Wegovy has become increasingly popular as an effective medication for weight management in individuals living with overweight and obesity. However, certain foods can potentially worsen the side effects of this medication. Knowing what to avoid and what to include in your diet while taking Wegovy can help reduce side effects and enhance its effectiveness. This article will provide insights into the best food choices to support your Wegovy treatment.
The Role of Diet in Wegovy Treatment
Wegovy, also known as semaglutide, is an injectable prescription medicine that assists with weight loss. This medication acts as a GLP-1 receptor agonist, stimulating insulin release and reducing hunger, food intake, and promoting satiety. Wegovy is FDA approved for obesity, unlike Ozempic and Mounjaro, which are only approved to treat type 2 diabetes.
Managing Potential Side Effects
Despite the benefits of Wegovy, like any medication, it may have some potential side effects, especially during the initial stages of treatment. Some of the common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and suppressed appetite. In some cases, headaches, dizziness, an increased heart rate, and rare instances of gallbladder disease may occur.
Although there are no specific foods that are completely restricted while taking Wegovy, some dietary choices can exacerbate adverse side effects or hinder its efficacy. High-fat, fried, and greasy foods may worsen nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. Additionally, consuming sugary foods can disrupt blood sugar management and reduce the medication’s effectiveness.
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Foods to Avoid on Wegovy
While no foods are entirely off-limits, limiting certain types of food can help manage potential side effects and enhance the effectiveness of Wegovy. Consider reducing or avoiding the following:
- Fried and greasy foods: Consuming these foods can produce gastrointestinal symptoms that resemble some of Wegovy’s side effects, such as bloating and abdominal discomfort. Additionally, they tend to be high in calories and unhealthy fats that can deter weight loss efforts when consumed in large amounts.
- Sugary foods: Foods with high sugar content such as candy, soda, desserts, ice cream, specialty coffee drinks, and juices can cause blood sugar spikes that counteract Wegovy’s blood sugar-lowering effects. Moreover, they often contribute to weight gain as they lack nutritional value, which can make it more challenging to attain your desired weight.
- Carbonated beverages: Drinking sodas or other carbonated beverages can lead to bloating, burping and abdominal discomfort that can worsen some of Wegovy’s side effects.
- Refined carbohydrates: Foods that contain refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and processed snacks, can raise blood sugar levels and undermine your weight loss efforts.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking Wegovy can cause both hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), depending on how much and how often you drink. It may be best to limit alcohol intake to one drink daily for women and two drinks daily for men (1 drink = 5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, or 1.5 oz distilled spirits) in conjunction with your normal meal plan.
Foods to Include on Wegovy
Supporting your Wegovy treatment with a well-balanced diet can promote better blood sugar control and weight loss. Consider incorporating the following foods:
- Lean proteins: Chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, and tempeh provide high-quality proteins that promote fullness and stabilize blood sugars. Prepare these foods by grilling, baking, air-frying, or broiling rather than frying. Pairing together lean proteins with non-starchy vegetables and small portions of high fiber carbohydrates is an effective method for both blood sugar balance and weight loss.
- Healthy fats: Dietary fats can help give foods a satisfying mouthfeel and help keep us fuller for longer. Opt for unsaturated fats from sources like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds, as they improve cholesterol levels and aid satiety.
- Non-starchy vegetables and fruits: Include a variety of vegetables like broccoli, peppers, carrots, cauliflower, and fruits in your diet to boost nutrient intake and prevent blood sugar fluctuations.
- High fiber carbohydrates: Choose fiber-rich options such as peas, quinoa, steel-cut oats, whole wheat bread, and sweet potatoes to help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Fiber can cause gas and bloating, especially if you aren’t used to getting a lot so make sure to increase fiber gradually and drink lots of water too.
- Water: Staying hydrated with sufficient water intake can support weight loss efforts by reducing overeating and increasing metabolic rate.
Remember that individual responses to medications and diets can vary, so it’s essential to consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes. Embracing a mindful approach to your diet while taking Wegovy can help minimize potential side effects and support your overall well-being.
Getting Nutrition Help While Taking Wegovy
There are many factors that go into deciding which medication is right for each individual. At FORM, all patients are under the care of a Board Certified Doctor specialized in weight management who will complete a comprehensive medical evaluation, including laboratory testing, to determine which medication and treatment plan is best for them. While medications work differently for each individual, studies show that patients experience 2x more weight loss with medication and lifestyle changes, rather than medication alone. Through frequent visits with an experienced FORM Registered Dietitian, an individualized nutrition plan can be crafted around preferences, lifestyle, and any potential symptoms from medications. If you are interested in learning more about FORM, schedule a call or send a message today for more information. You can also take our online quiz to see if you qualify for FORM medical weight loss.
Wegovy® is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.