Many people assume that Ozempic is a fast track to weight loss, which can definitely be true in some cases! But knowing how to eat while taking Ozempic can make a huge difference in your health AND your results.
In this post, I’ll share some tips for how to eat while using Ozempic. But first, let’s talk a bit about what Ozempic is and how it works.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic (also known as semaglutide) is a weekly injection designed to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
One common (and often positive) side effect is weight loss. Many people taking semaglutide feel less hungry throughout the day and (therefore) eat fewer calories. This is because semaglutide slows digestion while also signaling to the brain that the belly is full.
For this reason, some doctors prescribe Ozempic to treat obesity, even though it’s technically not FDA-approved for weight loss. Some also prescribe Wegovy, which is a higher-dose version of semaglutide that’s formulated (and approved) specifically for weight loss.
Should You Take Ozempic for Weight Loss?
Ozempic is all the rage lately, with more and more celebrities and everyday folk using it for weight loss.
It can certainly be effective for shedding pounds if you have a body mass index over 25 (FYI, Ozempic hasn’t been studied in people who have just a few pounds to lose).
In a 2022 study, adults with overweight and obesity lost about five pounds per month on average.
To be clear, you can also lose five pounds per month without medication. Many of my clients have done it with diet and lifestyle changes alone!
However, some people are biologically wired to have bigger appetites and more food cravings. But Ozempic can help reduce hunger and food obsession, making it easier to lose weight.
That’s not to say that weight loss on Ozempic is a walk in the park. Side effects like nausea and vomiting are common. Not to mention, you still need to work out and eat healthy.
How to Eat While Taking Ozempic
What does healthy eating on Ozempic look like, exactly? Here are a few tips on how to eat while taking it.
What to Eat While Taking Ozempic
Ozempic decreases appetite, which is a good thing when you’re trying to lose weight!
But low appetite (and nausea, if you’re one of the unlucky ones on Ozempic) can also increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies.
For this reason, it’s especially important to eat a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet throughout your treatment.
Stock your kitchen with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, healthy fats, and plenty of lean protein (which can help preserve muscle mass as the pounds come off). Here are just a few foods to add to your shopping list:
- Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, carrots, zucchini
- Fruits: Berries, melons, oranges, apples, grapes, cherries
- Whole Grains: Brown rice, quinoa, whole grain bread, oats
- Legumes: Beans, lentils
- Healthy Fats: Nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil
- Lean Protein: Chicken breast, fish, shellfish, pork tenderloin, eggs, low-fat dairy, tofu, protein powder
Shifting your diet to include mostly wholesome, nutrient-dense foods will also set you up for success after stopping Ozempic, when weight regain is common.
Wondering how much of these foods to eat? I’m a big fan of the plate method. Here’s how it works:
- Grab a nine-inch plate and draw an imaginary line down the middle.
- Fill the right side of the plate with non-starchy vegetables–any veggie but potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, or peas.
- Now, divide the remaining half of the plate into halves.
- Fill the first half with lean protein.
- Fill the second half with any combination of whole grains, legumes, or fruit.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat to the plate.
- Stop eating when you’re only 80 percent full.
(Note: A good multivitamin can help meet your nutrient needs if you’re struggling to eat at all, let alone entire platefuls. Here’s the one I take.)
You can also use more advanced methods (like counting macros) to determine how much food you need, but you don’t necessarily have to. A registered dietitian can help you calculate your macros and stay on target if you decide to go that route.
Foods to Avoid While Taking Ozempic
Many people believe you can eat anything you want while taking Ozempic, but that’s actually not the case.
Certain foods can trigger side effects and/or decrease the effectiveness of Ozempic (and most of these foods aren’t great for your health, either).
First, you’ll need to avoid greasy, fried, and high-fat foods. In addition to being very calorie-dense, these foods hang out in your belly longer than lower-fat foods, making you more susceptible to nausea.
Second, stay away from sugary foods and drinks. Baked goods, candy, soda, juice, and other sugar bombs crowd out space in your stomach for healthier foods and make blood sugar more difficult to control.
Finally, pass on alcohol, which can also lead to blood sugar fluctuations.
Final Words on Ozempic and Weight Loss
Hopefully, this post has given you a few ideas for how to eat while taking Ozempic. But if you need more support, I’d love to help!
Our CrossFit and weightlifting classes at Two Six are designed to build muscle and boost metabolism, which is super important if you’re taking Ozempic! We also offer remote programming if you’re not in St. Louis or can’t attend the gym.
We also offer in-person and virtual nutrition coaching–providing accountability and eliminating the guesswork about what to eat.
Click the “free intro” button here if you’d like to learn more and discuss whether we’re a good fit.
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