Taking weight loss medication like Mounjaro should fit into a bigger picture of lifestyle changes—of which your diet is a critical piece of the puzzle.
Reassessing and rethinking what you are eating will play a huge part in how effective your weight loss medication is, and specifically, how efficiently you can start to lose weight. Certain foods are conducive to weight loss, while others will slow down or potentially halt your weight loss journey altogether.
Here, we give you the lowdown on the types of food you should look to avoid when taking Mounjaro, as well as a primer on certain foods that could be beneficial to your weight loss journey.
Fried and greasy foods
Bad news—it’s time to ditch the chips, the burgers, the fry-ups. Foods that are fried and covered in greasy fats are among the worst for people taking Mounjaro.
For one, these are likely very rich in unhealthy fats, that are certainly not conducive to helping you to lose weight. They are high in calories and high in saturated fats that will have the opposite effect when consumed in significant quantities.
In addition, the grease itself in fried foods can have less than desirable effects on your digestive system. Side effects that may occur as a result of Mounjaro anyway, such as indigestion, bloating, or abdominal pain, could be made worse by adding greasy foods to your diet. So it’s best to ditch this in favour of healthier cooking methods—such as steaming, boiling, or even air-frying.
To consider instead—healthy fats. We might think that ‘fat’ is bad for helping you lose weight, but there are such things as healthy fats that are great for energy and helping you feel fuller for longer. Lots of nuts and seeds—like almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, and flax seeds—contain these sorts of fats, as do avocados.
Highly processed or sugary foods
This is a broad category—including sweets, desserts, ice cream, fizzy drinks, even some juices—but certainly something that is mindful of avoiding when you are taking Mounjaro. Foods that are high in sugar or that are highly processed tend to have very little nutritional value, and will therefore not be particularly helpful when you are trying to lose weight.
Sugary foods in particular can cause your blood sugar to spike, inducing the opposite effect to Mounjaro, which is meant to balance your blood sugar level in order to help you lose weight.
To consider instead—fruit and vegetables. It’s not a straightforward swap, but it goes without saying that snacking on fruit and veg is infinitely better than doing so on sugary or processed foods. That said, not all fruit and veg are great when you are taking Mounjaro (see below).
This fits under the category of sugary foods, but is worth highlighting alone. Fizzy drinks—like Coke, Sprite, or any soda really—are worth avoiding not just because of their sugar content, but also because of the physical effect they have on your digestive system.
Converse to the belief that these kinds of drinks can help settle the stomach, they can actually cause bloating and other abdominal pain, which can exacerbate the side effects of Mounjaro.
To consider instead—water. Water is considered a key part of any weight loss journey. Often when you are hungry, you are actually just thirsty, so having a healthy drink of water may actually help to fill you up. It’s also believed that drinking lots of water may help increase your metabolic rate AKA the amount of calories you burn in one day.
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Foods with a high-glycemic index
The glycemic index is a measurement used by nutritionists to measure how quickly a particular food can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Foods that index highly are those that cause blood sugar to rise faster.
If you are taking Mounjaro to lower your blood sugar level, in order to help you to lose weight, then it understandably follows that it’s worth avoiding foods with a high-glycemic index.
Simple carbohydrates are a good example of this, foods like white pasta, white bread, processed cereals, and other refined grains. They are called ‘simple’ carbs in that they have simple structures that are easier to break down, causing a faster release of sugar that causes your blood sugar level to spike.
And it may be a source of surprise but there are certain fruits and vegetables that have a high-glycemic index. Watermelon, pineapple, and mangoes are some of the fruits with a high sugar content, while potatoes would also fit into this category with regards to vegetables.
To consider instead—lean proteins. Lean proteins, like chicken, fish, eggs, or tofu, are a great way to stabilise your blood sugar levels while you are taking Mounjaro, while they are also typically low in calories. They also help you build muscle mass that can help increase the rate at which you lose weight.
One of the most common lifestyle change recommendations that people make when you are looking to lose weight is to cut down on your drinking—or even to stop altogether. When you are taking Mounjaro, it’s worth considering ways to curb your alcohol intake wherever possible.
Alcohol can have considerable impacts on your blood sugar levels. It has a significant impact on the functioning of your pancreas, which can lead to increases in insulin release which will cause your blood sugar level to drop. But in addition, beer and cocktails with high sugar content (e.g. anything with mixers like fruit juice or soda) can cause your blood sugar levels to spike initially.
Unlike with other medications, alcohol won’t have a bad reaction with Mounjaro. But it can cause your blood sugar level to drop even further, potentially even causing hypoglycemia which can be potentially dangerous.
So while you may not need to cut out alcohol entirely, consider a healthy limit—one drink daily for women, and two drinks daily for men, to be consumed with a meal.
Your weight loss journey on Mounjaro shouldn’t be viewed as a vast overhaul of your lifestyle and your diet—but rather, a series of small steps that, when put together, can go a long way to helping you lose weight.
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