Does your Wegovy diet plan include lifestyle changes to build long-term strength and reduce stress and anxiety? If not, it’s time to take a step back and look at your health from a holistic lens. While weight loss can be important, it’s far from the only aspect of life that impacts health.
In fact, your health is made up of many factors including where you live, your education level, your relationships and so much more. Two of those factors that play an especially critical role are long-term physical strength and mental health.
In my 20’s, I thought weight loss was what I needed—and yet, it never made me happier. It took discovering Pilates, which helped me consistently build mental and physical strength and resilience, to make me see that. Now, as a business owner, mother of four, and person who wants to thrive, this is what’s helped me manage health setbacks, feel good in my ever-changing body, and weather the many storms that have come my way.
Let’s take some time to dig into the science, understand why all of this matters, and how you can make sure they’re part of your Wegovy diet plan—or any weight-loss plan!
First: What is Wegovy?
If you’re checking this article out because you’re curious about what Wegovy is (let’s be honest, a lot of people are talking about it!), then let’s do a quick overview. Wegovy is a semaglutide; another popular version of this that you’ve probably been hearing about is Ozempic.
These drugs were initially developed for those with Type 2 Diabetes. When used as a treatment, adults with type 2 Diabetes get a once-weekly injection to improve blood sugar levels. This is also used to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events like stroke, heart attack or death, for adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart disease.
This drug has clear medical benefits and has provided hope for many people who really need it. Unfortunately, however, many people with the financial means have begun using it solely to lose weight—regardless of whether they have Diabetes or not. This has caused a lot of conversation around both the use of the drug and the importance of and focus on weight loss.
How I Look at Wegovy
When I look at Wegovy or Ozempic and their rise in popularity I think about two important things:
- I am not here to “drug shame” anyone. I recognize the opportunity for many people who struggle with Diabetes and their weight to achieve their weight loss goals. We are not here to layer on guilt or shame in this conversation or alienate people who need help and are looking for answers.
- I know that health is about so much more than weight. While this can play a role in your overall health picture, to create sustainable, long-term health (that will last beyond initial weight loss and help you feel happier, calmer, and stronger), you need to make lifestyle changes that address your holistic health picture.
Focusing on holistic health can help you bring all of these factors together so you can feel good in your mind and body. Here’s how you can start moving toward this approach.
What Your Wegovy Diet Plan is Missing
It’s often the case that when someone thinks of health, they think only of weight. For some people, weight is an indicator of overall health and can or should be addressed. However, what’s often overlooked (and yet is so important) is a holistic health approach that includes:
- Long-term physical strength
- Mental health and mindset
- Optimal nutrition and nourishment
Let’s dive in to see how these aspects of health impact your life and how you can start making changes.
Long-Term Physical Strength
Weight loss does not have the same benefits for your long-term health as building strength. This is especially true when you consider how the body changes in the aging process. What’s more, drugs like Wegovy not only drive weight loss but muscle loss as well, so it MUST be counteracted with exercise if you want to stay healthy and age well.
Strength building can vastly improve what you can do and the quality of your life long-term. One report called, “Resistance training is medicine,” (just love that title, how true!) shared how the body improves with resistance training, meaning to work out with weights, bands, or other equipment:
- Improved movement control, functional independence, cognitive abilities, and self-esteem.
- Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.
- Boost cardiovascular health.
- Promote bone development.
- Reduce low back pain and ease discomfort associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia.
- Reverse specific aging factors in skeletal muscle.
What’s more, bodyweight training, working out with no equipment at all, can have a similar impact. One study found bodyweight training reduced inflammation and improved overall functional fitness in postmenopausal female participants. I know I’ve definitely experienced these benefits from bodyweight-based Pilates. (Our thousands of members have too!)
All of this is critical if you want to live a long, comfortable, and functional life. And yet, no Wegovy diet plan is recommending physical movement.
How to Build Strength
While there are many ways to build strength, we at Lindywell love one particular form of exercise the most: Pilates. Not just because it’s what we teach, but because we know it can have all of the benefits shared above and then some!
At Lindywell we use body weight, resistance bands, and even Pilates-inspired weight training to build strength and focus on good form and healthy movement while building muscle.
