Ozempic or no Ozempic…Why Self-Care is Essential to Managing your Weight

As I prescribe semaglutide to my patients and marvel at how powerful and potent it is to suppress hunger, I am also keenly aware that our hunger is also meant to be tended to.

In the many years of working with patients as an obesity medicine specialist, I have learned we often find ourselves seeking food (or alcohol, our phones, laptops or a cigarette) as a way to distract from or assuage the busy-ness of our minds and our lives. Finding ourselves in the pantry looking for a salve for that itch we know the cookie will never scratch.

In this week’s HealthBite podcast I make a case for self-care, (no not a manicure💅– although that’s great too) but the practices that offer us the ease and respite that we are hungry for.

Here are the highlights:

  1. Say no. What are some of the roles you carry? Wife, mother, business owner, son, caretakers, volunteer at school, and on and on…Some of these roles have necessary commitments- yup the kids need dinner, again. But not everything is essential. Think about what you are saying yes to. Now consider saying no. (I’m contemplating this one myself these days…)
  2. Permission to pause. We are all over-scheduled with work, projects, appointments, social obligations in excess. And if that were not enough, our in-between time is spent on our devices📱. We have engineered all downtime out of our lives. Being on task all the time leads to burnout. Not to mention reduced focus, productivity, and efficiency (an ironic but real side effect) And of course, all this busy-ness leaves us longing to soothe. So practice self-care by giving yourself permission to pause. Put down your phone. Decline some invitations and social obligations and consider scheduling some downtime into your day.
  3. Engage with Nature. Nature is truly medicine🌳. Studies show that the sounds, smells, and feels of nature literally help regulate our nervous system. It also allows us to connect with something greater than ourselves and with the world around us. This feeling of interconnection is grounding offering us a break from the hustle and noise of everyday life. Nature is also a perfect space for introspection, self-reflection, and self-awareness- an opportunity for renewed perspective that can support personal growth and self-discovery.
  4. Move your Body. I say move your body, not exercise, I know you by now! When I say exercise, you think- weight loss. This has nothing to do with your weight. It has to do with giving your body an opportunity to move, release tension and stress, and circulate endorphins and dopamine. (But here is a little secret… moving your body is a spiritual outlet and when you do move you are less likely to use food to do the soothing for you.)
  5. Your Mind’s Diet. I still remember the first time I realized- you don’t have to believe every thought that you think. Really? That is gold! The truth is that we think upwards of 60K thoughts per day and most of them are negative. Engaging in every one of those thoughts is a recipe for disaster. But we can take it a step further and actively cultivate positive thoughts and positive feelings. This is particularly important when we come upon our mistakes, limitations, and imperfections. These are the times that we need to be extra careful with ourselves and the words we use to speak to ourselves. Remind yourself that you are human and like all humans you have missteps. Instead of punishing yourself, offer words of kindness and self-compassion instead.

Remember, self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. And when we engage in it, we are better equipped to navigate life’s challenges and less likely to seek external substances to soothe. Listen to the entire episode here!

I am taking my own advice and heading off-line this month. Stay tuned to HealthBite for some incredible conversations I have recorded for you with some experts including Oprah’s top menopause expert, a visionary in mindful plastic surgery (I know what you are thinking but just listen!), a Harvard trained cardiologists’ prescription for wholehearted living and more! You can find us on applespotify or anywhere you listen!

Enjoy your summer!




My mission is to educate, empower and inspire my patients to achieve health and wellness by drawing on best medical practices and a holistic mind-body approach while integrating my personal value system grounded in empathy, integrity and authenticity

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I'm Dr Adrienne Youdim.

It’s time for a better way, one that acknowledges that quick and easy is unrealistic and untrue, judgement results in sabotage and will only impede our weight loss goals.

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