- Ozempic is a medication that suppresses appetite and makes you more likely to lose weight, but not everyone will see the same results in the same timeline.
- The active ingredient in Ozempic is a peptide called semaglutide, which is also used in other type 2 diabetes and weight loss medications like Wegovy.
- Some reasons you may not lose weight on Ozempic include unhealthy eating habits, not sleeping enough, and not exercising enough.
- Losing weight sustainably requires a holistic approach that also includes healthy habit formation, lifestyle changes, and often a change in mindset.
Ozempic is a prescribed weekly injection that was originally developed for type 2 diabetes and was FDA-approved in 2017. The key ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which mimics a hormone in the body that tells you you’re full and slows the emptying of food in your stomach. With the benefit of managing insulin and suppressing your appetite, Ozempic (and its counterpart Wegovy) has become a popular option for weight loss.
Although it hasn’t been formally approved as a weight loss medication, more and more doctors are prescribing Ozempic for this purpose. Wegovy is a semaglutide medication that has a slightly smaller dose and is specifically approved for weight loss.
Despite so many people singing the praises of Ozempic, not everyone sees the results they’re hoping for. If you’re not losing weight on Ozempic, there could be several potential reasons, from your diet to your activity levels.
For sustained success, these medications should be combined with healthy habits and positive lifestyle changes in addition to taking the medication. With the right changes, habits, and mindset, you can achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.
5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight on Ozempic
Ozempic and semaglutide medications aren’t designed to be a miracle solution, and not everyone who takes them will see guaranteed results. Some reasons for not losing weight with Ozempic may include not sleeping enough, not eating right, or not engaging in enough physical activity. Narrowing down the potential reasons can help you adjust your approach and better focus your weight loss efforts.
1. Unhealthy Eating Habits
Even with the benefits of Ozempic, it’s not enough to overpower a poor diet. If you maintain a diet of sugary, fatty, and processed foods, then you’re likely to have a hard time losing weight.
You don’t have to have a rigid diet that is full of restrictions. Instead, you should work to reduce those processed foods and incorporate more nourishing whole foods that provide you with nutrients like fiber, protein, and healthy fats. These foods will also help you feel more full so that you’re less likely to overeat less nourishing foods.
Focusing on eating a healthy diet can also help you avoid the “Ozempic Rebound” (regaining the weight after coming off the medication), as the research shows that weight regain is highly likely after discontinued use if healthy diet changes haven’t been made.
Other beneficial steps include implementing portion control measures and choosing foods that address your unique nutritional needs or imbalances. At re:vitalize, we’ll conduct a Body Composition & Metabolic Age Analysis as well as a comprehensive biometric BioScan™ to better understand your unique biochemistry and address your metabolic needs to promote not only weight loss but also your overall well-being.
2. Individual Variation
As is the case with any medication or treatment, everyone responds differently to Ozempic. Although there is a lot of potential upside to taking Ozempic, the truth is not everyone will see the same results or timelines due to the nature of everyone’s body being different. Some people see results relatively quickly, while others may take a month or more to start seeing changes.
In some cases, individuals may benefit from taking a higher dose. Your recommended dose depends on the advice of your medical provider. Typically, doctors will start you with a lower dose of 0.25 mg weekly. From there, they’ll increase your dose over the course of a few months if necessary. Doses can go up to 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, or higher, depending on your doctor’s advice.
3. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Even with a suppressed appetite, you can’t lose weight if you’re not using up the energy you’re taking in through food. If you maintain a sedentary lifestyle, weekly Ozempic doses may not be enough to promote weight loss.
You don’t have to be an avid exerciser, but it is important to get your body moving throughout the day. This doesn’t mean it’s necessary to hit the treadmill for 2 hours a day—the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly, split up however you prefer.
Some ways you can incorporate physical activity into your day include:
- Going for a walk
- Riding a bike
- Yoga or Pilates
- Mild to moderate weightlifting
Any of these activities can help supplement your other weight loss efforts and get you closer to the results you’re looking for. Staying active also offers a range of additional health benefits, like a more positive mood and improved cardiovascular function. More importantly, resistance training can help mitigate lean muscle mass loss, which is a common side effect of these medications:
“With traditional dieting and weight loss, three-quarters of your weight loss should be fat mass…With our patients on semaglutide, we’re seeing two-thirds of the weight loss is LEAN mass, and only one-third is fat mass. So [the semaglutide users] are getting lighter, but they’re getting fatter.” — Dr. Peter Attia
4. Not Sleeping Well
Sleep isn’t just a relief after a long day—it plays a vital role in weight loss. Studies show that people who sleep less than six hours or more than eight hours a night are prone to weight gain.
