Our chat feature will be down for maintenance on March 17, 2024, from approximately 2:00 AM – 3:00 AM ET.
Please check back after our maintenance has concluded, or submit a ticket to our email support if you require assistance.

Ready for a change? Learn More

Foods to avoid while taking Ozempic

1 min Read

What you’ll learn: You’ve likely heard about Ozempic, a medication that doctors can prescribe off-label to people who need to lose weight for health purposes. Originally approved to treat type 2 diabetes, its potential to help people manage their weight has made it very popular.  How does it work? Ozempic belongs to a class of […]

What you’ll learn:

  • A balanced diet with adequate protein can reduce muscle loss and maximize fat loss.
  • Foods with excess sugar and fat can affect the way Ozempic works, making it less effective. 
  • Large meals and foods high in sugar, fat, and sodium can lead to uncomfortable side effects.

You’ve likely heard about Ozempic, a medication that doctors can prescribe off-label to people who need to lose weight for health purposes. Originally approved to treat type 2 diabetes, its potential to help people manage their weight has made it very popular. 

How does it work? Ozempic belongs to a class of medicines called GLP-1s (short for GLP-1 receptor agonists). They work in coordination with your brain to keep you feeling full longer and provide powerful appetite suppression. But here’s the catch—Ozempic isn’t a magic solution. If you’re taking it, maintaining a healthy diet is crucial. 

“GLP-1s (like Ozempic) are highly effective, there’s no doubt,” says Dr. Adonis Saremi, the Chief Medical Officer of Noom in a Noom Vibe podcast. “And at the same time, lifestyle measures, such as eating healthy, (and) staying active, are really, really important. In fact, the drug label for GLP-1 medications says the medication should be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise.”  

Why is the food you choose while on Ozempic important? Without proper nutrition, Ozempic’s effectiveness can decrease and poor eating habits may worsen uncomfortable side effects like nausea. You could also lose too much muscle if you don’t prioritize protein. Incorporating Noom programs like Noom Med or the GLP-1 Companion can help you choose the right foods and monitor your progress while taking Ozempic. 

What food can impact Ozempic’s effectiveness?

When taking Ozempic, diet plays a key role in aiding efficacy and minimizing negative side effects. One way Ozempic works is by regulating blood sugar. Since foods that are high in sugar (e.g., soda) cause your blood sugar to spike, this can interfere with and reduce Ozempic’s efficacy. 

Real results with a personalized weight loss program

Noom uses behavioral psychology to help change unhealthy habits one step at time. It does not use restrictive diets. No food is forbidden. Take our FREE 5-minute quiz and see how quickly you reach your goal weight.

Take the quiz!

Another way Ozempic works is by slowing digestion. Foods high in fat (e.g., fried foods) and high-fiber foods (e.g., beans) slow digestion. Together, this can exacerbate side effects like heartburn, nausea, and constipation. That’s why foods high in fat and fiber should also be limited.

Are there any foods that are strictly off-limits while taking Ozempic?

There are no foods that you must give up while taking Ozempic. However, you may want to limit foods with a lot of sugar which can impact the blood sugar-regulating effects of Ozempic. You should also limit foods that are high in fat and very high-fiber foods, as these can worsen gastrointestinal side effects. 

Foods that can cause issues:

  • Soda and other sugary drinks
  • Candy, cake, cookies, and other baked goods
  • Deep-fried foods like french fries and chicken wings
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Packaged snacks without nutrients, like chips
  • Gas-forming vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale
  • Beans and legumes
  • Spicy foods

For the best results, you should maintain a balanced, nutrient-dense diet that is high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, fiber, and fat, and low in sugar. Noom’s color-coded food options can help steer you in the right direction.  

Can I drink any alcohol while taking Ozempic?   

When you’re taking Ozempic, it’s important to keep an eye on how much alcohol you drink. While enjoying a drink now and then is generally fine, going overboard can cause unwanted blood sugar swings, which can increase appetite.

To add insult to injury, the greasy, high-carb foods we tend to crave while drinking might lead to nausea, diarrhea, and even vomiting. Your best bet is to see how one drink affects you. Also, always eat something nutritious before taking that first sip.

Do sugary drinks impact Ozempic’s effectiveness?

Sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, and sweet teas can make your blood sugar to increase quickly, which may counteract Ozempic’s effects to regulate it.. It’s better to drink water, unsweetened tea, or low-calorie drinks instead. 

Are there any fruits or vegetables that should be avoided?

Adding a colorful variety of produce to your diet is fantastic for your overall health and could help manage your blood sugar levels. That said, fruits are naturally higher in sugar, so it’s important to be mindful of your portion sizes and include them in your diet in moderation. 

In addition, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage can cause bloating, gas, and gastrointestinal discomfort for some people. This may exacerbate Ozempic’s side effects, so you should also limit your portion sizes, include them in your diet in moderation, and be mindful of how they impact your digestion.

Is it safe to eat high-glycemic index foods while taking Ozempic?

High-glycemic foods like white bread, sugary cereals, and sweet desserts are quickly digested and absorbed by the body, which cause blood sugar levels to spike. This may counteract Ozempic’s effectiveness, since it’s working to lower your blood sugar. 

In addition, blood sugar spikes cause some people to feel sick to their stomach, a common problem on Ozempic. Like with everything, it’s okay to eat these foods, but on occasion and in moderation.

Does eating a lot of high-fat foods impact how Ozempic works?

Eating high-fat foods can make some side effects worse since, like Ozempic, they also slow digestion. This could lead to nausea, constipation, and heartburn.  When choosing fats to eat in moderation, opt for nutritious, healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and oily fish, over less-nutritious fat sources like fried or greasy foods like pizza, fried chicken, and french fries. 

Can processed foods interfere with Ozempic?

While taking Ozempic, it’s best to focus on whole, minimally processed foods. Processed foods often contain a lot of added sugars, unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium, and refined carbohydrates. Here are a few examples of processed foods to limit:

  • Canned soups with excess sodium (read the labels carefully)
  • Cured meats, hot dogs, and sausages
  • Packaged snacks (chips, cookies, cakes, etc.)
  • Sodas and energy drinks

In addition to causing or increasing side effects, these foods can cause blood sugar spikes, negatively impact blood sugar control. 

Are there specific spices or condiments that should be avoided while on Ozempic?

Most spices and condiments are safe to use while taking Ozempic. However, be careful of sauces and dressings which can have a lot of sugar, sodium, or unhealthy fats. These too can lead to blood sugar imbalances and uncomfortable side effects. Opt for low-sugar, low-fat alternatives, or prepare your own using fresh ingredients.

Does caffeine have any adverse interactions with Ozempic?

Moderate caffeine consumption, such as one to two cups of plain coffee per day, won’t directly impact Ozempic’s effectiveness. However, excessive caffeine intake may increase your heart rate, cause anxiety, and disturb sleep, which can indirectly affect blood sugar control. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, consider reducing how much you drink or switching to decaffeinated options. Plus, skip high-fat creamers and sugary syrups in your coffee drinks which can also impact blood sugar levels and lead to stomach issues. 

What should I do if I consume a food that reduces Ozempic’s effects or causes an uncomfortable side effect?

If you eat or drink something that impacts how Ozempic works, don’t worry too much. Keep track of what you ate and how you felt. Noom can help you figure out what foods are causing your symptoms so you can avoid them in the future. If you keep having problems with your blood sugar, consult your doctor. 

Meal planning tips while taking Ozempic

Creating and following a meal plan can help ensure that you are meeting nutrition goals and prioritizing protein. By choosing your meals wisely and keeping track of what you eat, you can lose weight in a healthy way. Noom can help you track your meals and build healthy, sustainable eating habits. 

Why is including lean protein at every meal so important in an Ozempic-friendly diet?

Lean protein, such as chicken, fish, and tofu, plays a crucial roles in an Ozempic-friendly diet. First, lean protein promotes feelings of fullness and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Second, lean protein helps you maintain muscle mass during weight loss. If you use Noom’s GLP-1 Companion, it will give you a protein goal to hit each day.

Meals that are high in lean protein include: vegetable omelets, greek yogurt with fruit, turkey or chicken wraps, and salads or quinoa bowls topped with fish or chicken and roasted vegetables. Here are few other high protein recipes to choose from. These types of meals will ultimately reduce unwanted side effects and ensure that Ozempic can work effectively.  

How does the timing of meals impact the effectiveness of Ozempic?

When you eat and how much you eat can affect Ozempic’s weight loss benefits and reduce side effects like nausea. Here are a few tips:

  • Eat small, regular meals throughout the day. This can help keep your blood sugar steady and reduce side effects like bloating, nausea, and constipation. 
  • Make an effort to eat your meals at regular times, and don’t skip any meals because that can make your blood sugar unstable and lead to fatigue. 
  • Practice mindful eating. Chew slowly. Notice and enjoy the flavors and textures. Pay attention to how your hunger changes throughout the meal and catch your fullness sooner.
  • Don’t drink too much liquid with your meals as it can fill you up quickly and interfere with digestion. Aim to hydrate 30-60 minutes before or after a meal.

Can you provide examples of a balanced meal plan for Ozempic users?

Here’s a sample meal plan for an entire day:

  • Breakfast: vegetable omelet with whole-grain toast and avocado
  • Morning snack: carrot sticks with hummus
  • Lunch: grilled chicken salad over quinoa and/or mixed greens and a light vinaigrette 
  • Evening snack: apple slices and a hard-boiled egg
  • Dinner: baked salmon, roasted vegetables, and a small portion of brown rice 

Be sure to swap in your favorite foods so you don’t get bored. Noom’s extensive recipe database offers a variety of Ozempic-friendly meal ideas to keep your diet diverse and enjoyable. 

Eating tips for people taking Ozempic

Adopting the right eating habits can significantly enhance the effectiveness of Ozempic and help you manage side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the best diet practices for Ozempic users:

Are there any “official” Ozempic eating tips?

Yes, the Ozempic website recommends the following tips for dealing with nausea and other side effects while on Ozmepic:

  • Eat bland, low-fat foods. 
  • Eat foods that contain water, like soups and gelatin.
  • Avoid fried, greasy, or sweet foods.
  • Avoid lying down after eating.
  • Eat more slowly.
  • Drink clear or ice-cold drinks.
  • Go outdoors for fresh air.

What are some tips for eating out at restaurants while on Ozempic?

When eating out, look for menu items that are grilled, baked, or roasted instead of fried or breaded. Choose meals that include a balance of lean proteins, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Be mindful of your portion sizes and consider sharing entrees or taking leftovers home to avoid overeating.

Can Ozempic users benefit from using meal replacement shakes or bars?

Meal replacement shakes or bars can be handy, but you shouldn’t rely on them. Try to eat real, less-processed foods most of the time. If you need to use meal replacements, pick ones that are high in protein, fiber, and important nutrients. 

Maximizing the benefits of Ozempic with healthy eating and Noom

Keeping an eye on what you eat while taking Ozempic can boost its weight-loss effectiveness and help manage side effects. Prioritize lean protein, and incorporate high-fiber carbohydrates and healthy fats to maintain muscle mass and keep your blood sugar steady. Also, steer clear of highly processed foods, sugary drinks, and fried or greasy foods  to avoid side effects like nausea and digestive issues.  Bonus: Building healthy habits will help keep the weight off long-term. 

Changing your eating habits can be tough, but with the right help, you can do it! That’s why Noom is the perfect program to use along with Ozempic treatment. If you want to see if a GLP-1 like Ozempic is right for you, check out Noom Med. If you’ve already been prescribed a weight loss medication, the GLP-1 Companion program can help you improve your diet, track protein, and develop a plan to build and maintain lean muscle mass. 

Note: Ozempic is not FDA-approved to treat obesity or for weight loss.