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The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Semaglutide Diet Plan

Updated

Jul 15, 2024

Published

Nov 6, 2023

Learn about Semaglutide and how to develop your Semaglutide diet plan.

Making meal plan
Making meal plan
Making meal plan

Make a Semaglutide Diet Plan for Weight Loss

If you’re currently using or considering Semaglutide to help complement your weight loss regimen, we want to say “congratulations!” We’re happy you’re here. And you’re not alone, either. More and more people are looking into this popular medication to help them feel and look their best.

But notice one thing about what we said above — the word “complement.”

While Semaglutide has shown excellent promise as a treatment for obesity, it’s not a miracle drug, and it should not be a standalone treatment. The effects of Semaglutide are most noticeable when the medication is combined with a holistic weight loss strategy that includes getting regular exercise and — perhaps most importantly — eating a proper diet. 

But what does a proper diet look like while taking Semaglutide? Are there specific “what to eat while taking Semaglutide” or “foods to avoid while on Semaglutide” checklists you can look to? And what should your meal plan for Semaglutide actually look like? 

These are fair questions, and we’re glad you’re asking them. We’ll cover all these topics below, but first, let’s understand a little more about why you’re here.

How Does Semaglutide Help You Lose Weight

Semaglutide is a prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat people who have type 2 diabetes (under the brand name Ozempic®) and obesity (under the brand name Wegovy®). 

It belongs to a family of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 — or GLP-1 — receptor agonists. GLP-1 receptor agonists help you lose weight by mimicking the activity of the GLP-1 receptors in your body.¹

Semaglutide Helps Patients Lose Weight

Namely, they trigger the release of insulin, a hormone in your body that helps break down the food you consume into energy for your body to use. As they do this, they simultaneously prevent the reuptake of a hormone called glucagon, which raises blood sugar levels.²

While they act on these bodily functions, GLP-1 receptor agonists also affect how your body digests food and influence how your brain processes the feeling of “fullness.”³

Research shows that Semaglutide can help achieve 9.6 percent to 17.4 percent total body weight reduction within 68 weeks of medication.⁴

Pretty impressive, right?

The bottom line is that Semaglutide works with several different areas of your body to promote weight loss. It also works with your body's physiology to promote fullness and slows down digestion to help prevent your body from absorbing more of the sugar in the food you consume.

Why What You Eat on Semaglutide Matters

So, if Semaglutide is so effective at triggering weight loss, why does a Semaglutide diet strategy even matter? Do you really need to come up with a Semaglutide meal plan? 

For transparency’s sake, we want to be clear that there aren’t certain foods you can eat that will make the effects of Semaglutide more potent or intense. 

Proper dieting (and exercise!) is crucial to any weight loss plan, even if you have a secret weapon like Semaglutide. A healthy diet complements the effects of Semaglutide, while a not-so-great diet can hinder your results with the medication.⁵

In a nutshell, you want to aim for a balanced diet consisting of good fats, lean proteins, healthy fruits and veggies, legumes and whole grains. On the other hand, you want to avoid the usual culprits — sugary drinks and candy, processed and fried foods, junk food, etc. 

Let’s talk specifics. 

Foods to Eat While Taking Semaglutide

What you eat matters. The fuel you put into your body is critical to how your body works — including how it burns energy, how it stores fat and everything in between. If you want to make sure you’re body is doing everything it can to not stand in the way of weight loss, focus on:

  • Good fruits and vegetables

  • Seeds and nuts

  • Lean protein sources

  • Legumes

  • Whole grains

A Motivating Variety of Low Glycemic Foods

Good Fruits and Vegetables

Everybody knows the old hacks — lettuce has no calories (actually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA], it has 7.99 calories per cup), there’s only three calories in a pickle spear, add shredded carrots to everything, etc. — but these are more than just diet snack hacks.⁶

Fresh fruits and veggies are generally lower in calories, don’t contain processed sugars and promote fullness without the bulk and burden of that burger you were about to order for delivery.⁷

They also contain heaping helpings of essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, fiber, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, beta carotene and many, many others. 

Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts are excellent sources of dietary fiber, and fiber promotes fullness and curbs cravings. Moreover, seeds and nuts are also excellent sources of protein and healthy fats. By “healthy,” we mean polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.⁸ ⁹

Lean Protein

Everybody knows that if you’re trying to build muscle and reduce bloating, lean protein is a critical dietary component.

A Small Portion of a Balanced Meal

But here’s a little fun fact: protein also plays a pivotal role in weight loss. Of the three macronutrients — carbohydrates, fats and protein — protein is the most filling. Protein also appears to lower your ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone.”¹⁰

Legumes

Chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, fava beans, and other legumes are another dietary staple for people taking Semaglutide because they’re surprisingly low in fat and considered low-glycemic-index foods. ¹¹

Additionally, legumes are excellent sources of some essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. 

Whole Grains

If you don’t believe the word “grains” goes well with the phrase “weight loss,” think again. Grains — specifically nutrient-dense whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and even popcorn — are excellent sources of dietary fiber, which, as you know, helps you feel full in the short term.

Long term, some research suggests that a higher intake of whole-grain foods can help kick your body’s metabolism into high gear, which is the process by which your body burns fat. ¹²

Foods to Avoid While Taking Semaglutide

Just like there are good foods to include in a Semaglutide diet plan, there are also foods you should avoid if you’re trying to make the most of your weight loss efforts. 

Certain foods can also worsen some of Semaglutide’s known side effects, like nausea and other forms of upset stomach.

Generally, you want to avoid processed foods, foods full of sugar and saturated fats and foods with a high glycemic index. After all, they don’t call ‘em guilty pleasure foods for nothin’.

Some of those foods include:

  • Refined carbohydrates and grains

  • Foods with too much sugar

  • Starchy veggies

  • Fried foods

  • Processed foods

  • Soda and other sugary drinks

Refined carbohydrates and grains

We talked about good carbohydrates and grains above, so now let’s talk about the bad stuff. Unlike their unrefined and whole-kernel counterparts, refined carbs and grains are typically processed and lack the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients — like fiber, for example — of unrefined carbs and grains. 

Refined carbs and grains also typically raise your blood sugar levels, which works directly against what Semaglutide is trying to do in your body.¹³

Refined carbs and grains include white rice, white bread, bagels and white flour. 

Foods and drinks with too much sugar

You’ve heard us mention the term “glycemic index” a few times in this article. A food’s glycemic index is weighed against how likely it is to raise your blood sugar. Since sugary foods and drinks raise your blood sugar after you consume them, they’re considered high glycemic index items.¹⁴

These types of foods and drinks include baked sweets (cookies, cakes, pies, etc.), candy, soda pop (and other sugar-sweetened drinks!), chocolate, sugary breakfast cereals and more. 

Starchy Veggies

While fruits and veggies are generally considered excellent diet food snacks, it’s important to understand that not all of them are created equal.

Veggies on the starchier side of the spectrum — like corn, potatoes, turnips and others — have a higher glycemic index than non-starchy veggies, which means they’re more likely to make your blood sugar spike after consumption. 

These veggies aren’t necessarily terrible for you, but when lowering blood sugar is the name of the game, these types of veggies are best avoided.¹⁵

Fried foods

Fried foods are generally not good for you, but their negative attributes are magnified when you eat them while taking Semaglutide. 

Fried foods are generally high in bad fat, and high-fat foods can exacerbate some of Semaglutide’s side effects — like nausea, for instance. 

Saturated fats, trans fats and empty calories in fried foods, generally means a risk of developing obesity (or, at the very least, hindering the effectiveness of Semaglutide), diabetes and other diabetes-adjacent physical illnesses.

Processed foods

The term “processed foods” is a pretty wide net to cast over what you’re eating, but it’s for good reason. Processed foods include everything from microwave T.V. dinners and fast food, all the way down to things like potato chips, ice cream, cookies and — wince — bacon. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, processed foods are “Foods that are manufactured, usually on a large scale, using any of a wide variety of processing techniques, most often with the goal of preserving food for market.”¹⁶

Essentially, processed foods are the worst of the worst when it comes to high levels of sodium, saturated fat and sugars — all of which are guaranteed ways to derail your Semaglutide diet plan. 

