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Ozempic and Disordered Eating

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Brenda Sue and I are often contacted for advice on healthy eating and weight loss. And of course we welcome all who come to us – we are serious about helping others in their weight loss journey. The problem however, it seems that once some of these people hear our recommendations, they believe that our advice will lead them to disordered eating.

Isn’t it funny that one who suffers disordered eating would be concerned that healthy eating will also lead them to the same?

If you felt like taking the time to look up disordered eating, you will find some so-called nutritionists claiming that healthy eating can be a disorder in itself. Excuse my rudeness here, but these types of weight loss information have to be some of the dumbest stuff I have ever heard of.

How is disordered defined?

Well, here you go – if you turn to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, you will find that something is disordered when not functioning in a normal, orderly, and healthy way.

Below, you will read a couple of scenarios that have become normalized, but they’re all behaviors that a growing number of healthcare professionals consider signs of disordered eating.

I can’t think of any other way to bluntly explain this, if you are overweight or obese, you already have disordered eating and you know this already!

Eating healthy foods while abstaining from unhealthy foods is not disordered!

If you believe that weighing and measuring your foods leads to disordered eating, that kind of ignorant thinking is what will keep you in the statistic of the 95% of dieters who fail. If you consume more calories than you burn, the result every time is obesity.

Doing the simple things which will actually help you to lose weight is not disordered! The largest problem for dieters is that most do not want to actually be accountable for what they are putting into their stomachs. Until you become accountable to yourself for what, and how much you eat, you will remain obese. This point isn’t even arguable my friends.

Healthy nutrition habits may not be your “norm” – but healthy nutrition habits are an orderly process. Your problem is disorder, not order! Additionally, being as most people seem to never let their smart phones get out of their hands – even at dinner – could there be a more convenient time to log your intake while you can more easily remember what you have just eaten?

We tell people all the time to use apps such as My Fitness Pal to log their food intake. If you have time at the table to scroll through Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram and other social media sites, then it should be no problem to log onto My Fitness Pal and take about one or two minutes to log your food. It is actually a very simple process.

It is well known that eating disorders have diagnostic similarities to alcohol and drug addiction, they are compulsive behaviors which are difficult to stop. Furthermore, because people with eating disorders typically have unhealthy body image and co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety – many of these people often turn to substance abuse to cope. They will also jump onto the newest fad diets and gimmicks, as well as over the counter and prescription drugs to lose weight. The current trend is people who are suffering from obesity are turning to Ozempic, a diabetic drug that stimulates insulin release, to lose weight.

Ozempic for weight loss…

I had seen a few articles and ads telling about Ozempic being used for weight loss. I thought this to be stupid, but didn’t give it much thought until my eighty two year old mother called me because there now seems to be a shortage of Ozempic since doctors began prescribing it for weight loss.

Screenshot from NextMed website

No restrictive diet nor exercise to lose weight is a tad bit of pie in the sky thinking. You will be expected to cut your caloric intake, and you will also be encouraged to exercise. And truth being told, any reduction in caloric intake is going to be viewed as restrictive dieting by most who are already obese.

Ozempic has become popular in the last couple of years because it can make people lose weight fast. However, it is controversial because of the way it works – by triggering a chemical repugnance to food itself. After being injected with Ozempic, a user could try to imagine a mouth watering slab of BBQ ribs slathered with a coating of sweet sauce, candied from the heat in the smoker, or maybe a calorically-dense bacon cheeseburger, only to have their body physically revolt with spasms of nausea and waves of feeling sick.

Ozempic is not actually a weight loss drug, it’s a medication for diabetes. It has gained traction in the medical community because of its ability to lower blood sugar, or rein in levels of glycated hemoglobin, otherwise known as A1C.

One of Ozempic’s effects is that it diminishes a dieters appetite to therefore eat less.  This drug works because Semaglutide simulates a hormone called GLP-1 that regulates blood sugar levels. If blood sugar rises, the hormone tells the body to produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels in turn. This method of action has made GLP-1 a game changer in the management of type 2 diabetes, but the same hormone has also been shown to slow down the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine, which can increase a feeling of satiety by making dieters feel fuller faster.

Ozempic is not a miracle drug, it can cause you to experience awful side effects.  People taking Ozempic for this particular off-label use may experience nausea and dehydration. They might also feel fatigue and malaise. Their bowel movements might change, with some patients having diarrhea and others becoming severely constipated. This in itself is where a good bit of weight loss is going to come from – your daily calorie intake is going to be lowered with these side effects.

Calorie reduction below your daily metabolic needs is what it takes to lose weight! To keep it off permanently, you have to make permanent changes to your lifestyle. Ozempic can help you to lose weight, but it is not going to fix the multitude of reasons that you have become obese. Healthy weight loss requires also fixing the reasons that drive you to over eating in the first place. If you have not worked on fixing the problems that have driven your appetite, once you quit  Ozempic, you will put back all, or more, of the lost weight right back onto your body.

Reasons for Weight Gain 

You eat heavily processed foods which are often little more than refined ingredients mixed with additives. These garbage products are designed to be cheap, last long on the shelf and are so highly palatable that they are hard to resist. By making foods as tasty as possible, food manufacturers are trying to increase sales. But they also promote overeating.

Most processed foods today don’t resemble whole foods at all. These are highly engineered products, designed to get people hooked.

You eat too many sugar-sweetened, high-fat junk foods that stimulate the reward centers in your brain. These sugar sweetened foods are often compared to commonly abused drugs like alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and cannabis. Junk foods can cause addiction in susceptible individuals. These people lose control over their eating behaviors, similar to people struggling with alcohol addiction losing control over their drinking behavior.

Addiction is a complex issue that can be very difficult to overcome. When you become addicted to something, you lose your freedom of choice and the biochemistry in your brain starts calling the shots for you.

You eat too many foods that spike your insulin. High insulin levels and insulin resistance are linked to the development of obesity. To lower insulin levels, quit eating foods with added sugars and refined carbs. It is also quite helpful eat more fiber.

You eat too much junk food that is often thought to be easier on the pocket book than healthy, whole foods. In America, we can very easily find junk food everywhere now. Convenience and grocery stores display tempting foods in places where they are most likely to gain your attention. The cost savings found with cheap junk foods is entirely wiped out when you need to eat more often than you do when eating healthy. Additionally, high calorie, low nutrition foods are highly likely to cause you to suffer metabolic ailments at some point in your future. The cost of your unnecessary medical bills will far out-weigh your savings with cheap food products.

You refuse to quit eating sugar which is possibly the single worst aspect of the Standard American Diet (SAD). Sugar changes the hormones and biochemistry of your body when consumed in excess. This, in turn, contributes to weight gain.

Added sugar is half glucose, half fructose. People get glucose from a variety of foods, including starches, but the majority of fructose comes from added sugar. Excess fructose intake is known to result in insulin resistance and elevated insulin levels. Refined sugar does not promote satiety!

The bottom line is the most common causes of weight gain are related to poor diet and exercise habits. If you do not fix this, your weight loss with Ozempic is still doomed for failure once you come off of it. Cry if you want to, but to lose weight and also keep it off, you have to really also fix everything about yourself, and also you have to create a new lifestyle that is always focused on good health.

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