Ozempic and Fatty Foods The image shows 3 Ozempic pens and foods rich in healthy fats (avocado, seeds, olive oil, etc.)

Ozempic and Fatty Foods: Navigating the Challenges

May 2. 2023

If you are taking Ozempic – one of the newest diabetes medications that promote weight loss – you may have heard that you must avoid certain foods. The number one rule when starting an Ozempic treatment is that it has to be combined with diet and exercise. And since a healthy diet is a must, Ozempic and fatty foods are a big “no.”

This weight loss medication has been the talk of the town for a while now. When patients follow the program accordingly and stick to a healthy diet and exercise regime, they can lose up to 14% of their body weight. Not many medical weight loss treatments can achieve such results. There is no doubt why Ozempic is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite weight loss aider. But, as mentioned, this weight loss drug can not do wonders on its own. It requires commitment from the patient to acquire a few healthy habits and lifestyle changes. If you are wondering: why am I not losing weight on Ozempic, that could be because you need to make a few diet changes or improve your exercise plan.

One thing is certain, Ozempic and fatty foods are not the best combination. Not only because these types of foods can sabotage your weight loss journey but because they can lead to unpleasant side effects. In this article, our weight loss clinic in Chicago healthcare providers will tell you more about the dos and don’ts of Ozempic and nutrition. Continue reading to learn more.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a type 2 diabetes treatment medication for blood glucose management. Diabetic patients’ bodies do not produce enough insulin or have a hard time processing it correctly. Semaglutide – the active compound in Ozempic – acts by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This hormone is a receptor agonist that helps lower blood sugar levels. How does it do so? GLP-1 receptor agonist stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas and, at the same time, decreases glucose production from the liver.

Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures this medication, got the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approval for Ozempic in 2017. While this drug got approved to treat type 2 diabetes and lower blood glucose levels, it gained worldwide popularity for its weight loss effects. Ozempic weight loss has still not been approved by the FDA. However, Novo Nordisk developed a new brand with the same active ingredient (semaglutide) called Wegovy. Wegovy got approved for weight management in 2021.

How does Ozempic help with weight loss?

How does this blood sugar control medication help you achieve weight loss? The effect the GLP-1 receptor agonist produces – an increase of insulin and a decrease of glucagon – has a direct impact on your gastric emptying. In other words, GLP-1 hormones slow down your gastric emptying, so food travels at a lower speed in your digestive system, taking it longer to leave your stomach. When the food you eat stays longer in the system, you also feel satisfied for longer. This appetite-suppressing effect will help you eat fewer calories during the day and stick to a healthy diet—Ozempic works similarly to another appetite suppressant: Phentermine for weight loss.

Besides decreasing your hunger by slowing your gastric emptying, Ozempic for weight loss also targets the hunger areas of your brain. That helps diminish your appetite but also reduces unhealthy food cravings. You’d likely go for the healthy food choices instead of fatty or salty treats when on Ozempic. With the appetite suppression boost and reduced unhealthy food cravings, all you need is a proper diet to achieve your weight loss goals.

Most common Ozempic side effects

Like most medications, Ozempic can potentially cause some adverse effects while you are on the treatment. Most of the common side effects of Ozempic are mild and do not present severe complications to patients. When you start taking this medication, you can develop the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas

While common, not all individuals develop those side effects. The good news is they show up at the beginning of the treatment or when your doctor increases your dosage. As you may know, you will start Ozempic at the lowest possible dose; after about a month, if your body adapts to the medication, your doctor can slowly increase the dosage each month that passes. When you start taking a higher dose, your body needs a few days to adjust, and that is when the side effects usually appear. If the adverse effects do not go away or they become unbearable, you should talk with your healthcare provider immediately. There are certain Ozempic and Mounjaro foods to avoid to decrease the intensity of those side effects, but we will discuss them further below.

On rare occasions, Ozempic can also cause serious side effects, such as pancreatitis, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), kidney damage, gallbladder disease, change in vision, and allergic reactions.

Does Ozempic interact with certain foods?

Ozempic does not interact with any food; no food can compromise how well your body absorbs the medication. Therefore, there are no forbidden foods or food groups when you are on the treatment. However, as mentioned, to succeed and achieve rapid weight loss with Ozempic, you must follow a proper diet. And any healthy diet will exclude certain unhealthy foods. Avoiding certain foods will boost your weight loss journey and allow you to reach your objectives more quickly.

We bet you are also wondering about alcohol consumption. While there are no direct interactions between Ozempic and alcohol, it is advised to stop or decrease alcohol consumption while on the treatment. Alcohol can lower or raise blood sugar levels which can lead to Ozempic not working as well as usual. Ozempic or Mounjaro and alcohol are not the best combination, especially when trying to lose weight. Alcohol usually has too many empty calories that will sabotage your diet.

What happens if I combine Ozempic and fatty foods?

