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How to Get off Wegovy/Ozempic & Zepbound/Mounjaro

Woman holding two weight loss injections in hand

All of us in the weight loss world understand the game changers that are GLP-1 receptor agonists like Wegovy / Zepbound, and their diabetes counterpart medications prescribed off-label for weight loss like Ozempic and Mounjaro. Millions more people now have access to these life-changing, and in some cases, life-saving drugs that can help them lose upwards of 20% of their excess body weight (though most will see less dramatic results). As we enter the second year of the “Ozempic craze,” where this drug went from relatively unknown to household names, they are still very popular and effective, but for many, the idea of how and when to stop them may be coming into view.

It’s important to talk about eventually getting off these medications as it may be impractical and financially burdensome for patients to take them for the rest of their lives. Why?

  1. Patients may have maxed out their weight loss potential on the drug
  2. Insurance coverage may eventually change (case-by-case basis)
  3. Continuing could be a significant financial burden
  4. Patients may be experiencing side effects

With that said, however, we know that many patients risk regaining a significant amount of the weight they lost when they stop the medication. This is true for any weight loss modality that doesn’t offer permanent changes. Even patients who have lost significant weight with diet and exercise must keep it up; otherwise, they risk regaining, often rapidly.

Due to the possibility of side effects, the cost associated with the drugs, or limited effectiveness once you’ve hit your maximum dosage, it’s good to have a backup plan. It’s important to remember, however, that any prescription drug being changed or discontinued should be done under the supervision of your physician. Do not change your dose without proper medical advice. With that said, let’s dive into how to get off Wegovy or Zepbound.

Lifestyle Change

The first and most important tactic is to place real emphasis and focus on lifestyle change while you are on the drug. These injections will make you eat far less, and while this will help you lose weight, it may not change your mindset toward diet. However, it allows you to avoid the worst offending foods and focus on quality, nutritious produce. Get used to satisfying your (admittedly minimal) hunger with lean meats, vegetables, and legumes, and avoid highly processed empty carbs and added sugars; you’ll be well on your way to a successful life without weight loss medication.

Lifestyle change also comes in the form of improved exercise. Exercising, especially weight-bearing, is essential for building muscle and enhancing aesthetics like body shape. Metabolically, it allows your body to burn more calories at rest. Remember, muscle needs to be fed with calories; the more muscle you have, the more you burn.


Don’t underestimate the hormonal component of weight gain and weight loss. Stress is a leading cause of weight gain from a psychological and physiological perspective. Psychologically, stress makes us tired and unwilling to follow our weight loss protocols. Diet and exercise are far more difficult when distracted by stressful thoughts. Physically, the body also retains more fat when under stress due to excess cortisol production. This combination makes it exceptionally hard to lose weight and easy to gain during stressful times.


Get any deficiencies under control. Nutritional deficiencies can range from minor to severe and significantly impact bodily function. While on weight loss medication, monitoring your nutrition levels and ensuring you are not deficient in critical nutrients like vitamin D, B12, magnesium, and more is vital. You also want to be sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet and balancing your fats and carbs appropriately for maximal function.


Remember that whether the cause of or caused by excess weight, there can be some profound psychological scars you are fighting. We often believe we can handle these issues and concerns without outside help. We may or may not be getting support from family or friends. Getting professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist can assist with managing the underlying issues and concerns that may promote an unhealthy lifestyle or cause you to quit before you reach your goals.

Bariatric Surgery

Understand that medications may not get you all the way there. For some, weight loss medication is a great stepping stone toward bariatric surgery, reducing risk and preparing them for the next phase of “permanent” weight loss. It’s important to speak to a qualified weight loss specialist like Dr. Tsuda to understand if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery after finishing your weight loss medication regimen.

The Bottom Line

With all of this said, it’s important to remember that weight loss medication should not be considered a permanent option, but rather a temporary measure to get you where you can take over and improve your life and lifestyle in the future. We encourage you to give us a call to learn more about the weight loss options that may be best for you.