Plus, at Lindywell, we remind you to focus on grace over guilt. We want you to meet your body where it’s at so you can build strength without forcing your body to do what isn’t right or doesn’t feel good. This is not only key to avoiding injury, but creating consistency that will help you keep your body strong for many years to come.
Lindywell supports your ever-changing body and mind no matter what season of life you’re in. Start your 14-day free trial of Lindywell today. You’ll get instant access to 300+ workouts, plus guided breathwork sessions and easy recipes!
Mental Health and Mindset
Weight loss does not lead to happiness. In fact, a study of nearly 2,000 people found that while weight loss leads to changes in physical markers of health, participants who lost 5 percent or more of their initial body weight were more likely to report feeling depressed than those who stayed closer to their initial weight (within 5 percent).
At Lindywell, we’re not saying not to lose weight or that it’s bad. We’re saying that your mental health and mindset are just as important to your overall health picture. Yet, this isn’t the focus of any Wegovy diet plan or being shared by people touting the weight loss benefits of the drug.
If you aren’t happy, you’re always stressed or anxious or have a hard time shifting your perspective in tough situations, then you’ll likely still feel that way even after you lose the weight. The goal is to enjoy life, even if it gets hard, which will continue to happen.
That’s why focusing on your mental health and mindset is so important. It’s not about removing the stress and anxiety of your life, but learning how to cope with it, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO defines mental health as:
“… a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships, and shape the world we live in.”
So how do you support your ability to cope in these ways? Let’s talk about it.
How to Support Mental Health
There are so many ways to support your mental health—and that’s the beautiful thing. We can all dig into a massive toolbox of options that can help us feel mentally stronger, calmer, and happier every day, no matter what life brings our way and no matter what we have access to.
Here are some of the strategies I use to support my mental health that can support yours too:
- Time in nature: Science shows this is a huge component of mental health, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. Simply getting outside, whether you take a walk around the block or go for a hike, can support your mental health.
- Exercise: Moving your body consistently, whether you’re lifting weights or doing Pilates, contributes to improved mental health. Research finds that this is especially true for aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, or walking.
- Meditation and mindfulness: Bring meditation (even just 2-3 minutes) and mindfulness into your daily routine. It can vastly improve your mental health because these practices calm the mind and enhance overall well-being. This is also a powerful way to shift your mindset and begin seeing the world through a different lens.
- Breathwork: Breathing deeply and with intention, even for just 5 minutes each day, can improve your mood and reduce anxiety. This can also improve physical markers of health like respiratory rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability. A win-win! If you’re not sure about breathwork: check out our blog post on how to make it more fun, Read our Q&A with Lindywell’s Head of Breathwork and Somatic Programs, or Join a live guided breathwork session!
While Lindywell can support you in many of these areas, my brand new book, Well to Core, dives into each of these aspects of mental health in a practical way. Buy your copy today!
Optimum Nutrition and Nourishment
When using drugs that reduce your appetite, your body’s need for adequate nutrients does not change. If you’re not pursuing a diet that is rich in macro and micronutrients you won’t experience long-term health improvements (or feel very good!).
Our body needs nourishment—from vitamins and minerals to an adequate balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat—in order to function well. Your brain health, digestion, and energy levels (among so many other functions of your body and life) rely on a nutrient-rich diet to thrive.
How to Support Your Nutrition
Sometimes the easiest way to boost your daily nutrition is to follow nutrient-dense recipes that are simple and easy to prepare. If you’re anything like me, so this is key to making it happen! That’s why I often turn to the hundreds of recipes in the Lindywell app. All of them were created by Micah Siva, our resident recipe maker and a registered dietician.
From breakfast, lunch, and dinner to snacks and smoothies, we have something for every day of the week. Plus you’ll find options for preferences like gluten- or dairy-free and your kids will love these recipes too! Start your 14-day free trial of Lindywell to get instant access to all of these recipes!
Focusing on Holistic Health
It can be easy to get caught up in wanting to lose weight, especially when drugs like Wegovy are now available. While losing weight isn’t bad, and for some, is necessary, there’s so much more to be considered, including long-term strength building, mental health, and mindset.
These aspects of health are critical for building a sustainable healthy lifestyle. This, in turn, can help you cope with both the physical and mental challenges of life. Weight loss is not a magic bullet (and the science proves it). So make sure your Wegovy diet plan—or regular weight-loss plan—includes these important aspects of living a happy, healthy life.