Keeping Weight Off After Wegovy®

Keeping Weight Off After Wegovy®

Congratulations if you have managed to lose weight with Wegovy! 

But now, if you’re thinking about stopping the medication, or you need to stop taking it, you might worry about gaining the weight all back. It’s tough seeing people regain weight after stopping Wegovy.

However, here is the good news: keeping off the weight you have lost—or even shedding more—is doable!

How Wegovy Works

Understanding how Wegovy works can give you an insight into how to keep the weight off. 

This medication works by mimicking the action of a hormone you produce in your gut and your brain called GLP-1.

GLP-1 helps you lose weight by:

  • Increasing satiety (making you feel full)
  • Reducing hunger
  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Reducing cravings 

So, you will be looking for natural ways to keep these effects going. 

What Happens After You Stop Taking Wegovy?

Many People Regain Weight

According to the STEP I study, participants regained 11.6% of the 17.3% of their total weight loss in the year after stopping the medication. The good news is that they kept down an average of 5.6% of their initial body weight. 

A recent study gives a more hopeful scenario, suggesting that 56.2% of patients maintained the weight loss or even lost more. However, this study was not conducted as strictly. 

It’s important to acknowledge that weight regain is not exclusive to GLP-1 meds. People who lose weight through nutrition and lifestyle changes and bariatric surgery can also experience weight regain.

Body Composition Will Likely Change

The worst part about regaining the weight is that what you gain back is likely to consist mostly of fat. But the weight you lose is both fat and muscle. 

This means that if you regain weight, your body is likely to look very different from the way it did before you lost weight—and not in a good way. 

What’s more, when you have more fat and less muscle, it’s easier to gain weight. 

For these reasons, I advise my patients to start creating nutrition and lifestyle habits from the first day they start taking the medication and to do strength training workouts to maintain as much muscle mass as possible.

Keeping Weight Off After Wegovy®

Create Sustainable Healthy Nutrition and Weight Loss Habits

Weight loss medications make eating less much easier and people can lose weight without truly changing their eating habits. But once the medication is gone, and the appetite returns, they will go back to eating the same portion sizes as they ate before, leading to weight gain. 

Good habits make it much easier to resist temptation.

So, it’s essential that you use the time you are on the medication to make good changes to your habits. But it’s never too late to start creating good habits.

Keeping weight off after Wegovy-

Tips to Decrease Hunger

Prioritize Protein

Protein has many benefits for weight loss but one of the most important aspects is that it helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time, which is what Wegovy does. 

Prioritize protein

When you start your meal and fill up on eating protein and veggies, there is also less room for higher-calorie foods. 

Protein helps to maintain your muscle mass too, and the more muscle and less fat you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. 

Lastly, it takes more energy to process protein in your body, leaving you with fewer net calories than other macronutrients. 

Follow a Diet High in Fiber

Remember, we are looking to get you satisfied with less food and fuller for more hours after eating. 

Fiber does just that. This nutrient takes longer to digest, leaving you feeling satisfied for much longer. 

Also, adding high-fiber foods to your meals can make healthy food more appealing and satisfying; making it easier for you to feel satisfied with fewer calories each meal. 

Foods high in fiber include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. 

Aim to eat from 25 to 38 grams of fiber per day

Add Volume to Your Meals

Adding volume to your meals is easy by adding high-fiber, low-calorie foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These foods are high in nutrients but lower in calories; especially vegetables. 

Start by filling half of your plate with a variety of colorful vegetables, which can be steamed, roasted, or raw in salads. Or you can also create dishes, like stir-fry or vegetable soup. 

Including whole fruits rather than fruit juices can also enhance meal volume. Whole grains and legumes such as beans, garbanzos, quinoa, help with satiety and provide additional protein. 

Eat Healthy Fats in Moderation

Healthy fat can help with weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness. Meals and snacks that include healthy fats, like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, are more satisfying and keep you feeling full longer compared to low-fat options. 

These fats also help regulate hormones related to appetite and metabolism. 

Healthy fats can help support your weight loss efforts, just remember to keep portions small, as they are high in calories. 

Tips to Decrease Cravings

Sleep Enough

Getting sufficient sleep naturally regulates hunger and appetite by balancing key hormones, reducing cravings for unhealthy foods, and helping to regulate insulin. 

Moreover, after a good night’s sleep, you are more likely to exercise. 

Limit Sweets and Sugary Drinks

Eating or drinking sugar tends to lead to more cravings. When you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar level increases fast, causing a quick release of insulin to bring it back down.

This drop in blood sugar can leave you feeling tired and wanting more sugar to feel better.

Limit sweets

Furthermore, sugary foods don’t keep you full for long, so you end up craving more. Also, eating large amounts of sugar can make your brain want more sugar, creating a cycle of cravings. 

Tips to Help You Make Better Choices

Meal Planning and Prepping

Planning and preparing your meals in advance can be very helpful for weight loss by ensuring you have healthy, portion-controlled meals convenient and ready to eat. 

Planning your meals in advance helps you make better food choices and avoid last-minute unhealthy choices.

If you want to go a step further, you can prepare your meals in advance too.  

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating, or the practice of being mindful about what, when, and how you eat, has many benefits for weight management. This practice can improve the quality of your diet, and help you control your portions based on your internal hunger and satiety cues. 

The practice of mindful eating can also help manage uncontrolled eating patterns, impulsivity, and emotional eating. 

Hopefully, you can start this practice while taking semaglutide, as it’s an excellent complement to this medication. But anytime is a good time to start practicing. 

Get your mindful eating checklist here. 

Let Go the All-or-Nothing Attitude

The all-or-nothing attitude is one of the worst enemies of weight loss. 

Hopefully, semaglutide has helped you develop a more consistent eating pattern and to avoid overeating in the days leading up to the start of a “new diet”.  You know the scenario: that extra slice of pizza or cake because you plan to start the diet “on Monday.”

Keep up Your Exercise Routine

Nothing helps prevent weight regain like exercise. 

Physical activity helps to burn calories and maintain muscle mass, which is important to keep your metabolism high and prevent weight regain. 

Beyond that, exercise can help improve mood, energy levels, and stress management, which can influence eating habits and weight management.

How Long Can You Stay on Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is known as a long-term medication, and those who consistently use it find it easier to maintain weight loss. 

Nevertheless, there are many reasons why you might choose to continue or discontinue this medication.

The Bottom Line

The best way to maintain weight loss is to create healthy eating and exercise habits—simple, solid nutrition and exercise habits. 

You can do it, just believe in yourself! 

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