Does Wegovy ruin your appetite?

Robbie Puddick
Written by

Robbie Puddick

20th July 2023

Will I fall out of love with food on Wegovy?

Wegovy (semaglutide) will reduce your appetite; that’s how it leads to weight loss. However, severe loss of appetite has only been reported in around 5% of participants in trials investigating the impact of the medication on weight loss.

A recent article in The Guardian caused quite a stir online as they described how a new weight loss drug called semaglutide – approved to treat obesity in the UK – ‘robbed me of the joy I took in food’.

It’s a highly candid piece that presents a balanced view of the impact of the drugs to help people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

But the article suggests that despite the health benefits, it will come at the cost of losing your appetite and desire to enjoy food forever.

While I don’t doubt this individual’s experience with semaglutide, their claims aren’t a fair reflection of how most people will feel while on this medication.

Side effects and individual variability

A recent randomised controlled trial on two GLP-1 receptor agonists, semaglutide and tirzepatide, was conducted to compare their impact on weight loss and blood sugar levels.

It was a large trial with over 1,800 participants, and as is standard procedure, reported all adverse events and side effects.

As expected, both medications significantly improved blood sugar and weight loss. And also, as expected, a large number of participants reported side effects.

Nausea and diarrhoea were the most common side effects, reported in 17.9% and 11.5% of participants on semaglutide. Other side effects included vomiting (8.3%), constipation (5.3%), and abdominal pain (5.1%).

Interestingly, just 25 participants from 469 in the semaglutide group reported a severe loss of appetite (5.3%).

Additionally, a randomised controlled trial was conducted investigating the impact of semaglutide (Wegovy/Ozempic) and liraglutide (Saxenda) on weight loss in individuals living with obesity.

Semaglutide was shown to have a good safety profile and was more tolerated than liraglutide. 3.2% of participants in the semaglutide group discontinued their treatment due to side effects, compared to 12.6% with liraglutide.

Over 80% of participants in both groups reported GI-related issues such as constipation, cramping, bloating, and diarrhoea. But these were typically transient and subsided when the body adapted to the higher doses.

Data > anecdote

While it’s essential to be open to how you might experience different medications you’re prescribed, we shouldn’t base our understanding on anything based on one individual’s experience.

You could say the same thing about food. While one person might experience gut discomfort from eating gluten which would make them feel uncomfortable and possibly unwell, most people aren’t intolerant to gluten and can enjoy it just fine.

What we know about semaglutide is that it does cause side effects. Some mild, and, in very rare cases, it can lead to severe side effects and the discontinuation of the drug.

However, the data suggest that for most individuals, semaglutide is well-tolerated, and the benefits of weight loss and lower blood sugar levels often outweigh any side effects people experience.

This doesn’t mean you won’t be one of the few who experience a severe loss of appetite on semaglutide. But, the research suggests you’d be in the unlucky 5%.

Check my eligibility

You might also like

Make losing weight feel Second Nature

The first step on your Second Nature journey is to take our health quiz.

Hand holding phone

Write a response

As seen on

The GuardianThe TimesChannel 4The Sunday Telegraph
Evening Standard