Optimal Eating Guide for Those on Ozempic or Wegovy

By Dr. David Samadi

Taking semaglutide, such as Ozempic (primarily prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes) or Wegovy, (primarily prescribed for patients with obesity, excess body weight, or weight-related medical issues) can be a game-changer for managing weight and blood sugar levels. However, maximizing its benefits and minimizing side effects requires mindful eating. Understanding which foods to be eating and which foods to avoid, can help immensely in guiding patients on the road to successful, healthy weight loss. 

GLP-1 receptor agonists, including Ozempic and Wegovy, are medications designed to treat Type 2 diabetes and support weight loss. They work by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1, which is produced in the intestines. By activating GLP-1 receptors, these drugs help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite. They enhance insulin production postprandially, decrease blood sugar levels, and decelerate the transit of food into the small intestine, thereby fostering sensations of satiety and diminishing overall food consumption.

Despite their benefits, these medications can cause gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Additionally, rapid weight loss may lead to the loss of lean muscle. Thus, diet is crucial in treatment efficacy and management of side effects. Here’s advice on what to eat and avoid when taking semaglutide:

Best Foods to Eat When Taking Semaglutides Like Wegovy and Ozempic

1. Lean Sources of Proteins

  • Why: Essential for muscle repair, satiety, and metabolic function.
  • Examples: Poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, eggs, low-fat dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese.
  • Tip: Increase protein intake to prevent muscle loss during rapid weight loss.

2. Foods Rich in Fiber 

  • Why: Regulates blood sugar levels, promotes satiety, aids digestion.
  • Examples: Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice), legumes (beans, pulses), fruits, and vegetables.

3. Healthy Sources of Fats

  • Why: Contribute to satiety, support heart health, aid nutrient absorption.
  • Examples: Avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil.

4. Non-Starchy Fruits and Vegetables

  • Why: Low in calories and carbohydrates, rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
  • Examples: Melons, apples, pears, berries, spinach, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower.

5. Balanced Meals

  • Why: Ensures essential nutrient intake and supports overall health.
  • Strategy: Half of your plate should consist of non-starchy vegetables, while a quarter should be allocated to lean protein, and the remaining quarter should be filled with fiber-rich whole grains.

Foods to Limit When Taking Semaglutides

1. Fried Foods

  • Why: Greasy foods can exacerbate gastrointestinal side effects and are calorie-dense.
  • Examples: Fried chicken, french fries, onion rings.

2. Ultra-Processed Foods

  • Why: High in refined sugars, saturated fats, and sodium, providing empty calories.
  • Examples: Sugary snacks, baked goods, and processed meats like salami and bologna.

3. Sugary Beverages

  • Why: Loaded with added sugars, offering little to no nutritional value.
  • Examples: Soda, sweetened iced tea, fruit juices, energy drinks.
  • Tip: Opt for water, herbal tea, or sparkling water with a splash of citrus.

4. Too Much Intake of Surgary Carbohydrates

  • Why: Can cause blood sugar spikes and limit intake of more essential nutrients.
  • Examples: White bread, pasta, sugary cereals, pastries.
  • Tip: Choose whole-grain alternatives.

5. Alcohol

  • Why: Can interfere with blood sugar regulation.
  • Guideline: Moderate consumption (1 drink a day for women, 2 for men).

Takeaway Message

For those taking GLP-1 medications, a balanced, nutrient-dense diet is essential. Embrace healthy fats, lean proteins, fiber-rich foods, and non-starchy fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried, ultra-processed, and sugary foods. This approach not only enhances the effectiveness of your medication but also supports long-term health and weight management. Practice mindful eating and tune into your body’s cues for fullness.

Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911. 

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