Why am I not losing weight on Wegovy?

Dr. Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 28 Feb 2024

While taking Wegovy, there are certain things you can do to improve your weight loss results and other things that may hinder them. Some people find that while taking Wegovy their weight loss plateaus at some point, which is also completely normal.

Below, we look at everything that could stop Wegovy from working and explain how you can improve your Wegovy results.

Wegovy FlexTouch 1 mg: Why am I not losing weight on Wegovy?

How does Wegovy work for weight loss?

Wegovy weight loss injections help you lose weight by working on your brain’s hunger signals. They make you feel fuller, so you don’t feel as hungry and crave less food. This means you’re more likely to eat less, which helps in reducing your body weight. For the best results, it’s important to use Wegovy alongside eating fewer calories and getting more exercise.

Is it normal to not lose weight on Wegovy?

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Yes, it’s quite normal for some people not to lose weight immediately while using Wegovy. Weight loss varies greatly from person to person and depends on many factors. Your metabolism, lifestyle, diet, and even how your body specifically reacts to Wegovy can influence how much weight you lose. You should still see significant weight loss results within 6 months of starting treatment. If not, your doctor may recommend another treatment.” - Dr Babak Ashrafi, Clinical Lead for Service Expansion at ZAVA.

Reasons you’re not losing weight on Wegovy

Sometimes, even with Wegovy, weight loss might not happen as expected. Some of the common reasons why you’re not losing weight on Wegovy include:

1) You may need a higher dose

The initial dose of Wegovy might not be enough for you to start seeing weight loss. Wegovy comes in 5 different dosages, each referring to the amount of semaglutide in each injection:

  • 0.25mg
  • 0.5mg
  • 1mg
  • 1.7mg
  • 2.4mg

When you start taking Wegovy weight loss injections, you’ll begin with the smallest dose of 0.25mg and gradually increase to the highest dose of 2.4mg over 5 months. You’ll spend at least 4 weeks on each dose before moving to the next one. This is to reduce side effects and let your body get used to the medication.

Doctors can only prescribe Wegovy up to the maximum safe dosage, so there are no doses higher than 2.4mg. The dosages listed above are effective for treatment when taken as directed. The only reason you’ll stay on a lower dose for longer is if you get Wegovy side effects that bother you a lot or are severe. Speak to your doctor if this is the case.

If you’re able to move up to 2.4mg as instructed, you should do so, as this is the dose that has shown the best weight loss results.

2) You may need to give it more time

Losing weight with Wegovy weight loss injections doesn’t always happen overnight. It can take a while for your body to respond to the medication and start shedding weight.

Be patient and consistent with your treatment, as gradual weight loss over time is often more sustainable and healthier. It’ll also help you create long-lasting habits that’ll keep the weight off, even when you stop taking Wegovy.

3) You haven’t found the right healthy lifestyle changes

Wegovy, diet, and exercise are always prescribed together. If you’re not seeing weight loss, it could be a sign that you need to adjust your diet or exercise routine.

A major study found that significant weight loss on Wegovy was achieved when participants reduced their daily calorie intake by about 500 calories and engaged in at least 2 hours of moderate exercise, such as walking, every week.

4) You’re stressed out

Stress can be a significant barrier to weight loss, even when you’re taking Wegovy weight loss injections. When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol, a hormone that can make losing weight harder. This can lead to stress eating or make your body hold onto weight, especially in the abdominal area.

There are many ways we can reduce stress and what works for you might be different than what works for someone else. Some things we suggest include:

  • yoga
  • meditation
  • breathing exercises
  • being active
  • getting outside in nature
  • connecting with people

Putting stress on yourself to lose weight also won’t help. Try finding ways to reduce this, such as being kind to yourself during this time and not beating yourself up if you fall into old habits. Weight loss and breaking habits such as snacking will take some time. Small, consistent changes are easier to follow than large changes that feel impossible to stick to.

5) You’re not getting enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for weight loss. Lack of sleep can disrupt your appetite regulation, leading to increased hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods. This can make it harder for Wegovy to be effective.

Sleep experts recommend 7 to 9 hours each night of high quality sleep. You can use a wearable device to monitor your sleep and make changes to your bedroom and bedtime routine to improve how well you sleep. This could include not eating right before bed and limiting or avoiding alcohol or caffeine, especially close to bedtime.

