Are you struggling with weight gain and looking for an alternative to Ozempic? You likely have the tools to achieve similar effects without the prescription, and reversing insulin resistance should be your first goal. Let’s explore natural ways to reverse insulin resistance, enhance metabolic health, and lose weight using methods almost anything can do. We’ll compare natural insulin sensitivity to the use of peptides like semaglutide and Ozempic, to see if they are truly as effective at helping you reach your health goals.
Learn more about conditions we treat: Weight Loss & Weight Management
Is there a natural alternative to Ozempic for weight loss?
Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs have soared in popularity in recent months due to the promise of improved insulin sensitivity & metabolic function, and weight loss. But naturally reducing or reversing insulin resistance to enhance fat loss is possible without a costly prescription or risking potential side effects.
When it comes to weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity, nothing should be taken lightly. That’s why we wanted to explore some natural strategies that can help you enjoy the same benefits as Ozempic without putting your health at risk.
Ozempic helps lower blood glucose levels
One of the ways Ozempic and other semaglutide medications (Wegovy, Mounjaro, etc.) work is by improving blood glucose metabolism. This is a measure of how well your cells take up glucose into cells after eating foods. When your body isn’t able to take up glucose as efficiently, it can lead to weight gain and other metabolic diseases.
Ozempic works by binding to the receptor of a special peptide, called GLP-1, which stimulates insulin secretion in response to meals and helps with glucose uptake into cells (1). While this drug is effective at improving blood sugar metabolism, there are natural ways to do this as well.
While there are no pills or injections that can replace Ozempic as a weight-loss medication, there are ways to help your body become more sensitive to its own insulin. By working with your body’s natural processes, you can lose weight and reverse insulin resistance.
Weight training is a great way to naturally improve insulin response and lower blood sugar levels. It boosts muscle mass—which automatically improves metabolism—and increases glucose uptake and utilization by skeletal muscles (2). It also helps maintain body weight and reduces abdominal fat, an accumulation of which is a hallmark of poor blood sugar control.
Exercise, when compared with the drug metformin, was more effective to improve health in older adults with diabetes, resulting in (3):
- Lower BMI
- Improved stamina
- Reduced waist circumference
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol & triglycerides
With regular strength training, you can build muscle that will keep your metabolic engine burning long after the workout is over.
Berberine is a natural compound found in many plants that has been shown to reduce glucose production in the liver, decrease fasting blood sugar levels, and increase insulin sensitivity (4,5). It is usually taken as a supplement.
In a 2008 study, researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes were able to lower their fasting blood glucose by about 20% when taking 1 gram of berberine per day (6).
One 2023 review found that many previous studies have shown that berberine supplementation reduces obesity through its impact on the gut microbiome, genetic expression, and by reducing glucose production in the liver (7). These studies have also shown a reduction in inflammatory markers like hs-CRP and CRP, plus a shift to a more favorable ratio of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Most studies involve 1,000 – 1,500 mg of berberine split into 2 – 3 doses throughout the day. As always, when beginning a new supplement it’s helpful to speak with your doctor to discuss any risks and benefits.
Related: Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Apple cider vinegar before meals
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy that can help improve blood sugar control and may help support weight loss goals. One study found that drinking a glass of water with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before meals can help lower post-meal blood glucose levels, which can support weight loss efforts (8). Another review supports these findings, noting that apple cider vinegar caused a “small, but significant” reduction in HbA1c after 8–12 weeks. HbA1c levels reflect blood glucose levels over weeks or months (9).
ACV works by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and enters into the small intestine. This helps regulate digestion, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
Eating adequate protein & fiber
Eating adequate amounts of protein and fiber can also help manage blood sugar levels and promote a healthy body weight. Protein helps maintain lean body mass, which increases glucose uptake into muscle cells and reduces fat storage.
Fiber helps slow the digestion of carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. It also helps improve insulin sensitivity by reducing inflammation in our bodies. Eating foods that are rich in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Protein and fiber foods are also some of the most satisfying, which means they signal the production of fullness hormones like leptin, resulting in a decreased appetite and fewer cravings (10).
Take a 10-minute walk after meals
Another natural way to promote better blood sugar control is by taking a walk after meals (11). Walking helps cells use glucose for energy, which means our bodies don’t need as much insulin to process the food we eat.
Plus, walking after meals helps reduce the production of stress hormones cortisol, which can help regulate our blood sugar levels. A regular habit of taking a walk after meals can help keep your blood sugar levels in check—and help you drop a few inches around your waistline.
Most people struggle with some degree of insulin resistance
Nearly 42% of adults in the U.S. have obesity, while a staggering 69% are overweight or obese. You don’t have to be overweight to have insulin resistance, but many people who are overweight struggle with the resistance to this important metabolic hormone (12).
These are just some of the natural ways you can improve insulin sensitivity and lose weight without using Ozempic or other peptides. Of course, always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your health regimen.
- To get started with an integrative team dedicated to your success, contact a patient care coordinator now.
As we become more mindful of our health, it’s important to remember that nature has a lot to offer when it comes to improving our blood glucose levels and overall well-being. By incorporating natural habits into our lifestyles, we can start reversing insulin resistance and enjoy a healthier life.
Maintaining a healthy weight with functional medicine
Getting to a healthy weight can be a frustrating process if you’re not targeting the underlying causes of weight gain, like poor blood sugar control or insulin resistance. Our team of integrative doctors is here to help you achieve your goals, and we’ll help you find a clear path to your goal weight through:
- Advanced diagnostic testing (hormones, stress profile, genetics, etc.)
- Nutrition counseling
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic healing methods
- InBody testing
- Gut function analysis & food sensitivity testing
- And other functional, whole-body methods.
Treatments that achieve real, sustainable weight loss need to be as dynamic and individualized as patients themselves, and integrative medicine can help you accomplish your goals.