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Nutritionist

What is medically aided weight loss?

Did you know that the majority of diets (over 65%) fail because people still feel hungry? The most common reason for this is because you're forcing yourself to starve your body of what it is craving and what it wants.

So what exactly is "medicated weight loss"? These are prescribed medications, which are used as an adjunct to healthy eating and exercise to make it easier to reduce your appetite & reduce your portion sizes. Studies have shown that this can help lead to weight loss and develop healthier eating habits. This is to help you maintain your weight loss without reverting back to your old ways.

The medication is a synthetic hormone regulating the body's natural hunger hormone, GLP-1. The release of GLP-1 acts on the receptors in the appetite-control section of the brain, reducing your appetite. It slows down gastric emptying, keeping you fuller for longer which further reduces your appetite.

It also helps your pancreas release just the correct amount of insulin to deal with your body's glucogon, meaning it works differently for each person's individual needs. This allows sugars and carbs to be broken down in an effective way without causing a "sugar crash", which therefore avoids those quick-fix sugary cravings and a hunger for carbs. It also helps reduce leptin levels, which is a key hormone in causing a metabolism slow-down.

Let's help reduce your portion sizes

When you diet, your appetite does not shrink to match the dietary requirements. Portion control has a major impact on the ability of a person to effectively lose weight. With a suppressed appetite, you will naturally start eating smaller portions. Your stomach will begin to get used to these reduced portions, making it easier to stick with them when you finish the treatment.

 

Incorporate light exercise

Once you're comfortable with the dietary side of things, you can begin to incorporate exercise into the programme. We offer a range of quick, simple home-based workout programmes and an exercise crib sheet to help you burn off those calories.

We want to help you develop healthier habits

The Slim Transformation® programme is not just a quick-fix or a magic wand. It comprises of a holistic approach including nutrition & exercise. This is so that once you finish the programme, you can keep the weight off naturally with healthy eating & light to moderate exercise.

 

What is medicated weight loss?

This is a new programme, which you may have seen in the news since last year (2022). But why choose a medication to aid weight loss and does it work? How many times have you heard "just eat less, move more"? It's not always that easy for a lot of people. In fact, the majority of diets (over 65%) fail because people still feel hungry - you're forcing yourself to starve your body of what it is craving and what it wants.

These weight loss medications have been approved for use in the UK by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority), with some adopted by the NHS to help aid weight loss alongside healthy eating and exercise. The medications are a synthetic hormone regulating the body's natural hunger hormone, GLP-1. The release of GLP-1 acts on the receptors in the appetite-control section of the brain, reducing your appetite. It slows down gastric emptying, keeping you fuller for longer which further reduces your appetite.

It also helps your pancreas release just the correct amount of insulin to deal with your body's glucogon, meaning it works differently for each person's individual needs. This allows sugars and carbs to be broken down in an effective way without causing a "sugar crash", which therefore avoids those quick-fix sugary cravings and a hunger for carbs. It also helps reduce leptin levels, which is a key hormone in causing a metabolism slow-down.

When you diet, your appetite does not shrink to match the dietary requirements. Portion control has a major impact on the ability of a person to effectively lose weight. With a suppressed appetite, you will naturally start eating smaller portions. Your stomach will start to shrink, effectively reducing the amount of food required to fill your stomach and the amount of food needed to appease your appetite.

Once you're comfortable with the dietary side of things, you can begin to incorporate exercise into the programme. We offer a range of quick, simple home-based workout programmes and an exercise crib sheet to help you burn off hose calories.

The programme is not just a quick-fix. It comprises of a holistic approach including nutrition & exercise. This is so that once you finish the programme, you can keep the weight off naturally with healthy eating & light to moderate exercise.

Please see the below table for a comparison:

Medication Comparison Table-1.png

How do these medications work?

The medications mimic a natural hormone already found in your body (GLP-1). They work in three key ways to reduce your appetite.

