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Why Jillian Michaels Is Predicting a Massive Fallout From Ozempic Craze

Considering giving Ozempic a shot? Jillian Michaels would like to weigh in. She told E! News why she thinks there will be a huge backlash against the diabetes drug being touted as a weight loss cure.

By Sarah Grossbart Jan 20, 2024 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Every Real Housewife Who Has Weighed in on Ozempic

Oh, oh, oh, are we still talking about Ozempic? We are.

And for those who are considering giving the injectable medication—originally marketed for treating Type 2 diabetes—a shot, well, Jillian Michaels has a few words of caution

"I think the situation is becoming even more concerning as new information gets out about the drugs," the trainer noted in an exclusive interview with E! News. And, as one might expect from the no-bulls--t host of podcast Keeping It Real, she didn't hold back when asked about her apprehension toward the semiglutide injectable used by stars like Sharon Osbourne (who has since said she's struggled to put weight back on) and Chelsea Handler, who said she didn't like how it made her feel.  

"With anything medical, whether we're talking about a vaccine or antibiotics, there's always side effects," she explained, listing the potential downsides. "So let's start out with the side effects that are on the f--king website: We've got thyroid tumors, gallbladder problems, pancreatitis, kidney issues, vision loss, stomach problems now including stomach paralysis. There's a class action lawsuit for stomach paralysis." (A spokesperson for Novo Nordisk told Reuters, the company "believes that the allegations in the lawsuit are without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend against these claims." A hearing is set for Jan. 25.)

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Real Housewives Who Have Spoken Out on Ozempic

More anecdotally, she continued, experts like Dr. Peter Attia have warned of significant muscle loss and the oft-mentioned "Ozempic face," in which the drastic weight loss can lead to sagging and other facial changes. 

"People are always like, 'Oh, It's because of rapid weight loss," noted Michaels. "No, it's not."

Across 11 seasons on The Biggest Loser and even more as a personal trainer, "I've taken a tremendous amount of weight off of arguably tens of thousands of people," explains the founder of The Fitness App. "I've seen a bazillion before and afters to my website. For everything I've ever done, personally, people always looked better, they never look worse. So anecdotally there's something happening, in my opinion, that's arguably causing the breakdown of collagen."

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Throw in vomiting, diarrhea and the number of hairdressers speculating about why they've been seeing increased hair loss in their clients, and it's a strong no from Michaels. 

And, to be clear, she's not shaming those who have considered giving the seeming cure-all a shot. "I form zero, and I mean, zero judgment on this," she insisted. "And what's sad is that people are like, well, I don't want to take the easy way out. And trust me, life is hard enough. If this was an easy way out, I would be the first one signing everybody up and selling the drugs through my website."

But the way she sees it, hopping onto the Ozempic bandwagon "is the opposite of an easy way out." 

For starters, she explained, she doesn't see a clear path for getting off of the drug. "And if you do all of the meta analyses shows that you gain the weight back—two-thirds within the first year alone and then some," Michaels explained. "It is yo-yo dieting on crack." (Responding to a 2022 study that showed patients regain the weight, Novo Nordisk, the makers of Ozempic and Wegovy, said in a statement, "Not unexpectedly, patients experience weight regain once they stop taking the medication. Obesity is a chronic disease that requires long-term management, much like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.")

With the medication imitating GLP-1—a hormone that naturally occurs in the body, to lower blood sugar levels—it manages appetite by affecting both the stomach and brain.

"If I'm not giving my body food, and I'm consistently eating less than I burned in a day, it's not like f--king Stephen King's Thinner, where you eventually disappear," continued Michaels. "The body is like, 'Oh, wow, we've got to change some things around here biochemically. And we've got to lower our metabolic setpoint.' And it does this by changing out what hormones are released when and so on and so forth. So now you've lowered your metabolism, you've f--ked up your hormone balance, you've lost a ton of muscle. You're working from all the way behind the eight ball if you ever get off of it." 

It's also worth noting that Ozempic maker Novo Nordisk previously told E! News that the drug is not FDA-approved for chronic weight management, nor is it marketed as a weight loss aid.

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

For those that plan to keep using the medication forever and are willing to navigate both the hefty price tag and the supply issues caused by its increased popularity, a plateau looms. 

While the experience varies from patient to patient, basically, hypothosized Michaels, the body will adapt to the medication "the way you adapt to coffee. Just the way people adapt to any other drug. Just the way we become insulin resistant or leptin resistant. And you plateau."

Which is why she predicts a backlash will come next. 

