Decoding GLP-1: How It Shapes Body Functions and Aids Weight Loss

Decoding GLP-1: How It Shapes Body Functions and Aids Weight Loss

What are GLP-1 medications?

GLP-1 medications, also known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, were initially developed to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. However, recent studies have revealed that they also have the potential to aid in weight loss. Popular brands of GLP-1 medications include OzempicRybelsus, and Wegovy. While Ozempic and Rybelsus are approved for treating diabetes, Wegovy is specifically FDA-approved for obesity management. The difference lies in dosage and formulation: Wegovy is a semaglutide 2.4 mg injectable, Ozempic is a 2 mg injectable, and Rybelsus is a 14 mg oral pill1.

How do GLP-1 medications work?

GLP-1s are naturally-occurring hormones released from our gut after eating. Their function is twofold: to boost insulin production, maintaining blood sugar levels, and to provide a feeling of fullness after meals. GLP-1 receptor agonists mimic this effect, leading to the following benefits:

  1. Feeling Fuller: People who take GLP-1 agonists experience increased fullness after and between meals.
  2. Improved Glucose Levels: These medications help regulate blood sugar levels.
  3. Reduced Thoughts About Food: GLP-1 agonists curb hunger and appetite.

Medium shot of personal training from athletic lady for obese female with big abdomen outdoor in cloudy summer evening. Fat caucasian woman performing push up exercise with female trainer using bench.

Are you a candidate for GLP-1 medications?

To qualify for GLP-1 agonists, you must meet certain criteria related to obesity. For Wegovy, the FDA requirements include:

  • Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or
  • BMI of 27 or more with weight-related complications (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol)
  • Inability to lose weight despite lifestyle changes
  • History of weight fluctuations

Consult your doctor to determine if GLP-1 medications are right for you1.

Lifestyle changes are essential

While GLP-1 medications can be effective, lifestyle changes remain crucial for long-term weight management. Even if you haven’t lost weight through lifestyle changes alone, combining healthy dietary habits and increased physical activity with GLP-1 medications can lead to greater weight loss, improved overall health, and reduced risk of weight regain once you stop taking the medication1.

Remember, it’s not just about the medication—it’s about making sustainable changes to support your health and well-being.


  • What are GLP-1 medications?
    • GLP-1 meds were developed for diabetes but also aid in weight loss.
    • Popular brands: Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy (FDA-approved for obesity).
  • How do they work?
    • Boost insulin, provide fullness after meals.
    • Benefits: fullness, improved glucose, reduced hunger.
  • Eligibility for GLP-1 meds:
    • BMI criteria (30+ or 27+ with complications).
    • Consult your doctor.
  • Lifestyle matters:
    • Combine meds with healthy habits for lasting results. 😊🌟📝

This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.

There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.

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