Last Updated February 9, 2024

 February 9, 2024

Curious about which foods to avoid while taking tirzepatide for research?

For weight loss researchers, tirzepatide is grabbing attention. This novel peptide has recently gained regulatory approval for the management of diabetes, while clinical data indicates superior weight loss effects compared to mainstay incretin mimetics.

This detailed review outlines how to design a proper tirzepatide weight loss plan, the mechanisms behind tirzepatide’s effectiveness, and the main foods that subjects should avoid during research.

Keep reading to also discover our top recommended online vendor of high-quality tirzepatide and other research chemicals.

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Disclaimer: contains information about products that are intended for laboratory and research use only, unless otherwise explicitly stated. This information, including any referenced scientific or clinical research, is made available for educational purposes only. Likewise, any published information relative to the dosing and administration of reference materials is made available strictly for reference and shall not be construed to encourage the self-administration or any human use of said reference materials. makes every effort to ensure that any information it shares complies with national and international standards for clinical trial information and is committed to the timely disclosure of the design and results of all interventional clinical studies for innovative treatments publicly available or that may be made available. However, research is not considered conclusive. makes no claims that any products referenced can cure, treat or prevent any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials.

What is Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide (LY3298176) is an innovative peptide designed to simultaneously mimic two crucial incretin hormones: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) [1].

Both GLP-1 and GIP are naturally produced by the human gut to regulate the release of pancreatic hormones and help lower postprandial blood sugar [2].

Tirzepatide’s unique structure comprises 39 amino acids, incorporating a modified section of the GIP sequence at the N-terminus and an amidated sequence borrowed from the GLP-1 agonist exenatide at the C-terminus [1].

The amino acid sequence is also conjugated with a C20 fatty di-acid moiety, enabling tirzepatide to bind to serum albumin while extending its half-life to approximately five days [3].

American pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company patented tirzepatide in 2016 as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes (T2D) [4].

Following successful phase-3 trials, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2022 approved tirzepatide as a T2D treatment as a weekly subcutaneous injection under the brand name Mounjaro [5].

Beyond its approved use in diabetics, tirzepatide is currently undergoing clinical trials to assess its safety and effectiveness as a weight loss treatment in overweight and obese adults, i.e. those with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater [6].

Tirzepatide is also available through select vendors as a reference material for qualified researchers and laboratory professionals.

Foods to Avoid When Taking Tirzepatide

How Does Tirzepatide Work?

Tirzepatide works by activating both the GLP-1 and GIP receptors in various organs, including the exocrine pancreas, stomach, intestines, brain, and white adipose tissue. It is a biased dual agonist with preference for the GIP receptor [7, 8, 9].

Notably, tirzepatide is believed to activate the cAMP signaling pathway over beta-arrestin recruitment at the GLP-1 receptor. This may cause robust insulin secretion while minimizing the negative effects of the beta-arrestin pathway, such as receptor desensitization [9].

The peptide’s dual agonism may also explain its superior potency. For example, in the pancreas, tirzepatide's synergistic effect appears to upregulate insulin secretion and suppress glucagon more effectively than either GIP or GLP-1 alone [10, 11].

These findings suggest that tirzepatide may offer advantages over GLP-1 agonists in managing T2D and controlling blood sugar levels [10, 11]. Additionally, tirzepatide slows gastric emptying after a meal, which helps reduce postprandial glucose spikes [12].

Further, tirzepatide activates the GLP-1 and GIP receptors in the brain and white adipose tissue, resulting in reduced appetite, improved insulin sensitivity, and weight loss. For instance, activating GLP-1 or GIP receptors in the central nervous system, particularly in the hypothalamus, has been known to increase satiety and decrease food intake [13, 14, 15].

Research indicates that appetite suppression is a primary mechanism behind tirzepatide’s potent weight loss effects.

In a study comparing the effects of tirzepatide 15mg, semaglutide 1mg, and placebo on body weight and energy intake in 117 obese individuals, the results at week 28 showed that both tirzepatide and semaglutide significantly reduced energy intake compared to baseline, while the placebo did not cause any significant changes [16].

Notably, tirzepatide led to a -309.8kcal reduction in energy intake during ad libitum (unrestricted) buffet-style lunch compared to placebo and a -64.3kcal reduction compared to semaglutide [16].

GLP-1 activation in white fat tissue may also help prevent the weight-loss-associated decrease in leptin and thus, facilitate weight loss that is sustainable over the long term [14]. Further, tirzepatide appears to increase adiponectin synthesis in adipose tissue, which likewise improves insulin resistance and therapeutic outcomes [17].

