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Ozempic and Beyond: What Is the Best Weight Loss Injection?

Weight loss


The nationwide battle against the belt buckle has led many Australians to consider weight loss injections as a viable solution to their weight-related struggles.

However, these medical treatments, which have gained significant attention for their potential to help folks lose weight, require a thorough understanding of their benefits and risks.

So, what is the best injection for weight loss?

We'll arm you with the risks, rewards and side effects associated with each of the major players in the weight loss injection space so you can accurately consider whether these medications are right for you. Let's dive in!

What Are Weight Loss Injections?

Before we get into what the best injection for weight loss is, let’s break down what these medications actually are.

You've undoubtedly seen the slew of tabloid articles heralding the age of Ozempic, with countless celebrities dropping significant amounts of body weight with the assistance of the so-called 'skinny pen'. “What is the injection for weight loss called again?” your Mum queries over a yarn on the phone. 

Weight loss injections are pharmaceutical interventions designed to assist individuals in losing weight when traditional methods like diet and exercise haven't been successful.

These injections typically cater to obese adults or overweight individuals with weight-related health conditions and act through various mechanisms to reduce your appetite, increase feelings of fullness, or directly affect body weight regulation.

How Do Weight Loss Injections Work?

Weight loss injections mimic the action of a natural hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), that helps control blood sugar and hunger.

When you take a weight loss injection like Ozempic, it does two main things: it helps your body release insulin, which lowers your blood sugar after you eat, and it makes you feel fuller for longer by slowing down how quickly your stomach empties.

This means you're likely to eat less, which can lead to weight loss. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2021 showed that people who were overweight and took Ozempic lost about 15% of their body mass on average, which is much more than those who didn't take it (they only lost about 2.4% of their body weight). (1)

This shows that Ozempic can be a powerful tool for losing weight because it helps you eat less and manage your blood sugar better.

Legal and Available Injections for Weight Loss in Australia


The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) plays a crucial role in the approval and regulation of pharmaceuticals, including weight loss drugs, ensuring they meet safety and efficacy standards for use in Australia. (2)

Among the approved options, Ozempic and Saxenda stand out due to their clinical success and widespread use. Let's explore them further.

Ozempic (Semaglutide)

Ozempic, a brand name for Semaglutide injections, has been widely recognised for its effectiveness in glucose management in adults with type 2 diabetes (3).

However, its benefits extend beyond glucose regulation, showing significant promise in weight loss. Ozempic functions by mimicking a hormone that targets areas of the brain involved in appetite regulation, leading to reduced hunger and calorie intake, and thus a loss of excess weight.

  • Mechanism: It works by enhancing the body's insulin response and reducing appetite.
  • Legality and Availability: Ozempic is legally available in Australia to people with diabetes. It has been used off-label for weight loss, with growing interest in its formal approval for obesity treatment.
  • Efficacy: Numerous studies have highlighted its effectiveness in promoting weight loss, with patients experiencing a significant reduction in body weight (4).
  • Rewards: Apart from weight loss, benefits include improved blood sugar levels and potential cardiovascular benefits.
  • Risks: Common side effects include gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea and vomiting, which are generally temporary. Additionally, semaglutide may increase your risk of biliary disease (cholelithiasis), diseases affecting the bile ducts, gallbladder and other structures involved in the production and transportation of bile (5).
  • Cost: It is available through prescription, varying costs based on insurance coverage and healthcare plans.

Saxenda (Liraglutide)

Saxenda is another leading weight loss injection, approved specifically for weight management in adults. Like Ozempic, it mimics the action of hormones that regulate appetite and food intake but is specifically designed and dosed for weight loss. Unlike other Ozempic alternatives, it is not indicated for the treatment of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

  • Mechanism: Saxenda works by mimicking the naturally occurring GLP-1, leading to reduced hunger and thus, a more easily tolerated reduced-calorie diet.
  • Legality and Availability: It is approved by the TGA for weight management and is available on prescription in Australia.
  • Efficacy: Clinical studies have demonstrated Saxenda's ability to help individuals achieve and maintain weight loss when combined with lifestyle changes.
  • Rewards: Users have reported significant weight loss, improvements in quality of life, and a potential reduction in the risk of developing weight-related health issues.
  • Risks: Animal studies suggest a possible increased risk of thyroid tumours, though it's not clear if this applies to humans (6). In human trials, a hormone linked to thyroid cancer was monitored, and slight increases in some patients were noted but remained within normal ranges.
  • According to the brand's website, the most common side effects of Saxenda in adults include nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, injection site reaction, increased heart rate, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), headache, tiredness (fatigue), dizziness, stomach pain, and change in enzyme (lipase) levels in your blood.
  • Cost: The cost of Saxenda can be partially offset by private health insurance, depending on your policy.

