7 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight On Saxenda

If you’re prescribed Saxenda and you’re not losing weight or you’re gaining weight, you’ll likely be disappointed and wonder why.

Prescription weight-loss medications like Saxenda (liraglutide) are designed to be used with diet and exercise to aid in weight loss.

Saxenda may have varying effects on weight loss for individuals by potentially influencing satiety and reducing appetite.

If you feel like Saxenda isn’t working for you or your weight loss has plateaued, we explore some possible reasons why you’re not losing weight and offer suggestions on how to maximize your weight loss while taking Saxenda.

Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda?

1) Not taking the correct dose

Unlike some injectable medications with weekly dosing, Saxenda is meant to be taken daily. 

You’ll likely start with the beginning dose of 0.6 milligrams daily and increase it to the goal dose of 3 milligrams.

The recommended schedule to reach the goal dose is to increase the dose by 50% weekly until you’re at 3 milligrams daily.

Here is the recommended dosing schedule per the manufacturer:

Time PeriodSaxenda Dosage
Week 10.6 milligrams daily
Week 21.2 milligrams daily
Week 31.8 milligrams daily
Week 42.4 milligrams daily
Week 53 milligrams daily (goal/therapeutic dose)

2) Skipping doses

If you consistently skip your Saxenda doses, you won’t be getting the full benefits of Saxenda’s weight loss effects.

If you have a difficult time remembering to take Saxenda, try setting a daily alarm to help get you in the habit. 

Taking Saxenda when you do another daily ritual (such as brushing your teeth) can also help it to become a habit.

3) Drinking too many calories

The leading culprit of excess added sugar in a typical Western diet is sugary beverages. Even if you don’t drink soda, you might be getting several hundred extra calories per day in the form of other sugary drinks.

Some examples of sugary drinks (other than soda) include:

  • Flavored coffee drinks, such as vanilla lattes, mochas, etc.
  • Fruit-flavored drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Sweetened teas
  • Alcoholic mixed drinks (the mixers are often high in sugar, such as margarita mix)

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4) Not getting enough physical activity

Physical activity plays a huge role in weight loss. Even if you’re eating healthier and taking Saxenda, it might not be enough to make up for a sedentary lifestyle.

Being active boosts your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories at rest than you would if you weren’t active. 

Not only can exercise help you lose weight, but research shows it can help you live longer by reducing the likelihood of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many more.

Aim to get both cardio exercise (like walking) and some weight training, which can mean lifting weights or doing body-weight exercises to strengthen large muscle groups.

5) You’re not giving it enough time

All medications take some time to work, and that includes weight loss drugs like Saxenda. In clinical studies, weight loss outcomes are measured in intervals as long as 52 weeks – that’s a whole year!

Given that it takes several weeks to get to the target dose of Saxenda, you’ll need to allow yourself at least a couple of months to assess if it’s working.

It’s easy to become impatient and want results now, but that’s not the way sustainable weight loss is. 

A rate of 1-2 pounds of weight lost per week is considered significant, which means you’ll need to allow yourself at least a month or two to lose around 10 pounds.

6) Not changing your diet

Saxenda is designed to complement a healthy lifestyle, including making nutritious food choices.

Eating a diet that is high in processed foods and low in whole, nutritious foods can deter weight loss, even if you’re taking a weight loss aid like Saxenda.

No one eats perfectly, so that shouldn’t be the goal. Instead, aim to choose foods that do good things for your body (more on that in the next section), which can often promote weight loss compared to processed and convenience foods that are often low in beneficial nutrients.

7) Your stress level is high

Stress is a part of life. Everyone has stress in their life at times, but chronic stress can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals.

Being stressed can trigger the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Studies associate increased cortisol with higher belly fat

Besides the hormonal response of stress, it can lead to increased cravings (especially sugary and salty foods), which might contribute enough extra calories to prevent weight loss.

Finally, if your stress interferes with your sleep, it can lead to insulin resistance over time. Sleep deprivation is linked with an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which can make it more difficult to lose weight by promoting fat storage.

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Tips to support weight loss while taking Liraglutide

Focus on whole foods – not a diet

Countless diets claim to help you shed weight quickly. If any of them worked well, everyone would know about it.

Diets and the diet mentality (such as severely restricting your calorie intake, avoiding whole food groups, or subscribing to a diet meal plan) don’t usually work long-term. 

Studies show that the success rate of diets is considered very low, and most people who follow diets regain weight within a year of starting a diet.

Instead of keeping track of calories or cutting out a whole food group, consider this: focus on whole, unprocessed foods that provide beneficial nutrients to your body. 

Replacing processed and fast foods with whole foods not only can make you healthier in the long run, but it can also support weight loss.

Some examples of whole foods to add to your Saxen da diet include:

  • Fruit
  • Lean protein like chicken, lean beef, and fish
  • Legumes like beans, lentils, and soybeans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil and avocado oil
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains (whole wheat products, oats, brown rice, etc.)

Rethink your drinks

Replacing sugary drinks with unsweetened ones (or at least reducing your sugar intake) is one of the best places to start in terms of weight loss. 

For example, if you normally drink a 24-ounce mocha every morning on your way to work, try swapping it for a smaller size with half the amount of chocolate sauce to start.

Opting for water, unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) teas, and other low-sugar drinks instead of sugary beverages can quickly slash your caloric intake, which can help maximize weight loss while taking Saxenda.

Increase your activity level

Most Americans don’t get enough physical activity. In 2020, over 75% of adults over the age of 18 did not meet the recommended exercise goals, which include at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace.

Try to find something you enjoy that gets you moving. Hiking, walking your dog around the neighborhood after dinner, swimming, gardening, and riding your bike are all great ways to get moving, help burn more calories, and shed more pounds while taking Saxenda. 

Set realistic goals

Once you’re prescribed Saxenda, you might be quick to imagine extravagant weight loss goals, like fitting into a certain clothing size by a specific date. 

Before you jump to setting grand goals, ask yourself if it’s realistic. Remember that weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is significant, and then set your goals accordingly.

Also, it can be healthier mentally and physically to set goals that aren’t wrapped in a number on the scale. 

Behavior goals like exercising more, eating healthier, or training for a physical event like a 5K can be more motivating than a number on the scale, which is bound to fluctuate day to day.

Speaking of the number on the scale, consider this: don’t weigh yourself too often. Obsessively tracking your weight can lead to discouragement and disordered eating behaviors. 

If you get caught up in your weight, consider weighing yourself only once per week at the most.


  • Saxenda is an injectable weight loss medication that is meant to accompany healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.
  • Some reasons you might not be losing weight on Saxenda can include not taking the proper dose, skipping doses, drinking sugary beverages, being sedentary, not allowing enough time, not eating a healthy diet, and having high stress levels.
  • To lose more weight while taking Saxenda, aim to eat a healthy diet (but not dieting), drink unsweetened drinks like water, be more active, and set realistic goals.

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  1. Ruegsegger GN, Booth FW. Health Benefits of Exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Jul 2;8(7):a029694. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a029694. PMID: 28507196; PMCID: PMC6027933.
  2. Hewagalamulage SD, Lee TK, Clarke IJ, Henry BA. Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2016 Jul;56 Suppl:S112-20. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 31. PMID: 27345309.
  3. Reutrakul S, Van Cauter E. Sleep influences on obesity, insulin resistance, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Metabolism. 2018 Jul;84:56-66. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2018.02.010. Epub 2018 Mar 3. PMID: 29510179.
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  5. CDC. Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 18 and Over: United States, 2020.

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