 

  1. It blocks a key hunger hormone telling your brain that you are hungry, whilst also helping to reduce leptin resistance (a hormone which can help off-set weight gain by increasing satiety aka fullness, and speed up your metabolism to help regulate the levels of fatty tissue in your body). This also helps stop the weight from coming straight back on when you stop the jab.

  2. It slows down the gastric emptying process, meaning that your body takes longer to process food and it is fuller for longer. This means your body does not need as much intake as normal as it works off the food it has.

  3. The medication helps to speed up your metabolism and increase fat burning by reducing glucogon & reducing insulin resistance. This promotes normal blood glucose levels, the liver metabolism of glucose and helps adipose tissue burn fat in a safe and controlled method without causing a sugar-crash. This avoids the urges for quick-fix sugary foods.

 

This all helps to reduce the risk of the so-called "starvation mode" and other side effects like ketoacidosis, as you will be burning off a mixture of stored carbs & fats.

 

Unlike fad diets which tend to starve the body when it's shouting out for food, the medication reduces your body's desire to get more food, which makes it easier to make healthier choices and to reduce calories. It also stops leptin levels from lowering due to "starvation". Low leptin levels can cause increased hunger & a slower metabolism!

The medications are Saxenda, Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, Trulicity and Mounjaro.

How does Mounjaro work differently?

Mounjaro works in two different ways. The active ingredient in Mounjaro is called tirzepatide. Tirzepatide works on two different hormonal receptors: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). You may have heard of GLP-1 from other weight loss injections.

GLP-1 helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn talks to the brain to make you feel less hungry and prevent cravings. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

GIP regulates energy balance in brain and fat cells, enhancing the GLP-1 effect of suppressing your appetite and improving sugar control.

By mimicking the effects of both these naturally occurring hormones, Mounjaro has been shown to have greater weight loss potential than medicines that work on GLP-1 alone.

How much weight could a person potentially lose using medication as an adjunct to dieting and exercise?

 

The average weight loss per person is always different. Clinical trials for the medications have shown a range of weight loss between 8lbs and 19lbs.

 

In the latest Semaglutide (the weekly injection) study released in February 2021, 75% of participants lost 10% of their body weight. For more detailed results of Semaglutide, please click here.

 

During clinical trials for Liraglutide (Saxenda - the daily injection), patients saw better results in losing weight when compared to using a placebo injection over the course of 56 weeks.

In summary;

63% lost at least 5% of body weight

33% lost at least 10% body weight

15% lost at least 15% of body weight

80% of those who used Saxenda kept the weight for over a year.

The full results for Liraglutide can be found here.

For the newer Mounjaro (Tirzepatide), clinical trials found participants without diabetes lost on average 52lbs after 16 months - or 22.5 per cent of their weight - compared to those who took the placebo. The highest-dose of the weekly injection, known as tirzepatide (brand name Mounjaro), saw obese adults drop more than a fifth of their bodyweight in little over a year.

The latest study involved 2,539 adults, although none had diabetes

Volunteers given the highest dosage of tirzepatide lost 52lbs after 16 months - or 22.5 per cent of their weight - while those given weaker shots dropped between 35 and 49lbs.

The key is not to compare yourself to others losing weight - focus on yourself, your goals and your progress. Every person is different.

How do I get the medication?

This is a prescription-only medication and it must be prescribed to ensure your safety & suitability.  There are three simple steps:

 

  1. Screening: you complete our easy-to-use online health form.

  2. Payment: if you are happy with all the information provided and you wish to go ahead, payment is made.

  3. Dispatch - the medication is prescribed, dispensed and dispatched to you.

 

For payment, you can either proceed to our checkout after the health form and complete your order. Or you can wait for your health form to be assessed and we will send you a manual invoice via email. Our payment provider is PayPal, so your transaction is safe and protected by PayPal Buyer Guarantee. You can also choose to Pay In 3 payments rather than all at once. You do not need a PayPal account to pay - you can checkout as a Guest and pay with your normal credit or debit card.

