What Foods to Avoid When Taking Wegovy and the Best Food to Eat on Wegovy
There are no foods you have to completely avoid when taking Wegovy, as there are no foods that interact with or interfere with the effects of Wegovy’s active ingredient, semaglutide. But, there are some dietary choices that can help to reduce the chance of most common side effects of the medication or to speed up weight loss.
Sticking to a diet plan while using Wegovy is necessary for it to be effective, which will include cutting down on certain types of foods.
➤ If you request Wegovy treatment through ZAVA, you receive a weight loss support package for free, which will include advice about what to eat and a food diary for you to track how well you're sticking to your diet. You will also be able to message a doctor for free through your account for additional advice on food and Wegovy.
What foods should I avoid while taking Wegovy?
There are groups of food to avoid while on semaglutide medications like Wegovy, for differing reasons. Some are high in calories and cause blood sugars to rise quickly. Others can make side effects related to your stomach and digestion worse.
You don’t need to cut these foods out of your diet completely, but cutting back on them should help make your weight loss journey easier.
These groups include:
Ultra-processed foods (UPFs)
Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are not only high in calories, making weight loss harder and leaving less space in your diet for more nutritious foods. They also tend to contain a lot of salt, which raises your blood pressure, and refined sugar, which causes blood sugars to rise quickly.
Examples of UPFs include:
- packaged bread
- breakfast cereals
- flavoured yoghurts
- instant soups
- microwave meals
- fizzy drinks
- some alcoholic drinks
High fat (greasy) foods
Foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats are hard and slow to digest and can make gastrointestinal side-effects worse, causing indigestion, bloating, gas and cramps. The UK government recommends that men should not eat more than 30g of fat per day and women up to 20g.
Examples of high fat foods include:
- sausages and pies
- butter, ghee and lard
- cakes and pastries
- fatty cuts of meat
- palm oil
- coconut oil and cream
Fizzy sodas and beers contain bubbles of carbon dioxide, which can worsen some side-effects of Wegovy such as bloating, wind and indigestion. Also, they often contain high levels of sugar, which can lead to weight gain.
Processed, high-carbohydrate food can raise your blood sugar levels and make losing weight more difficult.
These foods include:
- white bread
- white pasta
- ultra processed foods
Caffeinated drinks and alcohol
It’s safe to drink both caffeinated drinks and alcohol while taking Wegovy. However, you should drink them in limited quantities. As well as altering blood glucose levels, alcohol and caffeine can both disrupt sleep patterns, and fatigue makes losing weight harder. Alcohol also has ‘empty’ calories meaning it has no nutritional value, but can cause weight gain. In addition, coffee can contribute to gastrointestinal issues and amplify the side-effects of Wegovy.
Some fruits and vegetables
Some fruits and vegetables have a high glycaemic index (GI) rating. High GI foods are those that contain carbohydrates that are broken down fast by your body and cause your blood glucose levels to spike quickly. Avoiding fruits and vegetables with a high GI can help minimise uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.
High GI fruits and vegetables include:
In addition, some fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fibre (roughage), which can be slow to digest and can cause gastrointestinal issues.
Other vegetables can cause gas to form in the stomach, amplifying symptoms such as wind, gas and indigestion.
- brussels sprouts
Best foods to eat on Wegovy
Doctors recommend using Wegovy alongside a healthy diet in order to get results from your treatment. The medication reduces your appetite, so you’ll feel fuller after eating smaller portions and get used to putting less on your plate.
Try to include the following in your diet:
Proteins make you feel full and keep your blood sugars stable. Try to grill or bake meat, fish or vegetable protein rather than frying it in oil.
Examples of lean protein include:
Complex carbohydrates such as peas and quinoa are digested more slowly than refined carbohydrates such as white bread. Switch your white flour and pasta for wholemeal options and sweet potatoes instead of white. You might need to experiment to find out which complex carbs are right for you, as some are high-fibre and can make gastrointestinal side effects of Wegovy worse.
Examples of complex carbohydrates include:
- whole wheat bread and flour
- sweet potatoes
- whole wheat pasta
- brown rice
- whole grains
Low fibre fruit and cooked vegetables
Although some high-fibre fruits can amplify the gastrointestinal side effects of Wegovy, there are plenty of low-fibre fruit options you should include in your diet.
These might include:
- canned fruits such as mandarins, grapefruit or pears (as long as they aren’t canned with syrup)
Steaming, roasting or boiling vegetables breaks down their fibre, making them more digestible and less likely to aggravate gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas and bloating.
Low fibre vegetables include:
- bean sprouts
- tomatoes with the seeds and skins removed
Switch high-fat cheeses and yoghurts for low-fat options. Choose feta cheese rather than brie, low-fat, high-protein yoghurts over flavoured sweet options, and skimmed milk rather than full-fat.
Water and hydrating beverages
It’s important to stay hydrated while taking Wegovy in order to protect your kidneys and to prevent nausea and other side-effects. Drink plenty of water, and eat foods that contain water such as soups and dishes that contain gelatin.
How many calories a day should I eat on Wegovy?
