Zepbound is a name-brand medicine containing tirzepatide that has been shown to aid in weight loss and the treatment of obesity. Like other medications containing tirzepatide, diet can influence the effectiveness of Zepbound. If you're currently taking Zepbound, you'll want to monitor the foods you eat. Find out what foods to avoid on Zepbound and what you can add to your diet in this guide from our team at the biostation in South Florida.

How Does Zepbound Help With Weight Loss?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zepbound in November 2023 for the treatment of weight loss, obesity, and weight-related medical conditions. The active ingredient, tirzepatide, is a hormone receptor agonist that activates the naturally occurring GLP-1 and GIP receptor hormones in the gut, helping to curb appetite, slow digestion, and reduce the amount of food you consume. Over time, the use of Zepbound can help you to lose excess weight, combat obesity, and maintain the healthy results you achieve during your weight loss journey.

Side Effects

While Zepbound is not for everyone, it can play a valuable role in helping certain people drop excessive weight while maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Even with the success rate in shedding extra pounds — with an average weight reduction of 15.7% in one study — there are some common and mild side effects to be aware of when considering Zepbound for weight loss:

  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • Constipation.
  • Indigestion.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Gas and bloating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Low blood sugar.
  • Injection site reaction.
  • Hair loss.
  • Allergic reaction.

Other Considerations

It's also important to consider your diet when taking Zepbound, as this can influence the absence or presence of side effects and even interfere with the medicine's effectiveness. Be sure to discuss any dietary concerns with your health care provider before taking Zepbound and to understand how to manage any side effects you may experience.

Foods To Avoid While Taking Zepbound

Zepbound works by triggering hormones that tell you you're full after eating. However, certain foods can cause discomfort or more severe side effects while taking medicines containing tirzepatide. If you're taking Zepbound, here are several foods to avoid:

High-Fat Foods

Foods high in fat, like butter, cheese, and dairy can slow down gastrointestinal activity and cause constipation. One of the most common side effects of GLP-1 agonists like Zepbound is constipation. Patients who already experience this should avoid foods high in fat that could make the condition worse.

Processed Foods

Avoid processed foods, fried foods, and foods made with refined sugar. For patients with diabetes, avoiding processed sugar and foods with high glucose content is imperative, as these types of foods can exacerbate their medical conditions. While taking Zepbound, this is just as important because eating processed foods can cause blood sugar imbalances and interfere with the medicine's ability to regulate it.

Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates go through multiple steps including bleaching and processing that take away the deeper nutritional value of the grains they come from. Refined carbs are found in foods like pasta, white bread, white rice, and white flour, and processed snacks like crackers and cookies can increase blood sugar levels, causing the body to retain excess sugar and fat.


Many health care providers agree that it's best to avoid alcohol while taking a tirzepatide like Zepbound. Alcoholic beverages can affect blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and increase the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, depending on how much you consume. Patients with diabetes that's not well controlled, high triglycerides, nerve damage, or pancreatitis should avoid alcohol consumption altogether while taking Zepbound.

Carbonated Drinks

Sodas, sparkling water, and other carbonated drinks can also cause interactions while taking Zepbound. If you experience gas, bloating, or burping while on the medication, drinking carbonated beverages could intensify this side effect. Instead, aim for plenty of water each day to maintain proper hydration and support a balanced diet.

Foods To Eat While Taking Zepbound

Not all foods are off-limits for people taking Zepbound. By adding whole foods and nutrient-rich snack options to your diet, you can better support healthy weight loss and ensure the medicine is working optimally. Consider the following foods in your diet to support your health and Zepbound's effectiveness:

  • Lean proteins such as those found in fish, eggs, chicken and poultry, tofu, and tempeh can help increase fullness while taking Zepbound, which helps curb excessive appetite.
  • Healthy fats like unsaturated fats found in seeds, nuts, olive oil, and fish can help you feel full longer after eating, further supporting Zepbound's activation of the GLP-1 receptor.
  • Whole grains and high-fiber carbs like quinoa, whole wheat bread, steel cut oats, and sweet potatoes can help prevent sudden increases in blood sugar and support the treatment of obesity and diabetes.
  • Nutrient-dense vegetables like leafy greens and cruciferous foods (like broccoli and cauliflower) can help move food through the digestive system, reducing the constipation that can often occur when taking Zepbound.

Tips for Managing Your Diet While Taking Zepbound

While taking Zepbound, it's vital to maintain a balanced diet that gives you the nutrients your body needs to shed weight and maximize Zepbound's effects. In addition to a healthy diet, it's also important to:

  • Make sure your diet includes plenty of nutrient-rich foods and snack options.
  • Practice eating smaller portions at meals.
  • Prioritize meal planning as a way to track your progress, experiment with delicious recipes, and avoid foods that could interfere with the medication.
  • Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, such as walking or biking.
  • Commit to strength training at least two times each week.

Ready to Jump Start Your Weight Loss Journey?

For people taking Zepbound, a balanced diet is crucial to supporting the effectiveness of the medicine. Avoiding certain things like sugary snacks and fried foods can help you lower the risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects and avoid interfering with Zepbound's efficacy. Consult with your health care provider for more information. You may also see if Zepbound may be an appropriate addition to a supervised weight loss program by contacting the biostation team with any questions you may have.