The benefit of healthy lifestyle in the era of new medications to treat obesity

Abstract: Incretin-based medications for treating obesity produce substantial short- and long-term weight loss and improve obesity-related comorbidities. However, associating lifestyle modification with new medications to treat obesity is generally advisable for several reasons. Firstly, healthy eating patterns and physical activity may offer important additional benefits, enhancing the patient’s health and well-being. In addition, regular specialist counselling in lifestyle modification can help patients maintain their motivation levels and develop specific skills for addressing obstacles during the lengthy process of weight loss and maintenance, potentially improving outcomes in the long term. Given the high efficacy of the new weight-loss drugs, it would be timely to streamline and simplify the current gold standard of obesity management based on lifestyle modification. For example, it now seems redundant to prescribe strict diets or meal replacements to reduce calorie intake, or to recommend patients practice 200 to 300 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity exercise for enhanced weight loss. Moderate calorie restriction and, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities per week may be more achievable and appropriate goals for sustainable weight loss in most patients on pharmaceutical obesity treatment. As regards lifestyle modification counselling, future studies should assess its optimal intensity and duration in the “new medications for obesity era”.


Dalle Grave, R., The benefit of healthy lifestyle in the era of new medications to treat obesity. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, 2024. Volume 17: p. 227-230. Full Text