What To Eat When Taking Weight Loss Medication?


Prescription medications, like glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists (aka GLP-1 medications), can aid in weight loss for individuals who are overweight or have obesity. And while many of them work to suppress appetite via hormonal modification, they are not a substitute for a nutrient-dense diet and physical activity. In fact, both of these tenets of a healthy lifestyle arguably become even more important when taking weight loss medications to enhance results and lessen side effects.

When hunger is reduced, focusing on nutrient density at each meal occasion is a sound strategy.

  • Prioritize protein to preserve lean body mass.While needs differ based on height, sex, weight, and activity level, including 20-35g at each meal can buffer potential muscle loss while taking these medications.
  • Pair protein with produce at each meal. You’ll get the most nutritional bang for your buck, along with a host of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from the fruits and vegetables. Since some weight loss medication slow down digestion, constipation may be a side effect. So including a variety of produce is key to provide with dietary fiber, which keeps you regular and benefits gut health.
  • Aim to start the day with a fiber-rich fruit (raspberries, pears and apples are all high-fiber picks) paired with low-fat dairy and a serving of heart-healthy fats. Smoothies or yogurt parfaits would be great options. Include vegetables such as green peas, Brussels sprouts and beans alongside lean protein and whole grains at lunch and dinner.
  • Reaching for a snack? Don’t forget to #haveaplant alongside a protein of your choice.

Dig Deeper: For more detailed suggestions on what to eat when taking weight loss medications, check out this article.

The purpose of the above information is to provide general suggestions, for more personalized advice please consult your doctor and registered dietitian.

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