New Year, New Health Goals

I’m on a Newer Weight Loss Drug. Ought to I Take a Complement?


To say the joy about newer weight reduction medication has reached a fever pitch could be an understatement. These medication — together with semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic), that are GLP-1 receptor agonists, and tirzepatide (Zepbound, Mounjaro), that are GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonists — are extremely efficient for weight reduction, so it’s no marvel why.

For instance, in a 2023 meta-analysis of 41 trials and greater than 15,000 individuals who had weight problems or obese however no diabetes, GLP-1 receptor agonists have been related to lowered physique weight, physique mass index (BMI), and waist circumference in contrast with management teams. These medication may end up in better insulin launch, slower abdomen emptying, and a lowered urge for food. There’s additionally analysis to recommend GLP-1s lower “meals noise,” a time period that refers to intrusive ideas about meals. Once you’re paying much less consideration to meals, chances are you’ll not eat as a lot.

Together with a lack of urge for food, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea might outcome from these medication, and these elements can actually affect what and the way a lot you’re consuming. This in flip will increase the danger of nutrient deficiencies, which raises the query: Is including a complement to your routine prudent when you’re on a more moderen weight reduction drug?

We talked with two registered dietitian-nutritionists to search out out.

Do You Want a Complement if You’re Taking a Weight Loss Drug?

It’s actually doable, and your healthcare group may also help you identify the reply based mostly in your particular person well being. Typically, although, anybody taking a GLP-1 ought to make some key dietary concerns.

“These medicines are well-known to lower the urge for food, which itself causes folks to soak up fewer energy and probably eat much less balanced, nourishing meals,” says Beth Warren, RD, who practices in New York Metropolis. There is usually a tendency to depend on the remedy fully for weight reduction — moderately than pairing it with a wholesome, balanced eating regimen. “For some folks, the drug can take away the motivation to eat effectively as a result of it’s working so effectively by itself,” she explains.

In case you are taking a GLP-1, it’s vital to prioritize a nutritious diet; however that objective comes with its personal challenges. “With decreased urge for food and generally heavy nausea or abdomen discomfort, even when somebody tries to comply with a meal plan, they might not be capable to,” says Warren. This will depart you extra susceptible to nutrient deficiencies.

These bodily results can even have an effect on how a lot you eat. “I’ve seen folks consuming lower than 1,000 energy a day as a result of they felt too sick to eat. Others don’t have any GI points,” says Jess DeGore, RD, CDCES, the proprietor of the digital personal follow Dietitian Jess in Pittsburgh. For reference, the calorie objective for adults ranges from 1,600 to 2,400 per day, relying on age and intercourse, based on the 2020–2025 Dietary Tips for Individuals. “I fear about individuals who have a poor urge for food and should not getting sufficient vitamins, whether or not they have an incredible high quality of life once they can’t take pleasure in meals and don’t really feel nice more often than not,” she says.

What’s extra, when you’re reducing weight quickly, that’s another excuse you need to be on guard for potential nutrient deficiency and be sure you have your bases lined, says DeGore.

What Dietary Dietary supplements Do You Want if You’re Taking a GLP-1?

First, preserve the construction of a wholesome, balanced meal plan, however eat smaller parts, advises Warren, and definitely prioritize protein so as to preserve muscle mass as you reduce weight. It’s additionally a good suggestion to restrict added sugars and meals which can be wealthy in saturated fat. The objective is to do your finest to eat nutrient-rich meals. Then, you would possibly contemplate supplementation. “Complement means ‘along with.’ These are supposed to help, not change, vitamins in your eating regimen,” she says.

The dietary supplements that your physician or registered dietitian would possibly advocate are those who tackle frequent deficiencies, notably those who might come up throughout weight reduction. Discuss to your healthcare practitioner for extra steering on precisely how a lot it is advisable to take. In case you are frightened a couple of deficiency, ask your supplier about testing.

Vitamin B12

B12 is a B vitamin that’s very important for blood and nerve cell well being, and sufficient consumption prevents a type of anemia, which causes fatigue, based on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being. “B12 is a typical deficiency that we see in weight reduction, so that you need to be sure you’re getting sufficient daily,” says DeGore.

Vitamin D

DeGore says she recommends vitamin D, also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” to everybody, particularly in the course of the winter months when there’s much less solar publicity. Ample vitamin D is vital for sturdy bones and immune assist, and deficiency is usually seen in people who find themselves on a restrictive eating regimen, she says.


For those who’re having GI negative effects because of the remedy, a probiotic might assist repopulate your intestine with good micro organism to ease signs, says DeGore.


A multivitamin received’t overcome poor dietary habits, however you possibly can consider it as a safety blanket, says Warren. Keep in mind, although, that nutritional vitamins and minerals are extra successfully absorbed via meals than from a complement, she says.


Backside line: The standard of your eating regimen is extremely vital, particularly when your eating regimen is restricted by urge for food adjustments or negative effects from a weight reduction remedy. “Use these medicines as a instrument to refocus on consuming a wholesome, balanced eating regimen, learn to eat each few hours, strive new meals, and educate your self about diet,” says Warren. You possibly can pursue creating more healthy habits once you don’t really feel the strain and angst that comes with making an attempt to reduce weight by yourself.

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