10 Best Peptides for Weight Loss in 2023

By Amber Smith
Sep 23, 2023 4:00 AM
Article 17


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Could 2023 be the year that effective weight loss solutions finally hit the market? With the arrival of groundbreaking peptide-containing drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic, it seems like science has finally caught up to humanity’s desire for real weight loss solutions. However, these are powerful medications and should not be taken without proper medical advice and a prescription from a licensed provider. Weight loss is one area in which snake oil solutions seem to proliferate, so we have done the research and compiled a list of the ten best weight loss peptides on the market in 2023. 

Keep reading for a full breakdown of which brands deserve your trust, what peptides are, and how they can help you lose weight.

The Best Peptides for Weight Loss

1. Semaglutide on Third AvenueBest Overall & Editor’s Choice

We are big fans of the telehealth company Third Avenue. Providing a slick, user-friendly service that is uniquely accessible and convenient, Third Avenue offers licensed medical advice and tailored prescriptions for hair loss, weight loss, and sexual health issues. Their Semaglutide with Vitamin B12 Injection is our editors' pick for the best peptides for weight loss on the market in 2023. Affordable, easy to use, and super effective, it ticks all of our boxes.

Semaglutide works by activating the GLP-1 receptors in the brain (GLP-1 is short for glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors). These receptors are responsible for biological processes connected to your glucose metabolism, your appetite control, and your digestive system. When GLP-1 receptors are activated, they trigger a complex series of cellular responses that reduce your appetite and promote feelings of fullness that contribute to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. The bonus addition of vitamin B12 complements the semaglutide by supporting your overall metabolism and boosting effective calorie utilization. 

You can expect to feel a marked drop in your appetite and prolonged feelings of satiety. Users report simply no longer feeling hunger or cravings with the same urgency as before. And when you’re not craving food, you eat less of the things you know you shouldn't. Studies have shown that Semagluide can lead to amazing weight loss results, with participants experiencing an average of 7.9% to 14.9% decrease in body weight.

What makes this such a great product is partly the ease of Third Avenue’s prescription process. First, you choose your desired treatment; then, you are required to answer a few questions about your goals and health history. Based on this, you will match with a licensed provider who can assess whether the course of medication you have chosen is suitable for your situation and medical history. If prescribed, you will receive your medication in the mail. It can’t get much simpler than that.

2. Plush Care Mounjaro

If you’ve been keeping up with the recent buzz around weight loss therapies, you’re likely to have heard a few brand names being thrown around—Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are some of the best-known names in this space, and for good reason. Now, unlike semaglutide, be aware that Mounjaro has not been FDA-approved for weight loss on its own and is currently only approved for treating diabetes. However, Mounjaro has shown to be an effective weight loss agent, and there is momentum for getting approved for those who do not have type 2 diabetes. 

Like Ozempic and Wegovy, Mounjaro works to suppress appetite and slow down your digestive processes. However, the key peptide it contains is tirzepatide, rather than semaglutide, which works by a different mechanism to stimulate receptors in the brain that control blood sugar and reduce hunger levels. Though they are in the same class of drugs, the key difference between the two peptides is that Mounjaro works on GIP and GLP-1 receptors, while Ozempic only works on GLP-1 receptors. If you are seeking a Mounjaro prescription, you will likely need a diabetes diagnosis, so it’s better to pursue semaglutide if you are not a diabetic.

3. Mountain River Health Semaglutide Plus L-Carnitine

Mountain River Health puts a twist on the classic semaglutide formula by adding levocarnitine (L-carnitine), an amino acid that transports fatty acids into mitochondria. For the layman, this means that L-carnitine is able to directly insert fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, which allows cells to break down fat and get energy from the stored fat reserves. L-carnitine supports the appetite suppressant power of semaglutide and allows the body to target existing fat reserves fuel for energy rather than taking its energy from glucose (what carbohydrates break down into in your bloodstream). Recent medical research has only begun to explore the many positive effects of L-carnitine, especially when used in conjunction with other therapies.

Mountain River Health & Wellness is a holistic medical clinic founded amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially focusing on therapies for chronic illnesses, fatigue, and post-op recovery, the clinic has since expanded into other areas, including weight loss therapy. We love how Mountain River Health truly centers a holistic approach to its therapeutic offerings.

