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How to Make the Most of your Weight Loss Medication

Published on Sep 11, 2023 | 11:10 AM

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Over-the-counter and prescription weight loss medications are effective tools for those looking to lose weight. When used alongside a proper diet and regular exercise, the vast majority of those trying to lose weight succeed. With around 4 in 10 (41% of) Americans reporting that they are overweight and over half (55%) of American adults saying they want to lose weight, it’s important to understand exactly what goes into weight loss and how you can best use weight loss prescriptions or medications to help you achieve your weight loss goals. (1) Proven to be effective, many of that same number have chosen prescriptions like Ozempic, Saxenda, Wegovy, and more. 

How do I track my weight loss progress?

Tracking your weight loss progress is an important part of reaching your goals, as will as also provide you with a structure to use after you’ve achieved your ideal weight. For the most effective methods used for tracking weight loss, here are some steps you can take: 

  • Weigh Yourself Regularly: Pick a specific day and time to weigh yourself each week, ideally in the morning after using the bathroom and before eating. Consistency is key.
  • Use a Scale: Invest in a reliable digital scale for accurate measurements.
  • Keep a Journal: Maintain a weight loss journal or use a mobile app to record your weight, measurements, and other relevant data. You can also track your daily food intake and exercise.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Define your weight loss goals. Consider both short-term and long-term objectives. Make sure they are realistic and achievable.
  • Measure More Than Just Weight: Besides your weight, measure your body dimensions like waist, hips, and chest. This can give you a more holistic view of your progress.
  • Take Progress Photos: Snap before and after photos at regular intervals. These visual records can be motivating and help you see physical changes.
  • Monitor Non-Scale Victories: Pay attention to improvements in your energy levels, fitness, clothing size, and overall well-being.
  • Use Technology: Many apps and wearable fitness devices can help you track your progress automatically and offer insights into your health and fitness.
  • Stay Consistent: Stick to your chosen tracking method and routine. It's important to be patient and understand that progress may not always be linear.

Is dieting a good way to lose weight?

As mentioned in the CallonDoc article titled “CallonDoc Focus: The Best Diets for Losing Weight in 2024,” choosing a good diet and sticking to it is important for gradual weight loss. Since the need is for a calorie deficit, those looking to lose weight will need a diet that is low in calories but high in nutritional value. When it comes to the best diet for weight loss and to pair with a weight loss prescription, there are a number to choose from. On average, those who pair regular exercise with diet and prescription medication support lose 2-4 times more weight than with diet and exercise alone. 

One solid example of a weight loss diet plan is the Mayo Clinic Diet, devised by the organization of the same name, which focuses on a long-term diet and lifestyle specifically designed for losing weight. Another is the Mediterranean diet, specifically based on the region of the world where the diets revolve far less on processed food and more so on fruits, vegetables, fish, and poultry, among other foods. Put simply, especially when paired with weight loss medication, dieting is an exceedingly great way to lose weight. 

How many hours of sleep should I get to lose weight?

When it comes to getting enough sleep, it is a fact that adults aged 18 years and older should get at least seven hours or more of sleep per night. (8) While not necessarily a direct cause of gaining weight, lack of sleep will make it more difficult for you to lose it due to the habits you are prone to having when regularly not getting enough sleep. More specifically, someone who hasn’t had enough regular rest will have less capacity for impulse control and greater urges towards foods high in carbohydrates, or comfort foods. Additionally, getting enough sleep allows you to maintain a healthy metabolism while also retaining the ability to process important hormones like insulin. (9) Learn more by reading Call-On-Doc Focus: Why Sleep is Important

Can stress cause you to gain weight?

Yes, chronic stress can lead to weight gain. When you're stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite and lead to cravings for high-calorie, comfort foods. Additionally, stress can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep, and make it more challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and balanced eating. (10) When taking weight loss medication, it's not only important to stick to a regimen of dieting and exercise but also to find ways of managing stress. Not only will this help during any additional prescription support, but long after you’re done with it. 

What kind of exercise is best for weight loss?

For those explicitly trying to lose weight, choosing the best exercises and workouts might be a bit tricky. As discussed in a past article titled “CallonDoc Focus: The Best Exercises for Weight Loss in 2024,” certain exercises will help you lose fat, but gain muscle, which will inadvertently cause you to gain weight. That is especially true for those that have had little experience or have not ever worked out. When it comes to pursuing weight loss, regular exercise will help you achieve a calorie deficit by burning calories. For that specific goal, aerobic exercises, specifically cardiovascular workouts like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and jumping rope, are perfect weight loss exercises

Is patience needed for weight loss?

Patience is essential for weight loss because it helps individuals maintain a realistic perspective on their progress. Weight loss is typically a gradual process, and expecting rapid results can lead to frustration and discouragement. Impatience may result in extreme dieting or exercise habits that are unsustainable and may lead to rebound weight gain. Practicing patience allows for the development of lasting, healthier lifestyle changes, making it more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight over the long term. (11) Additionally, it’s important to stress the importance of sticking with a diet and exercise regimen when taking prescription weight loss medication so as to make the most out of it. 

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Wayne C. Hahne,

English graduate and Call-On-Doc’s medical resource guide, Wayne C. Hahne is an experienced and passionate medical education content expert. Through diligent research, provider interviews and utilizing the industry's leading resources for wellness information, it is Mr. Hahne’s personal mission to educate the general public on medical conditions with in-depth and easy-to-understand written guides.

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