If you’ve been looking for ways to drop weight, you’ve most likely heard about semaglutide. Hollywood celebrities rave about it. Doctors talk about how it’s helping obese patients finally reach a healthy weight. You probably even know a few friends or family members who have used it to lose weight after nothing else worked. It’s the hot new diet trend that may seem like a miracle drug at first glance.
The good news is that semaglutide really is as effective as everyone claims. One study shows the drug can help people lose up to 15% of their body weight with long-term use. This is unprecedented in the weight loss industry. But, despite the impressive results it delivers, semaglutide is not meant to be a standalone solution for obesity. Instead, you should only use this drug if you’re prepared to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle. You’ll get better short- and long-term results by doing so. Here’s what to know about following a healthy semaglutide diet plan so you can get the best possible treatment outcome.
Semaglutide is a non-stimulating GLP-1 agonist drug. That means it mimics glucagon-like peptides in the body, a hormone that impacts body weight and blood sugar. Wegovy and Ozempic are two popular semaglutide medications. The former is FDA-approved for weight loss, while the latter is FDA-approved for treating type 2 diabetes.
Semaglutide is an injectable medication that’s gradually increased from a beginning dose of just 0.25 mg to a final dose of 2.4 mg. Slowly increasing the dosage of the drug helps to minimize unwanted symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and stomach upset.
Those who take semaglutide typically experience a reduction in appetite. This is partially due to the drug’s impact on the digestive system. It slows digestion and stomach emptying so the body feels satiated for longer periods. Many people also report a decreased desire for alcohol and sweets while taking the drug.
If you usually struggle with persistent cravings for unhealthy foods, you may find it easier to say no to them while taking semaglutide. You can capitalize on that fact by tossing out the nutrient-poor snacks and treats in your house and stocking up on better alternatives.
Why Diet Is Important While Taking Semaglutide
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t outrun a bad diet”? Well, it’s true. Most people can’t maintain a healthy weight (or good health in general) if they eat nutritionally poor foods. You can’t out-medicate a bad diet, either. While it’s possible to lose weight on semaglutide even if you eat unhealthy foods, it’s not ideal. You’ll get much better results if you watch what you eat while taking semaglutide injections.
If you’re serious about losing extra pounds and keeping them off, you need to fuel your body properly. Continuing to eat an unhealthy diet or refusing to exercise while taking semaglutide will not yield the long-term results you’re after. While there’s no official “semaglutide diet,” there are some pretty basic healthy eating guidelines you should follow. Here’s an overview of what to eat when taking semaglutide and what foods to avoid.
What to Eat When Taking Semaglutide
When you begin taking semaglutide, you may feel hungry less often. But it’s important not to skip meals. You want to make sure you’re getting enough calories to support your energy and nourishment needs. It’s normal to eat smaller portions at each meal than you normally do. You’ll get full faster and won’t want to eat as much. You may also feel sick if you overeat in one sitting. Choose your foods wisely and eat slowly to combat nausea.
In addition to minimizing undesirable side effects, making wise food selections can also augment your semaglutide weight loss results. Aim to follow a whole-food diet and avoid sweets and heavily processed foods. You’ll get better weight loss results if you include the foods below into your diet while taking semaglutide injections.
Optimize Your Protein Intake
When you lose large amounts of weight, you inevitably lose some lean muscle mass and unwanted fat. To minimize muscle loss and hold onto as much of your lean mass as possible, you need to optimize your protein intake. Some experts recommend getting around 35% of your daily calories from protein. Not all protein sources are healthy, though. It’s best to choose types that are low in saturated fats, such as white fish, skinless chicken breast, and plant proteins.
In addition to helping you retain as much lean muscle as possible, consuming protein at the beginning of each meal has another benefit. It helps keep your blood sugar stable and further boost your weight loss results. Vegetables have a similar impact on blood sugar. For this reason, it’s best to eat protein and vegetables before any other food on your plate.
Fill Your Plate With Veggies
Vegetables contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function optimally and fight off illnesses. It’s especially important to make sure you’re getting sufficient nutrients from vegetables when your body is under stress from losing weight.
Besides supporting your immune system and other bodily functions, vegetables are also rich in fiber. You need fiber to help keep your bowels regular. Fiber can also help you feel fuller longer, so you’re less likely to overeat. You should try to consume at least five servings of vegetables per day.
Trade Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation, but not all are harmful in moderation. Simple carbs like white flour, white bread, and sugary treats can cause blood sugar spikes. This is because the body breaks them down and digests them too quickly. Simple carbs may provide a temporary energy boost, but they cause an energy crash soon after consumption.
It’s much better to consume complex carbs. These are fiber-rich foods that the body digests more slowly. As a result, they don’t cause drastic and sudden increases in blood sugar levels. Complex carbs are a steady energy source and can help you feel more satiated throughout the day. It’s important not to overeat complex carbs because they tend to be high in calories and do eventually convert to sugar in the body. However, filling your plate no more than a quarter full with these food choices can help sustain your energy throughout the day.
Eat Fruit Instead of Sweets
Many people report experiencing fewer unhealthy food cravings while taking semaglutide. However, the occasional craving may still happen. When you’re dying for a piece of candy or a slice of cake, try snacking on fruit instead. Fruit is a great source of many vitamins and minerals. It can also satisfy your sweet tooth, making you less likely to reach for processed goodies.
Water isn’t a food, but it’s part of this guide because it’s an essential part of any semaglutide diet. It’s common for people to experience constipation while taking semaglutide. Drinking plenty of water will help you avoid this unpleasant scenario. Plus, water helps balance your electrolytes so you feel your best while losing weight.
What Not to Eat When Taking Semaglutide
Just as there are foods you should eat while following a semaglutide diet plan, there are some foods you should avoid. Indulging in nutrient-poor meals will sabotage your weight loss efforts and leave you feeling tired and unwell. Here’s what not to eat when taking semaglutide.
Greasy foods are high in calories and virtually devoid of all nutrients. They don’t deserve a place in your life or on your plate when you’re trying to become your healthiest self. Plus, eating greasy, fried foods will make you more likely to get nauseous while taking semaglutide.
It’s challenging to stay away from ultra-processed foods when they’re so convenient. But eating them will make it so much harder to lose excess weight. White bread, cereal, and pre-packaged foods cause inflammation in the body. They can also lead to bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. You don’t need all that discomfort in your life when you’re trying to lose weight. It may be difficult at first, but once you get into the habit of making healthy, home-cooked meals, your weight loss journey will become much more manageable.
Sugary Sweets and Drinks
Sugar causes massive blood sugar spikes that can make weight loss practically impossible. If you can limit or eliminate sugary sweets and drinks from your diet, you’ll feel so much better. You’ll also have more energy to exercise and maintain a healthier body.
If you’re used to consuming massive amounts of sugar, you may temporarily feel worse once you stop consuming it. It’s natural to experience headaches, mood swings, intense cravings, and bloating. Keep in mind that any adverse side effects are only temporary. Most people get through them in a matter of days or weeks. Once you kick your sugar addiction, you’ll likely notice it’s easier to drop weight than before.
Schedule a Semaglutide Consultation
If you’ve all but given up on losing excess weight, please contact Spa West. We can help you learn whether you’re a good candidate for semaglutide weight loss injections. We can also advise you on maximizing your weight loss results with a healthy semaglutide diet plan. Give us a call at 440-517-5228 to schedule your consultation.