how fast does semaglutide work for weight loss

How Fast Does Semaglutide Work for Weight Loss?

Planning a weight loss journey can be exciting, but it’s important to set realistic goals and expectations with your efforts. It will make your journey more enjoyable and keep you going in the long run. 

However, in the quest to lose weight faster, many people try dangerous hacks or fad diets. It’s understandable since their enthusiasm majorly depends on how quickly they start to lose those extra pounds. 

Semaglutide, a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, is now becoming quite popular for weight loss. It stole the limelight when its manufacturer reported weight loss properties in clinical trials. The rate was surprisingly higher than other weight loss drugs!

Let’s find out how fast Semaglutide works for weight loss. 

What Is Semaglutide?

What Is Semaglutide

Semaglutide belongs to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1s). This drug class is known as the human GLP-1 hormone’s manufactured forms with 94% sequence homology. The GLP-1 hormone is released when food is consumed and enters the gastrointestinal tract.

In fact, Semaglutide is the first GLP-1 medication that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for weight loss management. 

It comes under the brand names Wegovy, Rybelsus, and Ozempic. It is primarily an antidiabetic medication prescribed for treating type 2 diabetes. Many doctors recommend Wegovy to treat chronic weight loss and obesity, as it is more potent than other variants.

The best way to consume Semaglutide for weight loss is by pairing it with exercise. 

How Does Semaglutide Work?

Our body naturally has GLP-1 to maintain optimal glucose levels, improve metabolism, and support healthy weight loss. Semaglutide works similarly to the GLP-1. 

Although the exact way GLP-1 works for weight loss is unknown, it’s believed that this hormone delays gastric emptying and reduces food intake. Thus, it helps in losing body weight significantly. 

Semaglutide poses similar effects, but it may also impact brain functioning that controls appetite. 

How Much Weight Can You Lose with Semaglutide?

Generally, the average weight you can lose with FDA-approved weight management medications ranges between 5% to 10%. This percentage varies from person to person, depending on age, gender, lifestyle, etc. 

STEP clinical trials found that semaglutide can cause around 15% of weight loss. The first STEP study involved 1,961 overweight or obese adults who were randomly administered semaglutide and placebo for 17 months. The results were quite surprising!

The group receiving semaglutide showed a massive weight loss of 14.9% on average from the baseline weight of 231 lbs. Comparatively, the placebo group showed around 2.4% of weight change. 

The semaglutide group reported 33 lbs of weight loss, while the placebo group showed only 6 lbs of difference.

In the STEP 2 study, the researchers gathered obese adults with type 2 diabetes. The group receiving semaglutide and practicing lifestyle changes reported an average weight loss of 9.6% from the baseline weight within 17 months. On the other hand, the placebo group showed only a 3.4% change. 

The STEP 5 study included obese adults without diabetes but with one weight-related issue. The semaglutide group reported an average weight loss of 15.2% from baseline to week 104. Meanwhile, the placebo group showed only 2.6% of weight change.

These studies show that semaglutide is effective for weight loss, making a significant impact on the participants’ overall body weight. 

How Fast Does Semaglutide Work for Weight Loss?

Now let’s discuss the very question you’re here for, “How fast does semaglutide show its magic?” There is no exact or “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question since weight loss varies from person to person.

On average, semaglutide takes around three days to reach its maximum concentration and kick off its effects in the human body. 

In the above STEP clinical trials, the participants experience results within the first few weeks of the treatment. The changes in the first study started to appear after randomization at week four, continuing till 68 weeks.

The Safe Dosage and Administration of Semaglutide

Semaglutide should be administered once a week on the same day. The right dosage is around 0.25 mg once weekly as an initial dose. This amount should be maintained for at least four weeks. 

Once your body gets habitual to the dose, you can increase it to 2.4 mg once a week. This is also the ideal maintenance dose for adults. You can consume this medication any time of the day before or after meals. 

If you forget to intake semaglutide as scheduled, you can still consume it if the next week’s dosage is two days away. However, you should skip the medicine if your next scheduled dose is less than two days away. In this case, simply skip the dose and continue it regularly the next week.

If you are experiencing specific side effects with semaglutide intake, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. They may find the best and safest dose for you by delaying its escalation for the next four weeks. 

If you still can’t tolerate the new dose, stop consuming it right away,

Safety Considerations with Semaglutide

While semaglutide offers exceptional weight loss benefits, it can also cause some side effects. These can be minor or severe, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Belching
  • Abdominal distension
  • Hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes
  • Flatulence

FDA has also issued safety warnings for semaglutide for thyroid C-cell tumors. Some other side effects include acute gallbladder disease, acute kidney injury, hypersensitivity reactions, eye complications, and increased heart rate. 

How to Consume Semaglutide Safely?

You can avoid many side effects of semaglutide by consuming it safely. For that, you should try making some lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Take a balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Eliminate or cut down sugar and processed snacks from your routine.
  • You should stay active through regular workouts, dancing, swimming, hiking, and walking. 
  • Maintain a healthy sleep cycle of around 7 to 9 hours to support healthy weight loss.
  • Stay positive and celebrate small differences in your weight.

Practicing the above tips will help you administer semaglutide safely, minimizing the risks for potential side effects. 

Semaglutide for Weight Loss: Key Takeaway

Semaglutide is an FDA-approved medication for weight loss and management. It can make up to 15% of change in your body weight, which is way higher than other weight loss drugs.

To get the best benefits from semaglutide, consume it within the dosage prescribed by your doctor. You may experience a few side effects if you go too overboard with its consumption. 

Don’t include any medication in your diet without consulting a professional healthcare provider. They will take a comprehensive analysis of your body condition and suggest you the correct dosage accordingly. 

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