Jump to: How much weight can I lose with semaglutide? | Can I take semaglutide if I’m not diabetic? | What does semaglutide do to your body? | Do you gain weight after stopping semaglutide? | Should I try semaglutide to lose weight?
Based on data from randomised controlled trials, you can expect to lose up to 5% of your weight in a month on semaglutide. After two months on semaglutide, you could lose up to 8%.
Interestingly, this initial weight loss is no different to other weight loss treatments or the impact of diet interventions on weight loss. The real effect of semaglutide is seen beyond 3 months.
Semaglutide is a long-acting medication that’s started at a lower dose to reduce the number and severity of side effects as it’s built up to a higher maintenance dose.
Semaglutide can take 4-5 weeks to reach a level in the body we call a steady state. A steady state is when the drug’s levels in the body remain consistent rather than spiking and falling.
How much weight can I lose with semaglutide?
Research has shown that semaglutide (semaglutide 2.4 mg) can lead to a weight loss of around 16% of your body weight, or 16-17kg, after 68 weeks.
Most of this weight loss occurs in the first 32 weeks (9 months) and plateaus, as the body adapts to the medication and patients find a sustainable way of eating.
Can I take semaglutide if I’m not diabetic?
Semaglutide is approved for weight loss in the UK under the brand name Wegovy.
Semaglutide in the form of Ozempic is no longer available off-label for weight loss and is only available for patients living with type 2 diabetes.
What does semaglutide do to your body?
Semaglutide works by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1 to communicate directly with the brain’s appetite control centre, the hypothalamus, to lower food-seeking behaviours and hunger.
These lower hunger levels (or lower appetite) will mean you eat fewer calories and lose weight over time.
To learn more about how GLP-1 receptor agonists like semaglutide work, click here.
Ideally, we’d lose weight without needing medications through changes in our diet and lifestyle.
However, some individuals who’ve been trying to lose weight for a very long time, jumping from one diet or programme to another, may need extra support to keep weight off in the long term.
Semaglutide is approved for individuals who need to lose weight because excess body fat is negatively impacting their health and quality of life.
Semaglutide shouldn’t be used for people who just want to lose weight for a holiday or an upcoming event like a wedding.
Do you gain weight after stopping semaglutide?
Weight regain is significant after you stop taking semaglutide. The greater the initial weight loss, the more significant the weight regained.
However, those who lose more weight initially maintain more significant weight loss compared to baseline than those who lose less before the medication is withdrawn.
In this post-analysis of 327 participants, the average weight loss after 68 weeks was 17.3% with semaglutide and 2% with placebo.
After 52 weeks of follow-up, after the medication was withdrawn, the average weight loss was 5.6% with semaglutide and 0.1% with placebo.
A weight regain of 11.6% in the semaglutide group and 1.9% in the placebo.
However, weight regain isn’t inevitable. Long-term sustainable weight loss can be achieved, but you need the proper support.
Should I try semaglutide to lose weight?
Semaglutide is designed as an additional tool for weight management and shouldn’t be considered a lifelong medication.
Instead, it should be used to help you kickstart your weight loss and healthy journey while you commit to living a healthier lifestyle.
Ideally, we’d be able to lose weight without medication and lifestyle changes would be enough to support weight loss in the long term.
We’d generally recommend trying Second Nature’s weight-loss programme before considering a weight-loss jab.
Changing your habits is the most sustainable way to achieve long-term weight loss, and it’s also less expensive.
At Second Nature, we’ve been trusted by the NHS since 2017 to support people with type 2 diabetes and obesity to lose weight, manage their blood sugar levels, and lead healthier lifestyles for the long term.
In 2022, the NHS published data in the BMJ that compared the weight loss outcomes of five providers in the National Diabetes Prevention Programme.
Second Nature was more than twice as effective at supporting weight loss than the other four providers.
However, if you’ve decided to try semaglutide (when it’s available) but need support in making positive changes to your lifestyle, Second Nature could be an option for you. But it’s worth noting that we have strict eligibility criteria.