Why am I Not Losing Weight on Wegovy? -A Comprehensive Answer
Wegovy® has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in helping individuals achieve significant weight loss.
However, it is not uncommon for some individuals to find that they are not losing weight on Wegovy as they expected. Especially during the first few weeks of treatment.
You may be asking yourself why this is happening and how you can overcome the challenges. If you are in this situation, there are steps you can take.
In this blog post, we will explore some possible reasons why you may not be losing weight on Wegovy. We will also provide practical tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Disclaimer: This is my expert opinion as a registered dietitian and doctor in clinical nutrition. I based my opinion on extensive research and experience working with patients taking weight loss medications
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy, also known as semaglutide, is an excellent ally in your weight loss journey.
It’s a medication that works by mimicking the actions of a natural hormone called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). It cleverly taps into your body’s own mechanisms to regulate appetite and food intake.
Once administered, this medication activates GLP-1 receptors in your brain, curbing hunger pangs and promoting a sense of fullness. As a result, you consume fewer calories, paving the way for weight loss success.
Moreover, semaglutide may even enhance your body’s sensitivity to insulin, boosting your metabolism and speeding the process further.
The New York Times reported that GPL drugs, such as Wegovy and Ozempic, reduce the “food noise.” My patients often tell me that the “anxiety to eat” is gone. This is very powerful because when that need to eat often disappears or is reduced, it is much easier to eat smaller portions.
With Wegovy on your side, you have a friendly companion supporting you every step of the way toward achieving your weight loss goals.
Expected Weight Loss
It is important to have realistic expectations. So, this is what science has to say.
Clinical trials have shown that individuals using semaglutide have experienced significant reductions in body weight. On average, participants achieved a weight loss of 12.4% of their initial body weight.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2022, participants who took semaglutide experienced significant weight loss compared to those who took a placebo.
At the end of 68 weeks, the results showed that those on semaglutide (the active ingredient in Wegovy) lost more weight than those on placebo.
- 73% lost 5% or more weight, compared to 18%
- 62% lost 10% or more weight, compared to 8%
- 53% lost 15% or more weight compared to 5%
- 37% lost 20% or more weight compared to 3%
It’s important to note that individual results may vary, though. Factors such as adherence to treatment, lifestyle choices, and individual metabolism can influence the extent of the reduction achieved.
Possible Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight on Wegovy
The best way to determine why you’re not losing weight is to talk to your doctor and dietitian. They know you the best, and it will be much easier to pinpoint any issues.
Having said that, these are some of the common causes why people don’t lose weight.
The Dose Is Low
To minimize side effects, Wegovy starts at a low dose and increases over a period of 5 months. For some, the medication starts curving appetite immediately. But for others, lower doses don’t work well enough to result in significant weight loss.
Usually, healthcare providers will increase the dose every four weeks, starting with a 0.25mg dose. To increase the medication, they consider the side effects the patient is experiencing and weight loss. The maximum dose is 2.4 g.
So, if you recently started taking this medication, it might be just a matter of time. Your doctor might soon increase the dose, and you might then see more significant weight loss.
Not Following a Healthy Diet Plan
While this medication can be an effective aid in weight loss, not following a healthy eating plan can sabotage your progress.
A diet high in calorie-dense, unhealthy foods can still hinder your efforts. Remember, sustainable weight loss requires creating a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than you burn.
By neglecting a healthy eating plan, you may be unknowingly eating too many calories. It’s easy to consume a large number of calories in a small amount of food if you eat the wrong types of food.
You will be full much faster — and you’ll feel full for longer — if you eat a diet that is rich in vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
A healthy eating plan not only complements the effects of Wegovy but also provides essential nutrients for overall well-being.
Drinking Sugary Drinks
Sugary beverages, like soda or juice, can pack in a large number of calories before you are full enough to stop drinking.
Alcoholic beverages can significantly increase your caloric intake. The number of calories will depend on what you drink and how much.
In addition, alcohol lowers inhibitions and can make it easier for you to overindulge in other high-calorie foods.
Learn more about how alcohol and Wegovy mix.