Wegovy diet plan: Meal planning tips
It’s important to eat a varied, healthy diet when on Wegovy. But, there are some things you could try avoiding to minimise your symptoms:
- don't eat strong-smelling or spicy foods if you're having nausea
- don't drink a lot of water with your meals
- don't eat too fast, try and pace yourself when eating
- don't lie down too soon after you eat
- don't wear clothing that is tight-fitting or restrictive around the waist
More generally, plan your meals in advance. You’re less likely to snack if you know what you are going to eat at your next meal. If you’re busy and don’t have time to cook, try preparing meals in bulk at the weekend and freezing them, or making a pot of overnight oats that will last a few days. Try to shop when you’re neither hungry nor too full and make a list in advance. Encourage your family to join you in your healthy eating journey since it’s easier if there are more of you sticking together.
Alternatively – or in addition to – a prescription for Wegovy a GP might recommend alternative routes to weight loss including:
- joining a local weight loss group
- exercise on prescription
- increasing time spent exercising
- setting realistic goals and monitoring your progress
How does Wegovy work alongside diet?
Wegovy helps to reduce your appetite. Combined with a healthier diet, Wegovy makes it easier to eat fewer calories. Over time, a lower calorie diet combined with exercise will lead to weight loss.
The active ingredient in Wegovy is semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which mimics the natural GLP-1 hormone that is released after eating. This boosts insulin release and makes you feel full.
Semaglutide also reduces the release of another pancreatic hormone, glucagon, which helps regulate your blood sugar. In addition, it slows your stomach from emptying, which again reduces your appetite and helps you lose weight.
Semaglutide is also licensed under the brand names Ozempic and Rybelsus, which are available on the NHS for managing blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
10 Wegovy tips to get the best results
There are some tricks and hacks that can result in faster, more consistent weight loss. Why not try all or some of the following?
1. Eat a healthy, varied diet
As covered in this article, there are foods you should include in your diet on Wegovy and those you should try to avoid in order to lose weight faster.
2. Track your progress
It’s really encouraging to see that you’re losing weight and can help you stick to your weight loss plan. It can also show whether or not your treatment is working for you. Weigh yourself at least once a week and make a note of your progress. You might like to track it on a graph (via the Wegovy site, in a notebook or using an online tracker) to motivate yourself.
3. Get active
Try to move more every day. Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing or running all help you lose weight and feel more positive. Exercising in the open air can improve your mood and make sticking to your weight loss plan easier.
4. Get lots of support
Friends and family can be a great resource. Ask them to support you on your journey, to keep you focused and positive. Your GP or online doctor can also be there to provide advice and tips.
5. Take your medication as prescribed
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to make sure your Wegovy is safe and effective. If you’re not sure how you should take it, ask your GP or online doctor.
6. Set realistic goals
You might not lose all the weight as quickly as you want. But, stored body fat takes a while to be metabolised and it takes time for results to show. If you choose to increase your dosage, the maximum effect on your appetite may not be seen until 20 weeks after you start treatment.
7. Focus on the positives
Not only will you be losing weight, but you should also start to feel fitter and healthier. Try to acknowledge your new achievements. Perhaps you can move easier and find exercising takes less effort. Make note of every small achievement on your journey and it will help you stay motivated.
8. Fit in exercise where you can
It’s not always easy to find the time or motivation for traditional exercise, so why not try to incorporate movement into your normal routine. Take the stairs rather than the lift if you can, cycle to work or walk when making short journeys.
9. Make a list
Write down your reasons for losing weight and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Keeping them in mind will help remind you why you’re on your weight loss journey and why it’s important to you to stick to it.
10. Celebrate yourself
Give yourself a pat on the back as you follow your weight loss plan, even if you haven’t seen significant weight loss just yet. Find ways to celebrate without breaking your diet.
Frequently asked questions
Why am I not losing weight on Wegovy?
Wegovy works quickly to reduce your appetite, but you might not see the full effects for a while. It takes a few weeks for fat to start metabolising and up to 20 weeks to reach the highest dosage and the biggest reduction to your appetite. If you’re still not losing weight, you may need to adjust your diet or exercise regime or speak to your GP or online doctor for more support or to consider alternative treatments.
How can I reduce the side effects of Wegovy?
There are some dietary changes you can make to minimise the side effects of Wegovy. Steps you can take are:
- If you’re feeling nauseous, don’t eat or cook strong-smelling or spicy food.
- Eat slowly, and don’t drink lots of water with your meal.
- Don’t lie down too soon after eating.
- Wear loose clothing around your waist.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
What foods are high in fat and should be avoided on Wegovy?
Foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats are hard and slow to digest and can make gastrointestinal side-effects worse, causing indigestion, bloating, gas and cramps. The UK government recommends that men should not eat more than 30g of fat per day and women 20g. Examples of high fat foods include:
- sausages and pies
- butter, ghee and lard
- cakes and pastries
- fatty cuts of meat
- palm oil
- coconut oil and cream
Can you lose weight in one month on Wegovy?
While it may be possible to lose some weight during your first month on Wegovy, it may take longer to see results. Trying to lose too much weight too fast is not a good idea since it can cause side effects. Clinical trials show people lose 5% or more of their starting weight after 68 weeks.
Last reviewed: 18 Jan 2024
Accessing Wegovy for weight loss: Everything you need to know (2023) Department of Health and Social Care [accessed 12 Jan 2023]
Wegovy (2023) Novo Nordisk [accessed 12 Jan 2023]