Why Am I Not Losing Weight on Semaglutide?

Published

May 24, 2024

Six potential reasons for limited weight loss while taking Semaglutide.

Man sitting on street curb
Man sitting on street curb
Man sitting on street curb

Friends, family, popular media figures — everyone seems to be using the newest weight loss drug featuring the active ingredient Semaglutide. This includes name-brand medications like Ozempic®, Wegovy®, and Rybelsus®. 

But for some reason, this medication just doesn’t seem to be providing the same weight management results for you in comparison to your peers. 

How could that be? 

A successful weight loss journey takes more than medication. In addition to Semaglutide medication, you need to incorporate lifestyle modifications, positive exercise habits, and track your food intake to see sustainable weight loss. 

However, it’s hard to know where to start. Read on as we discuss Semaglutide, six potential reasons for limited weight loss efforts, and when to speak to your healthcare provider about a lack of body weight loss. 

How Does Semaglutide Work? 

Semaglutide is within the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist or GLP-1RA medication class. In particular, Semaglutide medication increases insulin production in the pancreas and causes delayed stomach emptying.¹

These factors combined can cause appetite loss, making Semaglutide medication an option for chronic weight management patients. 

Semaglutide has two different administration methods: oral and injectable.¹ Oral Semaglutide is taken once a day, and injectable medication is used once a week. Each form of Semaglutide offers the same benefits, just over different periods of time. 

Administration Methods of Semaglutide

Henry Meds offers Compounded Semaglutide to their subscribers, which is made in FDA-licensed and state Board of Pharmacy compounding facilities. You can find out more about Compounded Semaglutide on Henry Meds

Six Potential Reasons for Limited Weight Loss on Semaglutide 

Semaglutide is a great tool for weight loss — but there’s a catch. This medication is merely a weight management tool, and its effectiveness can vary among patients. In fact, the prescribing information specifically says that the medications are to be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise.

So, while some individuals see weight loss quickly, other people may need to adjust their dosage, lifestyle habits, and more to receive their desired results. 

Let’s look into potential reasons you may not be losing weight on Semaglutide:

#1: Dosage

For new patients starting Semaglutide, here’s the deal: most providers start their clients on the lowest dosage of Semaglutide available for the first four weeks of treatment.² ³

Healthcare providers need to monitor their patients for potential adverse side effects or medication interactions when starting a new medication — and Semaglutide is no different. As you progress through treatment, your provider may escalate your dose. 

However, with each dose escalation comes another four-week trial period.² ³ Therefore, if you need a larger dose, it may take a few months of medication adjustment to start seeing notable weight loss results. 

If you’ve been on Semaglutide treatment for a significant amount of time with stagnant weight loss, it might be time to speak to your healthcare provider. It’s possible you need a higher therapeutic dose or other adjustments to achieve your desired results.  

#2: Administration 

If your healthcare provider has confirmed your dosage schedule, it's possible that your administration schedule is causing a lack of weight loss. Whether you are taking injectable or oral Semaglutide, the administration guidelines are different and strict. 

Injectable Semaglutide has a straightforward administration schedule — patients inject themselves once a week, at any time, with or without food.²

Those who are taking oral Semaglutide have a more rigorous schedule. Individuals have to take the medication once a day, 30 minutes before food and drink (besides four ounces of water taken with the oral Semaglutide).³ 

Semaglutide, especially in oral form, should be taken at the same time of day. Injectable Semaglutide can be taken within five days of the missed dose, but oral Semaglutide should be skipped and taken the next day after a missed dose.² ³

Individual Speaking to Doctor Wearing Green

If you haven’t followed the Semaglutide administration schedule, it’s possible that a lack of routine has affected the body’s ability to lose weight. 

Therefore, if you are experiencing minimal weight loss with Semaglutide, you should review your administration schedule with your healthcare provider. They may provide insight on your medication regimen and help establish a new schedule that will return better weight loss results. 

#3: Calorie Intake 

Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill or injectable medication for instantaneous weight loss. While Semaglutide can help achieve your weight loss goals, healthy habits and a balanced diet are also essential pieces to the puzzle. 