Tirzepatide for Weight Loss

Tirzepatide therapy is shown to cause significant weight loss in patients with and without T2D. A 2022 meta-analysis of tirzepatide included data from over 7000 diabetic study volunteers on tirzepatide, and the effects were compared to placebo or GLP-1 agonists semaglutide and dulaglutide [18].

The analysis included a total of nine trials ranging from 8 to 52 weeks, with doses of tirzepatide ranging from 5mg to 15mg/weekly. The weight loss effect of tirzepatide was superior to both the two GLP-1 agonists and placebo. Compared to baseline, the dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist led to weight loss of -11.66lb at the 5mg/weekly dose, -16.16lb at 10mg, and -18.43lb at 15mg/weekly [18].

SURMOUNT Trials on Tirzepatide for Weight Loss

Eli Lilly’s SURMOUNT development program is currently investigating tirzepatide as a potential treatment of overweight (BMI>27kg/m²) and obesity in individuals with and without T2D. The program includes four global phase 3 trials that compare tirzepatide to placebo [6].

The first two of these have already been published, and the initial results from SURMOUNT-1 reveal that tirzepatide at all three doses (5mg, 10mg, and 15mg) effectively induces weight loss in individuals without T2D.

Within 72 weeks, the placebo group experienced a mean weight loss of -3.1%, the tirzepatide 5mg group experienced -15%, while the 10mg and 15mg groups achieved -19.5% and -20.9% from baseline, respectively. The trial also reports that the peptide was administered alongside lifestyle interventions such as a low-calorie diet [19].

The results from SURMOUNT-2, which focused on individuals with chronic weight management issues and T2D, were also published in 2023 and indicated that tirzepatide at the 10mg and 15mg doses led to significant weight loss compared to placebo.

Specifically, the 10mg dose resulted in an average weight loss of 12.8% (28lb) from baseline, while the 15mg dose led to a weight loss of 14.7% (32.2lb). By contrast, the placebo group experienced a 3.3% (7.0lb) weight reduction [20]. Additional data from the SURMOUNT program is expected for release in late 2023 [6].

Why Does a Tirzepatide Diet Plan Matter?

Tirzepatide is currently researched as a potential weight loss medication, with trials investigating its effectiveness and long-term safety in combination with lifestyle interventions, specifically a low calorie diet [6, 19].

In fact, a low calorie diet can enhance the success of tirzepatide's weight loss effects. While the peptide increases satiety and reduces cravings, it does not necessarily promote healthier food choices, which are crucial for achieving maximum weight loss [12].

Research has consistently shown that caloric restriction is crucial to weight loss interventions, and that the net energy balance is the primary factor determining the magnitude of body weight reduction [16, 17, 18, 19, 20].

In brief, controlling energy intake plays as significant a role in achieving a successful weight reduction as the tirzepatide itself. Following a well-designed tirzepatide diet plan that includes low calorie, nutritious, and sustainable food choices will optimize the peptide’s effectiveness and lead to better outcomes in tirzepatide weight loss research.

Foods to Avoid When Taking Tirzepatide | Top 10

According to the Mounjaro package insert, tirzepatide has no food-drug interactions and may be administered at any time of day, with or without meals [21].

But as highlighted, a successful weight loss intervention requires adherence to a healthy, low-calorie diet. Making healthy food choices will also help promote subjects' overall health and lower the risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Here are the 10 foods and food groups that tirzepatide test subjects should avoid due to their potential health risks and high calorie density:

Fatty foods

Dietary fat has more than twice the calories of macronutrients like proteins and carbohydrates. This places high-fat foods among the most energy-dense options for subjects to avoid [22]. Moreover, saturated fats in foods like fatty meats, butter, and coconut oil may increase LDL cholesterol, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis [23]. To limit calorie intake and promote better health outcomes during tirzepatide trials, subjects should avoid high-fat foods and instead opt for lean meats, fish, and seafood.

Trans fats

These are found in processed foods like margarine and baked goods, which are calorie dense but can also negatively affect cholesterol and increase atherosclerotic risk. It's especially important to avoid partially hydrogenated oils [24].

Fried foods

All fried foods, including fried chicken and french fries, are energy-dense options that increase total energy intake. Subjects should intake foods made with healthier cooking methods like baking, grilling, or steaming to keep fat intake within healthy levels [25].

