Peptides For Weight Loss: Do They Really Work? Guides In 2024


Reviewed by Maya Frankfurt, PhD
peptides for weight loss
Peptides can be used for weight loss to build muscle. Photo:

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Are you on a journey to lose weight? Balancing dietary changes, supplements, and exercise is challenging. 

Although lifestyle modifications like adding fiber to the diet or cutting out carbohydrates may be beneficial, sometimes weight loss can be stubborn and need an extra boost. 

Recently, there has been a surge in the popularity and research behind peptides that could promote weight loss. Peptides are short strings of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins.[1]  

Proteins are powerful molecules responsible for the function, structure, and regulation of many of the body’s tissues and organs. These naturally occurring compounds have been shown[2] to significantly impact weight loss.

We will dive into the best peptides for weight loss, how they work, and their potential side effects. This guide will help you determine if peptide therapy under the guidance of your physician may be the boost you need to achieve your dream body.

Best Peptides For Weight Loss

There are many peptides to consider for weight loss, with the most popular five including:

  1. Ipamorelin.
  2. Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide or MOTS-C
  3. Glucagon Like Peptide – 1 or GLP-1
  4. CJC-1295
  5. Tesamorelin

These peptides work by altering metabolism, increasing lean muscle mass, and regulating blood sugar levels.

Peptides For Weight Loss

peptides for weight loss
Peptides for weight loss promote fat burning and boosting metabolism. Photo: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

Peptide therapy has gained increasing popularity as a weight loss therapy. But with so many peptides to choose from, including[3] collagen peptides for weight loss, injectable peptides, and oral peptides, the reasons behind how and why they work can become confusing. Here, we discuss five research-backed peptides that promote weight loss through altering metabolism, body composition, and blood sugar control.  


Ipamorelin[4] is a synthetic peptide that is a selective receptor agonist of ghrelin,[5] a gut hormone that plays a significant role in hunger and appetite. It is one of many injectable peptides for weight loss.

Ipamorelin also binds to receptors in the pituitary gland, leading to the release of growth hormone.[6] This hormone boosts metabolism, increases fat burning, and alters body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing fat.

Overall, the effects of Ipamorelin can help curb appetite and improve muscle building through its growth hormone and ghrelin-altering effects.

Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide Or MOTS-C

MOTS-C[2] is a promising peptide for weight loss therapy. This 16 amino acid-long mitochondrial peptide regulates a wide variety of genes that are linked to metabolic dysfunctions like diabetes and obesity.

This peptide plays a crucial role in regulating cells’ glucose metabolism and energy production. Research[7] has shown that MOTS-C can enhance insulin sensitivity and promote calorie burning. In this way, it can reduce body weight and the risk of developing metabolic diseases in the future.

Benefits of this peptide include the potential[2] to reduce glutathione, which reduces chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, prevents age-related bone loss, and helps prevent cardiovascular diseases.  

Although this peptide is not yet FDA-approved, early studies have demonstrated its expansive health benefits and potential to alleviate obesity.

Glucagon Like Peptide – 1 Or GLP-1

A popular peptide to reduce weight is the GLP-1 agonist, semaglutide, sold under the brand names Wegovy and Ozempic. These medications mimic the effects of GLP-1[8] hormone by stimulating receptors in the brain that control appetite, fullness, and blood sugar control. 

Semaglutide has demonstrated significant weight loss results[9] in overweight and obese individuals, with an average weight loss of approximately 6% at three months and 1% at six months of treatment.

This peptide is FDA-approved for weight loss and can be prescribed by your doctor. It is typically administered[10] once weekly through subcutaneous injections for the treatment of obesity.


CJC-1295[11] is a long-acting growth hormone-releasing hormone, or GHRH, analog. This is one of the best weight loss peptides that promotes[12] fat loss by stimulating growth hormone release from the pituitary gland. 

Research[13] has demonstrated that obesity suppresses growth hormone levels due to elevated[14] free fatty acid levels, which are a major fuel for many cells of the body. High levels of free fatty acids influence[15] the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Obesity and other metabolic diseases have been linked to blood sugar elevations.

CJC-1295 works by activating growth hormone,[12] which can promote fat breakdown, muscle growth, and improve metabolism.

This peptide may be combined with other peptides, especially ipamorelin, to boost fat burning by activating natural weight loss mechanisms in the body through two unique pathways. Implementing exercise, such as cardio workouts, can help promote muscle growth and fat reduction.


Tesamorelin[16] is another synthetic peptide analog of human GHRH. It simulates natural peptides in the body and has an extra amino acid in its amino acid sequence that makes it structurally different from human GHRH. 

Tesamorelin may help promote weight loss by increasing muscle mass, fat breakdown, and reducing inflammation. 

