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Setting foot on the path to weight loss entails a journey filled with diverse strategies, encompassing lifestyle adjustments, physical activity, and occasionally, pharmaceutical interventions. Yet, the efficacy of weight loss medications intricately intertwines with dietary habits and nutritional support. This article delves into the convergence of weight management medications, dietary nuances, and the pivotal contribution of the best online dietitian services in enhancing results.
Understanding Weight Loss Medications

Weight loss medications, alternatively referred to as weight loss drugs or anti-obesity medications, are prescription drugs designed to diminish appetite and curb food cravings. In recent years, the TGA has sanctioned several anti-obesity medications aimed at regulating appetite and food cravings. By diminishing hunger, weight loss drugs effectively lower the intake of calories on a daily basis. Consequently, consuming fewer calories gradually leads to weight loss. Moreover, certain anti-obesity medications aid in reducing cravings and managing compulsive eating behaviors, particularly towards sugary, fatty, salty, and high-calorie foods as well as the chronic conditions in Australia.

When discussing weight loss medications, it’s essential to demystify them in plain language. One class of medications gaining traction for weight management is GLP-1 medications. GLP-1 stands for glucagon-like peptide-1, and these medications work by regulating appetite and glucose levels.

What TGA -Approved Medications Exist for Weight Loss?

The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) has given its stamp of approval to several medications aimed at tackling weight loss in individuals dealing with overweight and obesity. However, it’s essential to note that these medications are not available over the counter and require a prescription from a healthcare provider. Additionally, they should be taken under strict medical supervision or you should consult a dietitian online or book an online dietitian for weight loss. Currently, the TGA -approved medications for weight loss include:

GLP-1 agonists, such as liraglutide (Saxenda), semaglutide (Wegovy),
and tirzepatide (for type 2 diabetes only)
Orlistat (Xenical)
Phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia)
Naltrexone/bupropion (Contrave)
Appetite suppressants, like phentermine (Adipex-P or Lomaira)

It’s important to understand that these medications are most effective when used in conjunction with nutrition and food services. While they can be beneficial tools in the journey towards weight loss, relying solely on medication without making dietary changes is unlikely to yield sustainable results in the long run. Moreover, using these medications without dietary modifications may lead to weight regain over time.

Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential side effects associated with these medications, some of which can be severe. Therefore, individuals considering these medications should discuss the risks and benefits with their healthcare provider before starting treatment.

How Do Weight Loss Medications Work?
There are several types of weight loss medications available, each with its own mechanism of action and potential benefits. Here are some common types of weight loss medications:

1. Appetite Suppressants: Appetite suppressants works by reducing feelings of hunger, thereby helping individuals eats less and lose weight. They target neurotransmitters in the brain involved in appetite regulation. Examples include:
Phentermine: A stimulant that decreases appetite by affecting neurotransmitters.
Lorcaserin: A serotonin receptor agonist that helps control appetite and promote a feeling of fullness.

In a study published in PubMed 2019, involving 3,411 participants, the efficacy of various medications for obesity was compared, revealing that individuals administered with phentermine exhibited the most significant percentage of body weight loss over a 12-week period. On average, those prescribed phentermine experienced a weight reduction of 8.3 pounds (3.75 kilograms) throughout the duration of the study.

2. Lipase Inhibitors: Lipase inhibitors prevent the absorption of dietary fats by inhibiting the action of lipase enzymes in the digestive tract. This leads to reduced calorie absorption and weight loss. Example:
Orlistat: Inhibits pancreatic and gastric lipases, leading to decreased fat absorption.

In a 2011 research paper featured in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, findings from a study involving 80 individuals grappling with obesity revealed noteworthy outcomes. Those administered with orlistat witnessed an average weight loss of 10.3 pounds (lb) or 4.65 kilograms (kg) over a span of six months. Moreover, participants exhibited considerable decreases in body mass index (BMI), abdominal fat, as well as total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

3. GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: Originally developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, GLP-1 receptor agonists also have weight loss benefits. They work by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, a hormone that regulates appetite and glucose metabolism. Examples include:
Liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda): Increases feelings of fullness and slows gastric emptying, leading to reduced calorie intake.
Semaglutide (Ozempic): Works similarly to liraglutide and has been approved for weight management.
Imcivree, marketed under the name Setmelanotide, belongs to a category of medications referred to as melanocortin 4 (MC4) receptor agonists.

In a 2020 study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, involving 21 individuals prescribed setmelanotide, approximately 62% of participants accomplished a weight loss of at least 10% within a year. Additionally, participants noted a substantial decrease in appetite, and no severe treatment-related adverse effects were reported.

