What to Eat on Mounjaro

Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA

Reviewed by Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 05/30/2024

Eating a balanced diet is a key component of weight management. But what happens to your diet plan if you start using a medication like Mounjaro®, a type 2 diabetes drug also used for weight loss?

While no research identifies exactly what to eat when taking Mounjaro, certain food groups may be more beneficial than others.

Below, we cover what to eat while on Mounjaro, what foods you may want to avoid, and more information on this weight loss drug.

The short answer is no. No strong research says one specific diet plan is better than another while taking Mounjaro.

The longer answer? Weight loss drugs like Mounjaro work best at reducing body weight when combined with healthy lifestyle changes — like working regular physical activity into your routine and eating a balanced diet.

While there’s no specific “Mounjaro food plan” per se, eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein while avoiding foods high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar can help someone achieve their weight loss goals and may even help minimize Mounjaro’s side effects.

Fruits and Vegetables

You’ve been hearing that you should eat more fruits and vegetables since you were a kid for good reason. What’s more, boosting your fruit and veggie intake is a proven strategy for successful weight loss.

The daily recommended intake for adults is two to two and a half cups of each, and ideally involves a mix of dark, green leafy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, and legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils.

If you’re taking Mounjaro for diabetes, you may want to prioritize non-starchy vegetables with a lower carbohydrate content like broccoli and spinach.

Additionally, the American Diabetes Association notes that fresh, frozen, or canned fruits with no added sugars are the best of the fruit options since they have a low glycemic index.

Whole Grains

When it comes to carbs, you should aim to eat more whole grains than refined grains.

This could be as simple as swapping white bread for whole wheat bread and adding in whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley.

Lean Proteins

Moving along the macronutrient list, protein is necessary for weight loss. It helps reduce body fat, limits cravings, helps you feel full for longer, and more.

If you’re building regular exercise into your schedule, eating enough protein is even more important as it’s been shown to help increase lean body mass.

Keep in mind: Lean meats or poultry, seafood, eggs, and plant-based protein sources like soy products are among the healthiest.

Healthy Fats

Although fat has been quite villainized in modern society, eating certain high-fat foods can actually help you lose weight while using Mounjaro.

In fact, eating polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats not only helps with weight loss but also improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

You still want to eat these so-called healthy fats in moderation, but they’re certainly a step up from unhealthy fats like saturated or trans fats.

Avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, and olive oil are all good sources worth adding to your grocery list.

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Weight loss treatment that puts you first

Just as there aren’t specific foods to eat when taking Mounjaro, there aren’t specific foods to avoid.

Certain foods or ingredients may cause or worsen the side effects of Mounjaro and contribute to weight gain, though.

Saturated Fat

As we mentioned above, certain types of fats are healthier than others. Saturated fats are considered unhealthy fats and should be eaten sparingly, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.

While not all saturated fats are unhealthy, it’s wise to limit dark meat, high-fat cuts of meat, butter, full-fat dairy products, and fried food intake.

Added Sugar

You don’t need to completely cut out sugar when taking Mounjaro, but decreasing the amount of sugar you consume is another effective way to lose weight.

The excess sugar often found in ultra-processed foods like breakfast cereals, sodas, and juices was found to increase the risk of obesity or excess weight.

Sodium

Sodium can be found in many foods. But too much sodium (another common feature of processed foods) can lead to various health complications.

Excess sodium has been associated with high blood pressure, overeating, obesity, increased risk of stroke, and certain types of cancer.

Want to know more about what to eat while on Mounjaro and weight loss?

Does It Matter What I Eat On Mounjaro?

While people who followed low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets experienced significant weight loss in clinical studies, weight loss maintenance is most likely with an eating plan individuals can stick to.

What Is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is one brand name for the drug tirzepatide, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a diabetes drug but sometimes prescribed off-label for weight loss.

Another drug called Zepbound® contains the same active ingredient as Mounjaro and is FDA-approved for weight loss.

Both Mounjaro and Zepbound are taken as weight loss injections.

How Does Mounjaro Work?

Mounjaro works by mimicking the hormones glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) which can cause weight loss by reducing appetite and helping you feel more full.

This is because the drug’s active ingredient, tirzepatide, is a GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist.

What Are the Side Effects of Mounjaro?

The common side effects of Mounjaro include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain

  • Indigestion

These can be worsened if you eat foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat while taking Mounjaro.

Is Mounjaro Effective for Weight Loss?

Mounjaro is effective at both managing blood sugar levels and reducing weight in those with excess weight or obesity.

A 2023 systematic review and meta-analysis looked into 14 trials of tirzepatide on more than 11,000 people and found that 5 milligrams (mg), 10 mg, and 15 mg doses led to weight loss.

A 2022 study of more than 2,500 people with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or more also saw substantial weight loss from 5, 10, or 15 mg doses.

How Does Mounjaro Compare to Ozempic?

Another popular weight loss drug, Ozempic® has a different main ingredient than Mounjaro — semaglutide.

While there aren’t studies comparing Mounjaro vs. Ozempic, both have similar effects on type 2 diabetes and weight.

If your healthcare provider recommended taking Mounjaro for weight loss, you might be wondering if and how to adjust your diet.

Here are the facts:

  • While Mounjaro is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes, it’s also prescribed off-label for weight loss.

  • There’s no strong research suggesting one diet plan is better than another while on Mounjaro. The best Mounjaro food plan is the one you’ll stick to.

  • Try sticking to a reduced-calorie diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats while avoiding saturated fats, excess sugar, and excess sodium.

And remember, Mounjaro isn’t your only option if you’re looking into weight loss treatments. There are other injectables, weight loss pills, and drug-free interventions to suit every kind of body and every kind of weight loss journey.

15 Sources

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  7. American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Fats. https://diabetes.org/food-nutrition/reading-food-labels/fats
  8. American Heart Association. (2021). Saturated Fat. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats
  9. Pagliai G, et al. (2021). Consumption of ultra-processed foods and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844609/
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  12. Johnston BC, et al. (2014). Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Meta-analysis. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1900510 MOUNJARO (tirzepatide) Injection, for subcutaneous use. (2022). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2022/215866s000lbl.pdf
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