6) You may have an underlying health condition

An unseen health issue can affect weight loss, even when using Wegovy. Conditions like thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, or insulin resistance can interfere with how your body loses weight.

Particularly for those with type 2 diabetes, losing weight can be more challenging while on Wegovy. Research indicates that individuals with diabetes who take semaglutide (the active ingredient of Wegovy), tend to lose less weight compared to those without diabetes.

This is due to blood sugar imbalances that can make losing weight and burning fat and sugar harder for your body. This may mean you need a little more time to reach your weight loss goals.

7) You’ve hit a plateau

A weight loss plateau is a typical phase in the weight management journey, even for people using Wegovy. A Wegovy plateau happens as your body gets used to the changes in diet and physical activity. When you first start losing weight, if you’ve suddenly made drastic changes to how you eat and how often you exercise, you’ll always see a bigger weight loss drop.

To overcome a weight loss plateau, you might need to:

  • adjust your exercise routine, such as increasing how many reps or minutes you do
  • take a look at your diet to see if you’ve dropped some habits you started with, or if you could reduce snacking or calorie intake
  • speak to your doctor about a possible change in your Wegovy dosage, if you’ve been on a lower dose for longer than 4 weeks due to side effects

Weight loss plateaus happen to everyone, no matter whether you’re taking Wegovy or not. You may see less drastic results than at the start, but this doesn’t mean you aren’t making an impact. It’s also important how you feel, so the scales shouldn’t be the only thing you’re concentrating on during your weight loss journey.

8) You need a stronger support system

Losing weight on Wegovy can often be more successful when you have support behind you. This could mean seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, joining support groups, or involving family and friends in your weight loss journey. You could also join a local gym class for motivation.

9) You’re not maintaining a healthy diet

A key factor in the success of weight loss with Wegovy is sticking to a healthy diet. If your diet still includes high-calorie, processed foods, or lacks essential nutrients, it can significantly hinder the effectiveness of the medication.

It’s important to pack your meals full of vegetables and proteins and cut out unhealthy foods. Even sugary drinks and alcohol can add excess calories that you may not have noticed. If you need to, try using a calorie counter to give you a better idea of what you’re consuming each day. We’ve also created a guide on the foods you should avoid while taking Wegovy if you want to get the best results.

10) You’re not drinking enough water

Staying well-hydrated is essential for weight loss and can impact the efficacy of Wegovy weight loss injections. Inadequate water intake can lead to increased hunger and appetite, potentially offsetting the appetite-suppressing effects of the medication.

Drinking more water throughout the day aids in metabolism, helps in reducing calorie intake, and supports overall health, which is crucial for weight loss on Wegovy. Although there is no exact amount you need to drink while taking Wegovy, you should stick to the recommended 6 to 8 glasses per day which is recommended by the NHS.

5 ways to increase weight loss on Wegovy

To maximise the weight loss potential of Wegovy, it’s important to make certain lifestyle choices while using the medication.

Effective strategies to enhance your weight loss on Wegovy include:

  1. optimising your diet
  2. increasing physical activity
  3. staying hydrated
  4. sticking to your Wegovy schedule
  5. managing stress and sleep

What happens when you stop taking Wegovy?

If you stop taking Wegovy, you’ll gradually start to feel hungrier again because the medicine’s effects wear off. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you stop taking it.

They might suggest you keep taking Wegovy for a bit longer, at least 6 months, or they might change your dose to help with any weight loss injections' side effects. If you stop taking Wegovy too soon, you might lose the weight loss benefits you’ve seen.

How ZAVA can help you on your weight loss journey

At ZAVA, we are committed to supporting your weight loss journey with Wegovy every step of the way. We can offer Wegovy and other weight loss treatments at an affordable price, for people who may be struggling to get medication through the NHS due to long wait times or unavailability.

Alongside this, we provide a free weight loss support pack, developed by our in-house nutritionist and doctors, to equip you with all the necessary tools and information for effective weight loss results.

With a team of experienced and licensed GPs, we have completed over 9 million consultations. We offer comprehensive support at every stage of your journey to help you safely achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.

Start a request for weight loss treatment with FREE medical check-ins & weight loss support
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What are Wegovy alternatives?

Wegovy is not the only option available concerning weight loss treatment. Several Wegovy alternatives might be prescribed for weight loss, such as Mounjaro, Saxenda, Trulicity, Ozempic, Victoza, and others.

