Semaglutide Diet Plan [For Weight Loss]
Semaglutide has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in promoting weight loss.
However, this drug has been around for much longer as a treatment method for diabetes.
If you are taking semaglutide for weight loss, pairing it with a low-calorie diet will optimize your results.
But, how might this diet look? This blog post will give practical tips for following a low-calorie diet that will maximize the results you can achieve from semaglutide, including a sample meal plan.
What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and for shedding excess weight.
In the treatment of type 2 diabetes, this medication is usually prescribed along with diet, exercise, and other antidiabetic measures.
Semaglutide has also been approved in the treatment of obesity. In this context, the dose is higher than in the treatment of diabetes and it’s recommended to combine the medication with a low-calorie diet and exercise.
How Does it Work for Weight Loss?
This weight loss drug works by imitating the actions of a hormone called GLP-1.
This hormone helps decrease the appetite. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach, making people feel fuller for longer and reducing hunger.
Lastly, this medication can help decrease insulin resistance, making the body better able to use stored fat for energy.
By combining these effects, semaglutide helps people eat less, feel less hungry, and ultimately lose weight.
Best Diet Plan
For this blog, we will focus on the use of semagludie for weight loss.
The only guidance provided is to follow a diet that creates a calorie deficit. This means that you should consume fewer calories than you use.
There are a few ways to achieve this—you just need to find what works best for you.
The three main goals for the diet are:
- To support weight loss
- To create habits to maintain the weight loss long-term
- To prevent nutrition deficiencies
How Many Calories Do You Need?
For weight loss, you should aim to eat fewer calories than what your body uses (calorie deficit). The number of calories you require will vary from person to person and is based on your age, gender, weight, height, and level of physical activity.
One method dietitians use to calculate dietary needs is by utilizing equations such as the Mifflin St Jeor. Using this tool to calculate your required calories, just input your information. Then you subtract 500-1000 per day from your total required number to create the calorie deficit that will promote weight loss.
Experts recommend that women follow a diet that contains at least 1,200 calories per day. Men should aim for 1,500-2,000 calories per day.
How to Follow a Reduced-Calorie Diet Plan
To tell you the truth, you don’t even need to count calories in order to lose weight. Instead, you could simply follow eating patterns such as the Mediterranean diet. Because you’re not going to be very hungry on a healthy eating pattern, it can help you make the better food choices necessary to lose weight.
However, if you prefer something more structured, keep reading.
Building Your Meals
Most meals should provide the nutrients you need to feel your best. There are different plans you can follow that will accomplish this while catering to different tastes and preferences.
Make it Easy: Harvard Healthy Eating Plate
Want to make it easy? Just follow the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate guidelines.
Make most of your meal vegetables and fruit – ½ of your plate
Include a variety of vegetables and fruit, and make your meals colorful.
Pro tip: aim for more vegetables and less fruit, but include fruit at least once a day.
Eat whole grains – ¼ of your plate
Whole grains provide energy, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Best of all, they make the meal more satisfying.
Examples of whole grains include:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pasta
Pro tip: you could also use legumes to fill that part of your plate.
Add lean protein – ¼ of your plate
Protein helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time as well as maintaining muscle mass. This is incredibly important as you lose weight. Choose lean protein to avoid adding unnecessary fat.
Examples of lean proteins include:
- Bison beef
- Beans and other legumes
Include healthy fats in moderation
Fat is important to keep you feeling full and help to absorb certain vitamins.
Examples of healthy fats include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Flaxseed oil
Skip sugary beverages and limit fruit juice to one small glass a day.
To add flavor to your water, you can try vegetables or fruit-infused water. Homemade lemonade with stevia works well too. If you miss the carbonation of sodas, then flavored sparkling water (0-10 calories) works well too.
If you want to take a step further and want to make sure you are using the right size of plate, there are portion control plates in the market. Here are two examples:
However, any 9-inch plate will work.
Following the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is a very easy way to follow a healthy eating diet for weight loss.
Zoom in on Macros: Moderate-Carbohydrate, High-Protein Meal Plan
Protein 30%, carbohydrates 40%, fat 30%
Now, let’s talk about the plan.
Start with protein
Make protein the center of your meal. Aim for 3-6 ounces of protein per meal.
Using a food scale to weigh your protein will ensure you are able to accurately judge your portions. Alternatively, you could eat a portion equivalent to the size of the palm of your hand.
Don’t worry if your hand is smaller or larger—our palm will usually correspond with the size of your body. For example, a large man will have a larger hand, but he will also need a larger portion of protein. Using your hand is a good rule of thumb for portion measurement.
Vegetables are a wonderful way to add nutrients and volume to your meals.
Feel free to eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want. However, be mindful of dressings and toppings, as they can be high in calories.
Include healthy fat
Adding fat to your meals will help you feel satiated and full after eating. Aim for about ½-1 tablespoon per meal.
For weight control, choose healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and nut butters.
This is harder to measure with your hand, but a general rule is to use one thumb-length of fat per meal.
Incorporate a small serving of healthy carbs
A healthy carbohydrate is one that is high in fiber and that provides good nutrition.
In terms of serving size, eat about one cup or 30-45 grams per meal. Because the size of bread, tortillas, and wraps can vary so much, it’s best to read the nutrition labels to make your judgment on portion size.
Want to use your hand to measure? Close your hand and make a fist. That is your serving size of carbohydrate.
Use a Weight-Loss App
Tracking your calories can give you a clear picture of how much you are eating.
You can use apps like MyFitnessPal*, Lose It, or Chronometer to simplify calorie tracking. These apps can be found on Google Play and the Apple Store. They will determine your calorie requirements and enable you to monitor how many you consume.
Using an app could give you a little bit more freedom when selecting foods, as you only need to ensure you maintain the recommended level of calories, regardless of what you eat.
*Please note that this is an affiliate link, which means that I may receive a commission if you click and make a purchase.
Sample Meal Plan
The goal of the semaglutide diet plan is to provide nutrient-dense foods within the reduced-calorie budget.
- Goat cheese and spinach omelet
- Light, multigrain English muffin
- Coffee or tea without sugar
- Turkey wrap made with a low-carbohydrate tortilla, turkey breast, avocado slices, lettuce and tomato
- Cup of blueberries
- Apple and 2 small pieces of dark chocolate
My Expert Opinion
When taking semaglutide, it’s essential to follow a diet that optimizes weight loss. But following a healthy diet is important for more than that.
Healthy eating will help you create the habits you need to keep the weight off after you stop taking the medication.
More importantly, a healthy diet keeps you energized and ready to continue your weight loss journey.
You got this!
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL, is dedicated to empowering women in perimenopause and menopause to live healthier, more satisfying lives.
With a doctorate in clinical nutrition from the University of North Florida, she has expertise in menopause and weight loss, including the unique challenges faced by those on weight loss medications.
Su-Nui’s passion for her field is evident in her previous role as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.