Maintaining your Metabolic Rate while taking Semaglutide Medications

Maintaining your Metabolic Rate


Semaglutide medications are not directly related to your metabolism. However, there are lifestyle strategies that you can adopt while taking weight loss medications to boost your metabolic rate.

Your metabolism is related to your weight, and it is implicated in how slowly or how quickly your body expends energy. Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. Your metabolic rate includes three elements, each of which is related to energy expenditure:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your basal metabolic rate — sometimes also to referred to as “Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) — is the amount of energy your body expends when it is at rest. Your BMR is specifically related to the energy your body burns in service of basic physiological functions (such as breathing, for example). Think of your basal metabolic rate as the energy expenditure to keep you alive and functioning. It’s also quite literally the amount of energy you burn while doing nothing (e.g., sleeping, being a couch potato and binge watching your favorite TV show).
  • Thermogenesis (effect of food). After eating or drinking, your body burns energy when it digests the food and beverages you consume. Your body also burns energy as it stores and transports the nutrients you consume throughout your body.
  • Physical activity (energy expenditure). This is likely the energy expenditure with which you are familiar. This component of our basal metabolic rate relates to the energy you expend while being active, whether it is exercising or the daily activities of life like brushing your teeth, going grocery shopping, tapping your foot impatiently during a meeting, or walking to the mailbox.

Given the effectiveness of semaglutide medications, you may be wondering if semaglutide can increase your metabolism. In short, no, semaglutide medications are not directly related to your metabolism. However, there are strategies linked to your lifestyle that you can adopt while taking semaglutide medications to boost your metabolic rate.

  1. Eat Healthy. Be sure to consume lean proteins in the form of skinless white-meat poultry, lean beef, pork, seafood, or tofu, to name a few. Eat whole grains and fiber and be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables.
  1. Get Moving. Go for a walk after dinner or after lunch. Take the stairs and park your car farther away to get in extra steps.
  1. Exercise. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Be sure to include aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, or maybe a dance class. These activities will boost your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health.
  1. Weight Training. Building and maintaining muscle mass (lean mass) will help you burn calories, even while at rest.
  1. Keep Moving. Build in short periods of activity throughout your day. Instead of taking the elevator to your next meeting, take the stairs. After you finished a task, go for a walk around your office building or do some jumping jacks. It doesn’t matter what you do — just keep moving.
  1. Quality Sleep. Poor sleep can disrupt your metabolism. Practice sleep hygiene by establishing a nighttime routine that includes going to bed at the same time each night, waking up at the same time each day, and not using electronic devices for 30 minutes before your bed time.

While semaglutide medications do not boost your metabolism, lifestyle changes can help give your metabolism a boost. Coupling semaglutide medications with a healthy diet, exercise, and quality sleep will help keep your metabolic rate up and help you achieve your weight loss goals. Also, building healthy habits while taking semaglutide medications could set you up for success once you stop taking them — you’ll already have the lifestyle foundation in place.

Prior to starting any weight loss program, whether it includes anti-obesity medication or not, be sure to consult with your health care provider to make sure your desired weight loss strategy is right for you.

About the Author: Dr. Dawn M. Sweet has over 20 years of experience in the field of communication. Dr. Sweet has given several invited talks to and workshops for academic and private sector audiences on the role of nonverbal and verbal communication in achieving positive outcomes and mitigating bias. Her research has been published in several top ranked peer-review journals, and it has been featured on NPR’s River to River / All Things Considered, Buzzfeed, and Science Daily. Her research has also been used to inform expert testimony.

* Wegovy® and Ozempic® are registered trademarks of Novo Nordisk A/S. Novo Nordisk is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.

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