I have gained and lost hundreds of pounds. Twice previously, I have lost approximately 80 pounds. Both times it took me about 1 year to lose that amount of weight. I have also lost 20-30 pounds on several occasions. I lost most of this weight using the keto diet in conjunction with intermittent fasting. Unfortunately, like most people, I eventually got off the keto diet, began binging on carbs, and gained the weight back. My main struggles with overeating were at night after work and weekends.
About 3 months ago, I introduced a new weight loss medication option, which I also determined to test on myself so I could better advise patients and lose weight again myself. This medicine is semaglutide also known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy. For more information on this medicine read my previous article.
After starting the semaglutide injection at the 0.5 mg dosage I noticed that it suppressed my appetite, decreased hunger, altered food preferences, and made me feel fuller quicker. I experienced side effects of tiredness, mild nausea, stomach cramps, occasional acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms are also the most common ones I have seen experienced by patients. For me the worst symptom by far was constipation and I had to take medications like Miralax and Magnesium to help somewhat relieve it.
I took the semaglutide 0.5 mg injection for 7 weeks and have done the last 5 weeks without it, as I wanted to test how things would change after stopping the injections. I was also determined that I would try to continue forward on my own. I also missed weighing myself on week 7. My starting weight was 270 pounds. Here are my subsequent weights.
Week 0: 270.0
Week 1: 260.6
Week 2: 252.8
Week 3: 246.2
Week 4: 240.0
Week 5: 237.2
Week 6: 233.0
Week 7: missed weigh-in and last injection given
Week 8: 227.8
Week 9: 224.6
Week 10: 220.4
Week 11: 217.2
Week 12: 215.0
Total weight loss after 12 weeks: 55 pounds
Those are pretty impressive results but they are not entirely a result of the medicine. I would say the medicine got me half way there but I had to put in the other half. I have invested a lot of effort into following a consistent diet and trying to increase exercise as my body would permit.
It was definitely easier to eat fewer calories while on the injection but I have still maintained a lower amount of calories after the injection. I estimate my caloric intake while on the injection to be about 750-1000 calories/day. Off the injection my caloric intake has increased to about 850-1300 calories/day. I eat twice daily and have tried to eliminate most snacking. I have cut out soda entirely. I already don't drink alcohol. Overall I am eating relatively lower carbs but not extremely so. I have been in ketosis for about 1 week total out of the 12 weeks but not purposely so. I have not entirely eliminated any food group. I have tried to remove junk food, chips, crackers (non-real food) as much as possible. I have also tried to severely curtail very energy dense food such as nuts and cheese and have been eating a generally higher protein percentage. I drink water with electrolytes with a slight addition of salt and I frequently supplement with otc magnesium pills. I drink a significant amount of electrolytes/water before eating a meal which has helped with satiation. On days that I am more sedentary I have tried to eat no more than 500 calories per meal. This was especially true during the first 4-6 weeks as I was still not really exercising much. During very active days I have permitted myself to eat up to 750 calories in a single meal. I have been eating my first meal from about 1130am-1 pm and then my second meal from 5-6 pm. I have not been eating in the morning mostly because I am not hungry anyway.
The initial 4-5 weeks I didn't exercise much mainly because of pre-existing physical limitations, lack of energy, lack of motivation, pain, etc. As I have lost weight I have had increased energy, physical capacity, and motivation to do exercise. Subsequently, I have increased exercise from 0-2 times/week (mostly zero) to 5-7 times/week. The amount and intensity of exercise has also greatly increased. My weekly exercise regimen now consists of one 2 hour session of tennis, 4-5 bike rides lasting 45 minutes, and 1-2 low impact high intensity 10-15 minute aerobic workouts. I also stretch 10-15 minutes/day 3-4 times per week.
The above regimen is what I have followed and it has worked. However, I am not prescribing this strategy as something you should follow. I simply wanted to give everyone a detailed look about what I have been doing. Obviously, follow your own doctor's advice before following any diet or exercise regimen. My plan is to publish a subsequent 24 week follow-up, so stay tuned.
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