Dec 14, 2023 • 9 min read

Why Am I Not Losing Weight on Saxenda?

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It can be frustrating to take a weight loss medication and not see results, especially when you see stories of dramatic transformations all over the news and social media. If you’re taking Saxenda, you may just need to make some adjustments to get your transformation started.

Saxenda (liraglutide) is an injectable weight-loss medication for adults and children over 12 who are overweight or obese. Along with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, Saxenda can help you lose weight by reducing your appetite and making you feel fuller for longer.

If you’re not losing weight on Saxenda, possible reasons include needing to adjust your diet, not exercising enough, and needing a higher dose of medication.

This guide goes over why you may not be losing weight on Saxenda and what you can do to break through your plateau.

Reasons you may not be losing weight on Saxenda

Saxenda is intended to be used along with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise to help you lose weight. Other healthy habits, like drinking water and getting enough sleep, are also beneficial for weight loss.

If you’re not losing weight on Saxenda, it may be due to one or several of the following factors.

1) You’re not adjusting your diet

Saxenda works best when you eat a healthy, reduced-calorie diet. A healthy diet on Saxenda includes a variety of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in appropriate portion sizes. You can learn which foods to eat and avoid when taking Saxenda here.

If you haven’t adjusted your diet since you started taking Saxenda, that may be why you’re not losing weight.

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2) You may need a higher dose

Typically, your doctor will gradually increase your dose of Saxenda to give your body time to adjust. The maximum dose of Saxenda is 3mg. You may not be losing weight if you haven’t started taking the 3mg dose yet.

Once you get to the highest dose, you may start seeing more weight loss.

3) You may have to wait longer

The possibility of losing weight on Saxenda is exciting, and you may be eager to see results. However, it’s important to remember that it won’t happen overnight. Successful weight loss, even on Saxenda, takes time.

Healthy, sustainable weight loss means losing about one to two pounds per week. Remember to set realistic goals and focus on making consistent progress towards a healthier lifestyle.

4) You may need to exercise more

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. Regular physical activity helps you burn more calories. It may also help suppress your appetite so you feel hungry less often. 

It’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week for weight loss. You may not see as much weight loss on Saxenda if you’re not exercising regularly.

5) You’re stressed out

Did you know that being chronically stressed out can slow down your weight loss progress?

Stress affects weight loss in two ways. First, chronic stress can stop your body from burning as many calories as usual. This is a protective response to the perceived threat causing stress. Secondly, if you respond to stress by overeating, you may gain weight or lose weight more slowly.

To manage stress and lose weight, ensure you’re getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. You can also try meditating, journaling, talking to a friend, and making time for hobbies. 

6) You’re not getting enough sleep

Sleep plays an important role in helping you feel your best. It can also negatively impact your weight loss efforts if you’re not getting enough of it.

Studies show that not getting enough sleep may affect the hormones in your body that regulate your appetite. This hormone imbalance can make you more likely to overeat. Inadequate sleep can also affect your energy levels, making it harder to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan.

For successful weight loss on Saxenda, prioritize getting enough sleep each night by creating a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.

7) You may have an underlying health condition like type 2 diabetes

Certain chronic health conditions, like type 2 diabetes, can make it more difficult for some people to lose weight. If you’re taking Saxenda, making healthy lifestyle changes, and still not losing weight, you may have an underlying health condition.

Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you have. They can assess you for any chronic illnesses that may be impacting your ability to lose weight effectively.

8) You’ve hit a plateau

A weight loss plateau happens when your body stops losing weight for several weeks to months even though you’re still in a caloric deficit. It’s not known exactly why this happens. However, it is thought to be related to your metabolic rate decreasing in response to a reduced-calorie diet.

While frustrating, hitting a plateau is a common occurrence when losing weight. Try focusing temporarily on the other benefits of a healthy lifestyle, like increased energy levels, instead of just focusing on weight loss.

You can also seek the support of your doctor or dietitian to help you overcome your weight loss plateau.

9) You’re not drinking enough water

Do you drink enough water? If not, you may not see as much weight loss on Saxenda as you would like.

Staying well-hydrated is essential for your body to function properly, especially while you’re trying to lose weight. It’s thought that water may help with weight loss by suppressing your appetite, increasing your metabolism, and reducing your calorie intake.

Stay adequately hydrated by swapping sugar-sweetened beverages for plain water. You can also replenish fluids by eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

10) You’re not eating enough protein

Incorporating lean protein into your weight loss diet is essential for success. Eating enough protein helps you feel fuller for longer after a meal and may also help you burn more calories

If your protein intake is low, you may not lose weight as quickly or as easily as you would like.

Try adding a source of lean protein to every meal. Options for lean protein include chicken, turkey, fish, pork tenderloin, lean beef, egg whites, tofu, tempeh, lentils, and beans.

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Reach your weight loss goals faster with support from a Registered Dietitian

90% of Zaya Care patients pay $0 for one-on-one counseling with an RD

What to do if you’re not losing weight on Saxenda

If you haven’t lost as much weight on Saxenda as you’d like, don’t be discouraged. There are several steps you can take to help you lose more weight. 

From simple lifestyle changes to talking with a dietitian, let’s cover what you can do if you’re not losing weight on Saxenda.

