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How weight loss injections work to reset your metabolism

Here's the average weight loss you can expect with this medication.

How weight loss injections work to reset your metabolism
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Embarking on a weight loss journey can feel intimidating — especially if you've tried a myriad of diets and exercise programs in the past. While you might experience initial weight loss with these methods, weight regain is also incredibly common.

If diet and exercise changes aren't making enough of an impact on your body weight (because diets generally don't work for sustainable weight loss!), you're probably on the lookout for an alternative — this is where weight loss medications can help.

Weight loss injections have been available in Australia for a number of years now but have become increasingly popular recently. And, while the thought of self-administering an injection can feel daunting, this treatment can help you lose weight and improve your health.

This is why we include this type of medication in Juniper's Weight Reset Program, alongside lifestyle coaching from dietitians and health coaches, 1:1 health tracking with Aussie GPs and access to a private community of people who are on the same journey as you.

To gain a better understanding of how these medications work and the average weight loss you can expect, we've compiled a handy guide for you. Here's what you need to know about weight loss injections.

Do injections work for weight loss?

Yes! In fact, weight loss injections can be incredibly effective.

While weight gain is most commonly managed with reduced calorie diet and exercise programs, stubborn weight gain might not be able to be fixed with lifestyle changes alone.

How do weight loss medications work?

Losing weight through diet and exercise alone can be incredibly difficult and at times, it might feel like your body is working against you. This is where weight loss injections can be incredibly helpful as they help to reset the body's metabolic patterns.

The medication is made up of a molecule that works like the glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor. GLP-1 is an appetite hormone that your body naturally produces to help regulate hunger.

The medication used in Juniper's Weight Reset Program works like GLP-1 by suppressing your appetite and increasing the feeling of being full. This makes it easier for your body to maintain a lower weight, meaning you won't have to fight so hard to keep the weight off.

In Australia, this class of prescription drugs have been available since 2017 that can assist with weight loss. When combined with lifestyle changes (such as eating a healthy diet and establishing a new workout routine), you can expect to see immediate and lasting changes in your body weight.

Who can use a weight loss injection?

There are a few parameters for using weight loss injections and healthcare professionals will generally use your body mass index (BMI) to figure out whether this type of medication is suited for your personal situation.

To be eligible for a weight reduction medication, like an injection, a healthcare professional will need to establish where you're at with your weight and where you fall on the BMI scale.

How to access weight loss treatment

After chatting with a healthcare professional or a Juniper doctor, you may be advised to try injections for weight loss. These injections will be prescribed alongside behavioural and lifestyle changes — such as making long-term shifts with your diet and adding more physical activity into your day).

When used as part of a holistic weight management program, these injections can be a great way to kick-start your initial body weight loss.

Plus, by making a range of lifestyle changes you can combat other health issues you might also be navigating (such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels).

How are weight loss injections administered?

Before you begin taking this weight loss medication, your doctor will run you through how to administer it. While it can feel intimidating to self-administer the injection, the needle in the injection pen is tiny and only feels like a small prick.

Each pen is pre-filled with your medication that needs to be administered once per day for the duration of your treatment. And, when you're done, you simply dispose of the pen in a sharps container.

The medication should be injected into the subcutaneous (fatty) layer under the skin, such as your upper thigh, upper arm or abdomen, and rotated regularly. The medication is administered via injection because it is protein-based. If taken orally, it would be quickly broken down by your digestive system, making it ineffective.

If you have any issues with self-administering the injection, be sure to check in with your Juniper doctor and they will be able to provide you with tips on this.

What is the name of the medication?

Unfortunately, Australia's TGA (therapeutic goods administration) regulations prevent us from being able to share the exact name of this treatment. What we can say is that this medication was approved for use back in 2017 as it was found to regulate your metabolism and hunger hormones, which lead to weight loss.

It's a safe and effective treatment that GPs across Australia happily prescribe to patients wanting to lose weight (along with a range of lifestyle changes).

To find out more about the specific name of this weight loss medication, you'll need to proceed to the doctor's consult stage on Juniper (and be approved by a doctor for this treatment).

How much weight can you lose with weight loss injections?

It's difficult to make an accurate prediction of the average weight loss you'll experience because you're starting with a unique set of factors, such as your age, current weight, metabolism rate and potentially navigating a range of other health conditions, too.

What we do know is that the medication used in these injections has helped our patients at Juniper to drop several kilos of body weight within the first few weeks.

There are 2 recent studies that give us more specific insights into the rate of weight loss you might expect.

In a 2017 study, one-quarter of patients lost more than 10% of their body weight after 5 months of this weight loss treatment [1]. At 20 weeks, more than half (76.1%) of this control group had lost more than 5% of body weight and 28.3% had lost more than 10%.

In a most recent 2020 study from the International Journal of Obesity, patients had lost 12.1% after a year of using this treatment [2]. The key to their success was introducing a range of behavioural changes (nearly twice as much versus behavioural changes alone).

How much do weight loss injections cost?

Juniper's Weight Reset Program includes prescription medication, unlimited follow-up consultations with your Juniper doctor, health coaching, 1:1 health tracking, access to our supportive and like-minded Juniper community, and a welcome kit — all for $395 per month or about $13 per day.

Pharmacies charge the same price for this medication alone, making Juniper great value. With Juniper, you won’t pay a thing until after you’re approved for treatment. Our initial doctor consultations are free, and we offer a 30-day trial of the program for new patients.

Plus, many of our patients tell us they end up spending less on food each day as the medication reduces their appetite. That makes this program very affordable, especially when you compare this to an Uber Eats order or lunch at a cafe.

How long should you use weight loss injections?

Your doctor will monitor your progress closely over the first 12 weeks of your treatment. If you've experienced at least a 5% loss of your initial weight, you'll be able to continue treatment.

Typically, your treatment will last anywhere from 9-12 months [3].

What diet should you follow while on this medication?

Your doctor will help you create a diet plan to support your weight loss when using this treatment. Given your appetite is lowered, you might notice you're only craving smaller portions as you're feeling fuller, sooner.

In general terms, you can expect to be prescribed a healthy balanced diet that is low in unhealthy fats and sugars and rich in nourishing grains, fruits and vegetables.

What are the side effects of weight loss injections?

While this treatment is completely safe, there are some common side effects you might encounter. The most common are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation.

Plus, the less common side effects to watch out for include:

  • Hypoglycaemia (if you're also taking diabetes medications)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Kidney impairment
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Make sure to speak with your doctor and explain your medical history thoroughly to ensure this treatment is right for you.

When it comes to losing weight, seeking medical health through the form of a weight-loss injection is a safe and effective approach. This treatment can help you reset your metabolism, reach a healthy weight and maintain it over the long term. Juniper's doctors, dietitians and health coaches are here for you when you're ready.

It’s more than just weight loss

Thousands of Australian women have found new confidence with Juniper.

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