"Two years from now, you're going to see the fallout from this, just like we did with all the other diet drugs over the years," said Michaels. "And the fallout will be significant. Right now everyone is like, 'I've been on for six months, I look and feel great.' And then what happens when it's no longer impacting your appetite and you plateau in a year and a half? Or what happens when you experience one of these side effects? Or all of a sudden your hair starts falling out six months in or you look like complete s--t?"

In other words, she summed up, "I cannot issue a strong enough warning."

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

For those curious what Michaels is recommending it's a return to the basics: Eat less, move more. 

"I'm not saying it's easy," she admitted, "I'm saying it's simple."

She suggests springing for a smartwatch like her go-to iTOUCH Wearables and using it to track how many calories you burn each day.

From there, "You've got to spend two weeks learning how many calories are in the things you eat regularly," she said. And while she understands calorie-counting gets a bad rap, "if I don't tell you how to do it, you won't be able to actually effectuate change. And then you don't believe what I'm saying because you don't realize how much you're eating and you get discouraged and become vulnerable to more fads and trends."

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Stars Who Gained or Lost Weight for Roles

The goal, she continued, is to create a 500-calorie-a-day deficit, which will translate to losing roughly a pound each week. 

And while, yes, she jokes, "I want you to eat, like, Moringa greens, grown by Tibetan monks in the third phase of the crescent moon," she also wants to meet people where they're at. 

"If it's too much to ask people to switch that pizza to a chicken salad, here's what we're going to do," Michaels said. "Instead of half the pie, you're going to do one slice of pizza and you're going do a side salad. Or two slices of pizza and a side salad with the dressing on the side. And we're going to opt out of the Coke. Or the two glasses of wine. Done. And all of this will work. I promise."

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

In fact, noted Michaels, one of the benefits of the Ozempic obsession has been that "it's evidenced what I've said for three decades. When you eat less food, you will lose weight."

It's just that her way of doing things, she noted, while undoubtedly slower, is also safer. "We're not dealing with significantly less food forever, we're eating a little bit less food," she explained. "And we're still able to get the nutrients from our food, we're not messing with our biochemistry and our hormones. So we don't have any of those negative side effects biochemically."

Of course, the fitness pro isn't the first to sound off on Ozempic's increasing popularity. Keep reading to see what others have said about Hollywood's most popular injectable. 

Jon Gosselin

The Jon & Kate Plus 8 alum told Page Six in April 2024 that he lost 32 pounds in two months after taking injections of semaglutide, the generic form of Ozempic.

"You know what's annoying?" he said. "The regret of not starting it 10 years ago."

Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman star shared on her blog in March 2024 that her 50-pound weight loss in 2022 was not due to taking Ozempic or similar medications.

She added, "But you'll never hear a second of judgment from me about people who choose that direction!"

Tracy Morgan

In August 2023, the 30 Rock alum said on Today With Hoda and Jenna that he lost weight on Ozempic because it supressed his appetite.

In March 2024, his health journey appeared to take a surprising turn. "I've learned to out-eat Ozempic," he said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. "I gained 40 pounds."

Later that month, he clarified to E! News that he was joking, adding, "Ozempic did great by me and I was glad to use it."

Brooke Burke

“I can’t speak medically about it, but I do know that there’s so much information about what’s working and what’s not,” she shared during part of an interview with Fox News Digital. “I think that Ozempic has some great benefits, and I also think it has some dangers.”

Tori Spelling

The Beverly Hills, 90210 tried the drug to help her slim down after giving birth to her son Beau in 2017.

"I tried Ozempic and it didn't work for me," she shared in an April 2024 episode of her misSPELLING podcast, "so I went on Mounjaro, which did do the trick and I did lose weight."

Raven-Symoné

"I think it's very important we understand certain medications are made for certain people," she told E! News' Francesca Amiker, "and to not take that away just for glamazon purposes."

Raven continued, "Do what you gotta do, just make sure you save the medication for the people who actually need it."

Sharon Osbourne

The Talk U.K. host revealed in September 2023 that she shed 42 pounds after using Ozempic earlier in the year.

"Whatever you choose is up to you," she exclusively told E! News. "It's not a dirty little secret when you've taken something to help you lose weight, which is perfectly fine."

She added, "We don't have to bulls--t."

Kelly Osbourne

Sharon's daughter has also weighed in on the Ozempic trend.

"I think it's amazing," the Fashion Police alum told E! News in January 2024. "There are a million ways to lose weight, why not do it through something that isn't as boring as working out?"

 

Kate Winslet

The Titanic star, who was once a target for tabloids when it came to her weight, shared what she thought about the weight loss trend.

"I actually don't know what Ozempic is," Kate admitted to The New York Times Magazine in an interview published March 3. "All I know is that it's some pill that people are taking or something like that."

