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Dr. Now Diet: Is This a Safe Way to Lose Weight?

In today’s weight-conscious world, many individuals seek effective and sustainable ways to lose excess weight and improve their overall health. The Dr. Now diet has gained significant attention among various diet plans due to its association with rapid weight loss.

However, this highly restrictive diet may not be suitable for everyone, and it is essential to explore alternative, healthier weight loss methods before getting started with extreme eating patterns.

In this article, we will delve into the details of the Dr. Now diet, discuss its drawbacks, and introduce a healthier and more sustainable alternative you can start practicing today.

Dr. Now Diet: What Is It?

The Dr. Now diet is a highly effective, low-calorie, and low-carbohydrate plan designed to promote weight loss. Initially, it was developed to prepare overweight patients for weight loss surgery by demonstrating their ability to commit to lifestyle changes post-surgery.

This diet plan, tailored for overweight individuals, gained widespread recognition after Dr. Nowzaradan featured it on his show, “My 600 lb Life.” The show documented the impressive weight loss journeys of participants who followed the Dr. Nowzaradan diet.

With the primary objective of helping overweight individuals shed 30 pounds in 30 days, this diet minimizes potential complications associated with weight loss surgery. To achieve this goal, participants must adhere to a significantly reduced calorie intake while restricting their daily carbohydrate consumption.

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Rules for the Dr. Now Diet

The Dr. Now diet uses the F.A.T. acronym to help dieters understand the guidelines of the plan:

  • Frequency — this refers to the meal frequency. It is recommended that you eat two or three meals per day and do not eat any snacks at all.
  • Amount — this refers to your calorie limit each day. The Dr. Now diet plan has a very restrictive limit of just 1200 calories per day,  which can be divided into three 400-calorie meals or two 600-calorie meals.
  • Type — this refers to the kind of food you should be eating. Dr. Now’s diet plan recommends reducing carb and fat intake and eating more lean protein and fiber, as these macronutrients are more likely to fill you up and keep you satiated.

This diet is specifically tailored for those undergoing weight loss surgery, aiming to promote rapid weight loss. For this reason, it is not advised to follow this plan for more than one or two months.

It is also recommended that you only follow the Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan under the supervision of a doctor to avoid any significant health risks.

Nutritional Guidelines for the Dr. Now Diet

The nutritional guidelines for the Dr. Nowzaradan diet are very strict. We have summarized them below.

Foods to Eat

Foods you can eat on the Dr. Nowzaradan diet include:

  • Lean protein — including chicken, egg whites, tofu, fish, and turkey
  • Fats and oils — use only cooking spray and minimal amounts of oil
  • Low-sugar fruits — all fruits except for watermelon, banana, cantaloupe, and mango
  • Vegetables — all are allowed except for potatoes
  • Some seeds — only  flaxseeds and chia seeds are included
  • Low-fat dairy products — including nonfat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, and skimmed milk
  • Wholegrain carbohydrates — like whole grain bread, brown rice, and wholewheat pasta, all in moderation
  • Zero-calorie sweeteners — like stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol

Foods to Avoid

Foods you should avoid on the Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan include:

  • High-fat and processed meats — this includes products like bacon, hot dogs, and sausages
  • Fats and oils — including butter and olive oil
  • High-sugar fruits — including canned fruit in syrup
  • Potatoes — of any kind, including fries and chips
  • Nuts and seeds — like almonds, peanuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds
  • Full-fat or sweetened dairy products — like full-fat cheese, ice cream, or chocolate milk
  • Refined and processed carbs — like chips, baked goods, white rice, and white bread

Dr. Now Diet: Sample 3-Day Meal Plan

Here is a sample three-day meal plan to give you an idea of what following the Dr. Now diet might look like:

Day 1: 3 meals

Breakfast: 2x poached eggs on one slice of wholemeal toast (no butter)

  • Kcal: 313
  • Protein: 10g
  • Fat: 6.15g
  • Carbs: 13.8g

Lunch: Wild salmon veggie bowl with 1 courgette, 1 onion, and canned or poached salmon (280g)

  • Kcal: 395
  • Protein: 37g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbs: 18g

Dinner: Lentil and cauliflower curry with non-fat coconut yogurt (1.5 tbsp)

  • Kcal: 324
  • Protein: 23g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbs: <30g

Day 2: 3 meals

Breakfast: Scrambled tofu (1 cup) on one slice of wholewheat toast

  • Kcal: 200
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbs: 16g

Lunch: Egg salad (2 large eggs and a handful of salad greens)

  • Kcal: 145
  • Protein: 6.24g
  • Fats: 5.01g
  • Carbs: <1g

Dinner: Low-fat chili (125g lean beef with less than 5% fat) with brown rice (50g), no beans

  • Kcal: 400
  • Protein: 29g
  • Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbs: 30g

Day 3: 3 meals

Breakfast: Oatmeal (40g) with no-fat milk (100ml)

  • Kcal: 200
  • Protein: 8g
  • Fats: 3.5g
  • Carbs: 30g

Lunch: Tuna salad (142g can) with a handful of salad greens

  • Kcal: 130
  • Protein: 27g
  • Fats: 1.3g
  • Carbs: <1g

Dinner: Mushroom omelet (3 medium eggs) with a dollop of low-fat soft cheese

  • Kcal: 196 kcal
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fats: 14g
  • Carbs: 14g

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How Does the Dr. Now Diet Work for Weight Loss?

