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Does “Oatzempic” really work? Nutritionist explains Tiktok's latest weight loss fad

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It seems like it was just yesterday when social media influencers were claiming that oatmeal was toxic and causing rising obesity rates. Now influencers are sipping a concoction of oat and lime juice with the bold claim that it will help you lose 40 pounds in two months. To make things more appealing, the drink is called that “Oatzempic” as a reference to the drug Ozempic, which can help you lose weight. So does it really do what people claim it does?

The drink is a mixture of one cup of water, half a cup of raw oatmeal and the juice of half a lime. It may sound unappealing, but it has something to do with oatmeal juice (jugo de avena in Spanish), a drink common in many Latin American cultures.

A typical recipe for jugo de avena includes oats, milk, sugar, lime juice and maybe a little cinnamon. The difference between the trendy drink and the typical cultural drink is the fad diet language associated with the former. People claim that drinking every day will help them lose excess pounds, but let's dive into some of the claims.

Leche de avena
A typical recipe for jugo de avena includes oats, milk, sugar, lime juice and maybe a little cinnamon. (© Eva – stock.adobe.com)

The drink is rich in fiber, which many people don't get enough of. Fiber helps promote regular bowel movements, meaning that when you have a congestion (like 16% of people in the world do), you lose the inherent stool and water mass. This means that while you may store less mass than you normally would, your body is constantly processing and excreting waste, so this isn't exactly permanent.

Others claim that they feel full for much longer after drinking and are therefore less likely to overeat throughout the day. This is likely why eating fiber-rich foods is so highly recommended for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. The average American eats a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, which contain little to no fiber and trigger a steep blood sugar response. This may cause you to feel hungry more often. Fiber helps slow this reaction, meaning your blood sugar levels are more stable throughout the day and you feel more satisfied.

Some people use this drink as a meal replacement and don't eat a full meal until midday, which seems feasible because the fiber promotes satiety, but is neither sustainable nor necessary. Calorie deficits are key to weight loss, but it only needs to be a small deficit, not the size of an entire meal. Although the drink is nutritious, it is not a meal.

Weight loss efforts should be sustained, not drastic. If you try to reduce your daily calories to such an extreme, you run the risk of going backwards. Once the trend is over after two months, the weight you lost from calorie restriction will likely come right back.

Bottom line

The problem with Oatzempic and other weight loss “hacks” is that they promote rapid weight loss without considering sustainability. It's about losing weight no matter what. Often people don't do that Strictly speaking lose weight. You will lose water or even muscle mass, which is not what you want.

Trends like this also disregard practicality. Someone is much more likely to find a hot oatmeal recipe that they enjoy eating often and can make a meal out of to sustainably consume fiber to promote satiety and healthy habits than a trend like this to jump up. Oatzempic overly complicates health and increases people's urge to constantly look for quick fixes that don't really help in the long run.