According to a 2021 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, for example, research involving 1,961 adults revealed that the administration of 2.4 milligrams (mg) of semaglutide per week, in conjunction with lifestyle modifications, led to an approximate 15% reduction in body weight after 68 weeks.

According to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), individuals with multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndrome type 2, a history of thyroid cancer or pancreatitis, pregnancy, or current use of specific prescription medications should avoid this medication due to contraindications.

4. Combination Medications: Some weight loss medications combine multiple drugs with complementary mechanisms of action to enhance weight loss effects. Examples include:
Phentermine/Topiramate (Qsymia): Combines an appetite suppressant (phentermine) with an anticonvulsant (topiramate) to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness.
Naltrexone/Bupropion (Contrave): Combines an opioid antagonist (naltrexone) with an antidepressant (bupropion) to reduce appetite and cravings.

In a 2021 study published in Obesity, findings suggested that phentermine/topiramate led to notable weight loss outcomes. A comprehensive review indicated an average reduction of 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms) in body weight, along with significant decreases in visceral fat, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels.

A recent review featured in eClinical Medicine in 2022 echoed similar results, suggesting that naltrexone/bupropion may also be effective for sustaining long-term weight loss.

5. Stimulants: Stimulant medications can increase metabolism and energy expenditure, leading to weight loss. However, they are generally used cautiously due to their potential for abuse and adverse effects. Example:
Diethylpropion: Stimulates the central nervous system to suppress appetite and increase energy expenditure.

6. Over-the-Counter Supplements: In addition to prescription medications, there are also over-the-counter supplements marketed for weight loss. These supplements often contain ingredients such as caffeine, green tea extract, or fiber, which may have modest effects on metabolism or appetite. Examples include:
Green tea extract: Contains catechins that may increase fat burning and promote weight loss.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Believed to reduce body fat and increase lean body mass.

It’s important to note that weight loss medications should be used under the guidance of a nutrition coaching services and as part of a comprehensive weight management plan that includes lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise. Additionally, these medications may have side effects and contraindications, so they are not suitable for everyone.

Diet’s Impact on Weight Loss Medications

While medications can aid weight loss, their efficacy can be maximized or hindered by dietary choices. Neglecting proper nutrition care services while on weight loss medications, can lead to various complications. For instance, individuals may face issues like sarcopenic obesity, where muscle loss occurs alongside fat accumulation, or malnutrition due to inadequate protein intake. This underscores the importance of receiving a comprehensive plan from dietitian services online Australia when pursuing weight loss, especially when medications are involved.

Among the array of recommended dietary approaches are those focusing on low-fat (LF) and low-carbohydrate (LC) consumption, alongside the Mediterranean diet and intermittent fasting. These diets are believed to be enhanced by sufficient dietary fiber content. A fundamental aspect of effective weight management involves adopting a dietary regimen that consistently maintains a negative and sustainable energy balance, with long-term adherence being essential.

Regarding pharmacological interventions, individuals grappling with obesity, particularly those with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, may find benefit in combining an LC diet with a GLP-1 agonist such as semaglutide. This combination could potentially improve glycemic control, induce feelings of satiety, and dampen appetite. Orlistat, a lipase inhibitor, remains a viable option to promote a low-fat approach, particularly advantageous in conditions like hypercholesterolemia.

The use of a bupropion-naltrexone combination holds promise in breaking the cycle of addictive overeating. Notably, successful weight loss has been observed to positively impact nearly all biomarkers associated with obesity-related comorbidities. Given the current dearth of robust evidence supporting specific strategies, online nutritionists are encouraged to advocate for tailored lifestyle modifications and, where necessary, a personalised pharmacological regimen addressing individual needs and comorbidities.

Types of Proteins and Their Role
Protein is a cornerstone of any weight loss diet as it aids in muscle preservation, satiety, and metabolic function. Exploring different protein sources such as whey protein, casein, and plant-based proteins like tofu, legumes, and quinoa can help individuals diversify their dietary intake. Understanding the unique benefits and considerations of each protein type empowers individuals to make informed choices that align with their preferences and nutritional needs. Weight loss medications often utilize various types of proteins to aid in their effectiveness. These proteins serve different purposes and can contribute to diverse mechanisms of action in promoting weight loss. Here are some common types of proteins used in weight loss medications:

1. Whey Protein: Whey protein is a popular choice due to its rapid absorption and high content of essential amino acids. It is often used in weight loss supplements to promote satiety, increase lean muscle mass, and support fat loss. In addition to the amount of protein ingested, the protein’s quality – including its digestibility and composition of essential amino acids – may influence metabolism or body composition differently in cases of obesity. Whey protein, alongside casein, is one of the primary proteins found in milk and is known for its superior satiating properties compared to other protein sources. Whey protein is described as a “rapidly” digestible protein rich in leucine, which stimulates post-meal protein synthesis and offers beneficial effects on preserving lean body mass, particularly in older individuals.

According to a study published in Nutrients in 2019, when a drink was enriched with whey protein and consumed as a pre-meal beverage for lunch by nine adolescent obese women, it results in reduced hunger, increased feelings of satiety, lower blood sugar levels, and higher secretion of anorexigenic hormones compared to a beverage enriched with maltodextrin.

2. Casein Protein: Casein protein is another milk-derived protein that is digested more slowly compared to whey protein. It can help control appetite by providing a sustained release of amino acids, thus promoting feelings of fullness over a longer period.

3. Soy Protein: Soy protein is a plant-based protein derived from soybeans. It is rich in amino acids and has been shown to promote weight loss by reducing appetite, increasing metabolism, and improving insulin sensitivity. Additionally, soy protein demonstrated a more pronounced impact in reducing waist circumference and triglyceride levels compared to the control group. The caliber and amount of dietary protein derived from a plant-based vegan diet correlate with enhancements in body composition, body weight, and insulin resistance among overweight individuals.

4. Pea Protein: Pea protein is derived from yellow peas and is a popular choice for those following vegetarian or vegan diets. It is easily digestible and has been found to promote satiety, regulate blood sugar levels, and support muscle growth during weight loss.

5. Collagen Protein: Collagen protein is sourced from animal connective tissues and is known for its role in promoting skin, joint, and bone health. In weight loss medications, collagen protein may aid in preserving lean muscle mass and promoting overall body composition improvements.

6. Egg White Protein: Egg white protein is a high-quality protein source rich in essential amino acids. It is commonly used in weight loss supplements for its ability to promote satiety, increase muscle protein synthesis, and support fat loss.

7. Plant-Based Protein Blends: Some weight loss medications utilise a combination of plant-based proteins, such as a blend of pea, rice, and hemp proteins. These blends offer a comprehensive amino acid profile and may provide additional benefits such as improved digestion and absorption. Utilising plant-derived protein sources offers a more sustainable alternative to animal-based proteins, thereby lessening the environmental impact. Combining legumes and cereals, for instance, can address potential amino acid imbalances. Plant-based diets have shown promise in reducing body weight and fat mass, making them a valuable approach in combating obesity. Substituting meals with soy protein, alongside promoting lifestyle changes, yielded comparable beneficial effects on body weight, intra-liver lipid content, and subcutaneous fat mass when compared to baseline measures.

In a 16-week randomized controlled trial conducted in 2018 by Nutrition & Diabetes, only obese and overweight adults were assigned either a vegan diet or their traditional diet. Results revealed that participants in the vegan group experienced a reduction of 2 points in BMI, a decrease of 4.3 kg in DEXA-measured fat mass, and a decrease in their level of insulin resistance compared to the control group.
Overall, incorporating various types of proteins into weight loss medications can help support appetite control, muscle preservation, metabolic health, and overall weight management efforts. However, it’s essential to consult with a best online nutrition coach before starting any weight loss medication to ensure safety and efficacy, especially if you have specific dietary preferences or medical conditions.

The Role of Dietitian Services Online
In navigating the complexities of weight loss medications and dietary requirements, the guidance of a qualified dietitian is invaluable. Dietitian services online offer convenient accesses to expert advice and personalised assessments, ensuring individuals receive tailored dietary support. Whether it’s optimising protein intake, addressing nutrient deficiencies, or mitigating potential side effects of medications, dietitians play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall effectiveness and safety of weight loss efforts.

Seeking Professional Support
If weight loss medications have been prescribed by your healthcare provider, it’s crucial to complement them with medical nutrition therapy for weight loss. Requesting an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan referral or obtaining a private referral to dietitian services online can streamline access to expert guidance. Once you have your referral, you can easily upload it and schedule an appointment online to receive personalised dietary support, assessment, and advice. By proactively seeking dietary assessment and advice, individuals can mitigate risks, optimise their diet, and enhance their likelihood of achieving sustainable weight loss goals.

Key Takeaway
In the journey towards weight loss, the synergy between medications and diet is paramount. Understanding the implications of weight loss medications, prioritising nutrient-rich foods, and seeking professional dietary support are essential steps towards achieving long-term success. By harnessing the power of comprehensive dietary guidance, individuals can navigate their weight loss journey with confidence, maximising health outcomes and well-being.

Remember, your path to success begins with informed choices and expert support. If weight loss medications are part of your journey, don’t underestimate the transformative impact of a balanced diet and the guidance of a qualified dietitian. Book your appointment at today!.