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Why the ‘Oatzempic’ Craze Isn’t Worth the Hype


A new TikTok trend touts that "Oatzempic" – a combo of oats, water, and lime juice – encourages rapid weight loss. But experts warn the concoction has little benefit, especially for people with diabetes.

Every year, a new fad diet or weight loss trend seems to emerge – some healthy, others not much. And some, like the tapeworm diet (yes, that’s a thing), can be downright dangerous.

The latest weight loss craze circulating on social media is “Oatzempic,” a daily drink that some people claim helped them lose up to 40 pounds in just two months. Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it probably is.

What exactly is ‘Oatzempic’?

“Oatzempic” is a drink consisting of oats, lime juice, and water. The name cleverly piggybacks off the type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic, which has become a popular GLP-1 drug for weight loss (though not FDA-approved for that purpose). Of course, being essentially an oat smoothie, “Oatzempic” has no relation whatsoever to the once-weekly injectable medication Ozempic.

It’s easy to see why something like “Oatzempic” may seem enticing. Sustained healthy weight loss for people living with excess weight or obesity can be challenging – it requires a long-term commitment to lifestyle habits like getting regular exercise and eating a nutritious diet. That’s another reason why many people have turned to other weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Zepbound to drop weight quickly. 

But with the high cost of these medications (for example, Wegovy costs almost $1,400 for a one-month supply without insurance) and limited access due to drug shortages, people are searching for other fast – and affordable – ways to lose weight.

Does ‘Oatzempic’ work for weight loss?

Because “Oatzempic” is only about 150 calories and oats can make you feel full, there’s a chance the drink could be part of a weight management plan. But don’t expect to lose 40 pounds in two months.

“I think maybe people are using it as a meal replacement and therefore are in a caloric deficit,” said Lori Zanini, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. “Anytime you’re in a caloric deficit you will potentially lose weight, but not in a way that’s sustainable or helpful.”

Another issue with “Oatzempic” – especially for those substituting meals for it – is it’s not balanced from a nutritional standpoint. Yes, oats are full of vitamins and minerals and a great source of soluble fiber. However, they contain little protein and fat, which is why it’s important to eat them in tandem with other foods that contain additional sources of fiber, healthy fats, and protein.

“If you don’t have enough protein – and this ‘Oatzempic’ has very little – it’s not going to be very beneficial in the long term, no matter how healthy oats are,” Zanini added. “It’s just not the right way to lose weight.” 


Is ‘Oatzempic’ safe for people with diabetes?

While “Oatzempic” isn’t dangerous in the way swallowing cotton balls or taking fertility hormones for weight loss is, the drink might not be the best for diabetes.

Again, oats on their own can be part of a healthy meal plan for people with diabetes. Some studies have shown that oats, which contain soluble fiber, are associated with lower cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease, and lower blood sugar after meals. However, oats are composed mostly of carbohydrates with some protein and fat. Eating too much could have the opposite effect on glucose management.

“If you do have diabetes and are eating this by itself, it will raise your blood sugar. It’s just how carbs are,” Zanini said.

Another thing to keep in mind is that products containing rolled or instant oats often also have added sugar. They are processed foods, which means your body will break them down faster, potentially leading to a spike in blood sugar. No matter how you decide to consume oats, always aim for steel-cut or whole oat kernels; they take a lot longer to prepare, but they’re more nutritious and digest more slowly.

Zanini doesn’t recommend “Oatzempic” for anyone trying to stabilize their blood sugar but said those insistent on trying it should combine the concoction with other healthy foods like hard-boiled eggs, sauteed vegetables, and chia seeds to make it a more balanced meal.

The bottom line

The promise of quick and easy weight loss is alluring, but experts like Zanini suggest relying on “Oatzempic” will have little benefit for anyone, especially people with diabetes. 

And despite the health benefits of oats, the food on its own certainly won’t help with drastic weight loss or blood sugar management the way GLP-1 medications like Ozempic and Wegovy will. While “Oatzempic” in combination with other food groups may have some benefits, consuming excess amounts or replacing meals with it is only going to raise your blood sugar levels.

“There’s nothing magical about the combination of lime juice and oats,” Zanini said. “This is a good example of a trend that's not really something people need to follow.”

Zanini added that the “Oatzempic” craze is a good reminder about where we get our health information from. If you have diabetes or are looking to lose weight, don’t rely on TikTok for medical advice – always reach out to a trusted healthcare professional.

Learn more about diabetes and nutrition here: