Semaglutide for Weight Loss: What Foods Should You Avoid and Eat?

May 23, 2024 | Weight Loss

If you’re taking Semaglutide, you know that it works best when combined with healthy lifestyle changes. Regular physical activity and diet are important for weight management.

However, this medication may cause unwanted side effects such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, and an urge to avoid eating.

Eating foods that support semaglutide may reduce the chance of side effects and enhance overall health results. While changing your diet can help reduce Ozempic side effects, most doctors don’t expect patients to eliminate certain food groups entirely. It’s more about careful moderation, especially when taking the initial few doses of medication.

Learn what foods to avoid while taking semaglutide and the best foods that support this medication.


What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a medication in the class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). It’s prescribed to manage two significant health conditions: type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Semaglutide is an active ingredient in the brand-name drug Ozempic. Ozempic is an injection that is FDA-approved to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and reduces the risk of major cardiac events like stroke, heart attack, and death in people with diabetes and heart disease. Weekly doses range between 0.25 milligrams and 2 milligrams.

Semaglutide is also sold under the brand name Wegovy, which is approved for weight loss. The average dose is 2.4 milligrams, given weekly under the skin.

Wegovy is approved for obesity in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m² or higher or with a BMI of 27 kg/m² or higher who have at least one weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.


How Does Semaglutide Work?

Being a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, semaglutide mimics the GLP-1 hormone, which is secreted in the gut after eating.

GLP-1 helps the body create more insulin, which lowers blood sugar. As a result, health-care providers have used semaglutide to treat Type 2 diabetes for over 15 years.

At higher doses, GLP-1 interacts with brain areas that reduce cravings and signal fullness. When combined with diet and exercise, semaglutide can result in significant weight loss in obese or overweight adults, as well as a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Semaglutide makes you feel fuller for longer, reduces your appetite for more food, and improves how your body controls blood sugar levels and fat storage.


Foods to Avoid While Taking Semaglutide

No food is completely off-limits to patients using Ozempic or Wegovy. However, limiting some food types can help you minimize side effects and gastrointestinal symptoms affecting you during treatment.

Limiting the following foods may reduce the likelihood of developing GI distress, including vomiting, nausea, heartburn, and reflux.


1. Sugar-Rich Foods

Excessive sugar consumption is harmful to semaglutide users, especially those with type 2 diabetes or obesity. High sugar intake can cause spikes in blood glucose levels, counteracting the blood sugar-regulating effects of semaglutide and burdening the body’s insulin response, potentially worsening insulin resistance over time.

High sugar consumption can also cause weight gain, making it more difficult to achieve semaglutide-supported weight loss goals. High sugar intake has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and other metabolic disorders, complicating the management of diabetes and obesity.

Therefore, you should limit or avoid foods high in added sugars, including sodas, fruit juices, candy, baked goods, and desserts.


2. High-Fat Foods

High-fat foods, particularly those high in unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats, can negatively impact the effectiveness of semaglutide and overall health.

Diets high in unhealthy fats have been linked to insulin resistance, which may make the blood sugar-regulating effects of semaglutide more challenging.

Unhealthy fats can also increase levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL), increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

Research has also shown that even those without diabetes or obesity can experience upset stomach and digestive disorders when eating deep-fried foods, meaning that those using semaglutide drugs are at a higher risk of GI distress if they eat fried, fatty meals regularly.

Some high-fat foods to avoid are your daily staples, including chicken, french fries, whole milk, full-fat cheeses, ice cream, and red meats.


3. High-Carbohydrate Foods

Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. Large amounts of high-carb foods can cause rapid spikes in blood glucose, challenging your body’s ability to manage these levels effectively.

Increased blood sugar levels from high-carb intake can overwhelm semaglutide’s glucose-lowering actions, making it more difficult to stabilize blood sugar. This can also increase the risk of complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes.

White bread, cakes, white rice, pasta, and potatoes are examples of high-carb foods that may spike your blood sugar levels.


4. Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain high levels of unhealthy fats, sugars, salt, artificial additives, and refined carbohydrates. These ingredients can cause rapid spikes in blood glucose levels, making it difficult to maintain stable blood sugar control.

The unhealthy fat in these foods can also cause insulin resistance, inflammation, and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Consuming or drinking ultra-processed meals, such as sugary drinks, chicken nuggets, frozen dinners, or sweetened cereals, is also linked to an increased risk of weight gain.


5. High-Sodium Foods

Excessive sodium intake is linked to several health issues, including high blood pressure, which is a common complication in diabetes and obesity. High blood pressure may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Therefore, it is important to avoid foods high in salt when living with diabetes. You should also plan regular doctor’s checkups to monitor your blood pressure and ensure you do everything possible to avoid unnecessary risks.


Best Foods to Eat While Using Semaglutide

When used for weight loss, semaglutide is used with a lower-calorie diet. And if you’re taking semaglutide to treat type 2 diabetes, the manufacturer recommends a diet that focuses on controlling blood sugar levels.

Some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet while using semaglutide include:


1. High-Fiber Foods

Fiber-rich foods are excellent for maintaining blood sugar control and promoting satiety, aiding in weight loss. Dietary fiber slows the absorption of sugar, preventing rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. Additionally, high-fiber foods help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating.


2. Lean Proteins

Protein intake is essential for everyone, but it is especially important for someone using semaglutide to include lean protein in every meal. Protein helps reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which helps you feel fuller and avoid overeating.

Incorporate lean proteins such as skinless chicken breast, salmon, lean beef, or plant proteins to obtain your protein and feel fuller. Lean proteins are also lower in unhealthy fats and can support muscle maintenance while losing weight.


3. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are essential for heart health and overall well-being. They can help improve insulin sensitivity and provide long-lasting energy. Including moderate amounts of healthy fats can support weight loss and improve cardiovascular health.

Nuts and seeds, avocado, olive Oil, and fatty fish are good sources of heart-healthy fats.


4. Hydration

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is essential when taking a GLP-1 like semaglutide. Your small and large intestines absorb water from your meals. The longer gastric emptying takes, the drier your solid waste will be.

Dry, solid stools are painful and difficult to release. However, drinking plenty of water is an excellent method to avoid this. Generally, you should drink 30 mL of fluids per kilogram of body weight, or around 0.5 oz/lbs of body weight.

Certain vegetables, such as cucumbers and celery, fruits like watermelon and strawberries, and soups and broths, can help you meet your hydration needs while providing essential nutrients.


5. Snack on Seeds, Nuts, Fruits, and Vegetables

Semaglutide suppresses appetite, so you may not be hungry enough to consume larger meals. However, you may want to snack on smaller meals.

Seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are excellent snack options that provide essential minerals and vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats without causing rapid spikes in blood sugar. They not only help fuel your body, providing energy and preventing you from overeating or consuming poor meals, but they are also healthy.

Nuts and seeds are also abundant in essential nutrients such as zinc and magnesium, which increase energy and maintain a healthy immune system.


Reach Your Goals With Weight Loss Medication From NP2GO Clinic

At NP2GO Clinic, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your weight loss goals through effective weight loss medications. We offer medications such as Wegovy, Ozempic, Zepbound, Mounjaro, and Retatrutide.

At NP2GO Clinic, our dedicated professionals, including nurse practitioners and registered dietitians, are well-trained in obesity medicine. They will supervise your weight loss progress to help you achieve healthy and sustainable results.

We understand that everyone is unique. Our team works with you to create a personalized meal plan that best suits your needs and preferences. We will also discuss other essential components for successful weight loss, such as stress management, physical activity recommendations, and sleep quality.

While we are proud to be Edmond’s only mobile urgent care, we also offer our services nationwide.

Take the first step towards a healthier you with NP2GO Clinic. Book your appointment today, and let us help you reach your weight loss goals with the best medications and personalized care.