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Spilling the Beans on the Wegovy Weight Loss Injection

What is the Wegovy Weight Loss Injection? 

Wegovy® (with the active ingredient semaglutide) is an injectable prescription medicine. It may help adults and children aged over 12 years old with obesity. That’s adults with a Body Mass Index or BMI ≥30, and children with a BMI ≥ 95th percentile according to age and sex. And it may also help some adults with weight-related medical problems and a BMI ≥27 to lose weight. 

How does Wegovy work?

Wegovy works by mimicking our hormone GLP-1, which not only helps regulate insulin action, it also makes you feel full after eating. So, this can – theoretically – help you eat less, which can lead to weight loss. 

As such, the Wegovy injection has been described as a “silver bullet” because, unlike traditional diets, you can potentially get results without any conscious effort or willpower. However… 

Overeating is NOT always about being hungry

Overeating, as in eating more than your body needs for nutrition, is always for reasons other than normal physical hunger. 

In our LighterLife client groups we’ve been exploring hunger for decades, getting to understand more about the reasons why we overeat, and how to make a lasting change. Some of the typical reasons our clients cite include: feeling tired, miserable, frustrated, lonely, happy, sad, anxious, stressed, and bored. Interestingly, hunger is seldom mentioned. 

And when we go on to discuss the sorts of things clients have tried to do to lose weight, we hear plenty of counting calories, eating lots of carbs, eating less carbs, and yes, exercise. Many clients have even tried different types of injections or taken tablets that claim to reduce hunger. 

But… the reasons why many clients overeat are emotional, whereas the attempts to lose weight are typically focussed purely on physical hunger. They too often ignore this emotional aspect.

What’s so commonly misunderstood is that people like us don’t just eat because we’re physically hungry. We’re comfort eaters, and we use food to cope with our overwhelming emotions in the same way an alcoholic reaches for a drink. 

So, appetite suppressing drugs are unlikely to help in the long-term because they don’t address the root cause of why some people overeat. Overeating for many is an addiction, and none of the regularly prescribed diets, exercises, and even medical interventions can address what’s going on in our minds.

Coming back to why the Wegovy injection isn’t the golden ticket answer…

What are the possible side effects of Wegovy?

The Wegovy weight loss injection certainly does result in significant initial weight loss in a large percentage of users, but there are downsides.

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, and acid reflux, which can sometimes last for as long as you take the drug. And there are other potentially more serious side effects too, although these are very rare. 

The manufacturers state the Wegovy weight loss injections shouldn’t be used in isolation, but as part of a weight management programme, including a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity

Frequently Asked Questions about Wegovy

Is Wegovy now available on the NHS? 

Yes, it is, and there are several million people who would be eligible. But, according to a recent BBC Panorama programme about Britain’s obesity crisis, we don’t have the healthcare facilities or staff to assess, treat, and monitor these weight loss medications, nor enough of the specialist weight management services through which they are meant to be prescribed.

Nor are there enough doses of Wegovy to go around, which means the overwhelming majority of overweight or obese people won’t be able to access these weight loss drugs. 

Can I buy Wegovy in the UK? 

If you can’t get the Wegovy weight loss injection on the NHS, where do you go? According to the same BBC Panorama programme, people have been heading to the black-market, to buy online without a prescription. And in many cases they’ve not only ended up with inferior products, but also drugs containing unknown substances. 

Does Wegovy weight loss last? Is Wegovy weight loss permanent?

The effect of the drug wears off quickly after ceasing use and intense feelings of hunger are described as returning very quickly. And whilst the weight loss does remain for a specified period of time, clinical data shows that the vast majority of this is regained over the medium to longer term.

Additionally, Wegovy has only been approved for use up to a maximum two-year treatment period for weight loss, but not for weight maintenance. So, what do you do once the two years are up? Your hunger will return, and this won’t only be due to lack of the drug, but also because we know that unless you work on the other reasons for overeating, they’ll still be there.

If not Wegovy, what’s the answer to Britain’s obesity crisis?

A frightening combination of successive governments’ inaction, junk food diets, and our soaring inactivity levels have created a health emergency that’s been warned of for decades

Like so many other medical “silver bullets” (including bariatric procedures), using Wegovy is no magic pill and likely no more than a temporary fix. Patients on a weight loss journey will still require professional support, short and long-term dietary changes, and ideally some increased physical activity as well. 

There are many treatments for weight loss, and many of them help people lose weight. But what still eludes even more of us is the ability to manage and maintain that loss in the longer term, if we don’t tackle the underlying reasons for weight gain in the first place.

As so many yo-yo dieters will know all too well, treating the physical symptoms alone don’t work. You need encouragement and support to build your mental toolbox, to help you make different choices and responses to an emotional trigger rather than reaching for yet another cake. 

And that’s where we come in. It’s how we’ve helped more than 1,000,000 clients make the change for good over the last 35 years. You alone can do it, but with us, you don’t do it alone.