In a recent study investigating injectable Semaglutide for weight loss, participants were given a once-weekly dose of medication in addition to lifestyle intervention. What was the lifestyle intervention?⁴ A calorie deficit and 150 minutes of exercise weekly. While only half of the participants received Semaglutide, all participants underwent lifestyle changes.⁴ 

Participants taking Semaglutide lost 14.9% of their body weight, while participants who only received lifestyle interventions lost 2.4% of their body weight.⁴ 

This might seem insignificant; however, these results demonstrate that adjusting your calorie intake can cause weight loss, with or without Semaglutide. So, if you feel like you’re struggling to lose weight while taking Semaglutide, take a look at your dietary habits. 

Henry Meds offers Compounded Semaglutide, rather than the injectable Semaglutide used in this Novo Nordisk supported study. Henry Meds is not affiliated with Novo Nordisk or their name-brand products. However, Compounded Semaglutide may offer similar weight loss results when paired with lifestyle intervention. 

Individual Sitting in Front of Dinner Plate

If you're concerned about a lack of weight loss, keeping daily food logs and working with a nutritionist or psychologist — in conjunction with your healthcare provider — can help you gain a better understanding of your calorie intake. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns and your team of professionals may provide suggestions for calorie-deficit diets to increase weight loss progress. 

#4 Lifestyle Habits

Take a moment to recall the weight management and Semaglutide study discussed previously. The lifestyle intervention included up to 150 minutes of exercise weekly, in addition to calorie monitoring.⁴ 

When this was implemented among participants who had a high body mass index (BMI), regardless of their group status (Semaglutide vs. lifestyle intervention), everyone lost weight. While Semaglutide participants lost more overall body weight, the lifestyle intervention patients also lost weight.⁴ 

This study demonstrates how important it is for weight management patients to incorporate lifestyle changes in addition to therapeutic Semaglutide treatments. Sure, Semaglutide does some of the work — but not all. If you’re experiencing a lack of weight loss on Semaglutide, you may want to analyze your lifestyle habits and make changes where needed. 

Since the rise of COVID-19 in 2020, many employed individuals have started working from home. Some had the opportunity to return to their office jobs, while others have continued to work remotely. 

Regardless of your situation, many office and remote employees have a sedentary lifestyle. It’s tough — most desk jobs require individuals to sit and work for eight hours a day.

Individual Working Out

But hope is not lost! You can make adjustments to avoid sitting all day. If applicable, you can obtain a sit-and-stand desk to reduce time sitting and place a treadmill or stair stepper underneath. If a new desk isn’t an option, you can obtain light weights for resistance training, or opt for glute squeezes. 

#5: The Dreaded “Plateau” 

Odds are, if you’re using Semaglutide medication for weight management, you’ve tried many other weight loss strategies. Therefore, you’re probably familiar with the term “plateau.”

A plateau can be described as a period of time where, after significant weight loss, an individual maintains the same weight.⁵ It can feel incredibly frustrating, and sometimes can cause someone to reject their diet and exercise routine because “nothing is happening.”

But it’s important to maintain your lifestyle interventions and calorie deficits, even despite a plateau in weight loss. Consistency is key! 

Let’s take a look at the final results from the clinical study discussed previously. Participants taking Semaglutide were weighed every four to eight weeks. At first, many people had significant monthly weight loss.⁴

Graph Depicting Semaglutide Weight Loss

But as time went on, particularly around week 52, their weight loss results began to plateau. In fact, around week 68, there was a small uptick, which indicates some participants may have experienced a small amount of weight gain.⁴ 

While researchers are still studying the weight loss effects of Semaglutide over long periods of time, preliminary research using obese mice suggests that increasing your Semaglutide dosage might help overcome weight plateaus.⁶

However, larger doses of Semaglutide can increase the risk of developing adverse side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.² ³ Therefore, it’s crucial that users discuss progress with their healthcare providers before making any changes to their medication dosage. 

#6: Poor Sleep 

Did you know that poor sleep habits can lead to overeating? If you are an overtired parent, overworked individual, or generally sleep deprived, you may suffer from poor sleep (less than six hours a night) — potentially resulting in a lack of weight loss. 

