Why Am I Not Losing Weight On Ozempic?
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Last Updated on February 12, 2024
As a weight loss surgeon who’s had weight loss surgery, I’ve tried every weight loss touted solution, Ozempic included.
When I talk to my sleeve surgery patients about Ozempic, most of whom have tried it prior to their surgery, the number one question I get is: “Why am I not losing weight on Ozempic?”
Let me lay it out plainly: I’ve lived the Ozempic journey, not just prescribed it. Even on Ozempic, I’ve eventually felt that gnawing hunger, I’ve still had those cravings. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about curbing the appetite. Feeling full doesn’t necessarily switch off the desire to eat more.
Look at it like this – when it comes to being overweight renowned obesity experts are quick to point fingers at faulty appetite regulation. But in my own journey before surgery, even after a satisfying meal, the cravings didn’t pack their bags and leave. The fullness was there, but so was the urge to eat more.
So, where does this leave us? Why don’t many patients see the weight loss they hoped for on Ozempic?
In this article, let’s cut through the clinical chatter and zoom in on the unspoken, the aspects of Ozempic that don’t make it to the headlines. And, spoiler alert, we’ll also be lifting the veil on why sleeve surgery might just be the game-changer you’re looking for when it comes to real, life-changing and sustainable weight loss – it was for me.
- Ozempic Overview: Ozempic, primarily designed for type 2 diabetes, has made headlines for its weight loss potential. Yet, like other medications, it’s effects are often modest success and can come with a range of side effects.
- Beyond Appetite Suppression: While Ozempic does work by mimicking natural appetite-regulating hormones, many patients don’t feel that curbing of appetite and it certainly doesn’t address the deep-rooted causes of obesity. The effects often come with time in my experience.
- Surgical Solution’s Edge: When the goal is transformative, lasting weight loss, weight loss surgery, especially sleeve surgery, proves to be a more encompassing and effective solution compared to medications like Ozempic.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic, or semaglutide, is an injectable prescription medication known for its abilities to manage blood sugar levels and it’s rising in popularity because it offers the side bonus of weight loss.
Engineered to mimic the functions of the natural hormone GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), Ozempic curtails the appetite and slows down the journey of food through the digestive system. Sounds promising, right? But there’s a broader picture to paint here.
Let’s dip into expectations vs. reality for a moment. Clinical trials shower Ozempic with praise, flaunting an average weight loss of around 5-10% of the initial body weight. However, it’s crucial to brace for a reality where scales don’t always tip as dramatically as anticipated.
Navigating the Ozempic journey myself, it wasn’t a complete silencing of hunger. Instead, think of it more as a temporary turning down the volume on your appetite. The cravings? Still there, just a bit softer.
Now, let’s loop Saxenda into the conversation. Similar to Ozempic, Saxenda is another GLP-1 antagonist, working its magic to control appetite and regulate blood sugar levels.
But here’s the kicker – medications like Ozempic and Saxenda are not silver bullets. They are tools, albeit potentially effective, that work in concert with dietary changes, and lifestyle overhaul.
In the winding journey of weight loss, medications are companions, not saviors. They often whisper, not shout.
“Why am I not losing weight on Ozempic?”
Despite Ozempic making waves in the news as a weight loss solution, it’s crucial again to understand its core purpose. Originally developed for Type 2 diabetes, its weight-reducing effect was found to be a welcomed “side-effect.”
While Ozempic might present itself as a tempting solution to weight loss, there are multiple reasons why you’re not losing weight on Ozempic. The crux of the matter is that it fails to address the true causes of obesity. Relying solely on it misses the bigger picture and offers only a temporary solution, not a long-term fix.
To explain this more, let’s look at eight reasons why you’re not losing the weight you expected on Ozempic.
- Unresolved Cravings: Ozempic might suppress appetite, but it doesn’t necessarily eliminate cravings and “emotional eating”. Many patients still battle with the urge to eat, even if they aren’t hungry.
- Dietary and Lifestyle Habits: Although Ozempic can suppress appetite, your food choices and quantities still matter. High-calorie intake versus what’s expended can negate weight loss benefits.
- Temporary Solution: While Ozempic can aid in weight loss, it doesn’t offer a long-term fix to the underlying obesity issue. In fact, if you’re taking Ozempic, stopping it will almost certainly result in weight regain. Sleeve surgery, on the other hand, provides a more comprehensive approach to treating obesity.
- Individual Response Variability: Everyone’s body reacts differently to medications. Some might experience weight loss with Ozempic, while others observe only minor or no effects.
- Inadequate Dosage: Sometimes the effectiveness can be tied to the prescribed dose. If the dosage isn’t in line with the individual’s requirements, the expected weight loss may not materialize.
- Concurrent Medications: Some drugs can counteract Ozempic’s effects or induce weight gain. Always speak to your doctor about all of the medications you’re on.
- Metabolic Adaptations: The body can adjust its metabolic rate in response to reduced calorie intake, which can slow down the weight loss process.
- No Restriction: Unlike sleeve surgery, which addresses both the size of your stomach (how much you can consume) and the critical reduction of the hunger hormone ghrelin (radically reducing your hunger and cravings), Ozempic doesn’t affect the amount that most can eat.
The bottom line is that while Ozempic can assist in weight reduction, numerous factors can influence its effectiveness.
Ozempic vs. Sleeve Surgery: My personal take and the hard facts
Almost every patient I’ve met for a sleeve surgical consultation has, at some point, tried Ozempic – including myself.
When I took Ozempic, I did notice a diminished urge to eat even when I felt full.
But let me put it in clearer terms for you: undergoing sleeve surgery feels like experiencing the effects of Ozempic amplified a thousand times. The transformative power of weight loss surgery, in my experience, far outweighs the temporary suppression Ozempic provides.
Ozempic vs. Surgery: A Pro/Con Analysis from a Surgeon’s Lens
Many turn to Ozempic hoping for a miracle, but often are disappointed when the expected weight loss doesn’t happen. There are various reasons for this – from biological to behavioural. And while Ozempic might offer a modest temporary fix, it’s often not the comprehensive long-term solution many hope for.
Beyond the studies from my own personal journey as a bariatric surgeon who’s had weight loss surgery, I’ve learned that while Ozempic can provide some initial help, the gastric sleeve has the potential for deeper, lasting change. It’s not just about shedding the pounds, it’s about transforming your quality of life.
If you’re thinking about sleeve surgery, here’s some next steps to take:
- Evaluate your eligibility: Take a quick online quiz to see if you qualify for sleeve surgery – How Much Will I lose After Sleeve Surgery? Calculate weight loss
- Seek expert advice: Speak with a Sleeve Clinic Program Advisor
- Become part of our community: Follow The Sleeve Clinic on Instagram
Please note that the information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance regarding weight loss surgery.
If you are considering sleeve surgery you can book a consultation with our weight loss clinic here: Contact us!
- Government of Canada – The supply and use of Ozempic
- Canadian Family Physician – Semaglutide for weight loss
- Diabetes, obesity and metabolism – Effects of once-weekly semaglutide on appetite, energy intake, control of eating, food preference and body weight in subjects with obesity
- JAMA Network Open – Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity
- JAMA Network: Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss