Reviewed by Dr. Chad Gilliam PA

Are you among the many who have turned to semaglutide to help with chronic weight management

Did you know that what you eat while taking the medication can affect its effectiveness? Some foods can not only reduce the drug’s positive effects but also cause uncomfortable symptoms.

At Madison Wellness & Aesthetics Center, we want to empower our clients with knowledge to maximize their treatment outcomes. In this blog post, we will uncover the top 5 foods you should avoid while taking semaglutide.

How Does Semaglutide Work?

Semaglutide, a prescription medication used initially in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, mimics the action of the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This hormone helps regulate blood sugar and slow digestion, making you feel full. Semaglutide is injected into the body and stimulates the production of GLP-1, which can help suppress appetite and promote weight loss.

A recent study sheds light on semaglutide’s effectiveness for weight loss. In a comprehensive trial with over 1,000 participants, the findings were remarkable. Subjects who received semaglutide lost an average of 14.9% of their initial body weight compared to just 2.4% in the placebo group over 68 weeks.

Key Takeaway

Semaglutide is an injectable prescription medication clinically proven to aid in weight loss by enhancing the body’s natural production of glucagon-like peptide-1. GLP-1 helps to regulate blood sugar and suppress appetite. To get the most out of your treatment, avoid high-fat foods, added sugars, refined carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, and excessive alcohol consumption. Instead, focus on a healthy and balanced diet to support semaglutide’s weight loss properties and achieve your wellness goals.

Foods To Avoid

The effectiveness of semaglutide is enhanced when paired with a healthy diet. However, certain foods can reduce its weight loss properties and even cause unpleasant side effects. Here are the top five foods to avoid while taking semaglutide.

1. Foods That Are High in Fat

Eating foods high in fat can worsen the common side effects of semaglutide. These foods can cause stomach upset on their own, but when combined with semaglutide, the likelihood of experiencing digestive side effects increases. 

Since semaglutide slows down gastric emptying, these food items stay in the stomach longer, potentially leading to further digestive distress. Some high-fat foods may also contain hidden sugars or carbohydrates that can cause blood sugar spikes.

Avoid or limit the consumption of fatty foods such as:

  • Fried foods like french fries, fried chicken, and onion rings
  • Full-fat dairy products like cheese and cream
  • Greasy foods like pizza and burgers and potato chips

2. Sugary Foods

Whether taking semaglutide for weight loss or blood sugar control, you’ll want to limit or avoid foods with added sugars. High-sugar foods can cause a spike in blood glucose levels, making it challenging for semaglutide to do its job effectively. Moreover, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Be mindful of the following foods that are high in added sugars:

  • Soda and other sugary drinks like energy drinks and sweetened tea
  • Packaged snacks like cookies, cakes, and candy
  • Sauces and dressings that contain added sugars
  • Baked goods like cookies, cakes, and muffins

Interestingly, some foods may not appear sugary but carry a surprisingly high added sugar. Review food labels to prevent unwitting consumption of excess sugar.

3. Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet. But not all carbs are the same. Refined or simple carbohydrates have been stripped of most of their fiber and nutrients during processing. This leaves behind an easily digested product that can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Avoid or reduce your intake of refined carbs like:

  • White bread
  • White pasta
  • White rice
  • Crackers

Eating refined carbohydrates can also potentially lead to constipation followed by nausea. This could increase the gastrointestinal side effects of GLP-1 agonists.

4. Starchy Vegetables

Vegetables rich in starch have a high glycemic index, which rapidly increase blood sugar levels. On the other hand, non-starchy vegetables help maintain a stable blood sugar level.

A variety of vegetables should be included in a healthy diet, so don’t completely eliminate starchy vegetables. Instead, consume them in moderation. Some examples include:

  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips

5. Excessive Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption is something everyone should avoid, and this is particularly true for individuals on semaglutide. 

Drinking alcohol can also cause fluctuations in glucose levels, which reduces semaglutide’s effectiveness. In addition, alcoholic beverages often contain a significant amount of calories and added sugars, which can contribute to weight gain.

When taking semaglutide, it’s best to limit or avoid alcohol consumption altogether. Guidelines suggest a limit of two daily drinks for men and one for women. If you drink, choose low-calorie options like a glass of wine or light beer.

Interestingly, some individuals on this medication might find themselves involuntarily drinking less. Studies indicate that the medication could potentially decrease cravings for both alcohol and cigarettes.

Start Your Semaglutide Weight Loss Journey With Us

While semaglutide can be an effective weight loss tool, be mindful of what you eat while taking the medication. Maximize the weight loss benefits by avoiding these five foods and making healthier choices.

Instead, incorporate lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber foods into your healthy meal plan for the best success. For tips on how to do this, read our blog, How To Get the Best Results From Semaglutide: 5 Tips for Success!

We want to help you with sustainable weight loss. Our team of medical professionals can provide a personalized approach to your weight loss journey. With the right tools and guidance, achieving your weight loss goals is possible.If you are searching for ‘medical weight loss in Madison, AL,’ or ‘semaglutide near me,’ let Madison Wellness & Aesthetics Center be a part of your success story. Call (256) 722-0555 or complete the online booking form.