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How to support your nutritional needs while taking weight loss medications

(BPT) - Are you considering taking or are currently taking a glucagon-like peptide 1 agonist (GLP-1) medication for weight loss? If so, it's important to know how these drugs can affect your body. Most importantly, this is because most weight-loss medications' main impact is through decreasing your desire to eat. While you may be eating far less than you used to, your body's nutrient needs have not changed. It will be vital to ensure your body gets enough essential nutrients including protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Make sure to talk to your health care provider about potential side effects of these medications, and the best ways to maintain your optimal health while taking these drugs.

"Weight-loss drugs that work using the GLP-1 receptors curb your appetite, so you may have difficulty getting all the nutrients, micronutrients or even physical activity you need for optimal muscular, cardiovascular and brain health," said Kent L. Bradley, M.D., MBA, MPH and chief health and nutrition officer at Herbalife. "If you're taking these medications, you should supplement with products that help you get essential nutrients so that when you do eat, your meal is high in nutrient density, while at the same time making the foundational lifestyle changes needed to achieve sustainable weight loss."

Side effects of GLP-1 medications

GLP-1 medications help regulate your blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller after eating. However, like most drugs, they're not without potential side effects. According to the Cleveland Clinic, common side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The side effects each person experiences may vary, so it's always best to consult your health care provider before and while you're taking medications about any side effects you're noticing.

Because of the feeling of satiety (fullness) and loss of appetite, typically experienced by people taking these medications, you're likely going to be eating less while on the medication. This raises the possibility of your body not getting the protein, vitamins and minerals necessary to perform functions like fighting infection, building and repairing muscles and regulating hormones.

"Recent research has shown people taking weight-loss medications like GLP-1 may experience decreases in muscle density," explained Bradley. "Herbalife is dedicated to addressing nutritional deficiencies through these new combos that include nutrition products designed to deliver protein and fiber, as well as critical vitamins."

Why are macronutrients and micronutrients important?

You may know the terms macro and micronutrients, but you may not be aware of the impact they have on your body and the role they play in supporting healthy weight loss. Macronutrients like proteins are made up of amino acids that are essential for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. They can also be used as an energy source. Additionally, a higher protein intake can boost metabolism and reduce appetite by affecting the levels of weight-regulating hormones in your body.

Micronutrients such as vitamins have also been shown to play a part in a healthy metabolism. For example, B-complex vitamins help metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins to use as energy, instead of letting them turn into fat. Additionally, vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and other functions, while minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and several other processes.

How to supplement nutrition during weight loss

To help anyone taking GLP-1 medications, the premier health and wellness company and community Herbalife is offering a Herbalife GLP-1 Nutrition Companion, which offers food and supplement product combos intended to support the nutritional needs of individuals on weight-loss medications.

The Herbalife GLP-1 Nutrition Companion has two combo choices:

Classic Product Combo
Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix
Protein Drink Mix
Active Fiber Complex

Vegan Product Combo
HERBALIFE V Plant-Based Classic and Chocolate Protein Shake
HERBALIFE V Plant-Based Digestive Support
HERBALIFE V Plant-Based Greens Booster

Each product bundle provides vital protein to sustain lean muscle and boost your energy, as well as fiber to support good digestion and a healthy gut microbiome. The Classic bundle also offers vitamins and minerals to support overall good health.

Note: The Herbalife product bundle is not a drug. Remember to consult your physician before you make changes to your diet during medically supervised weight loss.

Making the weight loss journey easier

Choosing foods and supplements that provide essential nutrients is a convenient way to take the guesswork out of nutrition and help ensure your body isn't missing out on crucial nourishment while you're on your weight loss journey.

"There really is no magic pill or shot. We still need foundational lifestyle changes," Bradley added. "To sustain your results over time, it's important that you continue to prioritize good nutrition and regular physical activity as part of your daily routine. It also helps to have the support of a community that understands your journey."

Herbalife's independent distributors also create a supportive community and can help you build better eating habits, whether you're on weight-loss drugs or not - and support you in maintaining those habits after the drug treatment ends, so you can continue to benefit from your efforts.

Learn more from Dr. Kent Bradley, Board Certified Preventive Medicine and Public Health physician, about how good nutrition can support people on a GLP-1 weight-loss journey, by watching this video.

For more healthy lifestyle tips and information, visit

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