Do You Gain Weight Back if You Stop Semaglutide?
Semaglutide (also known as Ozempic® or Wegovy®) has become more and more popular as a weight loss aid, and many patients wonder what happens if you stop taking it.
While it’s possible to gain weight back after stopping Semaglutide or other GLP-1 agonists, it’s not a guaranteed side effect. We’ll go through how to manage your weight once you stop Semaglutide for the best body composition results.
Should You Stop Semaglutide?
Before we go over how to stop taking Semaglutide, let’s discuss whether it’s necessary.
Semaglutide is a prescription that can manage blood sugar and support metabolic health. It mimics the effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is responsible for regulating the production of insulin and glucagon. Together, these hormones are responsible for controlling blood sugar levels.
Because of its effects, Semaglutide can be a useful medication for maintaining metabolic health over time. It’s also a treatment for type-2 diabetes, which requires ongoing treatment to continue working.
Those who struggle with obesity, diabetes, and metabolic disease may benefit from being on Semaglutide long-term. In that case, patients would not stop taking Semaglutide, even once they hit their weight loss goals.
On the other hand, patients seeking a shorter-term weight loss aid may want to stop Semaglutide after reaching their goal weight.
We recommend discussing your unique circumstances with your doctor to see which option is best for you. Semaglutide care plans should be individualized based on the patient’s ongoing needs.
Weight Gain After Stopping Semaglutide
Regardless of whether you take Semaglutide, any weight loss plan can lead to rebound weight gain.
That’s because when you’re on a diet, your body adjusts to the new lifestyle, which typically includes a healthy diet, calorie restriction, and exercise.
If you simply go back to your previous lifestyle, you may gain weight as a consequence. That’s why weight loss should be a long-term lifestyle change and not just a short-term goal.
Hunger Cravings and Weight Gain
Your body has natural responses to losing weight. Medical support is helpful with weight loss and weight management because it addresses some of these effects.
When your body goes into a calorie deficit to burn fat, it will release less of the hormone leptin, which signals that your body is satiated. It will also increase the production of ghrelin, the hormone that tells your body it needs to eat.
These signals can be difficult to deal with on your own. Medications like Semaglutide act as an appetite suppressant to help you manage cravings and stick to your diet.
If you move away from a calorie-restricted diet and stop Semaglutide, you may begin listening to your hunger signals again. If so, you’ll eat more calories than you burn and begin to regain weight.
That’s why it’s important to continue monitoring your diet and making healthy choices even after you reach your goal weight.
It’s also important to avoid overeating because you feel like you’re now “allowed to” eat foods or quantities you couldn’t before. Your long-term diet should be something that you can maintain indefinitely.
Ongoing Exercise for Weight Management
It’s crucial to continue exercising even after you’ve reached your goal weight.
Physical activity is not just a weight loss tool—it’s important in keeping your body healthy. Exercise supports cardiovascular health, metabolism, cognition, and more, plus it reduces the risk of many chronic conditions.
According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle can raise the risk of death via noncommunicable diseases like heart disease by 20-30%. Exercise can reverse these effects.
There’s evidence to suggest that regular exercise also makes long-term weight maintenance easier. Exercise shows promise in preventing weight regain and managing appetite, which can help you maintain your weight long-term.
How to Start Weight Management
As we mentioned above, food cravings and lack of exercise can cause negative lifestyle shifts that lead to weight gain. It’s common for patients to shift back into these habits after they’ve stopped trying to lose weight.
To preserve your hard work and keep your weight steady, you should continue to engage in healthy habits – otherwise known as moving into your weight management phase.
Defy Medical offers weight loss and weight management support.
Our providers can work with you to find solutions that help you manage the effects of stopping Semaglutide and starting the weight management phase of your plan.
For example, you may want to try lipotropic supplements that help burn fat, or switch to another appetite suppressant medication as your body adjusts to getting off Semaglutide (as appropriate).
Working with a provider also helps ensure that you stay on top of your body composition, so you realize quickly if you start to gain weight. If you notice the extra pounds and work with your provider to adjust, you’re more likely to see positive results over time.
Many people regain weight a little at a time, and they don’t catch it because they’re no longer monitoring their weight.
Weight Loss and Weight Management with Defy Medical
Weight loss is complex, and it requires a multi-faceted approach. GLP-1 agonists like Semaglutide are a great tool to help, but patients should have a weight management plan if or when they decide to stop taking it.
Defy Medical offers comprehensive weight loss and weight management tools to help you reach your goals and preserve your progress. Our care team believes it’s just as important to help patients maintain their weight as it is to help them lose weight in the first place.
We provide our weight management consultations via telemedicine, with medications and supplements delivered to your door (if prescribed).
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