Dec 8, 2023 • 12 min read

Why Am I Not Losing Weight on Wegovy? 

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Wegovy, generic name Semaglutide, is a breakthrough medication that has been FDA-approved for weight loss. It is a weekly injectable medication now being widely used to treat overweight and obesity in adults. 

Wegovy can help individuals lose weight by mimicking our body’s natural GLP-1 hormone which is responsible for helping to regulate our appetite. People taking Wegovy will notice a decrease in cravings and an increase in satiety, which helps with weight loss.

If you’ve been taking Wegovy but not losing weight, it could be due to a variety of reasons including not making necessary adjustments in your diet or exercise routine, not taking the medication consistently, the presence of underlying health conditions, or more.

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

Reasons you may not be losing weight on Wegovy

It can be frustrating if you are taking a weight loss medication and not seeing results. If this is you, consider the following reasons you may not be losing weight on Wegovy and how you can overcome them below.

1) You’re not adjusting your diet

Wegovy is meant to be used with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. While it may seem like a quick fix or an easy solution to weight loss, if you don’t make the necessary adjustments to your diet, you may not be seeing results. If you do see results, they may not last.

Instead, think of Wegovy as a tool to help you better make healthy and sustainable changes in your diet including portion control, incorporating nutrient-rich foods, and creating healthy snacking habits.

You can learn about the best foods to eat and avoid on Wegovy here and how to meal prep for weight loss here to give yourself a better chance at losing weight.

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2) You may need a higher dose

Once you start taking Wegovy, you may expect to see the weight fall right off, but this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it takes a few dose increases before you find the right dose and begin to see losses.

If you’ve just started, don’t throw in the towel. Speak with your provider about options for slowly increasing your dose to start seeing some movement on the scale. Keep in mind an ideal weight loss is one to two pounds a week.

3) You may have to wait longer

Sometimes it can feel like you aren’t losing weight when you are, but it’s coming off slowly. An ideal rate of weight loss is one to two pounds per week, but this doesn’t mean everyone will lose at that rate. Some may lose only a few pounds a month. Learn what the expected weight loss results are on Wegovy so you have some idea how your experience compares.

While it can be frustrating because we always want to lose as fast as we can, if you continue to see the scale going down every month, even if it’s just a few pounds, that is still weight loss. It just means it may take a little longer to get to your goal weight. 

4) You may need to exercise more

If you haven’t incorporated exercise or you’ve only added very little, it may be time to evaluate your movement. Exercise is another essential part of creating a healthy lifestyle that encourages sustainable weight loss while taking Wegovy.

This doesn’t mean you need to get into running or doing high-intensity cardio classes (unless that’s what you like) but rather you should find something you enjoy that gets you moving more than you currently are. 

This could be swimming, dancing, Zumba, Pilates, barre, hiking, biking, or just walking more. This could also include parking farther away when you go out, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work, or anything in between, as long as you’re consistent.

5) You’re stressed out

Stress is a natural part of life but if you find that you are chronically stressed, it could be impacting your ability to lose weight on Wegovy. Stress increases the hormone cortisol which can cause your body to hold onto weight, specifically body fat in the abdominal region. 

Additionally, stress can result in unhealthy eating behaviors as a coping mechanism which can further disrupt weight loss goals. If you feel stressed out, try stress management techniques to help you cope.

Common stress management tools include yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, listening to music, calling a friend, and exercise.

6) You’re not getting enough sleep

Sleep is essential for more than just feeling rested enough to tackle the day. Sleep deprivation can halt our weight loss progress whether we are taking Wegovy or not. 

A consistent lack of sleep is associated with an increase in snacking behaviors due to a dysregulation of our appetite from sleep deprivation. Sleep-deprived people will specifically crave high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods which can result in weight gain.

It’s recommended that adults get seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep each night. You can improve your sleep quality and quantity by setting a consistent bedtime and wake time. This gets your body into a sleep routine.

Additionally, limiting blue light from electronic screens one to two hours before bed, and avoiding caffeine, large, high-fat meals, and alcohol before bed can help ensure your sleep is not disrupted. Keep your room dark and at a comfortable temperature for best results.  

7) You may have an underlying health condition

You may not see progress on the scale while on Wegovy if you suffer from an underlying health condition, such as type 2 diabetes. 

While Wegovy is marketed to those with or without type 2 diabetes and may provide benefits in managing blood sugar levels and improving hemoglobin A1C values, those with type 2 diabetes often struggle more to see results than those without.

Additionally, certain medications for health conditions can make losing weight on Wegovy more challenging, such as certain blood pressure medications and antipsychotic medications that are tied to weight gain as a side effect.

