Certain Foods Trigger Natural Ozempic-Like Weight Loss Effect, Doctor Says
This dietary addition can whittle down your waistline—without the side effects.
A new class of weight loss drugs has recently upended the way that many people think of overweight and obesity. These drugs, which include Ozempic and Wegovy, contain the active ingredient semaglutide—traditionally used to treat Type 2 diabetes and control one's blood sugar.
As with any medication, there are risks and benefits associated with taking Ozempic or Wegovy. However, some patients have had particularly harrowing experiences on those drugs, and have shared them in great detail.
If this has led you to conclude that weight loss medication is not right for you, you may be looking for a safer alternative. Luckily, a doctor now says that eating certain foods can trigger an Ozempic-like weight loss response—without the potential side effects. Ready to fast-track your weight loss with this simple dietary addition? Read on to find out which foods mimic the same hormones as Ozempic so you can safely shed those unwanted pounds.
Here's how Ozempic triggers weight loss.
Semaglutide-based drugs work to prompt weight loss by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone in your body known as glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This hormone helps promote satiety by telling your brain that you are full, lowers your overall appetite, and reduces the intensity of food cravings.
Ozempic also helps to regulate your insulin sensitivity, which is how it aids in the treatment of diabetes.
These are the potential side effects.
Ozempic and Wegovy have been shown to lead to significant weight loss, but the drugs are not without risk.
"The most troubling side effect which leads to people discontinuing the treatment is nausea and diarrhea. This usually occurs if patients use too high of a dose or increase the dose too quickly," explains David Shafer, MD, FACS, a double board-certified plastic surgeon based in New York City.
Other patients have experienced constipation, abdominal pain, low blood sugar, pancreatitis, kidney problems, vision issues, and more. Though it is still not known whether Ozempic causes thyroid cancer, this has been suggested as a possibility due to preliminary animal trials.
"Anyone with intolerable side effects or non-compliance with dosing should stop treatments," Shafer tells Best Life. "The patient should be evaluated and monitored while taking metabolic treatments."
Certain foods may give Ozempic-like results—without the potential side effects.
Medication is not the only option for those hoping for Ozempic-like results. Eating high-fiber foods can help trigger the same effects on your hormones, says Frank Duca, PhD, a researcher studying metabolic diseases at the University of Arizona.
"Whenever my family finds out that I'm studying obesity or diabetes, they say, 'Oh, what's the wonder drug? What do I need to take? What do I need to do?'" Duca recently told NPR. "And I say, 'Eat more fiber.'"
Besides helping your body release GLP-1, eating high-fiber meals can also aid your body in producing the hormone PYY, which helps to reduce cravings hours after it's released. "PPY regulates satiety—that is how long you wait between meals," notes Duca. "The release of PYY, in addition to the GLP-1, can increase the length of time between meals."
Not all fiber is created equally.
However, as Duca points out, not all fiber has the same effect on weight loss and insulin regulation: "We're seeing now that companies are adding fiber to foods, but a lot of the time, they don't add the kind of fiber that's super beneficial for you."
As NPR reports, it's important to choose fiber that the bacteria in your gut can digest. In particular, you should aim to eat more "fermentable fibers," which appear to be best for curbing appetite and reducing weight.
Try adding these high-fiber foods to your diet.
Scientists are now exploring which types of fermentable fiber are most effective for weight loss—and Duca's own research has identified beta-glucan as a front-runner. This can be found in oats, barley, and rye.
Though certain other types of fermentable fiber have not yet been put to the test for their weight loss benefits, NPR points out that "dextrin in wheat, oligosaccharides in beans, peas and lentils, and pectin in apples, pears and green bananas" all fall under this category.
By increasing your overall fiber intake, you're likely to see changes reflected on the scale. "When boosting your fiber intake, it's like building a dream team with whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, and seeds. Whole grains, like hearty barley, give you that steady energy you need to power through your day," says Stenu Eaps, a nutritionist working with Vitamin Tree. "Fruits and veggies are like nature's treasure chest, offering essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants And legumes? Well, they're like the MVPs of the plant-based protein world, delivering both protein and fiber to keep you feeling fantastic."
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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.