How Mounjaro Works For Weight Loss

Mounjaro is a newer medication on the market that has caught the attention of healthcare providers and their patients for its ability to promote weight loss.

If you haven’t heard of Mounjaro, or you have, and you want to know how it can cause weight loss, then we have you covered with this article!

About Mounjaro (Tirzepatide)

Mounjaro is the brand name for the drug tirzepatide, a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s one of the newer diabetes medications on the market and was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2022.

Mounjaro is a dual GLP-1 receptor and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) agonist. 

You might be familiar with GLP-1 receptor agonists (such as Ozempic and Trulicity), but what is the GIP part in Mounjaro?

GIP is a hormone found in your digestive system. It stands for gastric inhibitory polypeptide. 

GIP stimulates insulin release after you eat (when blood sugar levels rise) to help keep your blood glucose levels from getting too high.

If your blood sugar levels are normal or low, then GIP stimulates glucagon secretion. Glucagon is a hormone that helps raise your blood sugar levels and helps prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). 

That means that GIP only stimulates insulin secretion when your blood sugar is rising, which helps reduce the prevalence of low blood sugar. 

The other way Mounjaro works is as a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which helps slow gastric emptying and boosts satiety. 

This results in reduced appetite and food intake, which can promote weight loss and reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

The dosing schedule for Mounjaro is 2.5 milligrams, 5 milligrams, 7.5 milligrams, 10 milligrams, 12.5 milligrams, or 15 milligrams in a weekly injection.

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Is Mounjaro FDA approved for weight loss?

No, Mounjaro isn’t currently approved for weight loss. That means that if your healthcare provider prescribes it and you don’t have diabetes, your health insurance company isn’t likely to cover it.

If you have diabetes and your healthcare provider wants to prescribe Mounjaro to help you lose weight, then it’s more likely to be covered.

Some GLP-1 receptor agonists are approved for weight loss for people without diabetes. Examples of weight loss-approved medications include Saxenda (liraglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide), which are GLP-1 receptor agonists. 

These medications share the same active ingredient as the diabetes medications Victoza and Ozempic, but they aren’t the same medication and come in different dosages.

Based on the results of several clinical trials, Mounjaro might be up for FDA approval for weight loss – regardless of whether or not you have diabetes. If that happens, it would be treated like Wegovy and Saxenda.

Does Mounjaro cause weight loss?

Yes. Mounjaro is very effective for weight loss, according to studies. 

In Eli Lilly (the manufacturer of Mounjaro)’s SURMOUNT-2 clinical trial, 938 adult participants with type 2 diabetes who were overweight or obese took either weekly treatments of 15 milligrams of Mounjaro, 10 milligrams of Mounjaro or a placebo for 72 weeks.

Participants taking the highest dose of Mounjaro lost an average of 15.7% of their body weight, or up to 34.4 pounds (15.6 kilograms). 

Those taking 10 milligrams of Mounjaro lost up to 13.4% of their body weight, or 29.8 pounds (13.5 kilograms).

How does Mounjaro cause weight loss?

Mounjaro can promote weight loss in a few ways. The main way Mounjaro promotes weight loss is by slowing down the rate of digestion, which makes you feel fuller for longer after you eat. 

This can reduce your appetite and overall food intake, which results in a caloric (energy) deficit and weight loss.

Mounjaro seems to be more effective at promoting weight loss compared to regular GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs. 

That’s because it activates two different receptors that influence appetite and the rate of digestion instead of just one receptor in regular GLP-1 receptor agonists.

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How much weight can you lose with Mounjaro?

According to the SURMOUNT-1 clinical trial, patients taking 15 milligrams of Mounjaro lost up to 52 pounds (24 kilograms) over 72 weeks. 

63% of participants in that study taking 15 milligrams of Mounjaro (the highest dose) lost at least 20% of their body weight, which is significant. 

How much weight you lose with Mounjaro will depend on many factors (your dose, starting weight, other health conditions, etc.), so it’s impossible to estimate exactly how much you will lose. 

It’s safe to say you’d likely lose a decent amount, given the results of the clinical trials on Mounjaro for weight loss.

How long does it take to lose weight with Mounjaro?

The study results on Mounjaro’s effectiveness for weight loss occurred over 72 weeks (around 16 months). 

You’d likely begin to notice weight loss a couple of weeks after reaching your goal dose – which was 15 milligrams in the studies with the most significant weight loss results.

If you do take Mounjaro for weight loss, it’s important to be patient when it comes to the rate of weight loss. In general, a healthy rate of weight loss is considered to be 1-2 pounds per week. 

Remember that maintaining weight loss is a long-term effort, and you shouldn’t expect the weight to come off a lot faster than it was put on.

How can you get Mounjaro for weight loss? 

At this point, the easiest way to get Mounjaro for weight loss is if you also have a qualifying medical diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. 

Some healthcare providers may still prescribe Mounjaro for patients without diabetes, but that’s up to the healthcare provider’s discretion.

