Jenny Sheay, registered dietician.A new social media trend is putting a twist on the Ozempic weight loss formula, just with the use of oats.

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What is “Oatzempic?”

“Oatzempic is the new social media trend that’s basically just an oat recipe,” says Jenny Reay, registered dietitian and weight management coordinator at OSF HealthCare. “It’s made by using regular oats, water and some lime juice. Some people are adding cinnamon to it as well. The trend is stating that you can lose 40 pounds in just 8 weeks by drinking the smoothie every morning.”

It’s a quick recipe that can be blended easily. In the end, the grainy drink aims to keep you full longer, diminishing the need to eat more for at least a couple hours.

In 2023, Ozempic was revered as Hollywood’s “weight-loss drug,” when its original purpose was for people with Type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels. The Ozempic website says the weekly injection is supposed to be used alongside diet and exercise to improve health outcomes.

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“Ozempic is a popular prescription medication for patients with diabetes. It has the side effect of decreasing our appetite,” Reay says. “The reason “Oatzempic” has become popular is because oats have a soluble fiber, known as Beta Glucan fiber, that forms a gel when you digest it. It slows down your digestion, having a similar effect by reducing your appetite or keeping you full, longer.”

So, does it work?

Not so fast, Reay says. While “Oatzempic” may have some beneficial qualities from the oats, it’s still not a fix-all solution.

“This smoothie is just going to keep you full for a couple hours until your next meal. It’s just a recipe, there’s nothing magical about it. There’s no literature that shows it’s going to actually cause that amount of weight loss in that short a period of time,” Reay says.

When comparing “Oatzempic” to meal replacement shakes, Reay says the meal replacements have key ingredients that the social media craze is missing.

“A meal replacement shake is going to be more of a balanced meal. There will be protein, carbohydrates, fiber, a little bit of fat and a lot of vitamins and minerals,” Reay says. “This particular smoothie is just oats with the lime juice, so there’s no protein. That’s one of the drawbacks of the recipe. I would suggest, if you’d like to try it, to add a protein to it like protein powder or Greek yogurt.”

As with all social media trends, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt and speak to a medical provider if you have any questions. A healthy lifestyle, balanced with regular exercise and healthy eating, will prove far more sustainable than a quick fix smoothie found on TikTok, Reay says.

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