Choosing to take weight loss medication like Wegovy can form an important part of your journey towards a healthy target weight. Medication alone, however, is not a magic pill cure. The lifestyle changes you make are just as important—and this starts with your diet.
There are a number of foods that you should look to avoid consuming while you are taking Wegovy, either because they exacerbate the negative side effects or simply counteract the weight loss effects of the drug. Here, we list a number of foods to avoid while taking Wegovy.
High fat foods
Regardless of whether you are taking Wegovy or not, consumption of high fat foods will do you know favours with regards to achieving weight loss. Foods that are greasy or fried are typically high in calories and unhealthy fats, and will not have the desired weight loss effect when eaten in excess. Chips, burgers, fried chicken, fish fingers—all to be avoided where possible.
It’s not only the unhealthy fats that make these a poor companion to Wegovy. The grease in these foods can actually cause gastrointestinal problems—like bloating or indigestion—which may already occur as a side effect of semaglutide, and therefore making it worse.
Rather than frying foods, look for other ways to cook—grilling, baking, or even air-frying are considerably healthier.
While drinking alcohol while you are taking Wegovy is certainly not prohibited, and is definitely not advised.
Depending on which alcohol you like to drink, it may cause spikes or drops in your blood sugar levels. Sugary cocktails and beer will cause your blood sugar levels to spike initially. Alcohol, however, impacts how well your pancreas functions, leading to an increase in insulin and seeing your blood sugar drop.
So while the alcohol itself does not interact with the medication, both of these substances will cause your blood sugar level to drop. The result of this may be hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar), which can be dangerous.
When taking Wegovy, it’s best to limit how much you drink—advised one drink daily for women, and two drinks daily for men, to be consumed alongside your meals. In addition, avoid sugary cocktails (with mixers) and beers: wine or distilled spirits are preferable.
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Sugary or ultra-processed food and drink
This leads us nicely to sugar foods and drinks—certainly a category to be avoided when taking Wegovy. Quite simply, anything with a high sugar content causes your blood sugar levels to spike, which counteracts the effects of Wegovy to lower your blood sugar levels.
On top of this, foods with high sugar content lack nutritional value, and will ultimately lead you to gain weight if consumed excessively.
The list of sugary foods is long, but includes sweets, fizzy drinks, desserts, ice cream, and so on.
Many will mistakenly believe that ‘carbohydrates’ are bad if you are trying to lose weight. This is only half the truth—complex carbohydrates, like whole wheat foods (pasta, rice), pulses, grains, and so on, are good for you because they contain complex structures which take longer to break down.
Simple carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta, are quicker to break down, and therefore cause blood sugar spikes that can counter the effects of Wegovy.
You should look, therefore, to replace simple carbs with complex carbs wherever possible in your meal.
In general, many would advise you to limit your consumption of red meat if you are looking to lose weight. Red meat is high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium, none of which are ideal for achieving weight loss. On top of this, saturated fats are known to cause gastrointestinal issues that can exacerbate side effects of Wegovy.
Instead, it’s recommended to eat leaner meats—chicken, turkey, fish—or to substitute with meat replacements like tofu and tempeh.
Caffeinated drinks—like coffee, tea, energy drinks, certain fizzy drinks—are not ideal for people taking Wegovy. The reason is this—one of the side effects of Wegovy is diarrhoea, and given that caffeine speeds up your digestive system, it may make your diarrhoea worse. It can also give you heartburn, which may occur as a side effect of Wegovy too.
A simple solution to this could be opting for decaffeinated versions of those drinks, or to substitute them with something different all together.
For very similar reasons, spicy foods are also not advised to those taking Wegovy. Spicy foods can also cause gastrointestinal issues, which can cause you a number of problems such as making diarrhoea worse.
Some general eating tips while taking Wegovy
- Eat slowly. Wolfing down your meal will certainly do you no favours with regards to weight loss nor with overcoming some of the gastrointestinal issue you may face when taking Wegovy. So be sure to eat slowly, chew your food properly, and give yourself enough time to digest properly.
- Go for a post-meal walk. This is a good way to help you deal with some of the side effects that may arise after meals, and will also stop you from lying down after meals (which is not recommended while taking Wegovy).
- Stay hydrated. In general, this is a great tip for dieting and weight loss, as often feelings of hunger are actually just thirst. But for Wegovy, keep well hydrated can help combat certain side effects like diarrhoea and nausea.