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Why am I Gaining Weight on Ozempic?

Main image courtesy of Eat This Not That.

Sometimes changing your diet and increasing the amount of physical exercise you do is not enough to lose weight. Everyone’s body responds to lifestyle changes at a different pace, which is why you may not see the same results as someone else who is working to drop the pounds. If you’ve discussed this with your doctor, perhaps they feel that adding a semaglutide like Ozempic might help you finally lose the extra weight. 

However, you can’t be entirely sure how your body will process this medication, and how long it will take to work. If you’re concerned about gaining more weight on Ozempic, keep reading because we’re discussing:

  • Why you are gaining weight on Ozempic
  • How to determine if Ozempic is working
  • How you can speed up weight loss on Ozempic

Why are you gaining weight on Ozempic?

Shouldn’t you be losing weight on Ozempic?

hand holding an ozempic injection
It can be frustrating to see the scale go up instead of down. Image courtesy of The Economist

Ozempic was originally approved as a drug to help regulate the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics. However, doctors noticed an interesting side effect to taking this medication, their patients reported that they also were losing weight. Ozempic is a semaglutide, which means it is supposed to suppress your appetite and induce feelings of fullness. Ozempic mimics the natural hormone GLP-1 and can slow down how fast food leaves your stomach, affects the hunger area of your brain, keeps you feeling fuller after meals, and helps you consume less calories throughout the day. 

The majority of folks who are taking Ozempic will see the weight start to come off. In fact some studies have shown that around 86% of people lose weight, but there are still about 14% of people taking this medication that don’t lose weight, and even gain weight. This can be extremely frustrating if you’re serious about losing the extra weight, and the medication does not seem to be working in your body. 

If you’re noticing weight gain while you're taking Ozempic, there could be a variety of reasons for this.

  1. Your dose is wrong/inconsistent. Your doctor will start you off at a low dose, and then gradually increase it as needed. This gives your body time to adjust to the medication, and allows it to start to do its job. You may not be seeing weight loss even though you’ve been taking Ozempic because your doctor needs to increase your dose. Typically you’ll start at .25mg a week for four weeks to make sure you don’t experience unwanted side effects. Speak with your doctor to see if it’s time to increase your weekly dose.

In order to get the full benefits of appetite suppression and regulating your blood sugar, you’ve got to be consistent with your dosing. Make sure you’re taking your medication once a week at the same time. Do not skip doses and take it at the same time (morning, afternoon, night) each week. This gives you the greatest chance that the medication will be effective. 

  1. You haven’t made enough lifestyle changes. You can’t just start Ozempic injections and expect to be done! It is not designed to work alone, and in addition to this medication, you’ll need to make lifestyle changes that include making adjustments to your diet and physical activity routine. Eating a balanced diet that’s full of nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is one of the best things you can do to ensure you drop the weight. 

Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5-7 days of the week. Both aerobic cardio and anaerobic strength training are key to losing weight and building muscle.

  1. You’re not getting enough protein. Increasing your protein is one of the most important ways to lose weight, especially while you’re taking a semaglutide. Protein takes longer for the body to break down and burn as energy, which can contribute to the feeling of fullness. Couple this with Ozempic, and you’ll find that you’ll need to eat less at meals to feel satiated—which leads to a calorie deficit at the end of the day. 

Protein is also essential to build muscle mass that you’ll need to support you on your weight loss journey. Maintaining a consistent resistance training schedule is a great way to build lean muscle, and protein can help fuel your sessions!

Diet Direct has a variety of high-protein products that easy to add to your routine like:

  1. You need to increase your water intake. Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but especially if you find you’re not losing weight on Ozempic. Staying hydrated by drinking water throughout the day helps your body move waste products along and keeps your metabolism up.
glass of water
Staying hydrated throughout the day is an essential part of your weight loss journey. Image courtesy of USGS.
  1. You have underlying conditions. Some people have untreated underlying conditions that could also affect how their body responds to Ozempic. If you’re not losing weight and instead gaining weight, speak to your doctor to see what else might be going on. Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and hypothyroidism can contribute to weight gain. If left untreated, underlying conditions may be the reason why you’re not getting the results you want.
  1. Your sleep schedule is off. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule that includes 7-8 hours of rest a night is essential for any healthy lifestyle, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Getting less than 7 hours a night can make you feel drowsy the next day, contribute to low energy, and may even cause you to gain weight. Make it a point to set up a sleep routine to prepare your body for rest each night. Limit phone and computer usage to cut down on blue light, and try to get into the routine of doing something relaxing, such as reading, listening to music, or journaling before bed.

Is Ozempic just not working anymore?

If you’re noticing that you’ve been gaining weight (or haven’t been losing weight) this doesn’t mean that Ozempic is not working. People who are taking Ozempic should know that even after they hit their goal weight, they may still need to stay on the drug or risk gaining the weight back that they’ve lost.

There are also a minority of folks who do not see weight loss and gain weight on Ozempic, even after diet and lifestyle changes. You will need to speak to your doctor if you think this is your situation. They may prescribe a higher dose of semaglutide that can be found in Wegovy, which is FDA approved for weight loss instead of blood sugar management.

Additionally, you may have reached a weight loss plateau. This occurs when your body adjusts to the medication you’ve been taking, and you find it increasingly difficult to lose additional weight. Speak with your healthcare provider about strategies you can employ to lose those stubborn pounds. They may have a specific supplement that you can include into your routine, or they may recommend intensifying your physical activity. 

How can you speed up your Ozempic weight loss?

The best ways to ensure you start losing weight on Ozempic

wonderslim meal shake box
Meal replacement shakes are an easy way to stay full and keep your body nourished. Image courtesy of Diet Direct

One of the best ways to speed up (or kick start) your weight loss journey on Ozempic is to make sure you’re fueling your body with what it needs. You’ll want to speak to your doctor or dietician and set up a plan of what you’ll be consuming on a daily basis. A great way to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need, and consuming less calories in the process, is with a meal replacement shake like WonderSlim. These delicious shakes come in 8 fantastic flavors (plus a variety pack) and include 15 grams of calcium caseinate protein. This slow to digest protein is designed to keep you feeling fuller for longer, but it also contributes to muscle recovery and boosts muscle mass.

You’ll love that these meal replacement shakes also contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 100 calories per serving, and 4 grams or less of fiber. You can choose to replace a meal with these shakes, or enjoy them as a healthy snack during the day. Incorporating meal replacement shakes when you’re taking Ozempic is a great way to ensure you have a convenient way to nourish your body, and ensure you’re on your way to losing weight. 

There are a few other things you can do to put yourself on the path to success in your weight loss journey:

  • Make fitness a fun part of your day and enjoy a variety of physical activities.
  • Be mindful of certain foods that can cause digestive issues (and are high in calories) such as fried foods and red meat.
  • Manage stress with mindful activities or hobbies.
  • Seek out support from friends, family, and support groups.
  • Embrace progress, not perfection!

If you’re gaining weight on Ozempic, speak to your doctor

If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau or are starting to gain weight on this medication, make sure  you speak to your doctor. They can create a customized plan to overcome this obstacle and get you on your way to losing weight.