8) You’ve hit a plateau

If you’ve been losing weight on Wegovy and have recently noticed a stall, you may be experiencing a plateau. This is when you no longer see any change on the scale for at least a month or longer.

Weight loss plateaus are normal whether you are taking a weight loss medication, or you are trying to lose weight on your own. Your body is adjusting to the changes you’ve made.

While a weight loss plateau is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be frustrating if you have not yet reached your weight loss goal. You can push past your plateau by making further adjustments in your diet or exercise routine or by increasing your medication dose. 

If you need further guidance on how to get past your plateau, consider reaching out to a professional such as a Registered Dietitian. Here at Zaya Care, we can match you with a Registered Dietitian near you who accepts your insurance.

9) You’re not drinking enough water

Staying adequately hydrated is important for health especially while on Wegovy. Because your appetite is reduced, it can be easy to forget to drink water as well. 

Not drinking enough water can wreak havoc on many aspects of your health that can impact your ability to lose weight including reducing your energy levels, increasing your risk for constipation, and increasing the chances of frequent snacking. 

Everyone’s fluid needs are different and depend on many factors such as your height, weight, age, activity level, and climate in which you live. As a rule, you can tell how hydrated you are by the color of your urine.

You want to aim for a pale yellow. If your urine is too dark, you need more water. If you are peeing clear, you probably have had more than you need. 

It can be easy to prioritize water by incorporating a glass during each meal and keeping a water bottle by your side to sip on throughout the day.

10) You’re not eating enough protein

Protein should be emphasized while taking weight loss medications such as Wegovy to reduce any potential losses in muscle mass. Protein is also one of the most satiating nutrients, and consuming a diet rich in protein is associated with reduced cravings and portion sizes.

A low protein diet while taking Wegovy can result in muscle loss which slows down our metabolism and stalls weight loss. It also makes it more difficult to sustain weight loss. 

A low-protein diet may also be causing you to overeat, specifically high-carb foods which can impact your ability to lose weight as well.

Try to prioritize a good source of protein at every meal and snack. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and soy.

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

If the scale isn’t budging while you’re taking Wegovy, below are a few things you can try.

  • Talk to your doctor about your dosage. You may not have found the right dose for you, especially if you have recently started Wegovy.
  • Make sure you’re not eating too many calories. Consider tracking your intake for a few days to make sure you are making healthier choices and not continuing to overeat.
  • Work with a dietitian. A Registered Dietitian can help provide personalized recommendations and guidance so that you can be successful in your weight loss while on Wegovy. Here at Zaya Care, we can match you with a Registered Dietitian near you who accepts your insurance.
  • Make sure you’ve given Wegovy enough time to start working. Be patient. Sometimes it takes a while to notice weight loss with Wegovy, especially if you are taking lower doses. An ideal weight loss is anywhere from one to two pounds per week.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Prioritize movement throughout the day, whether formal exercise or adding in more steps, especially if you work a sedentary job. This can help increase your calorie deficit and aid in weight loss.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Don’t skip out on sleep as this is an important time for your body to recover and recharge. Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased snacking. Aim to get at least seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep each night.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated. Keep a large water bottle by your side to remind you to sip throughout the day. 
  • Reduce stress, if possible. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, or simply get outside and get some exercise to help you destress. 
  • Cut out alcohol. If you are drinking alcohol regularly, consider reducing or cutting this out. Alcohol can add a lot of extra calories and sugar which can hinder your weight loss while on Wegovy. You can learn more about drinking alcohol while on Wegovy here.

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.

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How Wegovy helps you lose weight

Wegovy helps with weight loss by mimicking your body’s natural GLP-1 hormone which is responsible for appetite. This can reduce hunger levels which causes you to consume smaller portion sizes and fewer calories.

Many who take Wegovy report an increase in early satiety and a reduction in cravings and food noise. This allows you to make better choices when it comes to food. The reason behind these changes is often due to a slowdown in digestion.

After we eat, the GLP-1 hormone is released which signals to the gut that we are full and slows down how quickly our stomach empties. When our digestion is slowed, we get full quicker and stay full for longer.

This means we aren’t eating as much or as frequently. It also means we are likely not thinking about food as much which can make it easier to lose weight.

How long it takes to lose weight on Wegovy

It can be difficult to estimate how long it will take to lose weight on Wegovy as it will vary by individual. However, weight loss will likely begin within the first four weeks of taking this medication.

