Oprah reveals that she lost weight after using the drugs she once criticized: “It’s not a matter of willpower, it’s the brain”

Oprah Winfrey’s surprising weight loss had led some to speculate about the use of medications used by many to lose weight such as Wegovy, Ozempic or Mounjaro. Now, the famous television host has confirmed that this is the case, according to NBC Today.

In an exclusive interview with People magazine published Wednesday, Winfrey attributed her new figure in part to an anti-obesity drug, which generated a lot of buzz last week.

On December 6, the presenter attended the premiere of the film The Color Purple in Los Angeles in a tight dress that flattered her waist and stomach. Some online observers commented that she looked “slimmer than ever.”

Oprah Winfrey at the premiere of “The Color Purple” in Los Angeles on December 6, 2023.Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images file

Winfrey confirmed that she is taking a weight-loss medication in the interview published on December 13, but He did not detail which one. (Ozempic is a brand-name drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes. Weight loss is a known side effect.)

“The fact that there is a prescription to control weight and stay healthier, available now, seems like a relief, a redemption, a gift, and not something to hide from and be ridiculed for once again,” said the businesswoman. . “I am absolutely sick of the humiliation that comes from other people and particularly from myself.”

Winfrey said she took the medication before Thanksgiving “because I knew I was going to eat a lot for two weeks,” she told People, and “instead of being eight pounds heavier like I was last year, I was only half a pound heavier.” pound more.”

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Earlier this year, Winfrey revealed that she once thought taking a weight-loss drug would be “the easy way out.”

“There’s a part of me that feels… like I have to do it the hard way. I have to keep climbing mountains. I have to continue suffering. I have to do that because otherwise I’m kind of fooling myself,” Winfrey, 69, said in September during a panel on Oprah Daily, called weight status.

It was after that argument that she changed her mind about whether or not to use a weight-loss drug, Winfrey told People, calling it her “eureka” moment: “I realized that I had been blaming myself all these years for having overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower is going to control.”

Frustration over his weight has “taken up five decades of space” in his brain, he said.

Obesity is a disease, he added: “It’s not about willpower, it’s about the brain.” That’s when “I let go of my own shame,” she said, and his doctor prescribed weight-loss medication.

It’s wonderful that Winfrey realizes that obesity is a biological condition and not a matter of willpower, Dr. Roshini Raj said while appearing on on December 14.

“When we think about what Oprah has accomplished in her life, we know she doesn’t lack willpower,” said Raj, a gastroenterologist and associate professor at New York University Grossman School of Medicine.

“She also doesn’t lack resources with nutritionists, I’m sure, and trainers, but sometimes some people biologically need that extra help.”

Overdose cases are worrying

Ozempic and similar medications work by mimicking the hormones the body releases when a person eats food. People have less appetite and, when they eat, they feel full sooner.

The semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovyhas become a cause for concern.

Poison control centers in the United States warned of an increase in calls related to semaglutide, with some people reporting symptoms related to accidental overdoses, according to CNN.

“Some have even needed to be hospitalized for severe nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, but their cases appear to have resolved after they were given intravenous fluids and medications to control the nausea,” the report added.

(Pharmacist who makes the medicine Ozempic reminds that the drug is not “for weight loss”)

From January to November, Poison Centers report nearly 3,000 calls related to semaglutide, according to CNN, a more than 15-fold increase from 2019. “In 94% of calls, this medication was the only substance reported.”

Wegovy and Zepbound are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people who are obese or have complications from being overweight. Ozempic and Mounjaro are approved to treat type 2 diabetes.

The most common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and constipation. People self-inject the medications once a week and must continue taking them to maintain weight loss.

New option for weight gain during menopause

It may be more difficult for people to lose weight as they age, and for women in particular, there may be hormonal impacts on weight during and after menopause, according to Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist and obesity medicine specialist. who runs a weight loss clinic in Cary, North Carolina.

It is common for extra weight to be distributed around a woman’s waist, and because abdominal fat contributes to the risk of cardiovascular disease, medications may be good options for a patient who has gained weight during or after menopause. , according to the expert.

Winfrey will turn 70 in January and has previously spoken openly about the effects of menopause on her body, from brain fog to heart problems.

However, taking a weight loss medication to combat future weight gain is not without its downsides. Although there may be benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, joint health and mood, aging leads to a decrease in lean muscle mass, which can be exacerbated by weight-loss medications, McGowan says.

To combat that, Doctors recommend resistance and weight training, plus eating plenty of protein.

With information from Today and CNN.