All You Need To Know About The Dubrow Diet
Written and Medically Reviewed by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD on January 23, 2020.
After coming out, the book “The Dubrow Diet: Interval Eating to Lose Weight and Feel Ageless” immediately became Amazon's best-seller. Since then there’s a lot of buzz around the Dubrow diet. It is mainly based on intermittent fasting but has a different approach at some points.
Wondering what is it and if it’s suitable for you? Read on and find out.
Who Are the Dubrows?
You may have heard about the Dubrows before hearing about their diet.
Heather Dubrow first came into the spotlight through "The real housewives of Orange County" show and now has her own podcast. Her husband, doctor Terry Dubrow is a plastic surgeon, and a TV star featured on the reality show called "Botched" on the "E!" channel.
As they were tired of countless diets that are followed by the yo-yo effect, they wanted to create something effective for themselves, that would keep the weight off for good. And that’s how the Dubrow diet was born.
Judging by the looks of the reality TV power couple, it should be working just fine.
Let’s dig into the diet and see what makes it so popular.
What Is The Dubrow Diet Plan?
The Dubrow diet plan is based on "interval eating," which is a form of intermittent fasting.
Dr. Dubrow was inspired by his own college years, where he ate far less often, but felt much better, and didn't have any trouble focusing during his lengthy study sessions. Like we already know, intermittent fasting boosts brain function and people report feeling very productive during the empty-stomach periods.
The idea behind every intermittent fasting plan is to limit the "feeding window". That often leads to eating fewer calories overall, which will lead to weight loss. The concept is simple—if you have less time to eat, you are likely to eat less food. Also, people can eat their regular meals in their non-fasting hours, making this type of dieting more comfortable to stick to long term. And that is essential to avoid the yo-yo effect.
The Dubrow diet also has anti-aging benefits. The diet claims to slow down the release of aging-toxins, therefore helping people retain their youngish looks. Through the process of autophagy that happens inside your cells, the diet will help retain skin elasticity, maintain hair growth, and also boost energy levels.
Dubrow diet also has some elements of low-carb, whole-food and portion control dieting, but more on that later.
Dubrow Diet Phases
The Durbrow diet is divided into three phases:
- Phase 1 - this phase is the most extreme. The intention behind it is to shake up your organism, kickstarting the whole weight loss and anti-aging process. If you are into intermittent fasting, this is one of the most well-known methods: you eat only in an eight-hour window and fast the remaining 16 hours. Dubrow diet goes a step further, as it prohibits simple carbs and alcohol intake. The first phase lasts about five days.
- Phase 2 - this phase lasts as long as it takes for you to reach your desired weight. Depending on the amount of weight you need to lose, or how fast you want to lose it, you can choose to fast somewhere between 12-16 hours per day. The diet is similar to phase one, but a bit less restrictive, as you can eat more healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Plus, you can enjoy alcohol moderately (it's a celeb diet after all!). And it has pre-planned "cheat" moments/meals/days, keeping you on track.
- Phase 3 - phase three lasts forever, as you need to maintain your weight. So basically, you choose a pattern you can follow, which is a combination of 12 and 16 hours of fasting each day. You do a 12 hour fast for 5 days a week and a 16 hour fast for two days a week. Phase three also lets you have more cheat meals every now and then, which will help you stay motivated and stick to your new eating habits. You need to monitor your weight, making sure you are not gaining any.
Dubrow Diet Instructions
The benefit of most, if not all, intermittent fasting diets is eliminating the need to count calories, or track macros. The fact that you are eating in a smaller window of time means you are likely to enter a caloric deficit, without the need to track every bite. But, to speed up the process, the Dubrow diet has some instructions.
Dubrows ask three questions: WHEN, WHAT, and HOW MUCH to eat? The WHEN part is already explained and is the essence of interval eating.
WHAT and HOW MUCH are closely intertwined, and we are going to explain them here.
You are supposed to eat protein, veggies and fat. It should be 2-3 servings per day of each. You should also eat nuts, dairy, complex carbs. You can also eat fruit, but have to limit yourself to one serving per day. If your phase or schedule allows drinking alcohol, make sure you take out your fruit intake for that day. Stick to low-sugar drinks such as dry wine.