Weighing the Rewards and Risks of Weight Loss Drugs

The decision to use weight loss injections should be informed by a consultation with a trusted healthcare provider and a comprehensive assessment of the benefits and potential side effects.

Both Ozempic and Saxenda offer promising results for those struggling with weight loss, showing significant improvements in body weight and related health outcomes. However, the potential for side effects and the need for ongoing medical supervision cannot be overlooked.

The guidance of a health care professional and patient-specific considerations, i.e. medical conditions/history, are essential in navigating these options.

Balance is Everything | Diet and Physical Activity

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While weight loss injections can be a powerful tool in your journey to shed pounds, it's crucial not to overlook the importance of exercise and a healthy diet.

These injections work best when used as part of a comprehensive healthy lifestyle approach that includes a regular exercise plan and balanced nutrition.

Physical activity not only helps burn calories but also boosts your metabolism and improves your overall health. A nutritious diet, on the other hand, provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals, supports weight loss, and helps maintain the results achieved through injections. Neglecting these aspects can limit the effectiveness of weight loss injections and may lead to regaining the weight over time.

Remember, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires a holistic approach to healthier lifestyle changes.

Alternatives to Weight Loss Injections

For individuals seeking non-pharmaceutical methods to manage weight, non-invasive meal replacement programs such as The Man Shake and The Lady Shake provide a nutritious and convenient alternative.

Our meal replacement shakes support weight loss and maintenance by offering a balanced profile of vitamins, minerals, and protein, ensuring you receive essential nutrients but significantly reduce your calorie intake.

Battle of the Weight Loss Programs: Shakes vs Shots... How Do They Compare?

In a study of 175 people, mostly women around 49 years old with an average BMI of 41, participants using Ozempic lost about 6.7 kg (around 5.9% of their body weight) after 3 months and 12.3 kg (about 10.9% of their body weight) after 6 months.

You only need to look at The Man Shake before and after testimonials to see how our weight loss shake program stacks up.

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Take Nathan, for example, who lost a whopping 3.8% of his initial weight — 130 kg (5kg) in just one month on The Man Shake program. Or Jarrod, who shed 55 kg in 12 months — an impressive 35% of his 155 kg starting weight.

These results speak for themselves — there are more Man Shake success stories and counting! If you and/or your health care provider determine that weight loss injections aren't a suitable option for your individual needs, why not give our program a try?

Weighing Up Your Weight Loss Journey Options

So, what is the best injection for weight loss? The answer depends entirely on an individual’s needs.

Weight loss injections represent a significant advancement in obesity treatment, offering new hope for individuals seeking medical assistance to achieve their weight loss goals. However, they aren't suitable for everyone, and the decision to use them should be made with careful consideration and professional medical advice. The Man Shake and The Lady Shake offer a practical and effective weight loss program for those seeking a less invasive option.

Whether you're considering weight loss injections or seeking alternative solutions, it's important to choose a path that aligns with your health goals and personal preferences — remember, health isn't a one-size-fits-all!


The New England Journal of Medicine. “Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity”. 2021. By John P.H. Wilding, D.M., Rachel L. Batterham, M.B., B.S., Ph.D., Salvatore Calanna, Ph.D., Melanie Davies, M.D., Luc F. Van Gaal, M.D., Ph.D., Ildiko Lingvay, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.C.S., Barbara M. McGowan, M.D., Ph.D., Julio Rosenstock, M.D., Marie T.D. Tran, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D., Sean Wharton, M.D., Pharm.D., Koutaro Yokote, M.D., Ph.D., et al., for the STEP 1 Study Group*

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). "Approval of Weight Loss Medications in Australia."

Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders. "Semaglutide, a glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist with cardiovascular benefits for management of type 2 diabetes". 2022. By Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, Muthukumar Karuppasamy, and Biswa Mohan Sahoo.

JAMA Network Open. "Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity". 2022. By Wissam Ghusn, MD, Alan De la Rosa, MD, Daniel Sacoto, MD,  Lizeth Cifuentes, MD, Alejandro Campos, MD, Fauzi Feris, MD, Maria Daniela Hurtado, MD, PhD, and Andres Acosta, MD, PhD.

Obesity Science & Practice. "Liraglutide for weight management: a critical review of the evidence". 2017. By A. Mehta, S. P. Marso, and I. J. Neeland.

The New England Journal of Medicine. "Weighing Risks and Benefits of Liraglutide — The FDA's Review of a New Antidiabetic Therapy". 2010. By Mary Parks, M.D., and Curtis Rosebraugh, M.D., M.P.H.