Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non-Diabetics

Woman looking happy on scale to illustrate having successfully used semaglutide for weight loss
Medically Reviewed
December 4, 2023

Semaglutide for weight loss is the game-changer you may be considering as just the thing to help you reach your target weight and improve your health. It’s a good resolution at any time of year! Wondering how it works and if it’s the right choice for you as a non-diabetic?

Although initially FDA-approved for treating type 2 diabetes, this medication has shown significant promise in helping non-diabetics lose weight.

Let’s look at semaglutide for weight loss, by addressing some of the questions and issues we frequently hear at Nava Health.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss: How Does it Work?

Semaglutide– which is essentially the same as Ozempic and Wegovy – works by mimicking GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone that controls appetite and induces feelings of fullness. In mimicking GLP-1, semaglutide tricks your brain into reducing your appetite, makes you feel fuller for longer by delaying stomach emptying, and can increase the calories you burn at rest. Proof came in a 68-week clinical trial with semaglutide-based medication, in which non-diabetic patients lost a significant percentage of their body weight.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non-Diabetics: Dosage Recommendations

Semaglutide will be provided as a prescribed dosage. Your Nava Health practitioner may start slowly and increase the dose monthly if you tolerate it and don’t have many uncomfortable side effects (nausea, constipation, loose stool, etc.). The doses range from 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg at maximum.

How Do I Receive Semaglutide Injections?

After receiving appropriate training and medical guidance, you can self-administer semaglutide injections at home. It’s best to do your injections into areas with more fatty tissue, such as your stomach, thighs, or the backside of your upper arm.

How Long Does it Take for Semaglutide to Suppress Appetite?

Semaglutide typically reduces appetite and increases feelings of fullness within a few days or weeks of starting treatment. As appetite suppression gradually kicks in, you should see the change on the scale from around three months after you begin the treatment.

Factors That Can Impact the Effectiveness of Semaglutide for Weight Loss

How much weight you lose and how long it takes depends on multiple factors, such as:

  • Age: Younger people tend to lose weight faster.
  • Starting weight: Those who are overweight tend to lose weight faster than those with average weight.
  • Lifestyle: A healthy and active lifestyle can speed up the effects.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Some may lower the benefits of semaglutide.

Note that a few conditions contraindicate its use – for example, being pregnant or breastfeeding, having a family history of thyroid cancer, or any unusual food or drug allergies.

What is the Best Diet While on Semaglutide for Weight Loss?

There are foods you should focus on and others you should try to avoid while on semaglutide.

Nava’s team of clinical nutrition experts recommend you not only increase your physical activity but also adopt a reduced-calorie meal plan while on semaglutide for weight loss. The NavaRX program will provide a custom meal plan in addition to personalized dietary recommendations by a Nava clinical nutritionist.

While on semaglutide, most diets should focus on whole, minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Once you reach a healthy weight, it’s important to maintain it to prevent future weight gain. This is where ongoing education and support while on the medication becomes crucial to long-term success.

In addition, to maximize the effectiveness of semaglutide in weight loss programs, it’s important to be mindful of certain dietary choices (we write more about these foods here).

Foods to avoid

Avoid sweetened drinks. Instead, choose water, herbal teas, or drinks sweetened with zero-calorie substitutes.

Stay away from processed items rich in refined carbs like white bread, pastries, and packaged snacks. These can spike your blood sugar levels, which over time damages your pancreas and potentially leads to insulin resistance. This undermines the benefits of your treatment.

We also advise you to steer clear of oily, fried foods. These can contribute to weight gain and cause digestive issues due to the delayed digestion we mentioned above.

As ever, be cautious of hidden sugars – they can interfere with your blood sugar management, impede your weight loss progress, and possibly cause vomiting or diarrhea.

Limit your intake of starchy vegetables that increase your carbohydrate consumption. This impacts your blood sugar levels and the effectiveness of the medication.

Avoid full-fat dairy products, which are rich in saturated fats and can hinder your weight loss goals. Consider low-fat or dairy-free alternatives instead. This is something of a juggling act because low-fat products often contain added carbs instead of the fat!

You also need to watch out for foods high in sodium. Many manufactured foods have added salt. Be aware of salt content and consume these foods in moderation, as they can cause water retention.

Although low in calories, you should also use artificial sweeteners sparingly, as they can lead to sugar cravings and digestive issues when taking semaglutide-based medications.

If this sounds a long list of foods to avoid, remember that, in doing so as far as possible, you’re contributing to a healthier diet and your desired weight loss.

How to Get Semaglutide for Weight Loss

Semaglutide is a prescription medication. This means you’ll need to discuss it with your healthcare provider, who can assess whether it’s a suitable option for you. They can provide you with the necessary prescription and guide you through the process of starting the medication, monitoring your progress, and adjusting your dosage as needed.

Watch out for illegal online sales: Semaglutide-based medications can be expensive without insurance, and this has led to a rise in illegal online sales. Many websites are selling these drugs without a license or prescription, and often sell versions of these drugs that have not been proven safe or effective.

The FDA wrote to some online retailers warning:

warning notice sent by the FDA about the dangers of buying semaglutide for weight loss from unauthorized online sellers

Here are the red flags to watch out for when it comes to online pharmacies:

  • displaying U.S. drug identification numbers but claiming to ship from Canada
  • promoting brand-name drugs
  • not requiring a prescription
  • offering medications at significantly lower prices.

Weight Loss with Semaglutide at Nava Health

Semaglutide for weight loss is a promising option if you’re a non-diabetic struggling with weight loss despite all your best efforts.

As with any medication, at Nava Health we’re happy to discuss the benefits and potential side effects with you. Achieving your healthy weight is a journey, and what works for one person might not work for you. To achieve sustainable weight loss, we recommend you take part in our NavaRX weight loss program, which includes semaglutide medication under the supervision of our clinical nutritionists.

Schedule an appointment today.

Image attribution

StephanieM Headshot Doctor - Nava Health
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Stephanie is an autoimmune advocate and Functional Nutritionist who blends science, humor, and herbalism to create personalized nutrition and integrative health strategies. With over five years of clinical experience, Stephanie has helped numerous clients overcome various health issues, from weight management to autoimmunity and hormonal balance.