Daily inclusion of nutritional meal replacements helps assure that individuals prescribed anti-obesity medications will meet their nutritional needs to support a healthy metabolism while actively losing weight.
A 2020 study funded by Novo Nordisk reported that the estimated mean energy intake was reduced by 47 percent for people using Semaglutide for 20 weeks. (Friedrichsen et al. 2021). Daily inclusion of nutritional meal replacements helps assure that individuals prescribed anti-obesity medications will meet their nutritional needs to support a healthy metabolism while actively losing weight.
Nutritional needs of patients on medications with reduced energy intake are as follows:
- Optimal Protein Intake: Protein is essential to the synthesis and maintenance of lean muscle, major organs and metabolic functions in the body. When calorie intake is reduced the body may utilize protein as source of energy which can decrease lean muscle mass. Consume at least 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Adequate Fiber Intake: Dietary fibers, particularly soluble prebiotic fibers, increase satiety, promote healthy blood sugar levels and support gut health. Fiber can also ameliorate digestive discomfort including constipation associated lower food intake, reduce bloating and support beneficial microflora, immune health and nutrient absorption. The recommended fiber intake is 28 grams per day.
- Appropriate Micronutrient Intake: Meeting the daily required levels of vitamins and minerals is important for overall health and metabolism. Daily intake of essential micronutrients is essential for metabolic functions including energy utilization, cognitive wellbeing, and to promote optimal health.
With unknown cumulative effects of nutritional deficits due to changes in appetite along with side-effects of anti-obesity medications, it is important to consider the well documented benefits of meal replacements in providing the nutritional supplementation needed when calorie intake is reduced. Meal replacements may also help relieve common gastro intestinal symptoms of medication such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation or vomiting.
Friedrichsen, Martin, Astrid Breitschaft, Sayeh Tadayon, Alicja Wizert, and Dorthe Skovgaard. 2021. “The Effect of Semaglutide 2.4 Mg Once Weekly on Energy Intake, Appetite, Control of Eating, and Gastric Emptying in Adults with Obesity.” Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism 23 (3): 754–62. https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.14280.
Gorgojo-Martínez, Juan J., Pedro Mezquita-Raya, Juana Carretero-Gómez, Almudena Castro, Ana Cebrián-Cuenca, Alejandra de Torres-Sánchez, María Dolores García-de-Lucas, et al. 2022. “Clinical Recommendations to Manage Gastrointestinal Adverse Events in Patients Treated with GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: A Multidisciplinary Expert Consensus.” Journal of Clinical Medicine 12 (1): 145. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12010145.