest that certain amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, may play a role in stimulating GLP-1 release.
What are other ways that protein can help with weight loss?
Protein supplements help people full and satisfied throughout the day. They can help you manage your blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings. And they can be especially beneficial for anyone who is strength training or exercising to improve lean muscle mass.
It's very important to choose protein supplements carefully, as not all products are created equal. Grocery store brands may compromise quality by using “proprietary blends” or cheaper ingredients to meet the demands of the commercial supplier.
Look out for supplements that have lots of added sugars which can be detrimental to weight loss efforts.
It's best to choose high-quality supplements like UNJURY® Protein which is Recommended at All of America’s Top Hospitals.
Just remember: UNJURY® Protein: Don’t Lose Weight Without It.™
Sridonpai P, Prachansuwan A, Praengam K, Tuntipopipat S, Kriengsinyos W. Postprandial effects of a whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional drink compared with a normal breakfast on glucose, insulin, and active GLP-1 response among type 2 diabetic subjects: a crossover randomised controlled trial. J Nutr Sci. 2021;10:e49. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34290863/