Should you diet with Ozempic? Ozempic does not replace a healthy diet; rather it's a medication that promotes better blood sugar and insulin response that can help you improve your diet and see more weight loss results while dieting. That said, how you eat can either improve or interfere with your response to the medication. Additionally, because it directly impacts how you digest food, you might find that certain foods exacerbate GI issues like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (yes, these are all common side effects of taking weight loss medication injections).
While there is no specific medical reason for avoiding any type of foods while taking Ozempic, anecdotally, some individuals may notice that higher fat and higher sugar foods are harder to tolerate. This is likely due to both food groups being on the polar opposite sides of the digestion rate spectrum. High sugar, or even overly refined grains, such as sweetened beverages, baked goods, chips and white flour products, are typically digested more rapidly while high fat foods, like fried foods and buttery or creamy foods, take their time through your digestive tract. For that reason, both could provoke unwanted tummy troubles.
Like most semaglutide medications, Ozempic has the ability to slow gastric emptying which has an appetite-suppressing effect. If you stay fuller longer you won't feel as hungry and may even notice diminished cravings for sweets and other hyper-palatable foods.
Whether you're taking Ozempic to lose weight, manage blood sugar/insulin levels, or do both, it's important to continue to develop and sustain healthy lifestyle habits. If you're on Ozempic, take advantage of it while you can. Don't let the injections do all the work for you because first of all, it might not be as effective without diet and exercise changes and secondly, you will be more successful long-term when you have a solid foundation of healthy habits if you ever need to stop the medication in the future. That said, feeling less hungry can decrease intrusive thoughts and distracting noise around food - this can make it easier to develop a healthier relationship with food by facilitating healthier meal choices and making room to find non-food-related methods to manage stress or emotional eating tendencies.
Here are the best foods to eat while taking Ozempic, or for weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels in general:
High fiber foods such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans. Aim for 30-35 grams of fiber per day.
Anti-inflammatory fats like extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil and avocado.
Lean and plant proteins such as fish/seafood, white meat poultry, eggs, tofu and Greek yogurt.
Should you avoid any foods?
If your motive for taking Ozempic is to lose weight and improve blood glucose levels, it is best to follow an anti-inflammatory and low glycemic eating pattern. This includes plenty of fiber-rich foods, anti-inflammatory fats and lean protein foods. While you don't need to strictly avoid anything, as it's unnecessary and often unsustainable to do so, limiting consumption of overly processed foods like empty-calorie packaged snack foods, or those with over 10 grams of added sugar may improve outcomes.
Working with a registered dietitian is the optimal solution to ensure you're eating the healthiest way possible. Dietitians can offer personalized meal plans and tailored tips to maximize nutritional intake and solidify healthy eating habits. Other than that, make sure you understand how many calories, macro and micronutrients your body needs based on your body composition, medical history, activity level and other factors. Supplements can also fill in the gaps to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Always speak to a professional before taking new supplements to avoid interactions with medications you're taking and avoid toxic side effects.
Overall, just because you can easily get a prescription for Ozempic doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered carefully. Not everyone will respond the same and for some, it can do more harm than good to their health and well-being. With any medical decision, there are always pros and cons. That said, Ozempic is not the only weight loss solution: there are many alternative and more holistic options to reaching a healthier weight, reducing body fat and lowering blood glucose levels. What's most important is that you find a solution that's sustainable and works for you.