‘Rice-Zempic’: A Social Media Weight Loss Trend

Growing Popularity of ‘Rice-Zempic’

For as long as the market for weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy has boomed, people have been on the hunt for non-prescription and cheaper alternatives. Recently, a new natural alternative called ‘Rice-zempic’ has gained popularity on social media, with users claiming it works just as well as the medications.

The Trend’s Appeal

An increasing number of people have begun drinking a beverage consisting of rice-steeped water and lime juice after viral videos claimed it can help them drop 15 pounds in just two weeks. TikTok user Alfredo Valenzuela, known as TheChorroKing, tried the trend to lose weight before a vacation. Starting at 238 pounds, he weighed 235 pounds by day three, despite not exercising that day, prompting him to ask: “Is this the miracle water?”

Expert Opinions on ‘Rice-Zempic’

Short-Lived Results

Despite Valenzuela’s initial success, experts caution that the trend doesn’t work like weight-loss injections and is unlikely to provide long-term benefits. Valenzuela himself experienced a plateau and stopped the trend after 12 days, having lost only five pounds.

Scientific Analysis

Scott Keatley, co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, stated that there is no evidence to suggest that rice water has significant weight loss properties comparable to anti-diabetic medications like Ozempic. These medications mimic a hormone that controls digestion and hunger, reducing appetite and helping people feel fuller for longer.

Mechanism of ‘Rice-Zempic’

Dr. Mir Ali, medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center in California, explained that soaking rice in water releases starch, a filling nutrient. While drinking starchy water may help people feel full longer than plain water, it doesn’t impact hormones the way GLP-1 analogs do. Furthermore, substituting meals with low-calorie rice water may result in weight loss due to reduced calorie intake, but experts don’t recommend replacing whole foods with this mixture.

Recipe for ‘Rice-Zempic’

Recipes for this elixir vary, but most users combine equal parts of white rice and room temperature water, letting it sit for five minutes or overnight. The rice is then drained, and the water is mixed with juice from half a lime or lemon.

Real-Life Experiences

TikTok user Olivia Dort followed a similar recipe, starting the trend for fun and to test it out. She called herself part of ‘ChorroKing’s tribe.’ Dort began the trend weighing 174.6 pounds and dropped to 169 pounds by day four.

Comparison with ‘Oat-Zempic’

Valenzuela gained popularity by following a previous trend involving blended oat water, termed ‘oat-zempic.’ Both trends rely on the theory that drinking a more satiating liquid than plain water leads to eating less food.

Long-Term Weight Loss Advice

Dr. Ali emphasized that weight loss is about burning more calories than consumed. Diets aiming for rapid weight loss often fail to produce lasting results. He advised making small, steady changes to diet and exercise, including consuming fibrous, nutrient-dense vegetables and lean proteins. Although this approach requires more patience than trends like ‘rice-zempic,’ it yields better long-term results.