What to Eat While Taking Wegovy (Diet Plan)
Wegovy (semaglutide) is a weekly prescription injection that helps people lose weight. It works by reducing the appetite and increasing feelings of fullness.
While taking Wegovy, it’s important to follow a healthy diet plan to support weight loss efforts. But what’s the best diet plan when you’re taking Wegovy? Should you reduce calories, follow a keto diet, or do intermittent fasting?
Let’s talk about it in this blog post.
Disclaimer: This is my expert opinion as a registered dietitian and doctor in clinical nutrition. I based my opinion on extensive research and experience working with patients taking weight loss medications
Best Diet Plan While on Wegovy
The truth is that there is no single “best diet” to follow while taking Wegovy. But eating a balanced, nutritious assortment of food is important to support weight loss while taking the medication.
The two main goals for the diet should be:
- To support weight loss
- To create habits to maintain the weight loss long-term
No doubt, this weekly injection makes eating less much easier. It works for weight loss by reducing appetite. However, if you’re not careful with what you eat, you can still consume more calories than you need. Don’t let this be the downfall of your weight loss journey.
The main goal of a diet plan is to reduce calories.
How Many Calories do You Need?
The main recommendation is to follow a reduced-calorie diet. The exact number of calories you need depends on your age, sex, weight, height, and physical activity level.
However, this can be accomplished in several ways. But first, let’s figure out how many calories YOU need.
Dietitians often use equations like the Mifflin St Jeor to calculate needs. This calculator will identify the numbers you need, all you need is to input your information.
Then you subtract 500 per day to promote weight loss.
How to Follow a Reduced-Calorie Diet Plan
Use a Weight Loss App
To make your task easier and to keep track of your calories, you can use an app like MyFitnessPal, Lose It, or Chronometer. These apps are available in Google Play and Apple Stores. Any of these will calculate your calorie needs and enable you to keep track of how much you’re eating.
Follow a Meal Plan
You can also follow a meal program that takes your nutritional needs into consideration. A registered dietitian (nutritionist) can help you design the best plan for you.
Don’t want to count calories but don’t want to fall off the wagon with your diet? Intermittent fasting (IF) may be the ideal solution for you.
Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, is a pattern of eating where you restrict yourself to consuming food only during certain hours of the day.
For instance, in IF 16:8, you fast for 16 hours and eat all your meals during an 8-hour window.
Intermittent fasting works because it decreases the overall number of calories you consume if you don’t abuse your eating windows.
The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern inspired by traditional ways of eating in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
This diet is based on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It includes healthy fats like olive oil and limited amounts of red meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
It’s a delicious way to eat healthily while also enjoying all kinds of dishes.
This diet works because it helps you make healthy food choices, and because it’s tasty and non-restrictive, it’s easy to stick to it.
It’s easy to fit this type of diet into your day when you’re having Wegovy.
What to Eat on Wegovy
While on this medication, it’s much easier to change your eating habits and to switch to an eating style that can help you lose weight. Most importantly, it will help you keep the weight off.
- Choose whole, nutrient-dense foods: Opt for foods that are minimally processed and contain a variety of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Examples include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for proper bodily function. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day and limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
|Leafy green vegetables: arugula, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard
Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and green cabbage, and cauliflower
Deep yellow or orange vegetables: Acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, orange and yellow bell peppers, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes
Others: Mushrooms, tomatoes
|Apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, peaches, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, and watermelon
|Lean turkey, chicken, and fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)
|Navy beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and other dry beans; also, chickpeas, green peas, lima beans, and lentils
|Oats, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice (brown preferred), whole wheat bread, multigrain bread, tortillas, and small size bagels.
|Nuts and Seeds
|Almonds, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, pecans, walnuts, and flaxseed
|Avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, extra virgin olive oil
|Herbs and Spices
|Cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, basil, oregano, cumin, thyme, clove, and cinnamon
|Coffee, tea, dark chocolate in moderation
What Food to Avoid
- Limit highly processed food: Processed food often contains added sugar, unhealthy fat, and preservatives that can be harmful to health. Limit your intake of processed snacks, fast food, and pre-packaged meals.
- Limit sugary food and drinks: Sweets, sodas, and baked goods should be avoided or eaten only in moderation.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, choose wisely and drink in moderation. Avoid alcoholic drinks that are high in sugar and calories.
|Soda, cola, fruit drinks and punches, lemonade, energy drinks, and other drinks with added sugar
|Brownies, candy, cake, ice cream, cookies, pies, and other desserts
|Pastries, doughnuts, croissants, sugary cereal bars, and sweet rolls
|White pasta, white bread, white flour, sugary breakfast cereals, pastries, and pizza
|Sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, hamburgers, and other processed meats
|Beef jerky, pretzels, chips, crackers, tortilla chips, and sandwich crackers
|All types of fast food and takeout food
|Processed seed oils and vegetable oils, safflower oil
|Products with partially hydrogenated oils, including commercial baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and pies; shortening, fried foods, and some margarine
|Wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, and especially alcohol mixed with sugar
Other Helpful Tips
- Portion control is likely not to be an issue while taking the medication.
- Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and avoid distractions such as the television or phone while eating.
- Plan ahead: Plan meals and snacks ahead of time to ensure that healthy options are always available and to avoid impulsive food choices.
While exercise is not essential for weight loss while on Wegovy, physical activity should still be a part of your daily routine.
Not only will keeping active help you maintain good health by strengthening muscles, bones, and heart, but it will also increase your energy levels, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.
Exercise will help you change your body composition, lose weight, and keep the weight off.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week.
My Expert Opinion
Wegovy is an effective weight loss medication that works by reducing hunger and appetite. However, after you stop taking it, it’s very likely that you will regain the weight UNLESS you change your habits.
A healthy diet is important for maximizing the weight loss benefits of Wegovy. However, it’s essential for what happens after you stop taking it.
Of course, you could take the medication for the rest of your life to keep the weight off, but is that what you want?
With a commitment to healthy eating and lifestyle habits, you can accomplish long-term weight loss and improve your overall quality of life.
You might find useful reading: Can you mix Wegovy and alcohol?
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.