4. Shell Medical Semaglutide + BPC-157

Another semaglutide offering, this time with the added ingredient of BPC-157! Now, don’t beat yourself up for not knowing what any of these letters stand for; peptide therapies seem to come with a plethora of confusing acronyms. In this instance, BPC-157 stands for body protection compound 157, and it is a peptide that naturally occurs within the gastric juices of the stomach. Known mostly for its healing and repairing qualities, BPC-157 promotes muscle and tissue repair, calms inflammation, and boosts your blood flow. While BPC-157 itself is not a weight loss product, it works well alongside them. When used in combination with semaglutide, BPC-157 offers complementary effects by assisting in tissue repair, reducing any inflammation, and improving the overall efficacy of semaglutide's weight loss process.

Shell Medical provides a simple virtual dispensary that offers remote consultations and treatment tailored to their individual needs. The company was started by Dr. Sarah Shell, a licensed naturopathic medical doctor and integrative primary care physician. Dr. Shell also has a career as a mixed martial arts cage fighter and has spent her life in search of tools to optimize health and athletic performance. 

5. Evolve Telemed AOD 9604

The peptide AOD 9604 was recently given HUMAN GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Though bodybuilders and other athletes have been aware of AOD 9604 for years, it is only recently that it has been entering more mainstream wellness markets. AOD 9604 regulates body fat in a few key ways. It stimulates lipolysis (this is the breakdown of fats and lipids via the hydrolyzation of triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids; essentially, it means the use of fat as an energy source). In tandem, AOD 9604 also inhibits lipogenesis (the formation of fat). Studies have revealed that the benefits of AOD 9604 aren’t limited just to fat loss. This peptide can help regulate blood sugar and soothe inflammation and weight loss. It has also been shown to support the development of muscle, which in turn helps decrease fat. Evolve Telemed's platform is super easy to use, and they have an incredible range of wellness products, peptides, and hormones to choose from. Evolve Telehealth functions like other remote medical providers, offering a remote consultation and requiring you to send through medical records and information. Once they are able to make a thorough assessment of your needs, you will be prescribed a personalized treatment plan and will receive your medication in the mail or via pharmacy pick-up.

6. Empower Pharmacy’s Cyanocobalamin

Another semaglutide-based product, this offering from Empower contains the added benefits of Cyanocobalamin, a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in important bodily processes, from red blood cell production to neurological health. Though it doesn’t play a role in weight loss per se, it is a complementary ingredient that can help with overall health when beginning a semaglutide regimen for the first time.

Empower Pharmacy is an accredited compounding pharmacy with the goal of increasing healthcare access and empowering consumers. Evolve is not an all-in-one telehealth service; rather, patients can have their medical professionals call in their prescriptions to Evolve. All products sold via Evolve require a prescription, but Evolve cannot issue these themselves. However, as they are licensed in all 50 states, they are able to accept prescriptions from most licensed prescribers, so long as the script is valid.

7. Paradigm Peptides Ipamorelin

Paradigm Peptides is an online peptide prescription service that provides peptides for research purposes. Popular with bodybuilders, ipamorelin is known for its ability to increase lean muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increase strength and stamina. Ipamorelin is not yet FDA-approved for weight loss and should only be used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. 

8. Egrifta Tesamorelin 

Next on our list of the best peptides for weight loss is tesamorelin. Tesamorelin is a peptide that has been gaining attention for its ability to reduce body fat, specifically the hard adipose fat that accumulates on the stomach and is particularly stubborn to remove. However, it is currently only FDA-approved as a weight loss medication for HIV patients who are suffering from a specific condition that involves the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, although other applications are currently being studied. Though technically only approved for HIV patients, there is increasing interest in tesamorelin as a weight loss treatment for non-HIV patients who are also struggling to manage their weight. Currently, it isn't recommended for general use, but it is gaining attention in the field. 

So, how does it work? Known for its fat-fighting abilities, tesamorelin is a synthetic growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) peptide. Once injected into the body, tesamorelin binds to the GHRH receptors in your brain, stimulating the pituitary gland into releasing growth hormones. When growth hormones are released into the body, they boost metabolism and improve muscle growth, which in turn helps you burn calories and decrease body fat.

