Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda? The image shows two Saxenda pens and a person on a weigh scale.

Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda?

July 28. 2023

Like with any other health condition, individuals with obesity sometimes need the help of prescription medications to attain weight loss. People have different options today – from classic appetitive suppressants, such as Phentermine for weight loss, to agonist receptor medications like Saxenda. Saxenda is an obesity-control medication that promotes body weight reduction by activating a hormone that acts on our gut and the hunger area of the brain. Sometimes, when people start using this highly efficient drug and don’t see the expected results, they question: Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda?

Being on a medical weight loss program and not experiencing weight loss is nothing but frustrating. The reasons why this could be happening are many, from underlying medical conditions to lifestyle habits that sabotage your best efforts. In this article, our weight loss clinic in Chicago will explore the possible reasons why you are not losing weight while on Saxenda.

How Saxenda works for weight loss

To understand the problem behind your question – “Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda?” – we will start by explaining how this medication works. Learning how Saxenda promotes weight loss will make it easier for you to spot what could be going wrong in your journey.

The pharmaceutical Novo Nordisk manufactures Saxenda, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-obesity drug. It can be prescribed to adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (obesity) or individuals with a BMI of 27 or higher (overweight) who also have a weight-related condition. This medication is also safe for teenagers aged 12-17 who have obesity.

Saxenda’s active ingredient is liraglutide, which activates a gut hormone known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This hormone receptor’s agonists are also part of other successful weight-loss medications such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and retatrutide. Therefore, the mechanisms of action of these drugs are very similar. GLP-1 targets the hunger center of the brain, also known as the hypothalamus. Then, the hypothalamus signals our bodies that we are already full and no longer require food. That signal has an instant appetitive suppressant effect, which allows the patient to reduce their daily calorie intake.

GLP-1 also increases insulin secretion while reducing glucagon production, lowering blood sugar levels, and creating a slow gastric emptying effect. Gastric emptying is the process of food intake leaving your stomach; when food remains in your stomach for longer, you will feel less hungry and more full after eating.

Does Saxenda work immediately?

When you begin a medical weight loss program, you are likely eager to start seeing results as soon as possible. However, it would help if you remembered that losing body weight tends to be a slow process that can take some time. With the boost of medications such as Saxenda, you can speed up that process and get better results in a shorter period. Nevertheless, Saxenda or other weight management drugs, such as Ozempic weight loss, don’t work overnight.

When you start taking Saxenda, you will begin the treatment with the lowest possible dose. That low-dose term is known as the titration period, which is the process of safely introducing your body to a new drug. You will likely not lose weight while on this low dosage, but this step is necessary because it allows your body to adapt to the medication. If you skip this process, you may develop too many side effects, making the medication intolerable. Common side effects of Saxenda include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, mild stomach pain, tiredness, and headaches. Most people experience these side effects when their healthcare providers increase their dosage.

When will I start losing weight with Saxenda?

Often, new patients ask: How long does Ozempic take to work? We always tell them that the answer varies from one person to another; not two weight loss journeys look the same. A patient’s starting point, medical conditions, eating habits, and other lifestyle factors can influence how fast weight loss medications take to promote weight loss.

How fast will you start seeing results with Saxenda? Understandably, this question is on every patient’s mind when starting the Saxenda treatment. Generally speaking – when the patient combines the medication with healthy habit changes – they start seeing substantial results 8 weeks into the program. Some individuals experience some weight loss 2 weeks after they start taking Saxenda. You should remember that you will be on a low dose in the first weeks of the treatment. So if you are still not losing weight during the first month, that is totally normal and expected. As you continue taking the medication on schedule and commit to a healthy diet, you will gradually start seeing weight loss progress.

Does everyone on Saxenda lose weight?

Saxenda is a highly efficient anti-obesity medication and one of the few FDA-approved weight management drugs. That means this medication’s efficacy levels are high; almost every individual experiences substantial body weight reduction when on Saxenda. People on liraglutide lose an average of 6.4% of their body weight within approximately 12 weeks of taking the highest possible dosage.

But since no two bodies are the same, some people may not lose weight while on this weight loss drug. That could happen because their bodies do not react to Saxenda as they should. While rare, that could happen; you can ask your doctor about switching weight loss medications in such cases. For example, some individuals find switching from Ozempic to Mounjaro helpful in achieving their weight loss goals.

Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda?

Saxenda is a powerful weight loss tool; not losing weight while on this drug can be due to several reasons. Are you wondering Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda? Here are the most common reasons why you may not be experiencing weight loss while taking this medication:

Poor eating habits

Saxenda works by reducing appetite, which along with a low-calorie diet, leads to substantial body weight reduction. But if the patient indulges in unhealthy foods, such as sweet treats and greasy fast food, weight loss will be challenging to attain. It doesn’t mean you must give up on all the foods you love, but following a healthy diet will make all the difference. Some individuals resort to fasting benefits by hour to enhance Saxenda’s weight loss effect. You can discuss with your healthcare provider which is the best meal plan or strategy to follow in order to achieve better results.

Lack of physical activity

In addition to a proper diet, regular exercise is necessary for Saxenda to support your weight loss journey. To achieve a calorie deficit, you need to burn more calories than you consumed during the day. You only achieve that by staying active. For those who are not gym fans, you can try other activities such as sports, running, cycling, or Zumba classes. There is no recipe you must follow; as long as you keep moving, you will start seeing results.

You reached a weight loss plateau

The process of losing weight is often not a straight path. Perhaps you started losing substantial weight with Saxenda, but now you stopped. That could be because you have reached a weight loss plateau. There are several ways to break a weight loss plateau; we recommend you talk with a dietitian and work on a personalized diet plan that supports your goals.

Medications interactions

Saxenda interacts with several medications; other drugs can affect how this weight loss medication work and decrease its effectiveness. Talk with your doctor if you are on any other medication or before starting a new drug while on Saxenda.

Getting better results with Saxenda

As explained above, the Saxenda and retatrutide mechanism of action support weight loss by lowering blood sugar levels and promoting appetite suppression. This weight management medication doesn’t directly target and burn your fat stores. However, decreased appetite will allow you to stick to a low-calorie diet or make it easy to practice fasting. If you are trying to lose weight, you can only meet that goal by reaching a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit happens when you consume fewer calories a day than the ones you are burning through resting energy expenditure or physical activity.

Most people encounter the same blockage when trying to reach a calorie deficit: they can’t reduce their food intake. Saxenda helps individuals overcome this obstacle, but this weight-loss medication can only take you halfway there. You must complete the process by starting a healthy diet, performing regular physical activity, and committing to other long-term healthy habit changes. If you wonder why am I not losing weight on Ozempic or Saxenda? Not leading a healthier lifestyle is typically the reason.

To get even better results with Saxenda, you must also ensure you are following the treatment precisely as your healthcare provider prescribed. It is crucial you take the medication every day and at the same time each day. You also must take the correct dose, and we recommend you stay in close contact with your doctor during the treatment.

Final thoughts

Are you wondering Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda? In this article, we mentioned the most common reasons behind Saxenda not giving you efficient results. Those reasons are mostly related to lifestyle habits you must acquire to reduce body weight. With the help of a professional team, you can overcome these roadblocks and enjoy a smooth path toward your weight loss goals. Do you need assistance on your weight loss journey? Schedule a call with our team; we can help you develop your ideal plan.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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