Should I Start Weight Loss Medication?

Here’s the truth— Losing weight permanently is frustrating because obesity is a complex and relapsing medical problem—- like high blood pressure or diabetes. There are many biological reasons our body may naturally turn towards weight gain. Risk factors that are out of our control, such as genetics & hormones, or environmental factors related to food and portion size, sedentary lifestyle, increased stress and use of medications to treat other medical problems, all contribute to a state of excess weight. So really, failure to achieve and sustain weight loss is not because you lack willpower to accomplish changes.

Failure to lose weight is not about lack of willpower to make changes

My name is Dr. Florencia Ziemke, and I am the founder and director at Evexia Medical, Nutrition and Weight Management. As a double board-certified physician and national expert in the field of Medicine, Nutrition and Obesity, I have spent years successfully treating thousands of patients with excess weight and related health problems.

At Evexia Medical, we identify the factors that impact a patients’ weight, including those factors related to lifestyle, environment and medications taken for other chronic issues. Together with an in-depth medical evaluation, blood and urine tests, specialized nutrition software to capture an individual’s intake, body composition testing, electrocardiogram and physical exam, I create a physician led individualized treatment plan for permanent weight loss.

As a licensed expert, it is exciting to see the availability of safe and more effective anti-obesity medications, including the novel GLP-1 agonists such as Ozempic and Wegovy, that have become available over the past decade.Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right approach. One option to consider is combining medication with a healthy lifestyle. The real question is, Should YOU start a weight loss medication?

The real question is, Should YOU start a weight loss medication?

Here are a few important facts about prescription weight loss medications:
  • Obesity is a complex, chronic and relapsing medical condition that has little to do with willpower, and prescription medications can be an effective part of treatment. Medication is not a crutch but a way to treat this medical condition. Additionally, the use of medication should not be in lieu of dietary changes and lifestyle intervention. Meaning, don’t think the medication is a quick fix to continue eating unhealthy foods and not exercising.
  • Medications do not work alone. Decreasing food intake and modifying food choices is also necessary.
  • A 5% weight loss improves medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. There are over 200 illnesses related to excess weight and 5-15% weight reduction can improve most of their onset, symptoms and mitigate their development.

Combining prescription weight loss medication with a healthy lifestyle such as healthy eating and increased movement has a greater impact than medication alone

Medication% Body Weight LossWhere Does it Work?Best For People Who
Orlistat (Xenical, Alli): FDA approved ≥ 12 years old3%Works in the gastrointestinal track; binds to fat from a meal and helps to poop this fat outHave constipation
Gelesis (Plenity): FDA approved ≥ 22 years old6%Taken before meals; Expands in stomach to create a feeling of early fullnessEat large meals
Naltrexone/Bupropion (Contrave): FDA approved ≥ 18 years old6.4%Brain (multiple locations)Have Depression and/or Anxiety. Are "Emotional Eaters"
Phentermine/Topiramate ER (Qsymia): FDA approved ≥ 12 years old10.9%BrainEat large meals or feel out-of-control with snacking
Liraglude (Saxenda): FDA approved ≥ 12 years old: Daily injection6.2%Brain (multiple locations), small intestine, pancreas, stomachGraze/snack a lot
Semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic, Trulicity, Rybelsus): FDA approved ≥ 18 years old: Weekly injection12.4%Brain (multiple locations), small intestine, pancreas, stomachGraze/snack a lot
Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) Approved for Type 2 diabetes, ≥ 18 years old: Not yet FDA approved for weight loss (in research trials): Weekly injection20.5%Brain (multiple locations), small intestine, pancreas, stomachGraze/snack a lot
Here are some of the benefits of combining weight loss medication with a healthy lifestyle:
  • Increased weight loss: Combining weight loss medication with healthy habits such as regular exercise and a balanced diet can lead to greater weight loss than relying on medication
  • Improved overall health: A healthy lifestyle can improve your overall health by reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. In addition, weight loss can help alleviate symptoms of conditions such as joint pain, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure.
  • Better mental health: Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also improve mental health by reducing stress, boosting self-confidence, and increasing energy levels.
  • Sustainable results: Combining weight loss medication with healthy habits can lead to sustainable weight loss and long-term results, rather than short-term fixes.

If you would like to discuss which is best for you visit us at or call 561-621-1096

If you would like to discuss treatment options, including weight loss medications, nutrition plans and long-term weight loss, please visit us online at or call the office 561-621-1096 to schedule your visit.

We look forward to working with you!  Stay tuned for next month’s article: Wegovy, Ozempic or Mounjaro?

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