How much weight can you lose on Ozempic?

Raagini Yedidi, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Raagini Yedidi, MD, 

Raagini Yedidi, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Raagini Yedidi, MD, 

last updated: Jun 12, 2024

5 min read

Key takeaways

  • Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription injectable medication that’s FDA-approved for diabetes and often prescribed off-label for weight management. 

  • In clinical trials, people taking Ozempic have lost an average of 13–15 pounds in the first 10 months of taking the medication.

  • How much weight you lose on Ozempic can depend on a range of factors, including dosage, lifestyle modifications, and others.

Since Ozempic became a popular off-label option for people trying to lose weight, there have been dramatic reports from patients about their impressive weight loss while using the medication and others like it. But just how much weight can you lose on Ozempic, actually? 

Ahead, we answer that question and dig deeper how to maximize weight loss on Ozempic depending on your goals.

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How much weight can you lose on Ozempic?

In clinical trials of Ozempic, which is one brand-name version of the drug semaglutide, 37–66% of people lost at least 5% of their body weight and 13–26% of people lost at least 10% of their body weight while taking the medication. Meanwhile, another story found that people lost an average of 13–15 pounds in the first 10 months of taking the drug. Although these findings are impressive, how much weight you can lose on Ozempic is different for everyone. 

Factors that affect how much weight you can lose on Ozempic include whether or not you have type 2 diabetes, the dose, your weight upon starting the drug, and whether or not you implement lifestyle modifications (e.g. diet, exercise).

People who have type 2 diabetes, for example, tend to lose less weight when treated with semaglutide than people without the condition. Also, the amount of weight a person loses while using Ozempic tends to be dose-dependent. In another trial, participants on lower doses lost less weight than participants using increasingly higher doses. Typically, when starting Ozempic and similar medications, healthcare providers will have patients begin on lower doses and slowly titrate up to minimize side effects from the drug.

All in all, Ozempic and other semaglutide meds produce significantly more weight loss than diet and exercise alone. In one study comparing semaglutide vs. a placebo, those who took the placebo lost less than 4% of their body weight during a period of 68 weeks. Whether you are taking Ozempic to manage type 2 diabetes, weight, or both, it’s important to remember that the medication is most effective when combined with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.

How much weight can you lose in a month on Ozempic? 

Ozempic starts working as soon as you start taking the medication. For some people, that means they start seeing the pounds melt away fairly quickly.

“In the primary study of semaglutide for obesity, people lost weight as early as 4 weeks, about an average of 2% or 4.4 pounds,” says Beverly Tchang, MD, Ro advisor and assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. “However, the first 4 weeks uses the lowest starting dose of semaglutide, 0.25 mg, which does not induce significant weight loss in many people. So, if you don't see weight loss in the first 4 weeks, that can be normal too.”

How does Ozempic work?

Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, a type of medication that mimics the GLP-1 hormone naturally found in the gut. Meaning, it binds to GLP-1 receptors and encourages the pancreas to release more insulin after you eat, which helps lower and stabilize blood sugar levels. Ozempic also positively impacts blood sugar levels by inhibiting the production of glucagon (a hormone that makes you feel hungry). 

Although these effects make Ozempic an effective medication for type 2 diabetes, stabilizing blood sugar isn’t all the drug can do. As a GLP-1, Ozempic slows down gastric emptying, so it takes longer for food to leave the stomach and enter the small intestine. Because of this slowed-down, people taking the medication may feel full sooner and stop eating, which can contribute to weight loss. There’s also evidence that Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists like it have an effect on the parts of your brain involved in regulating your appetite, suppressing appetite and increasing satiety (fullness). 

How to maximize weight loss on Ozempic?

There are several things people can do to maximize weight loss on Ozempic, from adapting certain lifestyle changes to addressing underlying health issues.

As is the case for achieving weight loss goals sans-medication, your diet can play an important role in how much weight you can lose on Ozempic. And while nothing is “off limits,” there are certain foods and drinks you might want to limit to help reduce digestive side effects and promote weight loss. 

Fried, greasy foods, for example, can cause gastrointestinal upset on their own. Add into the mix Ozempic, whose side effects are largely stomach-related, and you may increase your odds of experiencing nausea, bloating, and gas. These foods also tend to be high in calories and trans fats, with research linking fried food intake to obesity. 

Sugary foods and beverages, such as soda and candy, can lead to overeating and weight gain, according to research. They can also pose additional problems for those working to manage diabetes, as sugar quickly spikes blood sugar levels and can make it hard to manage these levels. This can counteract the potential effects of Ozempic.   

When you’re aiming for certain weight loss goals, consuming fewer calories—while keeping up with regular physical activity—can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight. So, consider limiting foods high in empty calories but low nutrition (think: salty, sugary, fatty, and processed items) and eating fiber- and protein-rich foods that increase satiety (e.g. fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies) instead. 

Doing this can be easier said than done (hey, we get it). So, if you’re having difficulty getting enough protein, for example, Dr. Tchang says replacing one of your meals with a protein shake could be a good option. Not only do they pack in a ton of the macronutrient (which boosts feelings of fullness), but they’re also portion-controlled, so you know you’re getting the optimal amount of calories needed.

Ozempic in combination with a healthcare provider, dietitian, or nutritionist’s advice can be a great way to maximize your weight loss efforts, adds Dr. Tchang. “In one clinical trial of Ozempic, about 1 in 3 people achieved at least 20% weight loss (44 pounds) with a combination of meal replacement protein shakes, a low-calorie diet (1,200-1,800 calories/day), physical activity (slowly ramped up to 200 minutes per week), and multiple visits with a dietitian-nutritionist.” Through Ro’s Body membership, for example, you can receive access to ongoing care and support that helps you navigate your weight loss journey and get the most out of your treatment. 

Now, let’s not skip over that mention of movement, as maintaining a regular workout routine is an essential component of achieving any weight loss-related goals. And that’s true when you’re taking Ozempic. As Dr. Tchang notes earlier, at least 200 minutes of physical activity per week is key to prevent weight gain and maintain weight loss on Ozempic. Not yet able to do 200 minutes per week? No problem. Try to do whatever amount of exercise that you can stick with and grow your habit from there. 

That being said, certain types of exercise can be especially beneficial if you’re taking Ozempic. Resistance training, for example, can not only help you build and maintain muscle—which is key for weight loss—but it can also help improve blood sugar—a pro for those taking Ozempic for diabetes. Meanwhile, a combination of cardio and strength training can also supercharge your ability to burn fat, build muscle, and, in turn, lose weight. (Keep in mind: the more muscle you have, the more energy or calories your body can burn during the day.)

And finally, if you’re taking Ozempic for type 2 diabetes, Dr. Tchang recommends checking in with your healthcare provider about your treatment plan. “Be sure to speak to your doctor about other medications you are taking for diabetes since some can cause weight gain, like sulfonylureas and insulin,” she says. “Optimizing your medication regimen to avoid weight-promoting medications while still keeping diabetes under control is key.”

The bottom line

According to clinical trials, people taking Ozempic can lose up to 5–10% of their body weight. Ultimately, however, the answer to the question, “how much weight can you lose on Ozempic?” varies from person to person. It can depend on the dose, your starting weight, and other underlying medication conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. That being said, there are many evidence- and expert-backed strategies for maximizing weight loss while taking the drug, from maintaining a healthy, balanced diet to getting continual support from a healthcare provider. 


If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

June 12, 2024

Written by

Yael Cooperman, MD

Fact checked by

Raagini Yedidi, MD

About the medical reviewer

Raagini Yedidi, MD, is an internal medicine resident and medical reviewer for Ro.

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