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Will I gain weight if I stop using Wegovy?

Robbie Puddick
Written by

Robbie Puddick

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

5 min read
Last updated June 2024

Jump to: Why do you regain weight after stopping Wegovy? | Can you keep weight off after stopping semaglutide? | How long can you stay on semaglutide for weight loss? | Should I try semaglutide to lose weight?

Based on data from randomised controlled trials, you’ll likely gain weight once you stop using Wegovy. Data suggests that the more weight you lose while taking the medication, the larger the amount of weight regained.

In this post-analysis of 327 participants on semaglutide or placebo, the average weight loss after 68 weeks was 17.3% with semaglutide and 2% with placebo.

52 weeks later after the medication was withdrawn, the average weight loss was 5.6% with semaglutide and 0.1% with placebo.

This shows a weight regain of 11.6% in the semaglutide group and 1.9% in the placebo.

What’s important to note is that the more weight you lose while taking the Wegovy, the bigger your weight loss ends up being after factoring in some of the weight regain.

For example, if you lose 20kg while on Wegovy, your long-term weight loss might be 10kg. If you lose 15kg while on Wegovy, your long-term weight loss might be 7.5kg (these are both indicative examples).

Because weight regain is a large factor in coming off weight-loss medications like Wegovy, it’s very important to focus on habit and lifestyle changes alongside taking the medication in order to maximise the long-term weight-loss results.

If you can lose 10kg and keep the 10kg off for the long term, that’s going to be more impactful than losing 15kg while on Wegovy and then putting 10kg back on and ending up with only 5kg of sustained weight loss.

Second Nature’s Wegovy weight-loss programme will help you focus on changing your lifestyle so that you can embed new, healthy behaviours alongside taking your Wegovy medication.

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Why do you regain weight after stopping Wegovy?

Weight regain after stopping Wegovy might occur for various reasons, the primary one being that the high levels of GLP-1 maintained in the body to reduce hunger will decrease.

When GLP-1 levels fall after stopping Wegovy, our hunger levels will likely increase, and we’ll find it harder to manage our portion sizes, which could lead to an increase in calorie intake.

Here are three more reasons why you might regain weight after stopping Wegovy:

  1. You haven’t changed the quality of your diet: Semaglutide naturally leads to lower hunger levels and helps us eat less. If you’re still eating a diet based on ultra-processed foods but simply eating less – you’ll lose weight while on the medication. But, when you stop taking Wegovy, you no longer have the medication to help you eat less, and a diet rich in ultra-processed foods inherently leads to excess calorie intake and weight gain.
  2. You haven’t introduced exercise into your routine: Sedentary lifestyles are a vital contributor to the development of obesity, and good research suggests that those who exercise more are more likely to keep weight off in the long run.
  3. You haven’t changed your underlying habits and behaviours: If we haven’t addressed the underlying causes of our overeating, we’ll unlikely be able to keep weight off in the long run. Psychological factors like mood, emotional health, and stress can all contribute to our eating choices. If we don’t address these whilst on Wegovy, we’ll struggle to keep the weight off when we stop the medication.

Can you keep weight off after stopping semaglutide?

You can keep weight off when you stop semaglutide, weight regain isn’t inevitable. However, this is the most challenging aspect of a weight loss journey, with or without medication.

Weight maintenance is extremely challenging, but there are a few things you can do to help avoid weight regain after stopping semaglutide:

  1. Improve the quality of your diet: Eating a diet based on whole foods and minimising the consumption of ultra-processed foods will help your body regulate your appetite naturally.
  2. Exercise: Research has shown that people who exercise more after weight loss are more likely to avoid weight regain in the long term.
  3. Address the underlying causes of overeating: Weight loss is as much about developing an understanding of why we eat, as much as it is about how and what. If we can identify the underlying causes of our overeating, we’ll be more able to address them. This could be emotional eating, environmental triggers, or other psychological-related causes like previous trauma.

How long can you stay on semaglutide for weight loss?

In the UK, NICE guidelines restrict semaglutide (Wegovy) for weight loss to a maximum of two years. This is relevant if you’re getting prescribed Wegovy through the NHS.

If you’re getting Wegovy privately, like through Second Nature’s Wegovy weight-loss programme, then you can stay on Wegovy for as long as is necessary.

Wegovy isn’t a magic pill

Weight-loss injections are designed as additional tools for weight management interventions and shouldn’t be considered lifelong medications.

Instead, they should be used to help you kickstart your weight loss and healthy journey while you commit to living a healthier lifestyle.

Consider the use of antidepressants for people living with depression. They’re not designed to cure the condition. Instead, they’re designed to allow room for therapy to treat the condition’s underlying cause.

Wegovy and other weight loss injections, like Mounjaro, are similar. They can allow you to make lifestyle changes to support long-term weight loss maintenance.

Wegovy can help silence food-related thoughts and also give you a boost of confidence with more immediate weight-loss results.

This helps to buy you the time and headspace to understand why your body may have struggled to lose weight previously, and to build new long-term healthy habits.

The core focus of our medication programmes is to calm down the feeling of food noise, lower your cravings, and allow you to build healthier habits to keep the weight off for good.

The ultimate goal is to make losing weight feel second nature.

Second Nature’s medication-supported programmes

Second Nature has two medication-supported programmes: a Wegovy weight-loss programme and a Mounjaro weight-loss programme.

If you’ve made the decision to try Wegovy or Mounjaro (assuming you’re eligible), why should you choose Second Nature over other medication providers?

For peace of mind.

Second Nature has worked with the NHS for over 6 years providing weight-loss programmes across the UK.

Whilst our Wegovy and Mounjaro weight-loss programmes are private and not currently used by the NHS, we’ve built the programmes with a focus on scientific evidence, patient safety, and data security.

We hope that our 6+ years of working with the NHS and building a track record of effective weight-loss results will give you peace of mind to give us a try.

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