9. American Medical Wellness MOTS-C

MOTS-C, a.k.a. mitochondrial-derived peptide, has been gaining attention in weight loss industry spheres due to its powerful effect on the metabolism. This peptide enhances insulin sensitivity, which allows for better blood sugar control and insulin resistance, which is a key component in weight gain. Additionally, MOTS-C stimulates increased calorie burning and more efficient energy conversion. Basically, this super peptide stimulates fat breakdown, regulates appetite-related hormones, maintains lean muscle mass, and is even anti-inflammatory. MOTS-C has not yet been approved by the FDA, although preliminary trials look promising. American Medical Wellness is a clinic based in Las Vegas that can also provide telehealth services.

10. Thrive Kisspeptin-10

Kisspeptin-10 is primarily recognized for its role in regulating reproductive function and has been studied in relation to female fertility. However, this peptide has also sparked interest in the context of weight loss, and some exciting emerging research suggests that kisspeptin-10 may indirectly impact body weight due to its influence on energy regulation. Investigations report that it appears to interact with some of our neural circuits governing appetite and fullness and may have the potential to alter our eating habits. However, unpacking kisspeptin-10's ability to help with weight management is in its infancy, and its use in this space is generally considered experimental.

What Are Peptides?

Wegovy and Ozempic are brand-name injectable solutions for weight loss, both containing the same active ingredient: the peptide semaglutide. These days, new buzzwords appear in the wellness industry seemingly overnight, and all of a sudden, everyone is talking about lion's mane or biohacking, intermittent fasting or ketosis, or whatever the latest miracle solution is when it comes to your health. In the last year, semaglutide has been gaining worldwide attention, and peptides, in general, have come into focus as one of the best solutions for safe and healthy weight loss. But what exactly are peptides, and why should you care about them? 

In essence, peptides are short chains of amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Peptides play a key role in a huge range of important biological functions within the body, including hormone regulation, immune response, and more. Some peptides even act as neurotransmitters, carrying signals between nerve cells. If you’re not someone with biological expertise, it can be hard to picture all of the complex processes that are occurring in our bodies on a cellular level every second. 

One way to think about it is to picture peptides as the letters of an alphabet that are the building blocks of all the words in a book. Just as letters combine to form different words with different meanings, peptides combine in specific sequences to create unique molecules with various functions in your body. Each peptide "word" has its own purpose, whether it's sparking signals in your brain, regulating hormones, or supporting other bodily functions. Just like how changing the order of alphabet letters can create different words, altering the sequence of amino acids in a peptide can result in a completely different peptide with its own set of effects. 

The human body contains thousands of different peptides, each playing a specific role in various physiological processes. The number of peptides in the body is very hard to calculate simply because they are so numerous and have so many different functions, major and minor. However, peptides can be categorized into several classes. These include hormones such as insulin, neuropeptides like endorphins, and oxytocin, as well as many others that most of us have never heard of. Some peptides are well-studied and generally well-understood in terms of the role they play in our bodily functions. Others are less well-studied and are just emerging as having a potential benefit to mankind. This is why the current study of peptides is so exciting and why there are so many clinical trials involving peptides of various kinds. As we get to know our biology better, who knows what cures we might unlock?

How Can They Help with Weight Loss?

Because peptides are active in so many important biological processes, there are a number of mechanisms by which they can help with weight loss. Some peptides might speed up your metabolic system, others could signal the release of hormones that suppress hunger, making you feel satisfied with smaller portions, and some might enhance your body's ability to burn stored fat for energy. Peptides don’t just do one thing, and there are specific peptides that target specific issues. 

One of the most popular peptides for weight loss is semaglutide, which works by mimicking the effects of a powerful hormone called GLP-1. Basically, it helps regulate blood sugar levels—and by maintaining stable blood sugar levels, you can minimize the common triggers that lead to overeating (crashing energy levels, spikes in hunger, and so on). This allows for making more considered food choices and primes your body to support fat loss. Semaglutide also slows down digestion and reduces appetite. 

Other common peptides prescribed for weight loss include ipamorelin, which functions by triggering the release of a growth hormone. This, in turn, encourages fat loss by increasing the breakdown of stored fat for energy, while still preserving muscle. There are lots of other peptides that help with weight loss, and in our following list, we will introduce you to some of the most effective, but the essential thing to know about peptides is that they are powerful agents in many of our biological processes and can be harnessed to assist in weight loss, especially in terms of our metabolism, fat storage, appetite, and endocrine system.

How Do I Take Peptides?

In general, peptides come in an injectable form. This can be daunting if you have not had to take medication in this form before, or if you have a fear of needles. Taking peptides typically involves subcutaneous injections, which means injecting the peptide solution into the fatty tissue just under the skin—the needles needed for this are short and fine, unlike the larger needles used for intramuscular injections.  