Processed meats

Cured, smoked, and dried meats, like sausages and bacon, are high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and additives. Their consumption is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases. Subjects should opt for lean protein sources like skinless poultry, fish, legumes, or tofu [26].

Sugary foods

Jams, candies, and sweetened dairy products are high in calories and may impede weight loss research. Sugary foods have also been linked to elevated triglyceride levels. Test subjects should instead opt for fresh fruits [27, 28].

Refined grains

Refined carbs, such as white bread and white rice, lack nutrients and fiber, and can cause spikes in blood sugar. Opting for whole grain options such as whole wheat bread and brown rice can provide more fiber and sustained energy release, supporting satiety for better weight loss research outcomes [29].

Sugary beverages

Drinks that are high in sugar, such as energy drinks, soda, and fruit punch, contribute to excess calorie intake and hinder subjects’ weight loss progress. Water (still, sparkling, or flavored) and unsweetened tea are the healthier low calorie alternatives [27, 28].

Fruit juices

These “healthy” drinks may contain high amounts of sugar without the fiber found in whole fruits. Consuming whole fruits is a better choice that provides fiber and additional nutrients.

Other ultra-processed foods

Spreads, instant soups, packaged snacks, and dough products are all high in calories and have a relatively low impact on satiety. Avoiding these foods in favor of healthier, low-calorie options can reduce total energy intake and promote weight loss in tirzepatide trials [30].

Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol is high in calories and provides very little nutritional value. Consumption of alcohol can increase energy intake and have negative effects on blood sugar control during tirzepatide trials. Subjects should minimize alcohol intake and choose alcohol-free beverage alternatives [31, 32].

Foods to Avoid When Taking Tirzepatide

Is Tirzepatide Safe?

Tirzepatide is considered safe for use in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) based on clinical trial results and its FDA approval [33]. Weight loss trial results also reveal its favorable safety profile in conditions like overweight and obesity [6, 19].

Gastrointestinal (GI) complaints are the most commonly reported tirzepatide side effects, with dose-dependent incidence. For example, a meta-analysis of ten trials with nearly 7,000 participants showed that GI problems affected 39%, 46%, and 49% of participants receiving the 5mg, 10mg, and 15mg doses, respectively [34].

At the tirzepatide 15mg/weekly dose, the most commonly reported side effects included:

  • Nausea: 24.08%
  • Diarrhea: 20.79%
  • Belching: 16.42%
  • Bloating: 16.29%
  • Gut discomfort: 14.86%
  • Vomiting: 13.98%
  • Constipation: 8.86%
  • Indigestion: 8.52%
  • Abdominal pain: 7.57%

Hypersensitivity reactions affected 2-4% of participants. Serious side effects were rare, affecting about 1% of subjects, and included cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, and pancreatitis [34].

Caution is likewise advised for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as safety in these patients has not been sufficiently studied. Subjects taking both tirzepatide and other glucose-lowering medications should be monitored for hypoglycemia [21].

Tirzaptide is contraindicated in those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) as there is animal data linking tirzepatide to these conditions. Human studies have yet to confirm these risks [21].

Where to Buy Tirzepatide Online? | 2024 Edition

Peptide researchers and laboratory professionals may buy tirzepatide online for research use.

To minimize the risk of receiving a low-quality item and ensure the receipt of pure research peptides, purchase only from vendors whose peptides are manufactured at registered facilities and undergo third-party laboratory testing.

Here are two tirzepatide suppliers who stand out in this regard.

Limitless Life

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  • Fast & Free Domestic Shipping: The vendor ensures prompt and efficient shipping, guaranteeing timely delivery of tirzepatide. US orders of $350+ qualify for free shipping.
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Tirzepatide Foods to Avoid | Verdict

Tirzepatide is a first-in-class medication that is characterized by its dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonism. The peptide has shown superior efficacy compared to GLP-1 agonists used for diabetes management and weight control.

It is already FDA-approved as a type 2 diabetes therapy and currently studied as a weight loss agent thanks to its potent appetite-suppressing and satiety-promoting effects.

While tirzepatide administration by itself can result in a significant reduction in calorie intake, subjects should also follow a low calorie diet to maximize tirzepatide weight loss outcomes. Research subjects on tirzepatide should avoid energy dense foods that have poor nutritional content, such as foods high in fat, added sugar, alcohol, and ultra-processed foods.

Qualified researchers interested in further studying tirzepatide should check out our go-to vendor for peptides.


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Scientifically Fact Checked by:

Luis Daniel López Murillo, PhD

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