Weight reduction with Ozempic or Wegovy comes with a logical, however doubtlessly jarring change in consuming habits.

Each drugs comprise semaglutide, which mimics a hormone that tells the mind you’ve had a meal. Sufferers taking the medication really feel much less starvation they usually can expertise unintended effects similar to nausea, affecting how a lot meals they’ll tolerate.

Jeannine DellaVecchia says she would typically pressure herself to eat when she was taking Ozempic as a result of she would have “completely no urge for food,” was “fully nauseous” and “vomiting on a regular basis.”

“Some days, I might have omelets simply to attempt to get one thing into me,” DellaVecchia, 40, who works for a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tells TODAY.com.

“You don’t really feel like consuming… it simply wasn’t good for me.”

The weight loss is visible on Jeannine DellaVecchia's face.
The load loss is seen on Jeannine DellaVecchia’s face. Courtesy Jeannine DellaVecchia

DellaVecchia was prescribed the Sort 2 diabetes remedy Ozempic to deal with signs associated to insulin resistance brought on by congenital adrenal hyperplasia and polycystic ovary syndrome. Weight reduction wasn’t a precedence though she says she was intrigued that the drug may additionally assist her slim down.

It did simply that, with DellaVecchia shedding 30 kilos between August 2022 and February 2023, when she stopped taking the drug as a result of she couldn’t tolerate the unintended effects, she says. DellaVecchia is at the moment nonetheless at her lowest weight of 152 kilos and attempting to take care of the load loss with a nutritious diet and the assistance of her registered dietitian, Emily Rubin.

“I’ve seen sufferers with persistent nausea and vomiting on (semaglutide), which might trigger dehydration and malnutrition in the event you can’t get sufficient energy or fluids day by day,” Rubin, director of medical dietetics within the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Thomas Jefferson College Hospital in Philadelphia, tells TODAY.com.

eat whereas taking Ozempic and Wegovy

Wegovy, which is accredited for weight reduction by the U.S. Meals and Drug administration, ought to be used along with a lowered calorie weight-reduction plan and elevated bodily exercise, the company notes. Ozempic isn’t accredited for weight reduction by the FDA, although many individuals are utilizing it off-label for that function.

Sufferers attempting to drop some weight with both drug ought to work with a dietitian for a guided meal plan, however typically, they need to intention to eat 1,200 to 1,800 energy a day relying on their preliminary weight, Rubin says. A rule of thumb is that consuming 500 fewer energy a day than normal will result in a weight lack of about 1 pound per week, she provides.

Eat numerous completely different greens and wholesome proteins as the inspiration of your weight-reduction plan, advises Dr. Louis Aronne, an weight problems medication doctor and director of the Complete Weight Management Heart at Weill Cornell Medication and NewYork-Presbyterian.

“We’ve finished research displaying that in the event you eat greens and protein first, after which have carbs in direction of the top of the meal, it really is helpful to your blood sugar, in all probability on your weight as properly,” Aronne, who’s a scientific adviser for Novo Nordisk, the corporate that makes Ozempic and Wegovy, tells TODAY.com.

“The cornerstone of the weight-reduction plan needs to be actual meals… wholesome meals.”

Probably the most perfect state of affairs could be to decide to consuming more healthy meals as semaglutide is decreasing starvation and cravings for unhealthy choices, says Dr. Zhaoping Li, professor of medication and chief of the division of medical vitamin on the College of California, Los Angeles.

“You’ll be able to have the possibility to make the correct choices — to eat good meals,” Li tells TODAY.com. “There’s nothing higher than you not solely reducing weight, but additionally general consuming a lot more healthy meals.” 

For these on the drug, Rubin recommends growing your consumption of lean protein similar to rooster, turkey, fish, eggs, beans, soy and low-fat dairy. You probably have no urge for food or nausea, attempt low-calorie protein drinks, she provides.

She advises a minimal of 60 grams (about 2 ounces) of protein per day, ideally unfold out over meals and snacks. Protein preserves muscle mass and supplies amino acids wanted for development and growth, says dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick.

Greens and fruits, that are stuffed with nutritional vitamins, minerals and fiber, are important for a wholesome weight-loss program, Rubin notes. She additionally recommends one to 2 day by day servings of wholesome fat similar to avocados, nuts and seeds.

Select a small quantity of complete grains — a half-cup serving per meal — similar to whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat tortillas, quinoa or candy potato, Rubin advises. These are complicated carbs which can be excessive in fiber.

handle nausea whereas taking Ozempic and Wegovy

The commonest unintended effects of Ozempic and Wegovy embody nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdomen ache and constipation, in accordance with Novo Nordisk.

Rubin suggested sufferers to speak to their physician about any bothersome signs and focus on the perfect dose of every drug to attenuate unintended effects.

Sufferers begin with the bottom dose and progressively work their method as much as increased doses, Aronne says. Medical doctors know tips on how to handle the issue of nausea, he provides.

Some sufferers obtain anti-nausea drugs, however Li cautioned in opposition to taking one other drug. Most anti-nausea medicines carry important unintended effects, she notes.

“We name (nausea) a facet impact, however actually that’s how the drug may work — by making you are feeling you don’t wish to eat,” Li says.

Usually, if the dose is raised slowly and medical doctors advise sufferers to not eat previous the purpose of fullness and to note which meals might exacerbate their signs and eat much less of these, the unintended effects are properly tolerated, says Dr. Ania Jastreboff, director of weight administration and weight problems prevention on the Yale Stress Heart in New Haven, Connecticut. She serves on the scientific advisory board for Novo Nordisk.

For instance, DellaVecchia likes hoagies, but when she would attempt to eat one, it could make her sick, she says. A greater possibility was yogurt with almonds, peanuts and a few cinnamon, which she discovered scrumptious and filling.

One other Ozempic affected person beforehand informed TODAY.com that greasy meals typically was “actually onerous” for her to eat after beginning the treatment.

Li factors out that is not a nasty factor.

“In the event that they really feel nauseated with high-fat meals, that’s really nice, proper? We don’t need saturated fats. We don’t need an excessive amount of oil. That’s good,” Li says.

“There are additionally individuals who really feel sweets usually are not as gratifying as they was. I might say, OK, nice with that as properly. If you happen to’re not likely having fun with your typical American weight-reduction plan — that may be both ultra-processed carbs or high-fat weight-reduction plan — that’s an incredible factor.”

If a affected person nonetheless experiences numerous unintended effects after altering the meals they eat or how a lot they eat, it could be time to again down on the dose of semaglutide, Li says. 

Rubin supplied these tricks to cut back nausea:

  • Keep hydrated by consuming eight cups of fluids similar to water or calorie-free electrolyte drinks per day.
  • Drink ginger or peppermint tea.
  • Attempt ginger chews or capsules.
  • Eat smaller, extra frequent meals.
  • Don’t eat or cook dinner strong-smelling meals.
  • Keep away from scorching, fried or greasy meals.
  • Don’t eat too shortly and don’t have a big drink with meals.
  • Don’t lie down quickly after consuming.
  • Don’t put on tight garments round your waist.

Novo Nordisk had these further suggestions:

  • Eat bland, low-fat meals, like crackers, toast and rice.
  • Eat meals that comprise water, like soups and gelatin.
  • Go exterior for recent air.

DellaVecchia says as quickly as she stopped taking Ozempic, the starvation got here again. She’s been in a position to keep her weight reduction up to now.