The following is a transcript of the “Wegovy Stopped Working!?!” video posted on YouTube.
Can Wegovy or Ozempic or Mounjaro or whichever weight management medication you might be on, can it actually stop working? I mean, it might certainly seem like it because your cravings are starting to come back. Maybe even you’re starting to gain a few pounds back as well. But has the drug actually stopped doing what it’s supposed to do?
Well, let’s find out.
Welcome back to the program, you beautiful people. My name is Dr. Dan, I’m a pharmacist turned obesity expert. And today, before I get into dishing on whether the weight loss medications can stop working or not, I need to give you that quick reminder to hit the subscribe button down below and turn on your notification so that you know when a new episode comes up and you also don’t miss out when a new episode comes out. Further, check me out of my other channels @TheOffcialDrDan and check out my website healthevolved.co. that is .co, O as in orange, where you can book a consultation with myself if you need some support on your weight management journey.
So the short answer is these drugs, they don’t stop working. They never do. They’re continually acting and having their effect within the reward center, the hypothalamus, all of the various appetite regulatory centers inside of your brain on a continuous basis as long as you’re taking them. And what they’re effectively doing is decreasing your food seeking behaviors. So they’re reducing how much you’re going out to look for food, how much you’re actually eating when you sit down to have some food and those sorts of things.
If it feels like your cravings are coming back and maybe you’re starting to gain weight, what gives? Well, the one thing that has changed is biology. You see, your food seeking behaviors, the craving of food, the wanting of food, et cetera, are driven by what’s called the primal brain or the lizard brain, the hindbrain, you’ve probably heard one of these kinds of terms at some point in time.
And you see, when it comes to that primal brain, its sole function is to keep you alive. So it’s constantly taking in information from your environment, both your internal environment and your external environment. And effectively what it’s looking for is what’s gonna be the thing that’s gonna kill you in the next five minutes. And when it detects something like that, well, we hope that it’s gonna ultimately send a signal to get you to solve the problem or to act in some kind of way that prevents you from dying.
As an example, if it detects from your skin that you feel cold, the primal brain is going to send a signal that says go put on your jacket or turn up the thermostat. If it detects that you are hungry or that you are losing weight, it’s gonna send a signal that says, go and find food. Now, a couple of problems with the primal brain is the first one, it has learned over the course of your life what is the most rewarding way to solve the various problems that you come across on a daily basis.
So if we go back to you being cold example, yeah, it might send a signal to go put on a jacket, but it’s probably gonna want you to actually go turn up the thermostat because that’s a lot more efficient and a lot more rewarding. Same thing when it comes to food. It has learned that yes, an apple is nutritious, but an apple pie is also nutritious and way more delicious.
Now the other aspect of our primal brain that is a bit problematic is that it’s very present-focused. So it’s not thinking about the end of the month when your gas bill comes or if you were to eat apple pie every single day and that led to a heart attack 10 years from now, it’s not its problem. It is trying to solve the problem and keep you alive for the next five minutes.
One of our main goals when it comes to managing our appetite and managing our weight or trying to lose weight when it comes to the primal brain is we wanna keep the primal brain feeling as happy and as secure as possible. And your primal brain being the stubborn bugger it is, it will continue to send signals to fix the various problems it’s experiencing until it does feel safe and secure. It very much can be like an inconsolable child at times.
Now, in order to keep the primal brain happy from a nutrition perspective, there are four guidelines or four tenets that I look at in order to help people manage their weight. The first one of these things is protein. Protein, protein, protein. In fact, if you take nothing else away from this video today, please forever for the rest of your life, make sure you are consuming more protein than what you currently are.
The reason we need more protein is because the protein is the king of the macronutrients. It can be converted to carbohydrates. It can be converted to fat in your body. It’s involved in just about every single cellular process within the body, and it helps us to feel fuller for longer and to preserve our lean muscle tissue.
The second thing that I look at when I’m trying to help people manage their weight is consistency with protein. Now what I mean by that is that you need to consume pulses of protein throughout the course of your day. And the reason for that is because well, your body can store sugar for later. Your body can store fat for later, but your body cannot store protein. So to keep that primal brain happy, it needs to have a continuous supply of protein going in over the course of the day.
The next thing that people need to do is they need to eat enough. What I mean by this is basically you need to eat enough calories in a day to at least reach the amount of what’s called your basal metabolic rate. And what your basal metabolic rate is is basically the amount of calories that your body burns in a day in order to keep the proverbial lights on. It’s the amount of calories that you would burn if you just laid in bed all day long. And so if you’re not getting enough food to replenish at least those calories in a day, effectively what you’re telling your primal brain is that we’re dying. And you need to have all hands on deck to find and consume all of the food.
The final tenet here, tenet number four is fiber. Now this is obviously fruits, vegetables, whole grains, all of those wonderful things. And obviously those things are good for us and healthy for us and such. But fiber or the foods that we get fiber from play a couple other roles in our diet. Number one, they help to increase the volume of the food that we’re eating. So it helps us to feel like we’re consuming more food and helps the primal brain to think that we’re getting more nutrition and all that wonderful stuff. But fiber-based foods also contain a lot of our micronutrients.
