Mounjaro users say Thanksgiving will be different this year

WATCH: How weight loss pills can transform holiday dinners

When Tara Rothenhofer sits down at the Thanksgiving table this year, she said she envisions being able to enjoy rather than feel overwhelmed by the food on the table.

Rothenhofer said he credits that change to Mounjaro, a drug he says helped him lose more than 200 pounds.

Before adopting Mounjaro, Rottenhofer said that during a holiday like Thanksgiving that centers around a big meal, she worried about being able to “make good choices” when it came to food.

“You’re just focused on the food as a whole, not the holiday,” Rothenhofer told “Good Morning America,” adding the change he’s seen since starting the drug: “I was able to change that fear and anxiety. to enjoy more and make sure you know I’m still eating the foods I enjoy. I just make sure I don’t eat that much.”

Tara Rothenhofer told “GMA” that Mounjaro helped her lose more than 200 pounds.

Similarly, Joe Sapone, who lost more than 100 pounds at Mountjaro, told “GMA” that for him, gatherings for holidays like Thanksgiving are now more about the company around him than the food.

“My enjoyment hasn’t really diminished,” he said. “Because it’s as much about being with family and friends as it is about eating food.”

Mounjaro and other weight-loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy have grown in popularity over the past year because they have been successful in changing some people’s eating habits and helping overweight and obese people lose weight.

Clinical studies show that drug users can lose 5% to 20% of their body weight over time.

Joe Sapone told “GMA” he lost more than 100 pounds at Mountjaro.

Mounjaro’s active ingredient, tirzepatide, works by activating two hormones produced naturally in the body: glucagon-like peptide-1, known as GLP-1, and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, or GIP. This combination is said to slow stomach emptying, make people feel fuller for longer, and suppress appetite by slowing down hunger signals in the brain.

Mounjaro, made by Eli Lilly and Co., is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes. Earlier this month, the FDA approved the obesity drug Zepbound, which contains the same active ingredient, tirzepatide, as Mounjaro.

The drug is similar to semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, both made by Novo Nordisk, but works slightly differently because it targets two hormones involved in blood sugar control, rather than one.

Ozempic is currently FDA-approved as a treatment for type 2 diabetes along with diet and exercise if other medications fail to adequately control blood sugar levels.

MORE: First came Ozempic for weight loss, then came the shame.

Wegovy is essentially the same injectable drug as Ozempic in higher doses. The FDA specifically approved Wegovy for severely obese or overweight patients who have one or more weight-related conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Possible side effects of all three drugs, Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Wegovy, include nausea and stomach pain.

MORE: FDA warns about safety of ‘off-brand’ versions of Ozempic, Wegovy

STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

A Thanksgiving meal is seen overhead in this undated stock photo.

Dr. Kathryn Saunders, clinical assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, says people using weight-loss drugs should be prepared to manage their expectations when it comes to big holiday meals like Thanksgiving. the day:

“It doesn’t completely take away the pleasure that comes from eating,” Saunders told “GMA.” “It gives people a chance to take a couple of bites and then say, “I don’t need to eat a large portion of this. That was enough.’

Saunders also noted that it may take time for people to adjust to eating different amounts and different types of food when using drugs such as Ozempic and Mounjaro.

“It can definitely take some time for people to get used to eating differently and making food choices differently when they’re on these drugs,” he said. “So if you don’t change your eating behavior or the content of your diet at all when you take these drugs, then people can have problems.”

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