- Some people experience weight loss right away while taking Saxenda, however, most people see results after several weeks.
- There may be several reasons why you are not losing weight while taking Saxenda, such as your food choices, activity level, personal genetics, and lifestyle habits.
- While taking Saxenda, it is a good idea to incorporate foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to help you feel full throughout the day.
Saxenda is an injectable GLP-1 medication that can help people reach their weight management goals. The medication is designed for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater who also have a medical condition related to weight or for people with a BMI of 30 or greater.
While many people lose weight with Saxenda, the results do not typically start right away.
It is key to remember that the weight loss process is very individualized. Several factors affect a person’s ability to lose weight. Saxenda is a tool that should be used alongside lifestyle and dietary changes.
In this article, you’ll learn how long it typically takes to start seeing results while taking Saxenda, why you may not be losing weight, why you may be gaining weight and several alternative options to Saxenda.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight on Saxenda?
Before jumping into why you may not be losing weight on Saxenda, let’s first look at what research says regarding how quickly you can expect to see results.
When you first start taking Saxenda, your doctor will most likely start you on a small dose. Over the next several weeks, they may increase the dose until you reach the full maintenance dose. The purpose of this is to allow your body to adjust to Saxenda and decrease side effects.
Because of this, you may not experience the full effect of Saxenda’s benefits for several weeks. However, you may start to feel the appetite-suppressant effects right away.
One study measured the weight loss results of 115 people four months after they started taking Saxenda. Results showed an average loss of 9.2% of their initial starting weight.
According to drugs.com, you may see weight loss between weeks two and four. Some people lose between 2%–4% of their body weight during this time. However, most weight loss results start after the eighth week.
Why Aren’t I Losing Weight on Saxenda?
Each person is unique and has different factors affecting their ability to lose weight. However, there are some key principles you’ll want to follow if you are trying to lose weight with Saxenda.
- Inject the medication at the same time each day: Saxenda is a medication you take as a daily injection. Choose a time that is easy to remember and convenient so that you can stick to your schedule. You can take Saxenda with food or on an empty stomach.
- Eat a nourishing diet: When planning your meals and snacks, choose foods that give you energy, protein, and fiber. If you find it difficult to craft a balanced meal, make an appointment with a Nourish dietitian who can help.
- Exercise regularly: Try to get about 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week. These activities may include brisk walking, water aerobics, bike riding, and playing tennis.
- Give it time to work: Because it typically takes several weeks to work up to the goal dose, give your body time to adjust to Saxenda. Have the reasonable expectation that it takes several weeks before you start seeing results.
- You’ve reached a plateau: The process of weight management goes through several cycles. If you initially lost weight when taking Saxenda but have now stopped, you may be in a plateau stage. By working with a professional dietitian from Nourish, a personalized eating plan that supports your weight management goals can be developed.
- Know that you are unique: Each person’s body loses weight differently. Several factors affecting your ability to lose weight include your family genes, age, gender, daily stress level, and sleep quality. While you can’t change some of those factors, you can take steps to decrease stress and make sure you get enough sleep at night.
Also, remember to measure the non-scale victories. How do you feel? Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? Is your mind more clear? Inner changes are just as important, if not more important, than numbers on the scale.
While you may not have reached your weight management goal yet, remember that losing 5%–10% of your initial weight can give you amazing health benefits. You may see improvements in your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Why Am I Gaining Weight on Saxenda?
There may be several reasons why you are gaining weight while on Saxenda.
If the majority of your diet comes from eating foods that are high in sugar, saturated fats, and/or highly processed, you may find yourself getting hungry quickly after eating. These ultra-processed foods are low in fiber which is essential for satiety and can lead to a delayed response to fullness cues. They also have a negative impact on blood sugar levels, working against your weight management efforts.
While taking Saxenda, it is a good idea to eat foods that incorporate a well-balanced diet. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains contain fibers and nutrients your body needs to help you feel full throughout the day. Eating these foods helps your body experience the full benefits of Saxenda.
If you have questions about what foods to focus on eating while taking Saxenda, talk with a Nourish dietitian. They can help you choose foods that will help you achieve your weight management goals. Working with your individual needs, they can make a personalized eating plan while you take Saxenda.
Another reason you may be gaining weight on Saxenda is you need more physical activity. Using medication alone is not enough, and getting enough exercise is essential to achieve weight loss results.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests 150 minutes of physical activity each week. While that may sound like a lot, it’s not meant to be done all at once. Spread this time over your whole week. You may have 20 minutes to spend on exercise one day and 30 minutes the next.
Getting in a couple of workouts that include strength training each week is also important. Strength training includes any type of repetition exercise that puts strain on your muscle. This can include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, or using your body weight as resistance, such as doing push-ups or squats.
If you are having trouble getting started, focus on activities that bring you joy, such as dancing, walking your dog, kayaking, or swimming. Begin with 15 minutes and increase as you are able. Remember, some movement is better than no movement.
Correct use of the medication
There is always the possibility that you are using the medication incorrectly. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the proper use of the medication. They can go over the directions and steps you need to take for correct administration.
Weight Management with a Nutritionist
A Nourish dietitian can discuss your weight management goals with you and develop a sustainable, personalized plan. Working with a weight loss dietitian, you can learn ways to improve your eating habits and lose weight. All visits are personally tailored to you through virtual counseling. Nourish services are covered by most insurance providers and are 100% remote.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your health journey, consider booking an appointment with a registered dietitian.
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