Woman says she lost 2 pounds in 5 days through ‘Rice-zempic’ hack


‘I can’t believe it’: Woman says she lost 7 pounds in 7 days through ‘rice-zempic’ hack. What is it?

Users are trying ‘rice-zempic’ to lose weight fast. Is it safe?


Stacy Fernandez


A new weight loss hack is circulating TikTok. People claim this natural drink is an inexpensive but just as effective version of Ozempic. Medical professionals are skeptical.

Ozempic exploded in popularity over the last few years as people figured out that the drug, which is actually prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes, has weight loss as a common side effect.

While Ozempic is far from the first weight loss drug to exist, it’s quickly become a household name due to its efficacy (one study found that people who receive weekly semaglutide injections lost, on average, about 5 pounds per month), FDA approval, ability to be dosed weekly instead of daily, and being thrust into the social media spotlight by celebrities.

A number of celebrities, including Oprah, Kelly Clarkson, Dr. Phil, Chelsea Handler, Sharon Osbourne, Elon Musk (though he took Wegovy, which has a higher dose than Ozempic), Amy Schumer, and Heather Gay of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, have mentioned the drug (a similar one) publicly, People reported.

The rise in the drug’s popularity has led to shortages for people who actually need it to treat their diabetes.

But, with a $935 monthly price tag, possible side effects, and the need for a doctor’s prescription, Ozempic isn’t accessible (or desirable) for all looking for a fast-acting weight loss solution.

That’s where “rice-zempic” has rooted it’s market.

What is “rice-zempic”?

When you look up rice-zempic on TikTok, dozens upon dozens of videos come up, all posted within the last week or so, signaling the start of a trend that may soon make its way onto your FYP. Before this, oatzempic was the latest weight loss drink fad.

Under the rice-zempic search term, TikTok has a disclaimer stating “you are more than your weight” and provides two links with resources for eating disorders.

While the exact rice-zempic recipe varies from person to person, it generally includes steeping unwashed rice and lemon juice in hot or warm water. People let that mixture sit 5-30 minutes (or some, overnight), remove the rice and drink the remaining starchy liquid. Some wait half an hour after consuming the concoction to eat.

Several users have also pointed out that the rice-zempic challenge isn’t a diet or cleanse. Unlike liquid diets or cleanses that have you replace all your meals with a juice, shake, or other liquid, rice-zempic is taken in addition to your regular diet.

@iarahs_utoob I lost almost 6 lbs in 4 days and i was not exercising or on a diet during that time, so i do think it worked but I’m going to move on and try other things due to my concerns over the elevated levels of arsenic in the rice, i dont think it is worth the risk of heavy metal buildup for future me. On to the next thing! #ricezempic #ricewater #limejuice #cinnamon #science #chorroking💩👑 #weightloss ♬ original sound – 🔥✨iarahs✨🔥

Real people’s results

Those who’ve posted their journey online have shared mixed reviews. One woman said she lost six pounds in four days (about 1.5 pounds a day), another lost 7 pounds in a week (about a pound a day), and after six days, one woman lost a grand total of 0 pounds.

Clearly, the results are mixed.

“It’s just something you’re adding to your diet to see if it helps you lose weight, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” @moonlightxdiaries, who lost 7 pounds in 7 days, said. “Even if you gain it all back when you stop drinking the rice water, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I do think it’s pretty cool to see the scale go down every day just because you’re drinking rice water.”

TikToker @msnigrinis, who’s on day 10 of the challenge, said she hasn’t lost any weight from the challenge but has noticed she’s less bloated, so she’s going to continue with the rice water for a while longer.

@moonlightxdiaries Rice-zempic rice water challenge day 5 of 7. Sorry it took so long to upload today’s video. Its been a stressful day but i did my best to make the video & answer the most asked questions. ♥️ #ricezempic #ricewater #ricewaterchallenge ♬ original sound – Moonlight | Food Diary

The science behind rice-zempic

Medical professionals say there are some benefits to integrating rice water into your diet, but there’s no science backing it as a weight loss solution.

Since it’s just starchy water with some lemon, the drink is low in calories and has some good nutrients, so it won’t do you any harm. To aid in weight loss, it can be used as a meal replacement or taken before a meal to help you feel full faster.

But that’s about it.

“While rice water may have some nutritional benefits, such as providing a source of energy from its starch content, there is no evidence to suggest it has any properties that would significantly impact weight loss, especially in the manner that anti-diabetic medications like Ozempic do,” Scott Keatley, RD, co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, told Health.

Even that feeling of fullness person would feel from the starch expanding in their stomach will be “very short-lived,” Kunal Shah, MD, an assistant professor in the division of endocrinology at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, told Health.

And if you suffer from acid reflux, the lime in the concoction could exacerbate your health issues.

Even if you do lose some weight from the drink, it’s likely to be temporary and come right back since you’re not making any “permanent, healthy, long-term changes,” Mir Ali, MD, medical director of Memorial Care Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California told Health.

“It doesn’t in any way mimic Ozempic,” Ali said. “It has no hormonal effects like Ozempic to stimulate receptors.”

Instead, medical experts recommend a low-calorie, nutrient-dense diet that’s high in protein and low in carbs. That, plus exercise, can lead to long-lasting weight loss.

Can rice water be dangerous?

Several people in videos or in the comments sections have brought up their concern that unwashed rice has arsenic, which can pose a health risk if consumed in large quantities.

“I did lose almost six pounds but I decided to quit it because…there’s arsenic in the rice. It’s an elevated level because of the way that the crop is flooded,” @iarahs_utoob said in her video.

And they’re not wrong; while arsenic is found in small quantities in many foods and drinks, it accumulates the most in rice.

“In fact, it is the single biggest food source of inorganic arsenic, which is the more toxic form,” Healthline reported. High levels of inorganic arsenic have been found in rice-based products like rice milk, rice cereal, and rice crackers.

To lower the amount of arsenic in rice it should be washed before being cooked, this can reduce 10-28% of the arsenic.

While rice is OK to eat in moderation (in fact, most of the world relies on it as a main food source), those participating in the rice water challenge may actually be exposing themselves to unnecessary arsenic.

The Daily Dot reached out to @moonlightxdiaries via TikTok direct message and comment, @iarahs_utoob via TikTok direct message and comment, and @msnigrinis via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment.

The Daily Dot