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How Much Weight Can You Lose on Wegovy?

Key Takeaways

  • One of the largest clinical trials evaluating the role of semaglutide in weight management for adults showed that this medication can result in an average of 15% weight reduction from initial body weight over 68 weeks.  

  • While study findings show promising outcomes, the amount of weight loss may vary among people depending on various factors such as metabolism, diet, and exercise.

  • Results showed that people who took Wegovy for 20 weeks and then switched to a placebo for 48 weeks regained 6.9% of the lost weight. The positive cardiometabolic effects were also reversed with the discontinuation of Wegovy. 

Wegovy is a once-weekly, injectable, prescription weight loss drug. It is one of the newest weight loss drugs on the market and can help you lose excess weight when used with diet and exercise

If you are considering taking this new weight loss drug, you may be wondering exactly how much weight you can lose on Wegovy. Please continue reading to find out.

How much weight can you lose with Wegovy in one month?

Clinical trials have shown that you can lose approximately 2% of your body weight with Wegovy (generic drug: semaglutide injection) in one month. This means if your baseline (starting) weight is 200 pounds, you may lose about 4 pounds in one month. Clinical trials showed an average of ~6% weight reduction after 12 weeks, then ~10% after 20 weeks. This is the average weight loss experienced by people who took Wegovy for weight management. 

The STEP (Semaglutide Treatment Effects in People with Obesity) trial was conducted to evaluate the role of semaglutide in weight management. Findings from this 68-week study includes:

  • After the 68-week trial period, adults receiving Wegovy achieved about 15% weight reduction from their baseline weights; this is equivalent to ~35 pounds (lbs) or 15.9 kilograms (kg).  

  • 83% of adult participants receiving Wegovy lost at least 5% of their body weight compared to 31% of people receiving placebo.

  • 66% of adult participants receiving Wegovy lost at least 10% of their body weight compared to 12% of people receiving placebo.

  • 48% of adult participants receiving Wegovy lost at least 15% of their body weight compared to 5% of people receiving placebo.

All participants were required to adhere to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. 

You may have a faster or slower rate of weight loss, depending on various factors such as metabolism, diet, and exercise.

How much body weight can you lose in total with Wegovy?

The STEP 1 clinical trial showed that, on average, obese and overweight adults lose 15% of their baseline body weight on Wegovy. This means if you had a body weight of 232 lbs before starting Wegovy treatment, you could expect to lose around 35 lbs in 68 weeks (15-16 months).

Does weight loss continue after stopping Wegovy?

Weight loss does not usually continue after stopping Wegovy. This medication works by regulating appetite and reducing food cravings. 

In fact, many people experience weight gain, meaning they regain some of the lost weight after stopping Wegovy.

STEP 1 trial extension studies the changes in body weights and cardiometabolic risk factors after Wegovy discontinuation. STEP 1 trial showed an average weight loss of 17.3% in adults receiving Wegovy after 68 weeks. STEP 1 extension followed a subset of participants for an additional 52 weeks without receiving any treatment or lifestyle interventions. The study findings include:

  • By week 120, participants who were previously on semaglutide regained two-thirds of their body weights after a year without receiving the maximum dose of Wegovy (2.4 mg weekly)

  • Similarly, cardiometabolic improvements from week 0 to week 68 from semaglutide also declined at week 120. 

How quickly do you start losing weight on Wegovy?

You may lose some weight after about 4 weeks on Wegovy, but it can take several months to have noticeable weight loss. 

This is because your provider will start you on a lower dose of Wegovy and increase gradually to a higher dose to reduce gastrointestinal side effects. 

The lower doses (initiation and escalation doses) of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg are not for weight management but rather to give the body time to adjust to the medicine. 

It takes 3-4 months to reach the higher doses (1.7 mg weekly and the recommended maintenance dose of 2.4 mg once weekly). Therefore, most patients begin to see significant weight loss after being on Wegovy for 3-4 months.

How fast can I lose 20 lbs on semaglutide?

Overweight and obese adults can lose 20 lbs on semaglutide in about 16-20 weeks (4-5 months) on average. 

The rate of weight loss depends on various factors, including your metabolism and overall health picture. Again, weight loss treatments such as Wegovy work best when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and increased exercise,

Do you lose more weight with Wegovy or Ozempic?

You are likely to lose more weight with Wegovy compared to Ozempic. 

Ozempic is a diabetes medication that contains the same active ingredient, semaglutide, as Wegovy. However, Ozempic and Wegovy are dosed differently. 

The recommended maintenance dose of Wegovy is 2.4 mg once a week by subcutaneous injection for weight loss. 

The maximum dose of Ozempic is 2 mg once a week by subcutaneous injection to control blood sugar levels

Because Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide, it is likely to result in more weight loss. Learn more about Ozempic for weight loss.

What is the best diet while on Wegovy?

Wegovy gives the best weight loss results when you combine it with lifestyle changes such as a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical exercise. 

While on Wegovy, you should eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats while avoiding or limiting your intake of saturated fats, processed meats, packaged snacks, and sugary beverages.

How does Wegovy make you lose weight?

Wegovy belongs to a group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. 

They were originally developed as diabetes medications. But some of them have now been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as weight loss medications

These diabetes drugs mimic a naturally occurring hormone called GLP-1 and increase insulin secretion from the pancreas to help control blood glucose levels. 

They also delay gastric emptying, make you feel full faster, reduce appetite and caloric intake, and can lead to significant weight reduction. 

Wegovy and other similar weight loss drugs can help you lose weight when you combine the medication and lifestyle changes such as a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Learn more about how Wegovy and other prescription weight loss medications work.

Who can take Wegovy?

Wegovy is for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 27 kg/m2 and weight-related health conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol

This weight loss drug is also approved for weight management in children 12 years of age and older who have an initial BMI at the 95th percentile or higher for age and sex.

People with certain medical conditions should not take Wegovy for weight loss, including those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2).

Is Wegovy right for me?

Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits versus risks of long-term treatment with Wegovy. 

By helping you lose weight, this drug can improve your metabolic health and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. 

However, weight loss treatments like Wegovy can cause adverse effects. The most common side effects of Wegovy are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and stomach upset

You should not take Wegovy if you have a history of thyroid cancer. 

Taking Wegovy can also lead to an increased risk of health conditions such as acute pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, acute kidney injury, low blood sugar, increased heart rate, and suicidal ideation. 

While Wegovy can help reduce the risk of health problems related to weight, keep in mind that this medication can interact with your other medications, putting you at a greater risk of health complications.

The cost of Wegovy can run into thousands of dollars a month without insurance coverage. This is another factor you should consider before starting weight loss drugs. Learn more about the cost of prescription weight loss injections

If you do not want to take weight loss medications such as Wegovy long-term, talk to your healthcare provider about other options, such as bariatric surgery.

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References:

  1. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=ee06186f-2aa3-4990-a760-757579d8f77b

  2. https://www.novomedlink.com/obesity/products/treatments/wegovy/efficacy-safety/clinical-trial-1-results.html

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8717485/

  4. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183