Semaglutide Nutrition

Considering the Importance of Nutrition is Key while Taking Medications with Semaglutide


Side effects from weight loss medication can deprive your body of much needed nutrients and energy, so making informed food consumption decisions can help ensure your daily nutritional needs are being met.


When taking semaglutide medications such as Ozempic or Wegovy it is important to consider the nutritional value of the foods you are consuming. Side effects of these weight loss medications include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. These side effects can deprive your body of much needed nutrients and energy, so making informed food consumption decisions can help ensure your daily nutritional needs are being met. Ozempic and Wegovy promote feelings of fullness, so it is important to consume foods with high nutritional value such as lean protein, fruits, vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats such as those found in seafood, seeds, and nuts to ensure the recommended dietary allowance for vitamins and minerals are being met. 

Considering your nutritional needs while taking semaglutide medications like Wegovy or Ozempic is important because in addition to side effects while taking these medications there are also side effects associated with stopping Ozempic and Wegovy.


Side Effects of Stopping Ozempic and Other Semaglutide Medications

Because semaglutide medications elicit feelings of fullness, people typically eat less while taking them. Once you stop taking Ozempic or Wegovy, you can expect your appetite to increase back to its pre-medication baseline, so building healthy eating habits while on semaglutide drugs will help you make healthier food choices once your appetite returns.

Another side effect of stopping Ozempic or Wegovy includes weight gain. Because your appetite will return, it’s important to build a healthy eating foundation with foods that make you feel full — lean protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables — while you are still taking Ozempic or Wegovy. Another side effect of stopping Ozempic or Wegovy includes spikes in blood sugar levels because you may return to consuming more calories and bigger portion sizes.


Foods that make you Feel Full

Because a side effect of stopping Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs includes weight gain, the importance of eating nutritional foods that promote fullness and satiety cannot be overstated. Healthy foods that make you feel full include:


  • Protein: Protein helps reduce ghrelin levels, the hormone that is implicated in hunger. Consuming lean proteins such as skinless white meat chicken and other poultry, seafood, legumes, tofu, eggs, and low-fat or non-fat dairy not only make you feel full, they also promote the development and preservation of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass requires energy, so the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you are burning — even while at rest!


  • High fiber foods: Foods high in fiber take longer to digest, so they make you feel full longer. High fiber foods include many of the vegetables mentioned above as well as oatmeal, kale, hummus, avocados, lentils, flaxseed, brown rice and whole grains. The benefits of fiber extend to improved heart health, digestive health, and improved blood sugar levels.


  • Fruits: Fruits have high water and fiber content with the benefit of being lower in calories. Grapefruit, for example, is 90 percent water so eating a grapefruit (if you are not taking medications that prohibit this) is a food that can make you feel full. Apples, watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and strawberries also can help make you feel full.


  • Vegetables: Vegetables also have high water and fiber content with the benefit of being lower in calories. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, Brussel sprouts, beans, sweet potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, and cauliflower are examples of foods that make you feel full.


Semaglutide medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy can help you lose weight quickly. Although these medications are useful, it is important to consider the role of nutrition in your weight loss journey. While taking these medications, it is important to build healthy eating habits by paying attention to your food choices. Each time you choose a piece of fruit or a lean protein over chips or other processed foods, you are creating healthy eating habits that will help you navigate the side effects of stopping Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs.

Adjusting your diet such that it includes more fiber, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats will serve you well as you work to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight once you transition away from semaglutide medications. If your health care provider is prescribing semaglutide drugs, be sure to talk with them how you can adjust your diet so that it is sustainable over the long haul. Before beginning any weight loss program, whether it includes anti-obesity medication or not, be sure to consult with your health care provider to make sure your desired weight loss strategy is right for you.


About the Author: Dr. Dawn M. Sweet has over 20 years of experience in the field of communication. Dr. Sweet has given several invited talks to and workshops for academic and private sector audiences on the role of nonverbal and verbal communication in achieving positive outcomes and mitigating bias. Her research has been published in several top ranked peer-review journals, and it has been featured on NPR’s River to River / All Things Considered, Buzzfeed, and Science Daily. Her research has also been used to inform expert testimony.

* Wegovy® and Ozempic® are registered trademarks of Novo Nordisk A/S. Novo Nordisk is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.

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