Sleeping shorter hours gives you more time to consume food — and when you are trying to stay awake, it’s more likely that the food you consume is higher in fat, sugar content, and calories.⁷

Individual Struggling to Sleep

That’s not all. The longer you’re awake, the more time you have to consume food, which means you may have higher calorie consumption throughout the day. If you work night shifts, the body’s natural circadian rhythm is thrown off — meaning you might experience additional weight gain as well. 

Positive sleep habits are crucial for weight loss. Sleep gives the body time to “rest and digest” and helps individuals avoid late-night snacks that can throw their dietary plans into limbo. 

When to Speak to Your Provider About Lack of Weight Loss 

First and most importantly, you should always speak to your healthcare provider when you are concerned about your side effects or progress on any medication. 

You should be prepared for your provider to ask some of the following questions: 

  • Have you followed the administration instructions? 

  • What does your daily calorie intake look like? 

  • What kind of physical activity do you complete weekly? 

  • How is your sleep schedule? 

When you consult with your healthcare provider, they may ask some of these questions. By providing accurate information, your healthcare provider can be able to provide additional feedback on potential reasons for a lack of weight loss. 

Receive Compounded Semaglutide from Henry Meds Today!

Obtaining your weight loss goals isn’t always easy — even if you’re using Semaglutide. 

If you’re experiencing limited weight loss while taking Semaglutide medication, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your administration method, dosage, calorie intake, exercise routine, and sleep habits. 

Individual Talks to Doctor on Video Call

Through Henry Meds, subscribers can receive Compounded Semaglutide in oral or injectable form. Create an account today and you can schedule a video appointment with one of the Henry Meds providers to see if you’re eligible for our weight management programs. 

Are you ready for the next step in your weight loss journey? Get started with Henry Meds today! 

To help you trust the information we provide, every article written by Henry relies on peer-reviewed studies and medically-reviewed facts. We ensure that data, ideas, and figures cited are reliable, current, and accurate. Our team of medical reviewers aim to help you cut through the noise with clear and authoritative primary and secondary sources.

Nothing in this article is intended to be prescriptive or medical advice. Talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise plan. Information presented is about our medically supervised weight management programs and is not an advertisement for a specific drug.

Please note: Henry Meds does not offer Ozempic® or Wegovy® or Rybelsus®, which are only available from the Novo Nordisk company. Compounded Semaglutide is a patient-specific medication created in a state Board of Pharmacy or FDA licensed compounding facility per a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional. Compounded drugs are required to exclusively use ingredients from FDA-licensed facilities, and test sterile compounds for potency, sterility, and purity. While compounded drugs are legal they do not undergo pre-market approval from the FDA as they are not made in large batches for the public, compounds are made based on specific orders from a medical professional. Because of that the dose, route of administration, safety, and efficacy may differ from commercially available, brand-name, drugs. Henry Meds exclusively works with licensed sterile compounding pharmacies in the United States.

Sources

  1. Smits, M. M., & Van Raalte, D. H. (2021). Safety of Semaglutide. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 12, 645563. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.645563 

  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, December). Ozempic (Semaglutide) Injection. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/209637lbl.pdf 

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, September). Rybelsus (Semaglutide) Tablets. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/213051s000lbl.pdf 

  4. Wilding, J. P. H., Batterham, R. L., Calanna, S., Davies, M., Van Gaal, L. F., Lingvay, I., McGowan, B. M., Rosenstock, J., Tran, M. T. D., Wadden, T. A., Wharton, S., Yokote, K., Zeuthen, N., Kushner, R. F., & STEP 1 Study Group (2021). Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. The New England journal of medicine, 384(11), 989–1002. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183 

  5. Sarwan, G., & Rehman, A. (2022). Management of Weight Loss Plateau. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35015425/ 

  6. Chen, S. Y., Telfser, A. J., Olzomer, E. M., Vancuylenberg, C. S., Zhou, M., Beretta, M., Li, C., Alexopoulos, S. J., Turner, N., Byrne, F. L., Santos, W. L., & Hoehn, K. L. (2024). Beneficial effects of simultaneously targeting calorie intake and calorie efficiency in diet-induced obese mice. Clinical science (London, England : 1979), 138(4), 173–187. https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20231016 

  7. Papatriantafyllou, E., Efthymiou, D., Zoumbaneas, E., Popescu, C. A., & Vassilopoulou, E. (2022). Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. Nutrients, 14(8), 1549. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14081549 

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