Can Drinking Oats Really Help You Lose Weight? The ‘Oatzempic Challenge,’ Explained

What Is the Oatzempic Challenge?Horasiu Vasilescu / 500px - Getty Images

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  • The Oatzempic Challenge is making the rounds on TikTok as the latest weight loss challenge or “hack.”

  • It involves having a blended oat drink that contains lime juice, oats, and water.

  • Nutritionists say it’s possible to lose weight on “Oatzempic”—but they have concerns.

TikTok is the land of questionable dietary advice, so when a new eating challenge surfaces, it’s understandable to be wary. The latest is the “Oatzempic” challenge, which fans swear can help people lose a large amount of weight fast.

The name is a combination of “oats” and “Ozempic,” a medication used for blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes (also popularized by celebrities for weight loss).

Many of the claims around Oatzempic say this oat-heavy drink will help you to lose 40 pounds in two months. However, people seem to have different results. TikToker Renita says in one post that she’s lost seven pounds in 10 days on Oatzempic, while fellow Oatzempic fan @TheChorroKing shared that he lost 10 pounds over 21 days while following this challenge.

Is there anything to the claims that Oatzempic helps with significant weight loss? And what’s the drink’s relationship to Ozempic? Nutritionists break it down.

What is Oatzempic?

Oatzempic recipes vary on TikTok, but most people will blend one cup of water with half a cup of uncooked old-fashioned oats, along with a squeeze of lime juice. However, some people add their own flavor variations, like a dash of cinnamon.

Most people drink Oatzempic for breakfast with the goal of doing this every day for eight weeks.

But, despite the trend, nutritionists say there’s nothing revolutionary about Oatzempic. “It’s a lot like eating a bowl of oatmeal—this is just oatmeal ground up,” says Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety. “It’s hype.”

Keri Gans, M.S., R.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet, agrees. “Depending on how you make your morning bowl of oatmeal, it can be the same thing,” she says.

What’s the link between Oatzempic and Ozempic?

There is a weak link between Ozempic and Oatzempic. Ozempic use a type of medication called a glucagon-type peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It works by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone produced naturally by your body, which slows down the digestion process, Cording explains. That can help you feel fuller, longer. “It also suppresses appetite,” she says.

Oats—and fiber in general—can cause your body to release GLP-1, but it’s on a much smaller scale than Ozempic, Keatley says. “When Ozempic is injected, the chemical of action is called semaglutide, which can stay in your bloodstream about 10,000 times longer than natural GLP-1,” he explains. “So, the Oatzempic is helping to release natural GLP-1, which almost all foods do, but this will in no way last as long as Ozempic.”

Can Oatzempic help you lose weight?

It depends. “This is a way to maintain some sense of fullness with the minimum amount of calories,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “You’re getting about 160 calories from a cup of cooked oatmeal, which is low for a meal.”

Oatmeal also has fiber, along with a little fat and protein, “which can keep you feeling full and may reduce the desire to grab a high calorie snack,” Keatley says. The drink requires a large amount of water, which can also make you feel full, he says.

Oatmeal is specifically high in soluble fiber, which forms a “gel-like substance” in your stomach, Cording says. “That’s part of what keeps you full,” she says. “It’s possible that when you’re grinding up the oats, you make them absorb the liquid more quickly.”

But it matters what you were eating for breakfast before, Gans says. If Oatzempic has less calories than your previous breakfast, there is a chance you will lose weight, she says. “Also, maybe the fiber from the oats is filling you up more and you find that you can last to lunch without snacking,” she adds.

Weight loss results also depend what you do the rest of the day, Cording says. “This is an isolated food item,” she points out. If you’re not following a healthy eating plan and aren’t exercising, Cording says it’s unlikely you’ll lose weight.

Oatzempic dangers

Nutritionists have a few concerns about Oatzempic. One is that the name and promises are misleading. “Comparing an oat drink to a powerful drug that acts on the gut hormones is at best silly and at worst irresponsible and dangerous,” says Christy Brissette, R.D., founder of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Laguna Beach, CA.

It could also lead to stomach issues, Cording says. “If you’re not used to having a lot of fiber, it can contribute to bloating, gas, and stomach cramps,” she says. If you don’t have enough liquids with Oatzempic, you also run the risk of getting constipated, Cording adds.

Oats contain something called beta glucan fiber, which can help with keeping blood sugar stable, Cording says. “But if you don’t have enough fat with it, you could be at risk of unstable blood sugar,” she says.

Oatzempic is fairly low in protein, and Cording has concerns about people losing muscle mass if they’re not having enough protein throughout the day. “That can cause your muscle to slow down, making you prone to regaining the weight and then some,” she says.

But nutritionists also warn about the messaging around Oatzempic. Having an oat drink to try to manipulate your hormones and lose weight “can veer into dangerous territory, bordering on disordered eating,” Keatley says. “This fixation on a narrow range of foods can escalate into an obsession, potentially leading to restrictive eating habits, significant nutritional imbalances, and an unhealthy relationship with food,” he adds.

But if you’re interested in trying Oatzempic and feel like you can be healthy about your food intake, Gans says you should be fine to have it. “You just might be setting yourself up for major disappointment” with weight loss results, she says.

If you’re interested in losing weight, Cording suggests focusing on making long-term, sustainable goals, like following a protein-rich, plant-based diet and exercising regularly—not drinking Oatzempic. “A lot of people are looking for a quick fix, but there really is nothing like learning about your body and developing habits that can stay with you for life,” she says.

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