Navigating the Hype: Understanding GLP-1 Agonists

Skeletons around the dinner table.

Everyone from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, to your local doctor, to your "weird" naturopathic practitioner neighbor has an opinion on GLP-1 agonists (semaglutide) like Ozempic.

We get asked constantly about them, so we’ll offer a bit of science along with our always straight, unadulterated opinion as to the merits (or lack thereof) of these drugs.

What is GLP-1?

We won’t bore you with a ton of science that would make most people’s eyes gloss over before scrolling down or clicking that x in the upper right of your screen. We’ll give you the basics, at least in terms of why people all of a sudden know about it and/or care about it. If you want to get into the weeds on the scientific particulars, email me at and we can nerd out, I promise, but for the rest of you… here we go:

GLP-1, or glucagon-like peptide, is a regulatory, hormone-like substance made in both the intestine and the brain when we eat. It has the ability, when necessary, to increase insulin production in order to reduce blood sugar levels… but that is not its primary, or even secondary, function. 

It SHOULDN’T be necessary. 

Metabolically healthy humans have a lot of different mechanisms for regulating blood sugar and they all work really well. GLP-1 is actually really inefficient at doing the thing we now know it for and credit it for. It has a half-life of 2 minutes. 

The problem is that the American lifestyle has led to only 6-12% of individuals being metabolically healthy enough for that laundry list of regulatory mechanisms to occur in optimal fashion.. And in true American ingenuity-driven fashion, we overcomplicate things. Instead of looking in the rearview mirror to a time when people weren’t generally, clinically, chronically, and morbidly obese and trying to emulate what they did, we do what is easiest in the short-term: we pour some pharmaceuticals on the problem.

Enter the GLP-1 agonist.

What, exactly, is a GLP-1 Agonist?

The GLP-1 agonist is a relatively new class of drug, made in countries where that particular drug is illegal, for an American population whose unwillingness to do hard things has caused a financial windfall for the manufacturers (and cable news networks, but that’s a different conversation for a different day).

What this drug does is stimulate the intestines and brain to produce obscene quantities of the trace, short-lived peptide in order to increase insulin production. SOUNDS like a great way to regulate blood sugar, reduce the inherent risks of type-2 diabetes, and help people with their obesity.


Side effects are a thing.

When we introduce an abundance of something into the body to do a lot of a thing it’s not even really supposed to do a little of, some weird things can happen… and in this case they do.

The primary weight loss mechanism for GLP-1 agonists is…


Read that again.

Starvation. We’re not kidding.

What happens with these drugs is that when you introduce such a high level of glucagon, there’s an extreme delay in gastric emptying. That is to say that food hangs out in your stomach for a long time… days, in fact. 

Have you ever eaten to the point that you’re so full that you sit for hours, contemplating your existence? Me either, at least not since yesterday’s 2 pound ribeye, but you can imagine you’d feel so full that eating wouldn’t be high on your list of things to do. Now imagine that’s ALWAYS the case.

Well, that’s what happens when people take Ozempic. They always feel full. They never want to eat. So they don’t. As you’d expect, they lose a lot of weight, really fast. Starving will do that to a guy.


The side effects of starving include bone loss, muscle wasting, low energy, poor immunity, slowed metabolism, lethargy, malnourishment, cognitive decline, brain fog, pancreatic inflammation, vomiting, hair loss, skin issues, thyroid conditions, gallstones, kidney failure, poor vision… some serious stuff. 

How to mitigate the side effects:

When taking these drugs, it is generally recommended by the manufacturers and doctors who prescribe these drugs, for the user to eat regular, nutrient-dense meals high in critical fat soluble vitamins and to exercise, specifically with resistance training.


In most cases, IF you were eating  regular, nutrient-dense meals high in critical fat soluble vitamins and  exercising, specifically with resistance training, you wouldn’t need a drug to help you with weight loss. That would work itself out… you know, the way it was designed to do. 

In the cases where it's not that cut and dry, a more nuanced approach might be necessary and may even involve medication. We know and appreciate that modern medicine does have a place. Addressing the root cause of the obesity ought to be the first order of operation, and then treating the source and not the symptom should ensue, but for the vast majority whose metabolic unhealth is lifestyle-induced, it seems like skipping the doctor prescribed anorexia makes a lot of sense.

Obesity isn’t due to an Ozempic deficiency, so why don’t we address the root cause? Crazy idea, we know.

If you want help with that nutrient-dense diet and resistance training, reach out to us and we’ll help you… for FREE. 

No excuses. 

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