Semaglutide is a medication that is most commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes.
However, it has recently been licensed to be used for weight loss in some circumstances.
This is because the way Semaglutide works for diabetes means that it can also help to reduce your appetite, causing you to eat less food.
This often results in people reducing their calorie intake and may make it easier to lose weight.
Some people may find themselves feeling bloated when they first start taking Semaglutide.
This is sometimes down to finding your new limits with fullness or getting used to the side effects this medication has.
However, some people find that they need to adjust their diet slightly to relieve the bloating.
This means that anything you eat stays in your stomach for longer.
This helps with making you feel more satisfied.
However, it does mean that you’ll probably need to adjust your portion sizes in order to feel more comfortable.
Many people find that eating from a smaller plate can help with portion control.
Foods to Avoid While Taking Semaglutide
No foods should ever be completely avoided. Unless you’re allergic to something, of course!
You can eat most things with Semaglutide, but some people find that they need to eat less of certain foods to feel full.
Many people that embark on a weight loss program decide to cut out certain foods.
For some people, this could be carbohydrates.
Others might choose to eliminate chocolate or sugar from their diet.
At myBMI, we don’t recommend avoiding any foods, even the ones that are traditionally seen as “unhealthy”.
It can be much harder to stick to a diet plan if you’re depriving yourself of foods that you enjoy.
Instead, you should account for some treats within your calorie allowance whilst still maintaining a healthy diet.
These are the kind of lifestyle changes that you should start making now to prepare yourself for the rest of your life.
Whilst there are no foods that are off limits, you may need to reduce your consumption of certain foods.
We’d recommend basing your overall diet on The Eatwell Guide.
This is something that most people in the UK are already familiar with.
The Eatwell Guide is a display of a plate that’s sectioned into different food groups.
This is a really useful tool to base your diet on as it’s what the government recommend for a healthy lifestyle.
This is the model that we should ideally be following.
However, some people find that the Eatwell Guide contains too many carbohydrates for them whilst taking Semaglutide.
However, this is always down to each individual’s experience.
You’ll begin to learn how to optimise your diet to reduce unwanted symptoms caused by Semaglutide as the weeks progress.
Semaglutide Friendly Meal Planning
Meal planning is always a good idea.
Not just for weight loss, but for organisation and budgeting too!
However, meal planning when you’re taking Semaglutide may look a bit different to normal.
Although no foods are off-limits, many people find that they need to change the types of foods that they neat to feel more comfortable on Semaglutide.
On top of this, many western diets contain a lot of carbohydrates.
These can be fairly high in calories and also cause bloating depending on the type of food.
Because of this, many people that take Semaglutide plan their meals to be high in lean protein and fibre.
Lean protein is a great option when you’re trying to lose weight. There are all kinds of options available for both meat-eaters and those that eat a plant-based diet.
Lean protein is often lower in calories than a lot of carbohydrates and can be incredibly filling.
Good examples of lean proteins include:
- Kidney beans
There are many more examples of lean proteins and they can all be used in an endless range of meals to provide a great amount of protein.
Protein is also recommended as it helps to build muscle strength.
This is especially important if you’re increasing the amount of exercise that you do.
Strong muscles are essential to a healthy body and can help to prevent injuries.
As well as reducing the amount of fat in your body, it’s also a good idea to increase some of your muscle mass, and protein is a great way to do this.
It’s also incredibly important to make sure that you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables.
These foods are packed with fibre and loads of vitamins and nutrients.
We should aim to be eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but more than this is always a bonus.
As a top tip of getting more fibre into your diet, we’d recommend that all of your meals contain at least two portions of fruit or vegetables.
Using vegetables in your meals is also a budget-friendly way of bulking out your meals whilst still making sure that they’re full of goodness.
For example, next time you make some pasta sauce, try adding some of your favourite vegetables.
It’ll make the meal go further as well as giving you some extra fibre.
Fibre is important in the diet for several reasons.
Even though we can’t digest it, it’s helpful for gut health and digestion.
On top of this, fibre also takes up room in your stomach, helping you to feel fuller for longer.
Foods that are high in fibre are often low in calories, which can also make it easier to stick to your daily calorie allowance.
Carbohydrates are still important to your diet when you’re taking Semaglutide.
However, knowing which ones to choose can help to make a difference.
We would recommend low-GI carbohydrates for the bulk of your meals.
These will release their energy over a longer amount of time.
This means that they should sustain you for longer, as well as avoid a spike in your blood sugar levels.
Low GI options for every day foods include:
- Wholegrain or whole-wheat bread
- Brown or whole grain rice and pasta
- Oats or muesli instead of sugary cereals
- Sweet potato
Essentially, you should plan your meals to be fairly low in calories in order to do this.
We would recommend aiming to eat around 1,500kcal per day.
This should give you enough energy to function whilst still allowing you to lose weight.
This can usually be done by structuring your meals to be rich in lean protein and fibre, with some low GI carbohydrates for sustenance.
Can I Drink While Taking Semaglutide?
Most people that take Semaglutide are still able to drink small amounts of alcohol.
However, you may find that your tolerance has decreased.
Because of this, we would always recommend drinking cautiously and staying aware of your limits.
It’s also important to remember that if you’re eating less food, there won’t be as much in your stomach.
This is always something to take into consideration if you’re planning to drink.
Although you drink it, alcohol can actually be quite dehydrating.
Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you drink plenty of water or diet soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks.
This can help to reduce your risk of experiencing a headache.
Alcohol can also be high in calories because of the way that it’s made.
If you’re taking Semaglutide to lose weight, this is something else that you should think about.
If you’ve eaten healthily all week and then end up drinking a lot of calories through alcohol, it could be enough to hinder your progress.
Because of this, we recommend opting for low-calorie drinks and mixers.
For example, Vodka and a diet mixer could be as little as 54 calories.
You might want to limit particularly sugary drinks such as ciders or alcopops.
This is because they can be surprisingly high in calories.
If you’re craving something sweet, you could always ask a bartender to add some cordial to vodka and lemonade.
Stay mindful of the recommended limits for alcohol consumption.
It’s never worth being ill for the sake of a drink.
Make sure you stay hydrated and that you don’t drink on an empty stomach.
Stay aware of how you’re feeling, and stop when you’ve had enough.