"Oh, my God," Kate remarked after learning about the drug. "This sounds terrible."

Heidi Montag

The Hills star revealed in December 2023 that she'd recently lost 22 pounds—without taking Ozempic. "There's no shortcuts in life. And if you're taking that shortcut, I don't know," she told Page Six of other celebrities using the drug. "I don't want to name names or get into it, it's just nothing I would ever do."

Heidi noted, "I want something that is sustainable. I want something that does also require hard work."

Amy Schumer

The Trainwreck star did not hold back when she called out celebrities for not being honest about using Ozempic as a weight loss tool during her June 8, 2023 appearance on Watch What Happens Live. 

"Everyone and their mom is gonna try it. Everyone has been lying saying, 'Oh, smaller portions,'" she told Andy Cohen, who has also publicly weighed in on the Ozempic craze multiple times. "Like, shut the f--k up. You are on Ozempic or one of those things, or you got work done. Just stop."

Schumer, who has been open about her past medical procedures, added, "Be real with people. When I got lipo, I said I got lipo."

She admitted to becoming "immediately invested" in Ozempic in 2022, but explained that it was not "livable" for her to take the Type 2 diabetes drug as it hindered her ability to spend time with her 5-year-old son Gene

"I was one of those people that felt so sick and couldn't play with my son," Schumer recalled. "I was so skinny, and he's throwing a ball at me and [I couldn't]."

Dr. Drew Pinsky

"People have a mixed feeling about interventions like this," Dr. Drew exclusively told E! News at Fox's Special Forces: World's Toughest Test season two event in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2023. "They're tantalized by it, but on the other hand, they have this weird judgment."

He continued, "If we have a medication that can be helpful, by all means, people should be encouraged to think about it."

Sophie Turner

Forget winter, a hot take is coming.

The Game of Thrones alum was not shy when it came to sharing her opinion about Ozempic and its advertisements.

In an April 5, 2023 Instagram Story, the actress reposted a tweet from writer Sophie Vershbow that read, "The Ozempic ads plastered across the Times Square subway station can f--k all the way off." One ad featured in Vershbow's Twitter photos read, "One shot to lose weight," while another offered similar text, "A weekly shot to lose weight."

Turner adding her own commentary, writing, "WTF."

Ozempic maker Novo Nordisk previously told E! News that the drug is not FDA-approved for chronic weight management.

"While we recognize that some healthcare providers may be prescribing Ozempic for patients whose goal is to lose weight, Novo Nordisk does not promote, suggest, or encourage off-label use of our medicines and is committed to fully complying with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations in the promotion of our products," the Danish pharmaceutical company said in a statement. "We trust that healthcare providers are evaluating a patient's individual needs and determining which medicine is right for that particular patient."

Chelsea Handler

Ozempic is no laughing matter for the comedian. Handler revealed her "anti-aging doctor" prescribed the medication without her realizing what the drug was.

"I didn't even know I was on it," she said during the Jan. 25, 2023 episode of Call Her Daddy. "She said, 'If you ever want to drop five pounds, this is good.'"

But while she tried the drug, Handler noted that she didn't like how it made her feel.

"I came back from a vacation and I injected myself with it," she recalled. "I went to lunch with a girlfriend a few days later, and she was like, 'I'm not really eating anything. I'm so nauseous, I'm on Ozempic.' And I was like, 'I'm kind of nauseous too.' But I had just come back from Spain and was jet-lagged."

Ultimately, Handler stopped using the drug because it wasn't medically necessary for her, adding that she gave away the remaining doses to friends.

"I've injected about four or five of my friends with Ozempic, because I realized I didn't want to use it because it was silly," she said. "It's for heavy people. I have people coming over to my house, and I'm like, 'OK, I can see you at 1, I can see you at 2.'"

Khloe Kardashian

KoKo clapped back when commenters on Instagram speculated that she was taking Ozempic. 

"Let's not discredit my years of working out," Kardashian wrote on a January 2023 post. "I get up 5 days a week at 6am to train. Please stop with your assumptions. I guess new year still means mean people."

Dr. Terry Dubrow

In addition to embracing the weight-loss drug, Dubrow actually revealed in January 2023 he temporarily used Mounjaro to learn how it affects the body.

"I thought it was amazing," the Botched star shared. "I didn't have that much weight to lose. But I wanted to try it because so many of my patients were on it and I wanted to see what it was like when you're not diabetic and you only have 10 to 15 pounds to lose."

Although Dr. Dubrow didn't disclose how much weight he lost or how long he took the medication for, he confirmed he's no longer using it.