Consistency is key when it comes to using semaglutide for weight loss. Inconsistent use of the medication can hinder your progress and make it challenging to achieve your desired results.
Wegovy works by decreasing your appetite and food intake, but this effect is optimized when the medication is taken consistently as prescribed. Skipping doses or not adhering to the recommended dosing schedule can diminish the appetite-suppressing effects.
Therefore, it’s vital to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and use it consistently to optimize your weight loss journey.
Lack of Physical Activity
Wegovy works best in combination with a calorie deficit and increased physical activity.
Regular physical activity has been proven to help slimmers reach their goals.
Wegovy has proven to work effectively in helping individuals achieve significant weight loss.
But having unrealistic expectations about the amount you will lose can lead to disappointment. Results may not happen as quickly as you expect.
Think about it: if it took you two years to gain 30 pounds, it’s unrealistic to expect to lose 30 pounds in one month — even when you’re taking this powerful aid.
How much weight you will lose depends on your initial weight, age, gender, physical activity, metabolism, and much more. But you definitely want to see a downward trend.
Tips for Achieving Weight Loss Goals
Don’t be disheartened if you’re not losing weight on Wegovy. Here are some practical tips to help you achieve your goals:
Create a Calorie Deficit
If you’re more comfortable knowing exactly how much you can eat, keep on reading this paragraph. Otherwise, skip to the next section.
Focus on creating a modest but consistent calorie deficit each day. Aim to reduce 500 calories per day from your weight maintenance needs. This calculator can easily calculate your weight maintenance needs; then all you need to do is subtract 500 from the total.
Then you can create a meal plan according to your calorie level. For example, you might need a 1200, 1500, 1800, or 2,000 meal plan.
Follow a Healthy Eating Plan
While there is no specific food plan while taking Wegovy, healthy eating is a must in order to see good results.
The key is to eat mostly nutrient-dense foods. However, to make it easier, you can follow the Mediterranean diet or a paleo diet. This way, you will have a good idea about what foods to select.
Read this blog post about what to eat on Wegovy to learn more about the topic.
Consult a Registered Dietitian
One effective strategy to improve your success on your weight loss journey is to seek the advice of a registered dietitian/nutritionist.
Registered dietitians can help you create a plan that is tailored to your lifestyle, nutritional needs, and goals. They can also provide advice on portion sizes and make sure you are getting all the essential micronutrients.
Avoid Eating High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Foods
Avoid eating foods that do not provide nutrition and can quickly add calories to your diet.
Examples include sodas, energy drinks, baked goods, fast food meals, and similar items.
To truly lose weight, it’s important to avoid empty-calorie foods. This can also help you create better habits to maintain the loss after you stop taking the medication.
Physical activity is an important part of any weight loss journey. It not only helps you burn calories, but it also keeps your body healthy and helps build muscle.
Try to incorporate a mix of aerobic exercises and strength training for the most effective weight loss results.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
Good communication with your physician can help you achieve the best possible results.
Your doctor will adjust your plan, if necessary, and make sure that any changes in weight.
My Expert Opinion
Research backs up the promise that Wegovy can help with weight loss. However, it’s not a magic pill that will allow you to eat everything you want and still lose weight.
For some, it works that way. But for the most part, people have to make an effort to eat healthy and move more.
As a doctor in clinical nutrition and a registered dietitian, I see semaglutide as a tool to help you lose weight. It’s part of the equation, not the whole solution. The rest of it is up to you.
I see a big difference between my patients who use weight loss meds as a tool and those who expect the medication to do the work for them.
Equally important is to create sustainable habits in the long term. It’s much easier to change habits when the anxiety about eating goes away. Then, once you stop taking this medication, it’s much easier to maintain weight loss.
Good luck on your weight loss journey! I am rooting for you!
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL, is dedicated to empowering women in perimenopause and menopause to live healthier, more satisfying lives.
With a doctorate in clinical nutrition from the University of North Florida, she has expertise in menopause and weight loss, including the unique challenges faced by those on weight loss medications.
Su-Nui’s passion for her field is evident in her previous role as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.