Not getting enough sleep can affect hormones that make you feel hungry, producing more of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungry, and less of the hormone leptin, which makes you feel full. This hormone imbalance causes you to overeat by increasing cravings throughout the day.
A lack of sleep also makes you more tired during the day, which can prevent you from staying in motion and burning off the calories you eat. All these factors can negate the benefits of suppressing your appetite on Ozempic.
Improve your sleep habits by:
- Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
- Creating a dark, quiet sleeping environment
- Avoiding caffeine 10-12 hours before bed
- Putting down your phone an hour or two before bedtime
- Consider a natural, non-habit-forming sleep supplement
5. You May Be Stressed
Stress is unpleasant on its own, but it can also have a snowball effect on your weight loss efforts. Both directly and indirectly, stress can lead to weight gain in a list of ways:
- Stress produces higher levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, which can directly slow your metabolism and make your body more likely to store fat.
- Stress also has the indirect effect of causing you to eat more. Cortisol makes you crave fatty, fried, or sugary foods.
- If you’re stressed out by a busy schedule, this will likely play a role as well. With less time in the day, you’re less likely to meal plan and exercise and more likely to opt for fast food or load up on less-than-ideal snacks.
- Stress can also affect the quality of your sleep, adding to cravings and slowing your metabolism.
All together, stress is the perfect storm for stunted weight loss efforts, even if you are taking semaglutide medication like Wegovy or Ozempic. Take steps to reduce stress throughout the day by incorporating mindfulness practices like meditation and taking time for hobbies and activities you enjoy.
How To Lose More Weight on Ozempic
Despite the potential benefits of Ozempic, it does come with limitations, too. If you’re not losing weight on Ozempic, you likely need to make additional adjustments to your current weight-loss plan.
In many ways, medications like Ozempic are a band-aid solution, supporting weight loss but without addressing the root causes of weight gain. It’s unlikely you can inject your way out of a poor diet. For sustained success, they must be paired with an approach that accounts for these factors. The best way to lose weight, whether on Ozempic or not, is to take a holistic approach to weight loss.
Holistic approaches offer the following benefits:
- Lifestyle modifications – Ozempic suppresses your appetite for you to promote weight loss, which provides limitations. Holistic approaches encourage lifestyle modifications like adjustments to your diet and healthy habits that improve results.
- Sustainability – Because Ozempic doesn’t require any additional lifestyle changes, many people gain weight right back once they stop taking it. By encouraging healthy habits, holistic weight loss programs help you maintain a healthy weight long-term.
- Individualization – No two people are the same, so any weight loss effort must be tailored to the individual, which is not the case for Ozempic. Holistic programs help you address the issues at the root of your weight gain, including mindset changes, accountability efforts, and routine building.
- Minimal side effects – Ozempic has a range of potential side effects, including mild side effects like nausea and abdominal pain, as well as more serious ones like pancreatitis and hypoglycemia. Meanwhile, holistic approaches are centered around eating healthy foods and developing positive habits, which won’t come with any additional side effects.
Ultimately, a holistic approach to weight loss is the only way to healthily achieve and sustain results. At re:vitalize, we take a holistic approach to weight loss, improving your nutrition, metabolic health, and overall habits to address your unique personalized needs.
Maintain Sustainable Weight Loss with re:vitalize
Ozempic can be a great tool for some, but it isn’t the full solution to weight loss. Whether you choose to use Ozempic for weight loss or not, it’s crucial that you make healthy lifestyle adjustments to ensure you achieve success and maintain it.
At re:vitalize weight loss and wellness, we provide the support and resources necessary for a successful journey, empowering you with all the tools you need to make progress toward your goals. We aim to meet you where you are, so we also feature virtual weight loss programs and weight loss programs for employers to make achieving your wellness goals even more accessible.
Using our BioScan™ technology to understand your nutritional needs, we’ll help you develop a plan that is optimal for your weight loss and metabolic health. We’ll also provide support and accountability through consistent daily, weekly, and monthly check-ins.
We have many members who use Ozempic or other semaglutide medications and benefit from our holistic programs. Schedule a consultation with our team here at re:vitalize to learn more about our programs and receive a report of your unique biometrics.