Why am I not losing weight on Wegovy?

Wondering why the popular weight loss drug Wegovy is not having its desired effect? Here are a number of reasons why the medication may not be working
Team Habitual
min read
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Quick summary

By now, you’ve most likely heard of Wegovy. Wegovy is a name given to the drug semaglutide, a GLP-1 analog, which has become a particularly popular medication for weight loss. For many, it has proved a highly effective way for reaching a healthy target weight: for some, however, achieving sustained weight loss even using the medication has proved difficult. 

Here are some of the reasons why Wegovy may not be having its desired effect.

You’re not maintaining a healthy diet

One of the most important things to remember if you are interested in taking Wegovy for weight loss is that the medication itself isn’t a magic pill. You have to be prepared to make holistic changes to your lifestyle in order to see the full effects of the drug on your weight. 

This starts with implementing a healthy diet. It is strongly recommended to combine any course of weight loss medication with a well-rounded, nutritious diet. This means packing your meals full of vegetables, complex carbohydrates (wholegrains, etc.), and cutting out unhealthy foods like processed food and simple carbohydrates (sugar, etc). 

This is why you’ll find that if you get a prescription to Wegovy through the NHS, you’ll be referred to a specialist weight management programme which will give you support in implementing and maintaining a healthy diet. If you are getting Wegovy privately, like through Habitual, you can get diet support through their app and peer support channels. 

You’re not accompanying it with an exercise regime

Undergoing significant lifestyle changes doesn’t stop at your diet—it also extends to how much you are exercising. One reason why you might not be seeing the desired effects of Wegovy is that you are not sticking to a comprehensive schedule of exercise

So how much should you be exercising? The recommended weekly amount is 2hr30, or typically 30 mins for five days. This is not a hard and fast rule, but is a good level to aspire to. 

The key to any good exercise regime is variety. Don’t spend all your time doing the same activity, as you’ll likely get bored of it very quickly. Instead, shake things up—go for a run, play sports, do a dance workout, and so on. You can even try and build exercise into different parts of your day—walk up the stairs instead of taking a lift, for example. 

You’re not sticking to the medication schedule

It may sound obvious, but one of the reasons why you may not be losing weight through taking Wegovy is that you’ve deviated from the recommended medication schedule, or you’ve stopped altogether. 

Wegovy is meant to be taken once a week. If you miss a dose, then the concentration of semaglutide in your body will decrease, meaning the weight loss effects may be delayed. If you do miss a dose, try and take another dose as soon as possible, as long as the next dose is at least 48 hours away. 

There may be a number of reasons why you stop taking Wegovy altogether—such as experiencing negative side effects that have caused you to pause your medication. That said, if you do stop taking Wegovy, you will stop seeing the positive effects as well as the negative ones. Many people even regain weight once they stop their medication.

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You’re not increasing the titration of each dosage

As you follow a course of medication for Wegovy, the titration of each dose will increase as the weeks go by. For weeks 1 to 4 this is 0.25mg, then 0.5mg for weeks 5 to 8, then 1mg for weeks 9 to 12, 1.7mg for weeks 13 to 17, then remaining at 2.4mg (the maximum concentration) from then onwards. [1]

The reason for this is that the maximum concentration is the most effective, yet it can induce some of the more adverse side effects if it's taken straight away. Most prescribers, like Habitual, recommend a gradual increase of titration to give your body time to adjust. 

If you do not increase titration, however, you may not experience the same desired weight loss. So ensure that, if the side effects allow it, you follow the recommended schedule of increase. 

You may be a ‘non-responder’

In a trial into the effectiveness of semaglutide, 86.4% lost at least 5% of their body weight—the benchmark for effectiveness. That means that 13.6% didn’t see the desired result, and are considered ‘non-responders’. [2]

For certain people, weight loss medication may just not be as, if at all, effective as for others. While there is no exact cause for this, there is a complexity of issues that mean that individuals may not be as responsive as others to semaglutide. This may include comorbidities to obesity, other metabolic factors, and even psychosocial issues. [3]

It is fairly likely that these will be issues that you cannot control. This reflects a broader truth about weight loss medications—you shouldn’t consider these your only option. Any effective weight loss requires sustained efforts from all aspects of your lifestyle, with medication supporting this. 

How Habitual can help

Lifestyle changes are key to sustained weight loss. A healthy balanced diet and regular exercise need to form part of your approach alongside taking Mounjaro. Habitual make create positive habits easier with daily tracking and motivation, a progress dashboard, 1:1 patient support, peer support groups, expert-written content, recipes, and rewards. View our plans to learn more.


[1] Wegovy dosing schedule for adults. Wegovy, retrieved September 22nd 2023. Accessible here

[2] Wilding, J., Batterham, R., Calanna, S., et al (2021). Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity, N Engl J Med 2021; 384:989-1002. Accessible here

[3] Weight-loss drugs don't work for everyone. Here's why, Advisory Board, retrieved September 22nd 2023. Accessible here

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