Ozempic users have been proudly sharing their weight loss journey with the drug on social media. But a doctor has warned that most of their lost weight accounts for muscle mass.

Dr. Peter Attia, a Canadian-American physician who founded Early Medical, recently talked about Semaglutide — the weight loss drug marketed as Ozempic and Wegovy — on his podcast “The Drive.”

The drug debuted on the market as a diabetes medication but eventually took the world by storm as a guaranteed solution for weight loss. In the episode, Attia walked through the data and discussed the effectiveness and side effects of the drug.

“Perhaps more disturbing to me is the people who are reaching out to me who are frankly not overweight remotely but are saying 'I really want to lose 10 pounds to look good on my vacation, I should be taking this, right?’” he said in the episode, as quoted by Insider.

Attia acknowledged that his patients who used Semaglutide did lose weight. However, he also warned that not all of it was body fat. For him, the ratio of muscle to fat is a more helpful way of measuring weight loss results and not just the total pounds lost.

“They’ve lost muscle mass at a rate that alarms me,” he said before noting that only those who have already tried other weight loss strategies without medication are recommended to use the drug. It is also important for them to eat enough protein and exercise to preserve muscle, according to him.

“Ultimately, it’s not your weight that matters, it’s your body composition and your health,” Attia said, reminding everyone that measuring muscle mass is better than just tracking the number on the scale.

Last week, plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Su addressed the strong demand for Ozempic, Wegovy and similar drugs among the weight loss community that led to shortages.

“The drug was never meant to be for people who are near their ideal weight. It’s not even approved by the FDA for casual weight loss,” the owner of Artistic LipoSculpting Center told Us Weekly.

“There are exact stipulations that patients need to meet to qualify for Wegovy as a weight loss medication [including] their BMI requirement [and] they have to be over 30. So for casual weight loss, it’s not approved and would be considered an off-label use,” he added.

Weight loss
For many people, weight loss can be very tricky. Pixabay