The Dr. Now diet is a low-calorie plan that restricts daily calorie intake to a mere 1200. This significantly reduced calorie consumption creates a calorie deficit, making you consume fewer calories than your body burns.

It has been shown that a very low-calorie diet can have a significant impact on weight reduction, even without exercise. Intending to help participants shed 30 pounds in 30 days, Dr. Now asserts that most individuals achieve success following this plan.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that a healthy weight loss rate typically ranges between 1 and 2 pounds per week. As this diet encourages rapid weight loss, it is specifically recommended for patients preparing for weight loss surgery and should be followed under a doctor’s supervision.

Are There Any Other Benefits to This Diet?

The benefits of the Dr. Now diet include:

  • Weight reduction — this diet plan is used to help overweight patients lose weight quickly before surgery for weight reduction.
  • Good post-surgery results — it has been found that losing weight before surgery makes patients more likely to maintain a healthy weight after the procedure successfully.

Risks and Drawbacks to Consider

Despite its benefits, the Dr. Now diet, being a low-fat, low-calorie, and low-carb plan, also has several drawbacks.

May Slow Down Your Metabolism

Calorie restriction can lead to a slower metabolic rate, potentially resulting in weight gain as your body burns calories more slowly and accumulates fat stores.

May Affect Your Hunger Hormones

Low-calorie diets have been shown to affect hunger hormones, causing increased hunger sensations as the metabolic rate decreases. This may lead to overeating and weight gain.

May Affect Your Digestion

The highly restrictive nature of the diet can cause an imbalance in gut microbiota due to reduced food diversity. An imbalanced gut microbiome can lead to digestive problems, while a balanced diet helps maintain a healthy digestive system.

Not Sustainable in the Long Term

This diet is not sustainable in the long term, as extreme calorie restriction is challenging and can result in inadequate nutrient intake and side effects such as fatigue, weakness, and lack of focus. The Dr. Now diet is only recommended for a month prior to bariatric surgery.

Is the Dr. Now Diet Safe and Sustainable for Weight Loss?

The Dr. Now diet, designed explicitly for preoperative weight loss, imposes a highly strict and significantly reduced calorie intake. Maintaining such low-calorie consumption for an extended period is unsustainable and can result in unhealthy weight loss.

Immediate health risks associated with unhealthy weight loss include headaches, irritability, menstrual changes, hormonal imbalances, muscle loss, and more. A healthy weight loss rate is typically 1–2 pounds per week, whereas this diet claims to facilitate losing up to 30 pounds within 30 days.

As the Dr. Now diet is neither safe nor sustainable, it should only be followed under the guidance of a bariatric surgeon before weight loss surgery.

Try Intermittent Fasting Instead

Intermittent fasting is a proven weight loss strategy that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. This time-restricted approach to dieting is particularly beneficial for those who have not succeeded with traditional diets.

In addition to weight loss, intermittent fasting offers various health benefits, such as improved heart health, enhanced cognitive function, better blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, and increased longevity.

The DoFasting website is dedicated to providing extensive content on the intermittent fasting approach, helping users like you understand and adopt this eating style. Newcomers to intermittent fasting can also download the DoFasting app, an ideal companion to this eating habit.

The app offers a range of features, including:

  • A fasting timer to remind you when to start your fast
  • A progress tracker to monitor your weight reduction
  • A food tracker to keep tabs on your caloric intake
  • Thousands of fasting-friendly recipes
  • Fasting-compatible workouts

All in all, intermittent fasting presents a healthier, more sustainable approach to weight loss without promoting rapid weight reduction. And starting is as easy as planning when to finish tonight’s dinner.

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Dr. Now Diet: Final Considerations

the Dr. Now diet is a highly restrictive, low-calorie, and low-carb plan specifically designed for overweight patients preparing for weight loss surgery.

While it may result in rapid weight loss, it is unsuitable for long-term use due to its potential health risks and unsustainability. Instead, consider trying other healthier, more sustainable weight loss methods like intermittent fasting.

Before embarking on any weight loss journey, consult a healthcare professional for guidance on the most suitable approach for your needs.


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