Once payment has been processed and your health form has been approved, we will send the medication to you on one of your selected delivery days. We cannot guarantee next working day due to the current stock shortage of these medications.

We use UK prescribers to prescribe the medication and get your medication dispensed from UK registered & regulated pharmacies. At the moment, we operate only online through our website. There are no brick & mortar pharmacy premises or physical clinics.

Who can use it?

The medication can be used for those with BMI over 25. We take into account a range of factors such as:

  • BMI

  • Medical History

  • Current Medication

  • Body measurements

  • Eating habits

  • Past diets

  • Current exercise levels

The programme is not suitable for:

Under 18's

Ladies who are breastfeeding, pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant.

Type 1 diabetics

Anyone with a history of pancreatitis or thyroid tumours

Anyone with direct family members who have had thyroid cancer

Are there any side effects?

Like any medication, there are the risks of side effects. The most common side effects are transient - this means that they only last for a couple of days whilst your body adjusts to the medication.  40-60% of clients experience no side effects, whilst others experience one or two mild side effects e.g. a dry mouth or a mild headache. Our aftercare literature (booklet & online aftercare) offers advice on how to deal with the most common side side effects. You also receive a Patient Information Leaflet detailing the ins & outs of the medication, including all side effects. Our team is also available for you to contact should you need any advice or support.

Please see the individual medication pages for the relevant side effects.

What is included with the programme?

Our programmes include:

 

  • Your health screening & consultation

  • For the injectables, we include all your needles

  • Aftercare literature, including side effects, how to deal with them, how to take measurements etc

  • Free special delivery with tracking information from a UK regulated pharmacy

  • Dietary & nutritional advice from our in-house qualified nutritionists

  • Our 4 week meal plan, plus our 4 week Metabolism Reset meal plan

  • Exercise Crib Sheet for basic home exercises

  • Access to our Facebook Support Group

  • Regular email check-ins from our team to ensure you are getting the best possible results

  • You can request unlimited check-ins with our team if you need any advice or guidance

Plus you get access to our Members Area, which includes:

  • Progress tracking - keep an eye on your weight, waist measurements & BMI

  • Track your daily calories - you can input & see your daily calorie intake from food & fluids

  • Access to over 200 recipes, healthy food swaps & healthy food tips

  • Access to the medication information, demo videos & aftercare literature

  • Online Exercise Programmes - our home workouts with no need for expensive equipment

  • Request a review of your progress

  • Order repeat products if you wish to continue the programme

Will I get support when using these medications?

Absolutely! Being overweight is a very common problem. More than 2/3 adults in the UK are either overweight or obese. Excess weight is linked to several serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

We send every new starter a Starter Pack, which has everything you need to get going. We’ll get in touch regularly to see how you're getting on and we are always available if you need any advice or support, or if you need any help with making the lifestyle changes you need to manage your weight over the long-term.

After you start any treatment with us, we’ll check in with you to see how you’re getting on. If it’s going well, we can look at arranging repeat courses for you. If you need any advice or support in the meantime, our team are available 7 days a week via telephone or email.

 

We know what it is like trying to lose weight - it can be scary, it can be hard, it can sometimes seem impossible - so we welcome our clients to contact us even for the slightest concern. We are here to ensure your journey with us is as smooth as possible.

Do I need to see my doctor before starting treatment?

Whilst you do not need to see your doctor or inform them that you are taking this medication, we advise that it would be sensible to keep your GP informed of any medications you use privately so that they have the full picture of your medical history.

What about alcohol and these medications?

Although alcohol does not directly interact with the medication, it is advisable people to avoid alcohol if possible. Research has shown that alcohol mixed with the medication may put extra strain on your liver and it may affect your blood sugar levels.

Is weight loss guaranteed?

Unfortunately, a desired result from a medication can never be 100% guaranteed. Although the clinical evidence and clinical studies showed weight loss for the majority of people, everyone is different and we do not like to give false promises.

Is medicated weight loss right for me?

