Silencing Food Noise

The buzz on how Ozempic and semaglutides turn down the volume on cravings and affect menopause.
With the help of semaglutides, a person feels full faster, longer. Photo: Stefan Johnson

By Sharon Giese, MD

Food noise is not a scientific term. It represents internal chatter and intrusive thoughts about food that can become excessive and harmful. Some people become almost dysfunctional because they think about food all day, disrupting their productivity. Thoughts about food can be triggered by internal cues, such as hormones involved in hunger and appetite or external cues, such as a pizza ad during the Super Bowl or the smell of movie theater popcorn. Food noise is diminished with the use of GLP-1, glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists (a chemical that activates a receptor to produce a biological response). With the help of semaglutides, which belong to the category of GLP-1 medications, a person feels full faster, longer. This feeling is fed back to the brain and is the gut-brain connection.

Willpower against food noise simply does not cut it. The Wall Street Journal recently profiled several weight loss researchers who supported the claim that the brain helps to maintain the body’s set point by regulating how much to eat. The researchers hypothesize that GLP-1 agonists lower the set point by sending feedback to the brain. Food noise is diminished; the volume is turned down. However, this reduction may be temporary. When the medication is stopped, the food noise may return. This is where behavior modification must be practiced. If a patient is not able to access semaglutide or Ozempic, food noise reduction can be improved without medications, by decreasing stress and improving sleep.   


Wegovy is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as a weight loss drug for obese people. I wanted to see how the active ingredient, semaglutide, worked for non-obese individuals trying to lose 10 to 15 pounds (or more) that they were over their normal weight. These people I consider to be “overweight,” if only relative to their self-image. To minimize cardiovascular and atherosclerotic disease risk factors, one should not gain weight with age.

I recall a conversation I had with a prominent female cardiologist in Manhattan; I told her I was working on losing 10 pounds I had gained around menopause. She replied, “You  can’t lose 10 pounds. Your metabolism slowed during menopause.” I was shocked. My metabolism had not changed significantly since my late 30s, when I had an accurate measurement of it. What a disservice to women. I hear stories like this all the time—doctors refusing to listen or help their patients, even obese ones, with weight loss. 

Most medical doctors do not view 10- or 15-pound weight gains in men or women as a problem, even though the person  feels miserable. Women in the prime of their life, around menopause, can especially be crippled by this type of weight gain. What a shame—successful weight loss really empowers people.

A healthy, normal weight for any individual can easily be calculated by setting a target a little above their lowest weight as an adult. The National Institutes of Health’s CALERIE study showed health improvements following moderate calorie restriction in the non-obese population. I believe those results can be replicated with the aid of semaglutides. My Elective Weight Loss protocol, which utilizes semaglutides to decrease appetite, is very effective for this. I intentionally do not recommend a diet. A “no-diet diet” has been found to be equally as, if not more, effective than a restrictive diet plan. Take time to observe, reflect and make small changes in your nutrition intake as you become more efficient in your eating. 

For more information on Elective Weight Loss, contact or 212.421.3400.