Variable Response to GLP-1
Weight Loss Medications

Weight Loss

GLP-1 agonists like Liraglutide, Semaglutide and Tirzepatide have become extremely popular in the last few years for weight loss. However, it is important to note that not every person responds the same way to these medications. Response varies from major weight loss, to moderate to mild or no weight loss at all!

Ever wondered why some people don’t lose weight with GLP-1 agonists?

Food intake/hunger is determined by two types of factors: Homeostatic factors (meaning your body’s metabolic needs) and Hedonic factors (pleasurable properties of food, like smell, state, sight, etc.). In people which “emotional eating”, hedonic factors tend to override homeostatic factors, resulting in increased food intake and obesity. A 2015 study done by Liselotte van Bloemendaal, et al, showed that people with emotional eating had decreased response to GLP-1 agonist exenatide, measured by functional MRI of the brain in lean individuals, non-diabetic individuals with obesity and diabetic individuals with obesity.

In practice we see this as patients finding a way to overcome the “early fullness” effect of GLP-1 agonists by frequent consumption of small quantities of high calorie foods (grazing), resulting in failed weight loss response to GLP-1 agonists. In these individuals, it is important to address the underlying cause of this behavior (sometimes it could be untreated mood disorders, eating disorders) with behavioral therapy and appropriate medications.

The above information clearly signifies the importance of seeking guidance from a qualified professional before opting for medical weight loss, instead of somehow just starting to take these medications.

Dr. Neha Lalani at Bluebonnet Diabetes & Endocrinology, striving to give high quality, comprehensive and personalized care for Obesity management to patients. Book your appointment today by visiting our website at or call us at (512) 387-4224.