Why am I not losing weight on Ozempic? Experts explain

Ozempic, a drug designed to help manage insulin levels, has become a household name after many people have used it. Social media Talk about using it for weight loss. While Ozempic is currently only approved by the Food and Drug Administration for insulin administration, one of its known side effects is weight loss, and it is often prescribed for just that purpose.

If you’re using Ozempic, whether to manage your insulin levels or for weight loss, and you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s understandable to wonder, “Why am I not losing weight on Ozempic?” especially Because of how much chatter has been made about the drug’s effect on weight loss.

So, what might interfere with Ozempic’s potential weight loss? Doctors break it.

What is ozembek and how does it work?

Ozempic, which contains semaglutide, is an injectable medication usually prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes to help manage their blood sugar.

Ozempic is designed to be used in conjunction with a diet and exercise program Medline Plus. It explains that the drug works specifically by activating what are called GLP-1 receptors in your body Mir Ali, MD, bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. This enhances the production of insulin in the body, which helps in managing blood glucose. “But one of the side effects is that it suppresses people’s appetite,” says Dr. Ali.

Dr. Ali explains that Ozempic contributes to weight loss in two ways: It makes patients feel less hungry and it also slows the emptying of their stomach to keep them feeling fuller for longer. Ozempic notes on it website The drug “may help you lose some weight,” noting that patients in clinical trials lost up to 14 pounds of weight due to the drug.

The FDA has approved a semaglutide called Wegovy for weight loss, which is why Ozempic is often used off-label for this indication as well, says Dr. Ali.

So why am I not losing weight on Ozempic?

He says a lot has to do with lifestyle changes Christina Inteso, PharmD, specializes in clinical pharmacy at Corewell Health. “All of the FDA-approved weight-loss medications, including semaglutide, are approved as an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity,” she says. “These medications have been studied with lifestyle changes, Plus Medicine.”

If someone using Ozempic doesn’t make lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and exercising regularly, they may not see as much weight loss as shown in clinical trials, Inteso says.

“I’ve seen this happen, more commonly than I’d like, where people think they can just take medication, not make changes to their eating or physical activity habits, and yet lose 10% of their body weight,” says Enteso. “Although these drugs are effective, there is still no magic weight loss pill that allows this yet.”

Dr. Ali echoes this sentiment. “A common reason I see in patients who don’t expect to lose weight (on Ozempic) is that they don’t really change their diet.”

While experts agree that not making lifestyle changes is the main reason why someone may not see weight loss results on Ozempic, Dr. Ali says there could be an issue with dosing.

“The way these drugs work is, we start with a lower dose and increase the dose over a period of months,” he says. “Some patients see results right away; Others need a higher dose to see results. Dr. Ali says it can take several months to get to the right dose for any patient.

There could also be other factors at play, Entiso says. “Sometimes, people may not see an effect from weight-loss medications, and it may also not be the right medication for them to lose weight,” she says. “For example, if someone is experiencing food cravings, but is given a drug that makes them feel full, the food cravings will still be present and the individual may struggle to combat these cravings even if they are feeling full.”

How to lose weight on Ozempic

If you’re taking Ozempic or another semaglutide, Dr. Ali says it’s important to have a conversation with your doctor about what kind of diet and exercise program is recommended for you — and follow these guidelines.

But if you feel like you’re doing everything right, it’s a good idea to have another conversation to check in and see what might be going on. “If someone has taken the maximum dose and hasn’t seen results yet, we need to re-evaluate,” says Dr. Ali. “We encourage them to keep a food log and look at the types of calories they are getting. It is usually recommended that they speak to a dietitian or dietitian to switch to a healthy diet.

If you’re obese and aren’t seeing the weight loss results you want on Ozempic, Inteso says it’s possible that this simply isn’t the right drug for you. “We know that obesity is caused by a variety of factors, and things like your individual genetic makeup may prevent you from losing weight,” she says.

Basically, it’s important to talk to your doctor — and stay in touch with them — to help you achieve your goals.

Shot by Corinne Miller

Corinne Miller is a freelance writer specializing in public health, sexual health, relationships, and lifestyle trends, whose work appears in men’s health, women’s health, self, joy, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives on the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and a taco truck one day.

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