Ozempic does not interact with any foods, so there is no danger in eating fatty foods while on this medication. The only threat of combining Ozempic and fatty foods is that it can undermine your weight loss efforts. Of course, we are talking about foods high in unhealthy saturated fats. Foods with saturated fats are fatty meats (pork belly, chicken thigh, bacon, and sausages, among others), butter, heavy cream, fried foods, fast food, poultry skin, and some desserts, among others foods.

Consuming large quantities of fatty foods will quickly increase your fat-calories intake. Those types of calories turn into body fat more easily than proteins or carbohydrates. If you do not watch what you eat while on this medical weight loss program, you can delay how long does Ozempic take to work. Instead, sticking to a low-calorie meal plan that includes mostly or only healthy fats will speed up your weight loss process.

Another reason to avoid Ozempic and fatty foods is that those types of food can enhance some of the most common side effects of the medication. Many Ozempic side effects are gastrointestinal – like nausea, vomiting, loading, and gas. Foods high in saturated fats can cause those symptoms on their own. When combining them with Ozempic, the side effects can become too intense and even painful. If the symptoms continue or increase, you will even have to quit the treatment until they go away. Staying away from fatty foods while taking Ozempic is the best choice for the success of the treatment and your overall health.

Foods to avoid when taking Ozempic

While there are no off-limit foods when you take Ozempic for weight loss, you’ll be better off without certain ones. Why? For the same reason that fatty foods should be off the table: they can delay your weight loss results. These are the foods we recommend you keep off your grocery list while using Ozempic to lose the extra weight:

Refined carbohydrates

White pasta, pizza dough, white bread, pastries, white rice, bagels, or breakfast cereals usually fall under the category of high-glycemic foods. Even though some of these foods seem like healthy choices, our bodies absorb them quickly and transform them into glucose. That can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. Various studies show that refined carbohydrate consumption is associated with health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. These types of foods are not a wise choice when trying to obtain a healthy weight.

High-sugar foods and drinks

Sugar is highly inflammatory; consuming foods with added sugar in excess can lead to health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. You can still have foods with added sugar while taking Ozempic. However, it is best to lower your sugar consumption for weight loss purposes and your overall health. Sugary foods and drinks such as candy, sodas, pre-packed desserts, pastries, and ice cream will raise blood sugar levels and also quickly increase your calorie intake. Avoiding high-sugar foods does not mean you have to miss out on treats altogether; it is all about balance. You can also choose healthier options when choosing a treat (Ozempic will make that decision easier). For example, you can make a fresh fruit smoothie instead of having a soda or bottled smoothie.

Fatty foods

We already discussed the many benefits of avoiding unhealthy fatty foods when taking Ozempic. Still, it is worth mentioning one more time. So, as you already know, crossing out fatty foods from the list will help you lose weight quicker and avoid Ozempic’s most common side effects.

Foods you should eat while taking Ozempic

And what about the foods that can boost your weight loss journey with Ozempic? It will be easy to craft the ideal diet for your particular preferences and needs since there are no off-limits foods with this weight loss drug. These are some healthy options that you can opt for when taking Ozempic:

  • Healthy fats: not all fats are bad for your health; our body needs fats to perform basic functions. Some sources of healthy fats are avocado, nuts, olive oil, some types of fish, seeds, eggs, and natural yogurts, among others. 
  • Fruits and vegetables: these will provide many of the essential nutrients your body needs to function correctly. Try choosing vegetables and fruits high in fiber and low in sugar. You can change your sugar-added desserts for a piece of fruit.
  • Protein: protein will help your weight loss journey by giving you a sense of fullness and satisfaction. These are some excellent sources of protein: turkey, white fish, tuna, salmon, eggs, lentils, and spinach.
  • Fiber: eating foods rich in fiber are often also low in calories which will help you stick to a low daily calorie intake. When taking Ozempic, fiber can help your digestive tract move smoothly, reducing bloating, stomach pain, and constipation.
  • Coffee: since caffeine has an appetite-suppressing effect, combining Ozempic and coffee can boost your weight loss efforts. Drinking between 2-4 cups a day should be enough; too much coffee can increase some of the gastrointestinal Ozempic’s side effects. 
  • Ginger or peppermint tea: these teas can help reduce nausea – one of the side effects of Ozempic.
  • Clear or ice-cold drinks: drinking enough water or clear and cold beverages will also help Ozempic adverse effects. 

Final thoughts

Navigating the road of what to eat when taking Ozempic can be challenging. The best part of this process is that since there are no forbidden foods, you can create a healthy diet that meets your preferences. Now you know that Ozempic and fatty foods don’t pair well. You can start crafting a meal plan that only includes healthy fats and other food recommendations from this article. Remember that thanks to Ozempic’s effect, staying away from unhealthy foods will be easier than ever!

Do you need help with a customized diet plan for your Ozempic treatment? Schedule a call with us. Our team will provide a nutritional program and answer all your questions about Ozempic.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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