That is ultimately a decision for you to make once you have received all the relevant information and have been screened for suitability to use these medications. We recommend everyone to try all conventional methods first before turning to medication for aesthetic weight loss. The NHS offer a Free 12 Week programme, whilst other companies offer diet & exercise focused programmes. If you have weighed up all the information and feel this is the correct route for you, and you are deemed safe & suitable to commence onto treatment, you are able to make an informed decision and consent to starting treatment.

Receiving & storing the medication:

All items (except Saxenda) should arrive in the original manufacturer's packaging - completely sealed and unopened. Saxenda may arrive in a pharmacy's own box/packaging if they have to 'break up' a box of 5 pens to accommodate 5 individual patients. Each item must contain the manufacturer's Patient Information Leaflet, and clearly display the product code, batch number and expiry date.

If you have ordered an injection, please ensure you store the product in the fridge before first use. After first use, you can store it at room temperature up to 30 degrees or keep it in the fridge - please ensure you use Saxenda within 30 days and Ozempic/Wegovy/Trulicity within 6 weeks. If your item breaks the cold chain (e.g. is left out of the fridge for too long), please do not be alarmed - this will start the same countdown timer as when you use the pen for the first time. You no longer need to store it in the fridge (though you can do so if you wish) and must use the pen within the above time frames.

Are you ASA compliant?

Yes. We liaised directly with the ASA on making sure our website and social media pages were fully compliant with all UK regulations.

Are you MHRA compliant?

Yes. We have liaised directly with the MHRA to make sure our website is compliant with all UK regulations on selling prescription-only medications.

Is my personal information safe?

We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office, which means we are on a UK governed register for being GDPR and Data Protection compliant. Your details are only ever seen by the pharmacies we work with and our internal team who will be supporting your weight loss journey. Whilst we do ask for a form of ID, this is only for the pharmacy to verify your identity and your age for their prescribing purposes.

Is this medication genuine?

The medication is is governed and authorised for use under UK regulations by the MHRA. Some of the medications are also approved for use in the NHS by NICE. The medication is prescribed by a UK regulated prescriber. The medication is sourced via UK based pharmacies who use official UK wholesalers to ensure you receive a genuine product from the manufacturer. Any other route of providing the medication is illegal. Please see this notice from Novo Nordisk on how to spot a fake medication: Novo Nordisk Fake Ozempic Warning.

Are you a pharmacy?

No. We are not a registered pharmacy. We act as a third party company offering a service to you. Most pharmacies do not offer a service other than prescribing, dispensing or selling medications - we offer a service centred around regular aftercare and check ins which not all online pharmacies are able to offer due to the nature of their business model. However, we use a registered prescriber and we source the medication from UK registered pharmacies that are licensed and regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council. We only share your personal details with the prescriber and the pharmacy that will oversee your medication.

What is the difference between Off-Label & Off-License prescribing?

To get a medicine license, a medication goes through rigorous testing & clinical trials. It is then granted a license for a specific purpose by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) for the UK. The license will include information on what the medicine is for, who the medicine is for and the parameters in which it can be used.

Prescribing Off-Licence means prescribing the medication outside of the licence's parameters.

Prescribing Off-Label means prescribing a drug for a different purpose than what it is licensed for.

 

Sometimes, medications show a secondary effect or benefit during clinical trials, which are then investigated further with new clinical trials to ascertain if the medication can be used for that secondary effect / benefit.

 

For example, a medication that is licensed for diabetes can be prescribed for weight loss if clinical trials have shown that weight loss was a secondary effect of the medication and that medication has undergone new clinical trials to show the medication is effective for weight loss.

 

To prescribe in this manner, it must be shown that a person is deemed safe & suitable, it is clinically justifiable & reasonable, and you are made fully aware of the pros & cons alongside the fact that it is unlicensed for weight loss. This usage of the medication still falls under the remit of the MHRA and is strictly regulated to ensure the medication is used correctly.

 

Please contact us if you would like more information regarding this or information on the current clinical trials of the medications for weight loss.

Want to know more about each medication?

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