  • Talk to your doctor about your dosage. Some people only see results once they begin taking the maximum dose of 3mg.
  • Ask your doctor what other changes you can make. You can also ask your doctor about other lifestyle changes they recommend for you including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress reduction.
  • Make sure you’re not eating too many calories. Assess your current calorie intake to ensure it aligns with your weight loss goals. It can be helpful to keep a food journal and focus on eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. 
  • Make sure you’ve given Saxenda enough time to start working. Losing weight on Saxenda takes time. Be sure to set realistic, achievable goals and focus on making steady progress towards a healthier lifestyle.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Try getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week for best results. Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, biking, swimming, and dancing.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, eliminating distractions around bedtime, and creating a bedtime routine can help you achieve this.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated. Focus on drinking plenty of plain water throughout the day. You can also get fluids from other sources including herbal teas, milk, broth, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
  • Reduce stress, if possible. Some stress is unavoidable. However, it’s important to reduce stress whenever possible. Techniques for managing stress include exercise, meditation, talking with friends, and engaging in hobbies.
  • Cut out alcohol. Alcohol can contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain. Consider reducing your alcohol intake or cutting it out altogether when trying to lose weight.
  • Take your medication consistently. Taking Saxenda at the same time each week is critical to ensuring it works properly. Set an alarm on your phone or leave a note on your refrigerator to remind yourself to take your medication every week.
  • Work with a dietitian. A dietitian can help you lose weight. They will work with you to create a personalized meal plan, taking into consideration any dietary restrictions and preferences.

How Zaya Care helps you book registered dietitians covered by your insurance

Here at Zaya Care, we’re dedicated to helping people find dietitians based on their preferences, needs, and insurance.

When you request an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians, we’ll check your insurance so you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay, if anything at all.

It’s worth noting that 90% of Zaya Care patients pay $0 for nutrition care with a registered dietitian as we are in-network with many major carriers.

How Saxenda helps you lose weight

Saxenda (liraglutide) is a once-weekly injectable weight-loss medication. It belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

GLP-1 receptor agonists work by mimicking the naturally occurring GLP-1 hormone in your body. This hormone helps regulate your blood sugar levels and appetite. When you take Saxenda, it activates the GLP-1 receptors in your brain. 

Activation of the GLP-1 receptors increases feelings of fullness, which leads to a decrease in how much you eat. It also slows down how quickly food leaves your stomach. This means you feel fuller for longer after a meal.

When used along with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan, Saxenda has been shown to help people lose weight.

How long it takes to lose weight on Saxenda

It may take several weeks to start losing weight on Saxenda. This is because your initial dose starts low and gradually increases over five weeks.

In clinical trials, most people experienced significant weight loss (greater than 5% of their body weight) after eight weeks of treatment. After one year of treatment with Saxenda, participants who completed the study lost an average of 21 pounds or 9.2% of their body weight.

It’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to Saxenda. You may experience different results compared to the average.

Losing weight with Saxenda FAQs

How long does it take to lose weight on Saxenda?
On average, it takes about eight weeks to see significant weight loss on Saxenda.

What is the average weight loss per month on Saxenda?
During the clinical study, the average participant lost about 9.2% of their weight over 56 weeks on Saxenda. This equates to an average rate of about 0.7% body weight reduction per month.

How can I make sure I’m losing weight on Saxenda?
To make sure you’re losing weight on Saxenda, it’s important to follow a reduced-calorie diet and increase your physical activity. Additionally, ensure you’re taking your medication accurately, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing your stress levels.

Is it normal to not lose weight on Saxenda?
Not everyone loses weight on Saxenda. However, studies show that most people who pair Saxenda with a healthy diet and exercise lose some weight over one year.

What should I do if I’m not losing weight on Saxenda?
If you’re not losing weight on Saxenda, assess your diet and calorie intake to ensure it aligns with your weight loss goals. Additionally, make sure you’re exercising regularly. If you’re still not losing weight, talk to your doctor or dietitian to see how they can help.

Why isn’t Saxenda working for me?
Unfortunately, Saxenda does not work for everyone. If you’ve made the appropriate lifestyle changes, yet you’re still not losing weight on Saxenda, it may simply not be the right medication for you. Talk to your doctor about other options.

Are there drugs other than Saxenda that can help with weight loss?
Yes, several other medications besides Saxenda can help with weight loss. Wegovy is another injectable medication that works in a similar way to Saxenda. Other weight loss medications that work differently than Saxenda include Xenical, Alli, Contrave, and Qsymia.

Do people always lose weight on Saxenda?
Not everyone loses weight on Saxenda. However, most people do lose some weight after a year. It’s important to remember that individual responses to Saxenda can vary.

What if I overeat while taking Saxenda?
Overeating while taking Saxenda may slow down your weight loss progress. It can also increase the risk of potential side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Why am I still hungry on Saxenda?
If you still feel hungry while taking Saxenda, it may be related to your diet. Ensure you’re eating a well-balanced diet that includes lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats with every meal. Additionally, limit your intake of sweets and simple carbohydrates like white bread and pasta.

Why am I gaining weight on Saxenda?
Gaining weight on Saxenda may be related to your diet, physical activity levels, sleep patterns, and other lifestyle factors. You may also need to talk to your doctor about any potential underlying health conditions.

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Reach your weight loss goals faster with support from a Registered Dietitian

90% of Zaya Care patients pay $0 for one-on-one counseling with an RD

Ashley Petrie is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and meal planning. She has experience in a variety of settings as a dietitian, including clinical, community, private practice, and entrepreneurship. She currently teaches others how to cook easy, scratch-made recipes through her food blog. Ashley is passionate about using her knowledge of cooking and nutrition to inspire others to cook healthy, delicious meals at home so they can enjoy better-tasting, more nutritious food.