According to a 68-week randomized placebo-controlled study conducted by Novo Nordisk, the makers of Wegovy, patients taking this medication lost an average of 35 pounds (or 15% of their body weight) compared to those taking the placebo who lost an average of 6 pounds (2.5% of their body weight).

This study was conducted on 1,961 adults. Both groups consumed a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity during the 68 weeks.

Additionally, this study found that those taking Wegovy:

  • Lost at least 6% of their body weight by 12 weeks 
  • Lost at least 10% of their body weight by 20 weeks
  • Lost at least 15% of their body weight by one year

Losing weight with Wegovy FAQs

How long does it take to lose weight on Wegovy?

According to the largest study conducted on Wegovy by Novo Nordisk, most individuals taking this medication while consuming a reduced-calorie diet and adding in consistent exercise can expect to lose roughly 15% of their body weight within a year.

What is the average weight loss per month on Wegovy?

According to the same study, individuals taking Wegovy lost roughly 6% of their body weight by 12 weeks which means you can expect to lose somewhere around 2% of your body weight per month. Keep in mind that this is an estimation based on the results of this study, and individual results may vary. You can learn more about how long it takes to lose weight on Wegovy here.

How can I make sure I’m losing weight on Wegovy?

To have successful weight loss on Wegovy it’s important to make sure you are also making healthy diet and lifestyle changes. If you are unsure of how to make these adjustments, consider meeting with a Registered Dietitian (RD) to provide some guidance. 

Is it normal to not lose weight on Wegovy?

Wegovy is a medication intended to aid in weight loss in overweight and obese adults. Therefore, you should be seeing some type of weight loss while taking this medication. 

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

If you are not seeing weight loss, evaluate your diet and lifestyle to see if there is anything that may be holding you back. Consider meeting with a Registered Dietitian (RD) to get guidance on how to improve weight loss with Wegovy.

Why isn’t Wegovy working for me?

Wegovy may not be working for you if you’re not adjusting your diet or exercise, you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re stressed out, or you have an underlying health condition that makes weight loss on Wegovy more difficult, such as type 2 diabetes.

You may also need a higher dose or need to wait longer to see results while taking Wegovy. Everyone responds differently to the medication, and you may not have found that sweet spot yet. 

Are there drugs other than Wegovy that can help with weight loss?

Aside from Wegovy, other medications that can help with weight loss include Saxenda (another GLP-1 medication), Orlistat, Qsymia, Contrave, and Alli.

Recently, the FDA approved a new prescription medication for weight loss called Zepbound. Zepbound is another GLP-1 medication, also known as Tirzepatide, that can help with weight loss when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise.

If you are interested in other weight loss medication options, speak with your doctor for more information.

Do people always lose weight on Wegovy?

While Wegovy has been FDA-approved for weight loss, it might not work for everyone. There are many reasons why you may not see losses while taking Wegovy. Some are preventable while others may not be.

If you are not seeing any progress in your weight while taking Wegovy and you are making all the necessary diet and lifestyle changes, speak with your doctor about different options for you.

What if I overeat while taking Wegovy?

Wegovy can reduce appetite and make overeating less likely, however, some may still struggle with eating large portions despite not feeling hungry. If you do continue to overeat while taking Wegovy, you will not likely notice significant changes in your weight.

You may also experience some discomfort due to the slowdown in digestion while taking this medication. Large portions can be hard for your stomach to handle. If you continue to struggle with overeating while taking this medication, reach out to your doctor or RD for help.

Why am I still hungry on Wegovy?

If you are still experiencing high levels of hunger while taking Wegovy, you may not have found an adequate dose that works for you. You may also need to wait longer for the medication to take effect as sometimes there is an adjustment period.

However, some people who take Wegovy do not experience reduced hunger as a side effect. If you are not noticing improvements in your hunger levels and it’s affecting your weight loss, speak with your doctor about your options.

Why am I gaining weight on Wegovy?

If you notice that the scale is going up instead of down while taking Wegovy, it’s important to look at your diet and lifestyle habits to see if there is anything that you can adjust. 

Additionally, some individuals have reported water retention while taking Wegovy which may account for alterations in weight. This can be caused by hormonal fluctuations or diet. This weight gain is temporary and is not associated with an increase in fat.

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Meghan is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist from San Jose, California. She received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 2015. Following an unexpected cross-country trip that landed her in Florida, she completed her didactic training through AdventHealth Orlando. Meghan has extensive experience in multiple aspects of dietetics including critical care, motivational interviewing, writing, and research. She is passionate about health and wellness and has dedicated her free time to breaking down complicated nutrition topics and disseminating them to the public through the arena of writing.