Like so many things in life, losing weight is simple but not necessarily easy.
Scientifically speaking, all you need to do to lose weight is eat fewer calories than you burn. This is called a caloric deficit.
Place yourself in a caloric deficit over time and you’ll lose weight. It’s physics.
So yeah, it sounds simple ‘in theory’, but the whole “eating fewer calories than you burn” part is DEFINITELY not easy.
That’s why so many people have turned to appetite suppressants like Saxenda to help them lose weight. Suppress your appetite enough and suddenly not eating becomes easy!
But does Saxenda really work?
Are there side effects?
Is there are science behind it?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this article. By the end of it, you’ll know everything you need to know about Saxenda. Then you (and your doctor) can decide if Saxenda is right for you.
Ready? Let’s jump right in…
What Is Saxenda?
Saxenda is a brand name for Liraglutide, an FDA approved weight-loss drug which was originally marketed as a treatment for Type 2 Diabetes under the brand name Victoza.
If that seems confusing, let me clear it up…
This happens with prescription drugs all the time. A drug gains FDA approval as a treatment for a particular ailment but then it turns out that it’s also useful for treating different (possibly related) ailments, so it gains re-approval, sometimes under an entirely different brand name.
Same drug, slightly different purpose.
Saxenda comes in the form of a once daily injection which may be a turnoff for some people. Personally, I hate needles and would sooner take a weight-loss pill of some kind than inject something into my body…
But that’s just me!
Let’s talk bout what Saxenda does and how it actually works, once injected.
How Does Saxend Work?
Saxenda mimics a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is a unique peptide comprised of 30 different amino acids.
It’s secreted by intestinal cells in response to food-intake and is believed to be one of the primary hormones involved with regulating appetite.
Higher GLP-1 levels are associated with satiety (feeling full), causing subjects who use Saxenda to feel fuller sooner and therefore eat less.
Since weight-loss–at it’s core–boils down to eating less calories than you burn, Saxenda can help you lose weight by keeping you in a caloric deficit for an extended period of time.
Is There Any Research On Saxenda?
Actually, there is…
You see, Saxenda was created because clinical trials involving Liraglutide for diabetes observed weight-loss as a common ‘side effect’. When re-purposed as a weight-loss drug, that side effect becomes a direct effect.
This makes it an attractive option for over-weight individuals who may be at risk for developing metabolic syndrome or diabetes.
So, there’s really no doubt about it. Saxenda is a moderately effective weight-loss drug.
What Kind Of Results Can You Expect With Saxenda?
In a 56 week study, 62% of subjects lost more than 5% of their body weight while 34% lost more than 10% of their body weight over.
The subjects in this study ranged from over-weight to severely obese and it’s also worth mentioning that all subjects ate a reduced calorie diet and engaged in some exercise.
Still, the subjects who received Saxenda clearly lost more weight on average than the subjects who received nothing (placebo).
As with any weight-loss drug, the more obese you are, the more profound an impact Saxenda is going to have.
Over time, however, as you eat less and lose more weight, you should eventually reach a point where you’re eating the same amount of calories you’re burning and your weight will start to level out.
Saxenda isn’t necessarily a miracle weight-loss drug, but it does have the benefit of helping you reduce your calorie intake over time which is the first step towards developing sustainable healthy eating habits that allow you to actually keep the weight off.
The recommended dose of Saxenda is one 3mg injection per day, but as with any medication, it’s important to assess tolerance first.
Novo Nordisk, the company that markets Saxenda, suggests starting small and working you’re way up from 0.6mg/day the first week to 3.0mg/day the fifth week.
It’s possible that higher doses could be more effective, but due to the limited nature of the studies, higher dosages have not been evaluated for safety.
Best to stick with what has been proven to be relatively safe.
And that brings us to the side effects…
Saxenda Side Effects
Fortunately, Saxenda hasn’t demonstrated any super severe side effects. That doesn’t mean it’s side effect free, though.