In short, Dubrow diet insists on the whole, unprocessed foods, and reducing (simple) carb intake. You must eat meat, fish, and vegetables, combined with moderate amounts of fruits, dairy, and nuts, with a cheat meal here and there. Avoiding simple carbs means you can’t drink sodas, eat white flour, candy, cakes, and other sugary junk foods. Alcohol should be closely monitored. One drink per day for women, and two for men. The book has a customizable meal plan that will make it easier for you to choose Dubrow diet foods and recipes, sticking to the schedule and goals.
Because the Dubrow diet focuses quite a lot on restricting carbs, you can say that it is somewhat keto-ish. So, in essence, it is intermittent fasting combined with some keto and meal portioning elements, which is definitely going to put you in a caloric deficit.
Benefits Of Dubrow Diet Plan
Dubrow diet is very likely to work for you. We love intermittent fasting, and this diet is primarily about that. IF is a very simple concept that works exceptionally well for a lot of people.
Plus, the Dubrow diet incorporates portion size and low-carb elements, and when those are combined with intermittent fasting, you are going to see the numbers on the scale dropping.
In fact, Dubrows claim they performed a clinical trial on 100 people, to see how effective the diet was. The results were amazing, as the average weight loss was 48 pounds.
Promotes Healthy Foods
Dubrow diet is all about eating whole foods from quality sources. It includes meat, veggies, fat, fruits, dairy, and nuts. Most of the foods you will eat on this diet will be very healthy, even though it has occasional cheat meals of a few drinks here and there. There is also a section in the book that talks about supplementation. It can help you to make the diet more comfortable, but that is only optional.
Prevents the Yo-Yo Effect
The whole purpose of Phase 3 is to keep the lost weight from coming back. That means that the Dubrow diet not only helps you to reach the desired weight but also helps you stay slim, which is always a big plus. Too many modern diets only focus on getting you to your goal, and kudos to Dubrows for thinking about retaining the target weight.
Because of intermittent fasting, the Dubrow diet has anti-aging effects. It helps to keep your skin and hair young, while also maintaining energy levels. Fasting process activates the life-extending mechanisms, creates space for new cells to grow, and literally rejuvenates your body.
You can choose how fast you want to lose weight, how long your fasting periods are going to last. You also have freedom in creating your own meal plan if you use the templates from the book. That means that the Dubrow diet is applicable to a broad audience, and you will be able to tailor it to your needs.
Includes Cheat Meals
The Dubrow diet has cheat moments, meals, and days. This is always a good thing long term, as it helps reduce food cravings and stay on track. Having a pre-planned cheat meal will do wonders for your persistence. Also, the Dubrow plan allows moderate alcohol consumption, which means it won’t stand in the way of your nightlife too much.
Drawbacks Of Dubrow Diet Plan
Might Be Too Extreme For Some
The fact that you are fasting for 12-16 hours each day, all that while controlling portions and carb intake might be too much for some people. Especially if you are very active, training hard. It will be tough to intake all the needed calories in a short eight hour period, while also minimizing your carbs, and watching portion sizes. Too big of a deficit will help you lose weight even faster, but you risk losing muscles, which is never good. And you might feel de-energized if you are working out hard, especially considering that the book recommends High-Intensity Interval Training alongside the diet.
Might Be Hard To Stick To Long Term
While Phase 3 intends to keep the weight off, controlling portions combined with interval eating is not something many people will love to have as a lifelong habit. If you continue doing it, the weight will for sure stay off, but must have a strong will for that. Also, in order to adjust the release of hormones in your body, it’s better to fast around the same time each day and not to change the fast between 12 to 16 hours.
Too Much Looks-Oriented
Dubrow diet is all about achieving a great-looking physique, and it focuses less on getting healthy. While there is nothing wrong with looking good on its own, this diet would be much better if it took a more moderate approach. Yes, you would get to your destination slower, but your results would stick for longer. Health > Looks and the only way to stay healthy for a long time is to find a doable and sustainable plan—the Dubrow diet might be too extreme for most.
The Dubrow diet is definitely effective and will get you to your goal. Although we think restricting your calorie intake so radically on your eating windows might be too extreme for some. Also, jumping between 12-16 hour fasting might be confusing a bit. Should you try it? We leave that to you. Intermittent fasting definitely works, and so does restricting carbs, and eating whole foods. This diet will get you results; your job is to stay disciplined and keep the weight from coming back.