"I thought, 'You know what, I kind of want to get my appetite back,'" he explained the reason for quitting the medication, noting he also experienced "low-grade nausea."

Kyle Richards

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star got real about claims that she was taking the medication after her followers on social media took notice of her weight loss earlier this year.

Richards wrote back to one user under a Jan. 5, 2023 snap on Instagram of herself and her girlfriends after a workout, "I am NOT on ozempic." In another response, Richards added, "Never have been."

That wouldn't be the last time the Bravo star shot down the rumors, reiterating that she is "NOT taking" the medication under a Jan. 16 post on Instagram by Page Six

Jessica Simpson

After fans questioned whether or not she was taking Ozempic, Jessica set the record straight.

Oh Lord," she told Bustle in an interview published July 6, 2023. "I mean, it is not [Ozempic], it's willpower. I'm like, do people want me to be drinking again? Because that's when I was heavier. Or they want me to be having another baby? My body can't do it."

Dr. Paul Nassif

Nassif echoed his Botched costar in giving the drug two thumbs up.

"Just like he's telling everyone, no Ozempic-shaming," he exclusively told E! News Feb. 1. "I'm OK with it. I'm OK with Terry and—actually a lot of my friends I saw this last weekend—they all look incredible. Health-wise, they felt better, their blood sugars came down, their blood pressure came down. All of this can hopefully help with longevity, you just have to do it the right way."

In fact, the famed plastic surgeon said taking Ozempic potentially has other benefits outside of weight management."We're looking into Ozempic more also as an anti-aging treatment for the future," Nassif explained. "So, there's going to hopefully be some good things the more we learn about all these semaglutides and the different products. 

Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi

This Shah isn't shy about her Ozempic use. 

Gharachedaghi didn't "see a reason to hide" being on the medication when discussing her health journey, telling Entertainment Tonight in May 2023 that she would prefer to "just talk about it because there's so many people out there who want to do the same thing or they want to learn about what you did."

Of her 30-pound weight loss due to her experience with Semaglutide—the generic version of the weight-loss drug—the Shahs of Sunset star explained, "Obviously, I didn't look like this two months ago. So..I would be a liar to say I quit drinking alcohol and you know all of a sudden started working out like some people like to say."

Gharachedaghi went on to note that she still has an appetite, saying, "I'm actually a little hungry. Look I'm gonna go smoke a little pot and I'm gonna eat definitely."

Remi Bader

The influencer said that using Ozempic to treat her type 2 diabetes negatively affected her overall health

"It was brand new, just got FDA approved, no one knew about it and I was so scared," Bader recalled on the Jan. 12, 2023 episode of the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast. "They said I need this. And I had a lot of mixed feelings."

After she went off the drug, Bader—who has been open about her battle with binge eating—said it caused a cycle of "bad binging."

"I saw a doctor, and they were like, 'It's 100 percent because you went on Ozempic,'" she explained. "It was making me think I wasn't hungry for so long. I lost some weight. I didn't want to be obsessed with being on it long term. I was like, 'I bet the second I got off I'm going to get starving again.' I did, and my binging got so much worse. So then I kind of blamed Ozempic."

Dolores Catania

Forget shedding for the wedding because The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member admitted she was taking Ozempic to lose weight prior to filming the season 13 reunion. 

During the April 4, 2023 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Catania confirmed she had been taking the antidiabetic medication because she didn't want to be "looking any bigger than anyone else," at the taping, explaining, "I got on the bandwagon." 

Billie Jean King

The tennis legend—who has been open about her struggles with an eating disorder—expressed her reluctance in trying diabetes medication solely for weight loss purposes. 

"With the new injections, the Ozempics of the world, it's very interesting because my doctor wants me to try it," she shared in an April 2024 episode of Lemonada Media's Wiser Than Me podcast. "I don't want to lose weight fast because I think it looks horrible. I don't think it's healthy."

However, she noted that she has "taken a few injections"

Gracie McGraw

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's daughter first opened up about taking the diabetes drug when she shared her PCOS diagnosis in March 2022. 

"To get the correct diagnosis you would need 2 out of the 5 characteristics of PCOS and I had 4," she wrote on Instagram at the time. "During my appointment with my endocrinologist I realized that may have been a factor in my issues with weight, so we decided to try a medicine to regulate my body more normally and create the tools to continue to keep my body and myself healthy as I get older."

Gracie offered an update on her health journey in a June 5 post after a commenter called out her alleged use of Type 2 diabetes medication.

"I did use Ozempic last year, yes," she wrote. "I am now on a low dose of Mounjaro for my PCOS as well as working out. No need to accuse when I have been open about it."