Keep in mind that getting a prescription for Mounjaro without having diabetes might make it more expensive for you since insurance companies aren’t as likely to cover the cost if you’re only using Mounjaro for weight loss.

If Mounjaro ends up getting its approval as a weight loss-only medication, it will make it more available to anyone to use for weight loss, and health insurance companies will be more likely to cover the cost of Mounjaro if you have a diagnosis of overweight or obesity.

According to news outlets, the decision about whether or not Mounjaro is approved for weight loss could come as soon as the end of this year (2023).

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Why am I not losing weight on Mounjaro?

If you’re not losing weight on Mounjaro, there are a few reasons that could be. 

You’re not taking Mounjaro as prescribed.Be sure to take Mounjaro as prescribed, which is on the same day each week, every week. 

Skipping a dose can impact your weight loss rate, as can taking too little of the medication (e.g., only taking 10 milligrams instead of 15 milligrams).
You haven’t been taking Mounjaro long enough.The results of the trials on Mounjaro for weight loss occurred over 72 weeks. 

If you’ve only been taking Mounjaro for a few weeks, you need to give it more time to result in weight loss.

Everyone loses weight at different rates, so try to be patient and know that it can take several months to notice significant weight loss in some cases.

In addition, the dosing schedule for Mounjaro calls for gradually increasing the dose once every four weeks (more on that next). 
That means it can take time to reach a dose that will be the most effective for you.
Your dose isn’t high enough.Your healthcare provider will likely suggest starting Mounjaro at a low dose and gradually increasing it until you’ve reached a dose that is providing the expected results. 

The recommended dosing schedule for Mounjaro is to take 2.5 milligrams for 4 weeks, and then increase it to 5 milligrams for 4 weeks, and so on. 
That means it could take a few months to reach your target dose.
You’re not practicing other healthy lifestyle habits while taking Mounjaro.Mounjaro is meant to be taken in combination with healthy lifestyle habits to maximize its effectiveness. 

If you’re not promoting weight loss through your lifestyle habits, it could be a reason you’re not seeing results.

Tips to maximize weight loss while on Mounjaro

1) Stay physically active

Maintaining an active lifestyle can not only help you lose weight while taking Mounjaro, but it’s also beneficial for your overall health. 

Aim for getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, for a total of 150 minutes per week at a minimum.

Anything that makes you use your muscles and increases your heart rate counts as exercise. 

Walking, swimming, biking, gardening, and horseback riding are all examples of physical activity. 

The best tip is to find a way of moving your body that you enjoy and look forward to so it doesn’t feel like a chore, which means you’ll be more likely to stick with the routine.

2) Eat more meals at home

Preparing meals at home instead of eating takeout or at restaurants is usually healthier and lower in calories, fat, sodium, added sugars, and total carbs.

By preparing healthier meals at home, you know what’s going into your food and have more control over your health and nutrition goals than when someone else is preparing your food.

3) Cut back on your added sugar intake

Added sugars make it harder to lose weight by worsening insulin resistance (an increasingly common condition that causes type 2 diabetes), which makes weight loss harder. 

Eating a diet high in added sugar also contributes to excess calories, which can make weight loss more difficult.

Aim to limit your added sugar intake to fewer than 10% of your total calories at the minimum, which would be fewer than 50 grams of added sugar per day.

Some of the biggest sources of added sugars are sugar-sweetened beverages (sodas, flavored teas, fruit-flavored drinks, etc.) and sweets (candies, desserts, etc).


Mounjaro is a dual GLP-1 receptor and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) agonist. It’s meant to treat type 2 diabetes, but it also results in significant weight loss, according to clinical trials.

Mounajro isn’t currently approved as a weight loss-only medication, but that could change soon.

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Mounjaro Diet: Foods To Avoid And Eat.


  1. Jastreboff AM, Aronne LJ, Ahmad NN, Wharton S, Connery L, Alves B, Kiyosue A, Zhang S, Liu B, Bunck MC, Stefanski A; SURMOUNT-1 Investigators. Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2022.
  2. Lilly Investors. (2023). Lilly’s tirzepatide achieved up to 15.7% weight loss in adults with obesity or overweight and type 2 diabetes in SURMOUNT-2.
  3. Slomski A. Tirzepatide Trial Demonstrates Substantial Weight Loss. JAMA. 2022.
  4. Chavda VP, Ajabiya J, Teli D, Bojarska J, Apostolopoulos V. Tirzepatide, a New Era of Dual-Targeted Treatment for Diabetes and Obesity: A Mini-Review. Molecules. 2022.
  5. Forzano I, Varzideh F, Avvisato R, Jankauskas SS, Mone P, Santulli G. Tirzepatide: A Systematic Update. Int J Mol Sci. 2022.
  6. Ryan DH. Next Generation Antiobesity Medications: Setmelanotide, Semaglutide, Tirzepatide and Bimagrumab: What do They Mean for Clinical Practice? J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021.

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