Common side effects of Saxenda include:
- low blood sugar
At the end of the day, we’re all different and there’s no reason to suspect that you’re any more or less prone to side effects than the majority of the subjects in the studies in which these side effects were observed.
So, is it unlikely that you’ll experience side effects with Saxenda? Yes.
Is it a possibility, though? Of course.
Always consult with a qualified health care professional if you experience any negative side effects. They’d be best equipped to figure out what’s going on since they presumably have access to your medical history.
But maybe you’re not ready to inject yourself with some new drug that hasn’t even been around that long. Maybe you’d prefer to start with a more natural approach to weight-loss.
Saxenda Vs Victoza
Saxenda and Victoza are literally the same exact drug: Liraglutide.
Liraglutide started out as a Type 2 Diabetes treatment (Victoza) but it quickly became apparent that it worked as a weight loss drug as well.
It was rebranded as Saxenda with the only different being that Victoza typically comes in lower doses (1.8mg vs 3mg for Saxenda).
In other words, if you’re taking Victoza already, there’s no reason to take Saxenda as well. If anything, just talk to your doctor about upping the dose.
Natural Alternatives To Saxenda
If you don’t like the idea of injecting yourself with some strange drug that doesn’t seem to have much of a history behind it, I hear you!
I’m the same way. I would never turn to weight-loss drugs before considering every natural alternative.
Obviously, the two most important factors in losing weight are:
- Diet – cut your calorie intake
- Exercise – exercise more
Take in less calories than you burn and you’ll lose weight. Getting a handle on your diet and exercising regularly are the single most critical elements of any weight-loss plan.
Assuming you have those things taken care of, though, there are some natural supplements that are worth considering.
The thing to remember about supplements is that no single supplement is going to miraculously make you lose a bunch of weight, but the right supplements combined at the right doses can actually make a noticeable difference.
Supplements alone won’t give you the body of your dreams, but there are some that can help. Let’s talk about what those are…
You’re probably aware that Caffeine increases mental energy and alertness, but did you know that it also burns fat? It’s true!
Caffeine triggers the release of fat-burning hormones called Catecholamines, including Dopamine and Noradrenaline.
These hormones signal fat cells to release stored fat, a process known as lipolysis, to be burned for energy, a process known as beta-oxidation.
There’s really no doubt about it.
Most people will find their ideal dose somewhere between 200-400mg taken once (maybe twice) daily.
By itself, you’re looking at an increase of 50-60 extra calories burned.
Not bad, but we can do better…
You need to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat, so an extra 180 calories per day, you’ll lose a pound of fat every 20 days without doing anything different.
That’s pretty significant when you think about it.
The clinically effective dose for Synephrine is 50mg/day.
Forskolin is the active component of the herb, Coleus Forskohlii, and it just so happens to be one of the few non-stimulant weight-loss supplements that actually works.
By increasing cAMP, Forskolin can potentially amplify the effects of other fat-burning supplements like Caffeine and Synephrine.
That’s why I included clinically effective doses of all of these ingredients in my all natural fat-burner, Formula 56.
It contains nothing but clinically effective doses of ingredients that have actually been proven to promote fat-loss, increase metabolic rate, and (mildly) suppress appetite.
If you’re looking for an effective fat-burner that’s actually safe and won’t leave you all jittery, feeling like you’re going to have a heart attack, then you should check it out.
For what it’s worth, Formula 56 is my proudest supplement formulation to date. I use it daily and I stand by it 100% percent.
Show me a better fat-burner and I’ll reconsider!
The Bottom Line On Saxenda
Saxenda is a moderately effective weight-loss drug, but it does have it’s down-sides. For one, it’s never been proven superior to other currently available weight-loss drugs.
Plus, you have to inject it!
For many people that’s a deal breaker.
That’s why I recommend trying a more natural approach before turning to some synthetic drug that’s only been on the market a few years.
But that’s just one man’s opinion. Now that you know the facts about Saxenda, you can make up your own mind whether it’s worth a shot (no pun intended).