So-called “wellness” hacks may come and go, but unfortunately diet culture is forever. And it’s trends like TikTok’s latest obsession with the “Oatzempic” drink that can—and do—perpetuate the latter. (See: the Slimfast consumer to almond mom pipeline.)

Oatzempic—a mixed beverage that social media users claim helps with weight loss—isn’t anything new or groundbreaking. Nor does the TikTok disinformation cycle have any shortage of controversial or unsubstantiated beauty fads and nutritional claims. However, the Oatzempic challenge is specifically giving me flashbacks to the horrible get-thin-quick-by-solely-drinking-your-calories culture of the early aughts… Because, well, that’s all it is.

Despite its punny name, Oatzempic has nothing to do with Ozempic, Wegovy, or any other weight loss injections: It’s just a drinkable meal replacement. What’s more, unlike actual GLP-1 medications, the Oatzempic drink is not an FDA-approved medication, nor are there studies, doctors, or dietitians who can speak to its efficacy or safety. Further, doctors and dietitians don’t co-sign the Oatzempic drink challenge as any form of health, wellness, or even weight loss regimen.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Oatzempic drink you’re seeing all over your FYP, as explained by a doctor and nutritionist.

What is “Oatzempic?”

As we said before, Oatzempic is not Ozempic. It’s merely a mixed beverage comprised of oats, lime, water, and cinnamon. On its own, that’s…well, unappetizing, but nothing too egregious, right?

Right. But the corresponding Oatzmpic drink challenge that’s going viral on social media is not medically or nutritionally sound. The challenge—which stems from one TikTok user’s claims that exclusively consuming the beverage and intermittent fasting for two months can result in 40 pounds of weight loss—asks participants to do the same. Remarkably, this took the app by storm, with thousands of comments on the original video from users alleging that they’ve since adopted the regimen.

Doctors and weight loss experts, however, don’t recommend it. For one, 40 pounds of weight loss in two months is excessive. “As a general rule of thumb, a progressive weight loss of one to two pounds per week is considered safe and sustainable,” Michelle Cardel, PhD, MS, RD, head of global clinical research and nutrition at WeightWatchers, tells Glamour. Two months of healthy weight loss should amount to somewhere between 8 and 16 pounds—not even close to 40.

What’s more, Dr. Cardel adds, is that while pairing this drink with your breakfast or having it as a snack may be OK, she doesn’t suggest it it as a meal replacement. “It is not a sustainable approach for long-term weight loss or maintenance,” she says.

Does drinking oats really cause weight loss?

So, does drinking Oatzempic really cause weight loss? It may be possible…but not in any healthy way. Exclusively consuming oats—and no other food—would likely put participants at a significant caloric deficit, which can and does lead to weight loss. However, it also puts them at a steep nutritional deficiency.

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