A woman who has been overweight ‘her whole life’ has documented her journey with Ozempic, including debilitating side effects of hair loss, diarrhea and severe fatigue. 

And a top dietitian has scrutinized her diet while on the drug – and warned that many could be lacking in vital protein and fiber, risking muscle wastage and bowel cancer.

Toronto-based nutrition expert Abbey Sharp conducted an in-depth review of the diet of a colleague who has been taking the blockbuster injections for seven months, losing nearly 35lbs in the process.

The review, which lasted 25-minutes, was posted to her YouTube channel, where Ms Sharp has more than 660,000 subscribers.

In it, the patient reveals what she’s been able to stomach for breakfast, lunch and dinner since being on the drug – which works by heightening fullness signals, reducing appetite.

Previous reports have documented patients who say they ‘forced’ themselves to eat, after the drug robbed them of all natural hunger pangs.

The patient, named Ginger, told Ms Sharp she has been overweight ‘her whole life.’

She watched her type 2 diabetic dad drop a load of weight and then learned he was on Ozempic, which led her to consider taking the drug herself.

Ginger takes two milligrams a week, which is the maximum dose.

‘I feel really good. I was shopping yesterday and instead of shopping for XL I was shopping for medium,’ she said.

However, she has described worrying side effects, including hair loss, diarrhea and ‘next-level’ exhaustion. She said: ‘I’m not sure if it’s related to loss of nutrients or the Ozempic or just [because] it’s a very stressful time… but it’s coming out in clumps while I’m in the shower, so that’s not fun.’ 

Ginger starts the day with a Nespresso coffee, followed by a single egg with some salt and pepper on a slice of white toast, with diary-free spread Earth Balance and topped with a piece of gouda cheese.

Abbey Sharp, the dietitian behind Abbey's Kitchen, has more than 660,000 subscribers on YouTube. She conducted an in-depth review of the diet of a colleague who has been taking Ozempic for seven months

Abbey Sharp, the dietitian behind Abbey’s Kitchen, has more than 660,000 subscribers on YouTube. She conducted an in-depth review of the diet of a colleague who has been taking Ozempic for seven months

Ginger has described worrying side effects while on Ozempic, including hair loss, diarrhea and 'next-level' exhaustion

Ginger has described worrying side effects while on Ozempic, including hair loss, diarrhea and ‘next-level’ exhaustion

For lunch, she has half a beef bulgogi with some carrots, kimchi and rice, followed by two pieces of white chocolate.

Dinner is usually a chicken fajita bowl with rice, black beans, sweetcorn, guacamole and salsa.

Ginger said: ‘I’m still enjoying everything that I want to eat, the only things that I’m really having a hard time with is any of those fried foods, they just don’t sit well in my stomach.’

Ms Sharp estimated Ginger’s meals for the day came to about 1,100 calories.

It is advised that patients on GLP-1 agonists do not eat fewer than 1400-1500 calories a day to prevent muscle loss and malnutrition, Abbey noted. 

For those not on Ozempic, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

‘For most people, [the Ozempic diet] might be a pretty aggressive calorie deficit,’ she said. 

A calorie deficit, where you burn more calories than you consume, is needed to lose lots of weight over short periods of time, which is why Ozempic works.

Ozempic is the brand names for the medication semaglutide, which suppresses appetite and triggers weight loss.

The drug binds to the GLP-1 receptor, a protein that triggers hormones in the brain that keep the stomach full and tell the body to stop eating and avoid cravings.

Risks of the drug include nausea and vomiting. Doctors are also concerned that patients may need to stay on the drug their whole life to maintain their weight loss.

Ms Sharp warned that a diet like Ginger’s is lacking in protein – the major nutrient in dairy, meat and pulses that is essential for building muscle and boosting energy.

‘I think I counted like 50 grams of protein in the day which is about 20 percent of your total calories,’ said Ms Sharp. 

‘We need a ton of protein when we’re in a calorie deficit. Basically, the greater the calorie deficit, the more protein we need.

‘And this is basically just to help prevent muscle wasting, which is one of the major concerns when it comes to GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic.’

Abbey recommended around 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or around 30 percent of your total calories.

According to the Dietary Reference Intake, the averageman should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams – roughly two small chicken breasts.

Because Ginger is only eating 1,100 calories, it would be ‘very difficult’ to hit this target said Abbey, unless she was ‘just eating protein.’

Working off of the 30 percent goal, Ginger should be having around 85 grams of protein a day.

Sharp recommended bulking up the protein in the breakfast meal, by adding some egg whites, a protein shake, Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese.

Another problem is the lack of fiber, which is needed to regulate digestion and prevent colon cancer. 

Women are recommended to get 28 grams of fiber a day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is equivalent to roughly three quarters of a cup of chickpeas.

Ginger is only getting five grams with her current diet, Abbey said. She advised swapping the white rice for a higher fiber grain like chickpea pasta or quinoa. 

‘If it is still very difficult for you to meet your fiber needs, I maybe would consider adding a prebiotic fiber supplement in there and taking it close to bed so that it doesn’t affect your hunger levels throughout the day.’

‘You don’t want it to further affect your appetite and you not want to get enough calories in or enough protein in.’

Fiber makes you feel full, Abbey said, so if you take it earlier in the day, you may compromise on antioxidant-rich foods or protein-rich foods ‘because you’re just feeling full because you’re on Ozempic and you’re now taking a fiber supplement, you’re feeling extra full.’

Ginger also needs to eat more fruit and vegetables, Abbey said.

‘Obviously it’s not realistic to get your full five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables on a very low calorie diet like this,’ she said.

This lack of nutrients could lead to the hair loss Ginger had described.

Not getting enough essential vitamins like vitamin D, iron and zinc can contribute to hair thinning and hair loss, experts have said. 

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