Defining Your Semaglutide Diet Plan

It would not be wise to suggest not eating hot dogs and ice cream for the rest of your life. Eating the occasional guilty pleasure meal is an accepted part of any regimented weight loss strategy — hence the term “cheat day.” 

Woman doing yoga for weight loss

If you want to make the most of using Semaglutide, however, healthy eating is a big part of how you'll define your success. 

Do eat:

  • Good fruits and vegetables

  • Seeds and nuts

  • Lean protein sources

  • Legumes

  • Whole grains

Don’t eat:

  • Refined carbohydrates and grains

  • Foods with too much sugar

  • Starchy veggies

  • Fried foods

  • Processed foods

  • Soda and other sugary drinks

If you’re ready to start your weight reduction journey but don’t know how to go about it, Henry Meds can help. With Henry Meds GLP-1 weight management program, you can connect with a healthcare provider and get all the professional assistance you need with Compounded Semaglutide. Talk to Henry today and get started on your weight loss journey.

Sources

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  2. Chao AM, Tronieri JS, Amaro A, Wadden TA. Clinical Insight on Semaglutide for Chronic Weight Management in Adults: Patient Selection and Special Considerations. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2022;16:4449-4461 https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S365416

  3. Friedrichsen M, Breitschaft A, Tadayon S, Wizert A, Skovgaard D. The effect of Semaglutide 2.4 mg once weekly on energy intake, appetite, control of eating, and gastric emptying in adults with obesity. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2021 Mar;23(3):754-762.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33269530/ 

  4. Chao AM, Tronieri JS, Amaro A, Wadden TA. Clinical Insight on Semaglutide for Chronic Weight Management in Adults: Patient Selection and Special Considerations. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2022;16:4449-4461 https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S365416 

  5. Exercise and activity for weight loss. (2022, July 21). MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000385.htm

  6. FoodData Central Search Results. (n.d.). FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169247/nutrients

  7. Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012 Jul 1;3(4):506-16. doi: 10.3945/an.112.002154. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/

  8. High-fiber foods. (2022, July 30). MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000193.htm

  9.  Solah VA, Kerr DA, Hunt WJ, Johnson SK, Boushey CJ, Delp EJ, Meng X, Gahler RJ, James AP, Mukhtar AS, Fenton HK, Wood S. Effect of Fibre Supplementation on Body Weight and  Composition, Frequency of Eating and Dietary  Choice in Overweight Individuals. Nutrients. 2017 Feb 16;9(2):149. doi: 10.3390/nu9020149. Erratum in: Nutrients. 2017 Apr 20;9(4): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5331580/

  10. Dirmann, J. (2021, June 14). ,. , - YouTube. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0268005X1630340X

  11. Wilding, John P. H., et al. “Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity.” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 384, no. 11, 10 Feb. 2021, pp. 989–1002, www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183, https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183.

  12. Nichols, H., & Wilson, D. R. (2017, February 9). Whole grains increase metabolism, may help promote weight loss. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315744

  13. Get to Know Carbs | ADA. (n.d.). American Diabetes Association. https://diabetes.org/food-nutrition/understanding-carbs/get-to-know-carbs

  14. Hodgson, L., Warwick, K. W., & Kelly, E. (n.d.). Diabetes Nutrition Guide: Fruits & Vegetables. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/fruits-vegetables

  15. Hodgson, L., Warwick, K. W., & Kelly, E. (n.d.). Diabetes Nutrition Guide: Fruits & Vegetables. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/fruits-vegetables

  16. Wadden TA, Chao AM, Moore M, Tronieri JS, Gilden A, Amaro A, Leonard S, Jakicic JM. The Role of Lifestyle Modification with Second-Generation Anti-obesity Medications: Comparisons, Questions, and Clinical Opportunities. Curr Obes Rep. 2023 Dec;12(4):453-473. doi: 10.1007/s13679-023-00534-z. Epub 2023 Dec 2. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10748770/

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