Research[16] has demonstrated that due to its impact on increasing both growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1, a peptide that ncreases muscle and decreases body fat. These changes in body composition and support weight loss.

Additionally, research into tesamorelin in obese subjects demonstrated reductions in C-reactive protein,[17] an inflammatory marker produced by the liver. Reductions in inflammation have been linked[18] to positive weight loss outcomes and improvements in cardiovascular disease and blood sugar control.

Adding this peptide to a healthy diet and exercise routine can help boost fat loss and promote solid muscle gains for some individuals.

How Do Peptides Help With Weight Loss?

peptides for weight loss
Peptides help with weight loss by increasing growth hormone secretion. Photo: ALL best fitness is HERE/Shutterstock

Different peptides work through other mechanisms to promote weight loss. Peptides may increase metabolism, suppress appetite, or increase muscle mass. Below are a few ways peptides can encourage weight loss:

Increased Growth Hormone Secretion

Ipamorelin,[4] Tesamorelin,[16] and CJC-1295[11] stimulate the release of growth hormone, a powerful natural hormone that plays a crucial role in metabolism and fat burning. Increasing growth hormone[19] levels may result in weight loss through altered parameters, although no specific studies prove these peptides’ efficacy yet.

Glucose Metabolism

MOTS-C[2] and semaglutide impact insulin sensitivity, which is the body’s ability to regulate glucose in the blood. Regulating insulin sensitivity prevents blood sugar drops[20] and subsequent spikes that often result in snacking and overeating, which can result in weight loss. 

Muscle Growth

Many people become interested in peptides for weight loss and muscle gain. Increases in lean muscle mass and changes in body composition alter the body’s metabolism,[21] often making it easier to burn calories. 

The peptides CJC-1295 and Tesamorelin increase muscle mass, especially when combined with regular exercise, which can help burn more calories and support healthy metabolic function.

Appetite Suppression

Ipamorelin and semaglutide act on receptors in the brain that control the sensations of hunger and fullness. If you often feel hungry quickly after a smoothie or healthy meal, these peptides can help reduce cravings and calorie intake. Additionally, taking peptides while drinking more water can suppress appetite, as signals of thirst can sometimes be confused for feelings of hunger.

Peptides For Weight Loss Side Effects

While peptides are generally safe for most individuals, you should consult your healthcare professional before starting peptide therapy. The specific side effects will vary depending on which peptide is used for weight loss and the individual’s response to the peptide.

Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea.
  • Gastrointestinal upset.
  • Headaches. 
  • Fatigue.
  • Changes in blood sugar levels. 

Side effects can occur due to changes in digestion, metabolism, and appetite, so it is vital to be aware of the potential risks of these medications. 

It is essential to discuss peptide therapy with a healthcare professional before starting therapy as they can provide proper guidance, dosage, and administration instructions and ensure the medication is safe based on your medical history.

Are Peptides Safe For Weight Loss?

Peptides can be safe for weight loss when used under medical supervision and prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional. Peptides must be dosed and administered correctly for them to be safe for weight loss. Your doctor can guide you on appropriate administration. 

Peptides that can promote weight loss should always be combined with a healthy diet, which may include detox water and other lifestyle changes. Although they may assist with muscle mass, metabolism, and hunger cravings, prioritizing healthy lifestyle changes will help you keep the weight off safely and permanently.


Peptide therapy offers a promising solution for individuals looking to lose weight. Their impressive fat-burning, metabolism-boosting, and appetite-suppressing abilities can significantly impact weight loss success for many people. Using peptides and not eating common high-fat foods to avoid, such as fast food or processed foods, can support your journey. 

A healthcare professional should always be a part of the decision-making process regarding peptides for fat loss. Increasing fat metabolism and lean muscle growth through peptide therapy can boost you to meet your weight loss goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do peptides really work for weight loss?

Yes, peptides may help support weight loss with a healthy diet and exercise. Even the best collagen peptides for weight loss have not been shown to produce the same results. Always speak with a healthcare professional before starting peptide therapy.

How much weight can you lose with peptides?

Weight loss will vary from person to person based on their unique body habits and diet and exercise patterns.

How long does it take for peptides to work for weight loss?

Peptide therapy will take time for you to hit weight loss goals, even when combined with lifestyle factors. Semaglutide[9] users saw significant weight loss at three months.

Who should not take peptides?

The peptide injections for weight loss side effects may not make peptide therapy safe for everyone. Due to how they impact the metabolism, it is best to check with your doctor before starting therapy.

Can I use peptides every day?

Everyday peptide use will vary based on the peptide you take. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance on when to take peptide therapy.

+ 21 Sources

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With a particular emphasis on integrative therapies, mental health, and wellness, Dr. Nicolette Natale practices as a physician, conducts medical research, and contributes to medical writing. See More