And so the reason why micronutrients are important is because, well, if your primal brain detects that you’re low on salt, for example, it doesn’t send a signal that says, hey, go and have a pinch of table salt and the problem solved. Basically, your primal brain sends out a signal that says, hey, you’re hungry, go find food. And what it’s ultimately hoping for is that the food you find contains the micronutrient that’s missing. And so if we have plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains in our diet, hopefully we’re getting all of those micronutrients so we’re not getting a non-specific signal and ultimately keep the primal brain happy.
So if one of these four things is not being satisfied, or worse yet, if more than one of these things is not being satisfied, your primal brain is gonna be a cranky camper and ultimately it is gonna increase the signals that get you to go and find food. And it’s not gonna be the nutritious kind of food either.
What the medications like Wegovy, Mounjaro, and friends essentially do is they help to decrease or at least help you to kind of ignore the signal that’s coming from the primal brain. So if you kind of think of the primal brain and the signal that’s coming from it kind of like a wave on the ocean, what these drugs are doing is they’re essentially putting up a wall that stops that signal.
When that signal is then stopped, you are more likely going to choose the apple over the apple pie. Obviously these drugs are very good at what they do. They can definitely help people to reduce their food seeking behaviors and certainly help them to choose the apple over the apple pie more consistently. And ultimately that allows them to achieve a calorie deficit and ultimately lose weight.
However, if you are ignoring one of the four main tenets However, if you are ignoring one of the four main tenets that I already talked about, protein, consistency with protein, eating enough, and getting plenty of fiber, what’s ultimately gonna happen is over time, that signal from the primal brain or that wave is gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until finally, that wall, that drug that you are taking, that wave is gonna be so large that it’s gonna be able to crash over that wall.
And ultimately, it’s not gonna matter how big that wall is because the primal brain signal wave is going to just wash it out completely. Your cravings, your hunger, and your food seeking behaviors are all going to start coming back. And basically no matter how much of that drug you pump in or if you try to stack other drugs on top of it, if you are not taking care of those four tenets from the aspect of the primal brain, that wave will just get bigger and bigger and will continue to crash over top and ultimately sabotage the efforts that you were putting in to try and manage your weight.
Fundamentally, that is because your primal brain is biology. And biology always wins.
So the drugs don’t stop working. They’re always gonna have that wall that’s gonna be there. But if you’ve allowed that biology to get too out of control and that wave to get too big, well then that’s gonna be where you run into problems.
Now our goal when it comes to managing weight and losing weight and keeping that weight off is not to eliminate biology and that primal brain signal altogether. In fact, that is impossible to do and especially when you’re trying to lose weight. And that’s because even if you are eating at a maintenance level of calories so you’re not actively trying to lose weight and such like that, your body, your brain is still going to get cravings. You’re still gonna wanna eat your favorite treat or those foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar, and that’s because those foods are amazing and they should be a part of your life.
But what we really wanna try and do is to utilize the drug and that wall and to keep that primal brain wave as low as we can or at a more manageable level. And so that can be done with the help of a medication and that can be done by making sure you’re taking care of the four tenets the best that you can. And ultimately, that’s going to make your weight loss efforts much more easy and a lot more sustainable for you in the long term to keep the weight off.
So if you feel like your weight loss medication is no longer working, well, you need to start optimizing the four tenets. You need to make sure that you’re getting enough protein. And if you think you’re getting enough protein, based on the thousands of individuals that I’ve worked with, I can guarantee you are not getting enough protein or you are not getting enough protein consistently enough. You likely need to start increasing your calories ’cause I hate to say it, but a 1,200 calorie a day diet or less is not enough food. It does not even contain enough food and nutrition for a four-year-old girl.
And as well, making sure you’re getting plenty of fiber. If you’re not eating any fruits and veggies or you don’t like eating fruits and veggies, I’m sorry, you are going to have to find a way to start incorporating them into your life because not only are they healthy for you and do all kinds of wonderful and great things, but they’re also going to help you to manage your weight.
Now, the big question is, how do you achieve those four things maybe in a more sustainable way or what are some strategies that you can implement in order to do those sorts of things? Well, unfortunately, I’m gonna be a bit of a dink today and I’m gonna make you wait until next week’s video. So be sure to stay tuned.
If you got some benefit out of this and you think someone else might get some benefit out of this, please feel free to share it and get the word out. As well, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button down below. And of course, check me out on my other channels @TheOffcialDrDan and check out my website healthevolved.co. Again, that’s healthevolved.co, C-O, O as in orange, and you can book a consultation with myself there.
And if you happen to be in the Calgary, Alberta, Canada area, I just opened a brand new pharmacist-led obesity clinic where you can book a consultation with myself or my team and we can help you and support you on getting onto one of the weight management medications and also supporting your lifestyle efforts.
Until next time my friends. Always remember small tweaks lead to massive peaks.
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