Some of these, such as Ozempic, are type 2 diabetic treatments that might be prescribed off-label. Here at ZAVA, we don’t recommend this as it can cause a shortage for those with type 2 diabetes, and there are approved and regulated treatments available for weight loss that are more effective, as they follow a weight loss dosing schedule.

We explore each of these in more detail:

  • Mounjaro (tirzepatide): A new weight loss injection that mimics 2 hormones, GIP and GLP-1. Can reduce appetite and hunger levels and improve how your body uses fat and sugar. Is taken once weekly.
  • Saxenda (liraglutide): Contains liraglutide, similar to semaglutide in Wegovy. It’s injected daily with a recommended maximum dose of 3mg. Wegovy is now replacing Saxenda as it’s a once-weekly administration and has a higher efficacy.
  • Trulicity (dulaglutide): A type 2 diabetes treatment also sometimes used for weight loss. It slows stomach emptying, reducing hunger and aiding in weight loss. Not primarily for weight loss but may be prescribed off-label elsewhere.
  • Ozempic (semaglutide): Another type 2 diabetes medication containing semaglutide. It’s effective for weight loss but is currently not approved for this use in the UK. It’s taken weekly.
  • Victoza (liraglutide): Used for managing type 2 diabetes, but may help with weight loss when prescribed off-label. Taken once daily.

For those preferring a weight loss pill, Wegovy alternatives include:

  • Orlistat (alli, Xenical): A prescription pill that prevents fat digestion and absorption, reducing calorie intake from meals.
  • Mysimba (naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride): Works a bit like Wegovy by affecting the parts of the brain that regulate hunger and appetite.
  • Rybelsus (semaglutide): An oral tablet version of semaglutide, used in type 2 diabetes treatment and potentially for weight loss off-label. ZAVA does not prescribe these treatments off-label.
  • Phentermine (Qsymia): Expected to be available in the UK soon, it helps regulate blood sugar and aids in feeling fuller for longer. This is currently only a type 2 diabetic treatment.

Conclusion: What should I do if I’m not losing weight on Wegovy?

If you find that you’re not losing weight on semaglutide, it’s important to look at and potentially adjust several aspects of your treatment and lifestyle. First, speak with your doctor to discuss your current dosage and the possibility of underlying health conditions that might be affecting your weight loss.

It’s also crucial to review your diet and exercise habits to ensure they align with your weight loss goals. Also, consider factors like adequate sleep, stress management, and hydration as these can have a significant impact on weight loss too.

Frequently asked questions

What is the most effective weight loss injection?

The effectiveness of weight loss injections can vary based on individual response and medical circumstances. Each treatment is effective, although one may work better for you or have fewer side effects.

In the Mounjaro clinical trial, people taking the 15 mg maintenance dose lost up to 22.5% of their starting weight. In a Wegovy clinical trial, people taking the 2.4 mg maintenance dose lost about 15% of their starting weight.

When comparing Wegovy and Ozempic (same active ingredient) clinical studies found that up to 89.8% of people taking the Wegovy maintenance dose lost 5% or more of their initial body weight after 6 months. In comparison, 66.9% of individuals taking the Ozempic maintenance dose achieved this level of weight loss after 24 months.

How long does Wegovy take to work?

After starting Wegovy weight loss injections, you should begin feeling fuller by the 2nd or 3rd dose. However, everyone’s body reacts differently to medications, so it could work a bit faster or slower for you.

Every 4 weeks, your Wegovy dose will be increased until you reach the maintenance dose of 2.4 mg. If your current dose of semaglutide isn’t working, you may need to reach the maintenance dose first. In terms of weight loss, clinical trials have shown that individuals can lose 5% to 15% of their body weight over several months to a year.

In the initial month, weight loss may be more modest as the body adjusts to the medicine. It could also be greater if you’ve made big changes to your diet and exercise. It’s important to maintain realistic expectations and understand that significant weight loss with Wegovy typically happens gradually over time.

Can you gain weight on Wegovy?

It’s uncommon to gain weight while on Wegovy, as the medicine is designed to help you lose weight by reducing appetite and calorie intake. However, weight gain can still happen if lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise aren’t correctly followed alongside the medicine.

Also, when starting Wegovy, your body may need time to adjust to the medicine. During this period, you may notice temporary weight gain as your body adjusts to appetite and metabolism changes.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Accreditations: BSc, MBBS, MRCGP (2008)

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Last reviewed: 28 Feb 2024

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