How much weight can you lose on Zepbound?

Raagini Yedidi, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Raagini Yedidi, MD, 

Written by Rachel Sacks 

Raagini Yedidi, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Raagini Yedidi, MD, 

Written by Rachel Sacks 

last updated: Jun 03, 2024

5 min read

Key takeaways

  • Zepbound (tirzepatide) is a prescription injectable medication that’s FDA-approved for weight loss and chronic weight management. 

  • In clinical trials, 85-91% of people taking Zepbound lost at least 5% of their body weight.

  • Several factors can impact how much weight you can lose on Zepbound, including dosage strength, lifestyle modifications, and the length of time taking the medication. 

Since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for weight loss in November 2023, Zepbound (tirzepatide) has skyrocketed in popularity—along with several questions, including “how much weight can I lose on Zepbound?” 

Maybe you’re considering trying the treatment yourself. Or perhaps you’re just wondering how Zepbound’s potential results compare to those of other injectable weight loss medications. Whatever the case may be, if you’re curious about the drug’s impact on the scale (and other weight-related measurements), you’ve come to the right place. 

Ahead, we break down how much weight you can lose on Zepbound and how to maximize that amount, depending on your goals, of course.   

Zepbound Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

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Weight loss

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Lose up to 20% body weight in a year, if prescribed.

Weight loss claims apply to branded medications. Limited availability of some doses of Zepbound. See Important Safety Information

How much weight can I lose on Zepbound? 

The short answer? It varies from person to person. 

In clinical trials of more than 2,500 adults with obesity or overweight and a weight-related health condition, Zepbound resulted in an average weight loss of 15-20% within a year and a half, when used in combination with diet and exercise. During that period, participants taking Zepbound lost an average of 35-52 pounds. Comparatively, those taking a placebo lost just 5 pounds on average.

A study from 2023 also found that participants with obesity (as well as type 2 diabetes) taking the highest doses of Zepbound—10-15 mg—saw an average weight loss of about 15% of their body weight. And one of the most recent studies on Zepbound’s effectiveness showed nearly 21% weight loss within 36 weeks. Participants also lost an average of an additional 5.5% weight over the next year while continuing the medication.

While these findings might seem promising, how much weight you can lose on Zepbound can be affected by several factors, including (but not limited to) drug dosage. Weight loss may be dose-dependent with Zepbound as those taking higher dosages in the aforementioned clinical trials lost more weight. For example, people taking:

  • 5 mg of Zepbound lost an average of 15% of their body weight (35.5 pounds)

  • 10 mg of Zepbound lost an average of 19.5% of their body weight (49 pounds)

  • 15 mg of Zepbound lost an average of 20.9% of their body weight (52 pounds)

What’s more, participants shaved an average of 5.5-7.3 inches off their waistlines, reducing body fat by nearly 34%. In addition to weight loss, they also experienced improvements in other areas of their health that can be associated with weight loss, such as lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.  

Another factor that can affect how much weight you can lose on Zepbound? The length of time the medication is taken. Clinical trials of adults with obesity or overweight as well as certain weight-related conditions (hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol) saw more significant weight loss if they took Zepbound for 88 weeks than those who stopped after 36 weeks.

And need not forget about lifestyle modifications. Following a balanced diet and maintaining a workout routine while using the medication can impact how much weight you can lose on Zepound. 

How does Zepbound work? 

Zepbound is an FDA-approved injectable prescription medication for weight loss in people with obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher) or overweight (BMI of 27 or more) and a weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.

Like Mounjaro (whose active ingredient is also tirzepatide), Zepbound is a dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor antagonist, which refers to the two gut hormones that the drug mimics: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). It boosts insulin and inhibits glucagon after you eat, helping lower blood sugar levels while also making you feel fuller sooner—two effects that may cause you to eat less and lose weight. 

It’s possible that Zepbound’s ability to target two receptors (vs. one, à la, say, Wegovy) is what allows the drug to be more effective than other GLP-1 medications at improving blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss.

Mounjaro Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

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*In a 68- and 72-week clinical trial studying Wegovy (2.4 mg) and Zepbound (15 mg) in patients without diabetes and with BMI ≥30, or BMI ≥27 with a weight-related condition, the average weight loss was 15% and 20%, when paired with diet and exercise changes (compared to 2.4% and 3.1%, respectively, with diet and exercise alone).

How to maximize weight loss on Zepbound?

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight (or, let’s be honest, read a lifestyle magazine in the early 00s), then you’re likely aware that a healthy diet and consistent exercise are essential components of achieving any weight-related goals. And the same is true when you’re taking Zepbound. In other words, adhering to healthy lifestyle habits while on Zepbound can help produce significant weight loss results.

Generally, there are no foods that absolutely must be removed on Zepbound, but cutting out or limiting certain foods can help reduce digestive side effects and improve weight loss. 

Fried and fatty foods, for example, can not only cause an upset stomach, potentially worsening a Zepbound side effect, but may also hinder how much weight you can lose on Zepbound. In fact, a recent study found that eating fried food increases your risk for obesity and weight gain (as well as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, according to additional research). Foods that are high in sugar can also lead to overeating and weight gain, which may impede or even prevent weight loss while using Zepbound.

Following a well-balanced diet can help you consume fewer calories, which, along with regular physical activity, can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

More specifically, another clinical trial suggests that to maximize weight loss on Zepbound, patients should follow “a nutrition strategy that allows you to consume 1,200 (women) or 1,500 (men) calories per day comfortably,” says Beverly Tchang, MD, obesity medicine advisor for Ro and assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Protein shakes or prepackaged meals (as ‘whole food’ as possible!) can be used to help achieve this goal. That’s because they are portion-controlled and protein-forward, and protein can help increase fullness.” (The fuller and more satiated you are, the more stable your blood sugar remains and the less likely you are to snack later in the day.) 

When it comes to working out, patients should do at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, Dr. Tchang adds.  “For example, this could be 30-minute sessions of brisk walking five days a week, and more is better.” And lastly, if you’re asking yourself, “how much weight can I lose on Zepbound?” you should consult your healthcare provider and/or weight management team often, per the aforementioned trial.

“Officially, more than 14 times over 6 months is the magic number, but more is better,” Dr. Tchang says. “This could be your doctor or dietitian-nutritionist or health coach, etc. These partners help you navigate challenges so you can continue to see progress.” For example, Ro Body, an online weight loss program, offers personalized coaching and support to help you adhere to the lifestyle changes recommended on Zepbound and, in turn, reach your body goals.


The bottom line

As a dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor antagonist, Zepbound can be particularly effective at weight loss, with 85-91% of people taking Zepbound losing at least 5% of their body weight in clinical trials. But how much weight you can lose on Zepbound can be affected by several factors, such as drug dosage and how long you take the medication. And while Zepbound’s results vary across patients, there are several research-backed tactics for maximizing weight loss while taxing the drug, from following a healthy diet to seeking out support from your 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 03, 2024

Written by

Rachel Sacks

Fact checked by

Raagini Yedidi, MD

About the medical reviewer

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