Usually, you will store your peptides in the fridge in single-dose vials and inject one once a week. Sometimes, peptides can come pre-stored in a syringe form. If you are unsure about how to take them, it is possible to have a tutorial from a nurse practitioner or similar professional at a local clinic; however, most people get used to the process and are able to do it themselves. There are also many online video tutorials that can talk you through the process.

Are Peptides Safe?

It’s important to be skeptical of new miracle cures, especially when it comes to emotional subjects like weight loss, where people are vulnerable and eager to believe in easy solutions. There are some peptide treatments that have been approved by the FDA for use in weight loss applications, but many others have not yet been approved, but which show promise in clinical trials, or have become popular with bodybuilders and athletes. Because they are already present in our bodies and their function is to mimic or heighten processes that are already occurring in our bodies, peptides tend to be relatively safe to use. Being smaller, peptides are less likely to trigger interactions or disruptions within the body compared to other drugs that use larger molecules. Due to their specificity and high selectivity, peptides provide super-targeted treatment with potentially fewer side effects compared to larger molecules. However, like with any medication, there can be side effects, and no one should begin a course of peptide treatment without thorough medical analysis and supervision.

FDA Approval

It’s also important to remember that peptides, in general, have been studied and utilized for various medical purposes (including weight loss and diabetes treatment) for several decades. The use of peptides has evolved over time as advances in medical research and technology have pushed the boundaries of what we can do with peptides. Insulin is, in fact, a peptide and has been used in the management of diabetes since the early 20th century. In 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy for the treatment of obesity, and over the next few years, we are likely to see a whole range of new peptide products entering the market. 

Always make sure you are taking an FDA-approved product and that it is being prescribed by a medical professional. FDA approval is a rigorous process, usually involving extensive clinical studies. Only after robust assessment and evidence of a drug’s safety and effectiveness would it be granted FDA approval. However, even with FDA approval, any new course of medication should be approached cautiously. It's important to do your own research and consult a medical practitioner. As these drugs become more popular, there will be a corresponding increase in black market peptides or shady providers who do not require a prescription. 

Be aware that some of the drugs on this list are currently not FDA-approved for weight loss; however, they may be available at some compounding pharmacies, which can create customized medications based on a prescription from a healthcare provider. Semaglutide has been approved by the FDA for weight loss and is generally the safest and most popular peptide for this purpose. However, we have collected a number of other peptides here that show promise in weight loss applications. Of course, all decisions related to your health should be undertaken with the help of a medical professional, and we do not advise the use of non-FDA-approved peptides for weight loss. 

Are There Natural Alternatives to Peptides?

Yes, there are plenty of natural alternatives to injectable peptides. These may offer similar benefits without the need for medication use. Of course, they may not offer the swift and targeted results of injectables, but they are an excellent long-term and holistic solution for managing overall health and well-being. As you probably expect, these natural alternatives aren’t rocket science, but as anyone who has struggled with their weight can tell you, sometimes breaking unhealthy patterns can be incredibly hard. If you do end up opting for a peptide prescription, we highly recommend also focusing on your health holistically and making sure you do all of these other interventions, as well as taking the peptides.

Eat a Clean Diet

Eating foods like lean proteins, fiber-rich vegetables, leafy greens, complex carbohydrates, and whole grains can help regulate your metabolism, balance blood sugar, and regulate your appetite.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is the best and most natural way to boost your metabolism. It also helps improve insulin sensitivity, burn fat, build lean muscle, and all those other great things you probably already know about! 

Reduce Stress

Chronic stress and poor sleep can also contribute to weight gain. Stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help manage your cortisol levels. Good sleep is also super important for weight management. Poor sleep can disrupt hormone regulation and your metabolism, leading to an increase in appetite.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking lots of water can also help control appetite and support the body's metabolic processes.

It's important to note that while these natural alternatives can and do play a role in supporting weight management, like with all things, your individual results can vary. Some people have issues with their endocrine system and metabolism that cannot just be fixed by lifestyle changes, and others may not be able to perform vigorous physical exercise.

There is a place for lifestyle interventions, and for many people, they may suffice. However, if you are in need of rapid or highly targeted effects, injectable peptides could be a potential solution.

As always, consulting with a healthcare professional and undergoing a thorough analysis is essential before beginning any new medications — we recommend Third Avenue for anything peptide-weight loss related!

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.