Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan: 101 Foods to Eat & 41 to Avoid in 2024


Last Updated:

metformin weight loss diet plan

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We also belong to other affiliate programs and may earn commissions from purchases made after clicking links on this website.

In this article, I’ll do a deep dive into the Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan. Metformin is one of the most popular and effective drugs for type two diabetes. It has also been proven to be a solid drug at aiding in weight loss, especially when paired with a healthy diet.

So, if you’re looking for a diet that is easy to follow, has few restrictions, and can provide major health benefits in addition to weight loss, then the Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan might be right for you. This plan restricts foods with a high glycemic index or load (GI/GL) and emphasizes low GI/GL foods.

If you currently take Metformin, the list of foods to eat and avoid covered here can help you achieve your weight loss goals. While there is no magic pill for weight loss, many taking Metformin for Type 2 Diabetes have reported sustained weight loss when following this diet.

What Is Metformin?

Metformin is a well-known prescription medication that is used to treat insulin resistance, Prediabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes. Its core function is to control high blood sugar levels.

Metformin plays three key roles in the body:

  1. Lowers the amount of sugar (glucose) that is released by the liver into the blood.
  2. Decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) that the body absorbs from food.
  3. Improves insulin response, which allows the body to use or store glucose for energy.

How Does Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan Work? 

  • Reduction of insulin resistance – When insulin becomes more effective, it prevents the conversion of carbohydrates into fat.
  • Stimulation of glucose disposal in skeletal muscle – Lowering sugar levels in the blood prevents fat formation.
  • Lowers hepatic(liver) glucose output – Reduces the amount of sugar in your blood.
  • Decreases intestinal glucose absorption – Helps prevent the absorption of sugar.
  • Impedes gluconeogenesis – Inhibits the conversion of protein and amino acid into glucose.
  • Decreases appetite – The effect that the drug has on appetite centers of the brain causes you to eat fewer calories

In short, Metformin:

  1. Helps the body use fat more efficiently
  2. Reduces hunger and appetite

Some possible side effects include diarrhea/upset stomach.

Is Metformin a Weight Loss Pill?

Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan Pills

The straightforward answer is no.

However, a new study finds that people who take metformin for type 2 diabetes have a lower BMI and better weight loss when following a balanced healthy diet plan.

That said, taking Metformin is not enough. Healthy lifestyle habits, mainly eating a balanced diet and regular physical activity will cause greater and more permanent weight loss results.

By following the Metformin foods to eat and avoid list in this article, you can expect to lose weight.

Is There a Metformin Diet Plan?

Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan

The Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan is designed by Dr. David D’Alessio, Professor of Medicine at Duke University, Director of the Division of Endocrinology, and a staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center., to be both safe and effective for patients with type 2 diabetes. This blog post will discuss how this diet plan works in detail as well as provide you with some tips on what foods to eat and avoid while trying to lose weight.

The Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan is low-carbohydrate diet with the following breakdown: 40% carbohydrate, 20% high protein and moderate fat of less than 30% total calories, as well as high fiber (mostly from complex carbs).

Important Steps to Take

For safe and successful weight loss and overall well-being, it is essential to consider the following:

1. Please consult your healthcare professional:

  • Before starting any new diet or exercise program
  • Before altering the dosage or stopping any medication
  • If you feel any pain, illness or discomfort

2. Suggested healthy habits to boost your weight loss goals:

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Find an activity you enjoy.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day with pure water or plain herbal tea.
  • Get seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Portion control is vital. Avoid mindless eating/snacking.
  • Fill most of your plate with non-starchy vegetables (see list below).
  • Steam, bake, grill or lightly sauté your food. Avoid deep-frying or the use of added oils and butter.
  • Eat the rainbow! Enjoying a wide variety of food (especially plant foods) will ensure you receive all the beneficial nutrients and keep your diet interesting!

Which Foods Should I Eat and Avoid For Weight Loss While Taking Metformin?

The overwhelming number of diets and ‘health food’ options available these days can make it challenging to decide and commit to your weight loss goals.

To make things easier, here is a list of the 101 foods to eat and avoid for weight loss while taking Metformin:

Please Note:

  • This is a summarized list of the common foods that majority of respected health professionals recommend.
  • We are all different: What works for one person may not necessarily work for another.
  • This is not medical advice. Always consult with your primary healthcare provider before starting a new diet or exercise plan.

Foods To Avoid on the Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan

Foods To Avoid

To achieve weight loss, control diabetes and enhance the benefits of Metformin, you need to limit or avoid foods that cause high blood sugar.

Sugar occurs naturally in fruit, vegetables, grains, beans and dairy. The natural sugars consumed in these whole foods is not an issue.

The key ingredient to reduce or avoid is added sugar, which is found in food products that have been processed, refined or fried. Added sugar is the greatest contributor to excess weight and diabetes.

Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is the biggest culprit because it is everywhere – even in the foods you would least expect!

  1. Sugar – brown or white
  2. Artificial sweeteners – aspartame, sucralose, saccharin
  3. High-fructose corn syrup

Fruit With Added Sweeteners:

  1. Jam
  2. Applesauce
  3. Fruit juice
  4. Canned fruits
  5. Dried fruit


  1. Syrups
  2. Honey
  3. Molasses
  4. Ketchup
  5. BBQ sauce and other sweetened sauces

Sugar-sweetened Beverages:

  1. Soda
  2. Energy drinks
  3. Sports drinks

Sugar Bombs:

  1. Sweets and candy
  2. Energy or granola bars
  3. Chocolate

Foods Made With Refined Flour:

  1. Biscuits
  2. Crackers
  3. Pastries
  4. Muffins and scones

Processed or Refined Grains

  1. Bread
  2. White rice
  3. White pasta
  4. Pizza
  5. Ready-to-eat cereals

Sweetened or High-fat Dairy:

  1. Flavored yogurts
  2. Ice cream
  3. Cream
  4. Excess milk and cheese
  5. Potato chips
  6. Fries
  7. Doughnuts
  8. Pies
  9. Margarine
  10. Microwave popcorn
  11. Processed meats – bacon, hotdogs, salami, ham, pepperoni and canned meat
  12. Alcohol: Drink with caution, especially when taking Metformin. Do not drink on an empty stomach and make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid sugar-laden cocktails.
  13. Fried or Fast food: these are high in trans fats and hidden sugar

Foods To Eat on the Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan

Foods To Eat

Do not despair – there is an abundance of options that you CAN enjoy!

The secret is to reach for REAL food, also known as WHOLE food. They are produced by nature and not by a factory. These foods remain close to their natural state, with little-to-no processing, added sugars, artificial preservatives or flavorings.

Complex Carbohydrates

Not all carbs are bad; it’s just about choosing the right ones. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, and they are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Complex carbohydrates are the preferred choice. Compared to simple carbohydrates, they are higher in nutrients and take longer to digest (which results in lasting energy and less impact on blood sugar).

Whole Grains

  1. Brown and wild rice
  2. Quinoa
  3. Buckwheat
  4. Wholewheat bread
  5. Wholewheat pasta
  6. Rolled or steel-cut oats
  7. Farro
  8. Millet
  9. Barley

Beans and Legumes

  1. Lentils
  2. Chickpeas
  3. Black beans
  4. Green beans
  5. Edamame

Starchy Vegetables:

  1. Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  2. Corn
  3. Peas
  4. Pumpkin and squashes



Protein aids in weight loss because it boosts the metabolism, reduces appetite and helps to build lean muscle. It is important to include protein with every meal because it slows digestion, which helps to control blood sugar levels.

Try to consume organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed animal products

  1. Meat: lean lamb, beef or venison
  2. Poultry: Free-range and skinless chicken, turkey and ostrich
  3. Eggs
  4. Seafood: wild-caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring and shrimp
  5. Organic soy products: tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso

Healthy Fats

Do not shy away from fats. A small amount of healthy fat is vital for healthy hormones, and it enables the body to absorb the nutrients from food.

  1. Olives and Extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Organic coconut oil, coconut milk
  3. Ghee
  4. Avocado
  5. Nuts – almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews
  6. Seeds – chia, flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Non-Starchy Vegetables

You can eat the following list of popular vegetables in abundance. They are high in fiber and rich in essential vitamins and minerals. These veggies are ideal for people with diabetes or excess weight because they are low in carbohydrates and sugar.

  1. Leafy greens – kale, spinach, chard, arugula, lettuce, salad greens, watercress
  2. Cruciferous veg – broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Bok choy, radish
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Peppers
  5. Zucchini
  6. Mushrooms
  7. Cucumber
  8. Asparagus
  9. Beetroot
  10. Artichokes
  11. Leeks
  12. Celery
  13. Aromatics – Onions, garlic, ginger



Focus on Low-sugar options

  1. Berries
  2. Pomegranate
  3. Kiwi
  4. Apples
  5. Guava
  6. Citrus – grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons, tangerines
  7. Stone fruit – peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots

Fruit with a higher sugar content should be consumed sparingly:

  1. Mangoes, grapes, cherries, pears, watermelon, figs and ripe bananas


Dairy products are high in calories and fat. They are best eaten in moderation:

  1. Plain Greek yoghurt
  2. Low-fat cottage cheese
  3. Ricotta
  4. Goat’s milk and cheese

Herbs and Spices

Fenugreek and Cinnamon are particularly beneficial for blood sugar control.

  1. Herbs – basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, mint, parsley, dill, fenugreek and sage
  2. Spices – cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne, paprika and nutmeg


  1. Water – still or sparkling
  2. Caffeinated Tea – Green, white or black tea
  3. Herbal tea – peppermint, Rooibos, chamomile,
  4. Coffee – no sugar or creamer (take note of caffeine intake)
  5. Apple cider vinegar (always diluted with water) – may improve blood glucose levels and control appetite.

Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan: Right For You? 

So, what do you think about the Metformin Weight Loss Diet Plan?

Do you think you will give it a go?

As much as we wish we could rely solely on a pill to melt off the pounds, nothing will outperform a healthy and balanced diet! Knowing which foods to eat and avoid when taking Metformin is the cornerstone of safer and effective weight loss. Hopefully, this article helped to answer that for you.

🍽️ Related: Custom Keto: Benefits, Food List & FAQs

About the Author

Tim Brennan Avatar

Latest Posts

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap