The Conscious Gut

Dr Nowzaradan Diet: Is It Worth Trying?

Who Is Dr. Nowzaradan?

Dr. Nowzaradan diet was developed by Dr. Younan Nowzaradan – a well-known bariatric surgeon, who quickly became a household name when he managed to turn around the lives of numerous morbidly obese people on the highly popular TV show, My 600 pound life. His groundbreaking dietary approach has been on everyone’s lips for quite a while now. He is one of the few surgeons who perform operations on extremely obese people, and his diet is made specifically for preoperative weight loss (2).

The goal of Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet is twofold: first – actual weight loss before an operation, as it unequivocally reduces the underlying risks, possible side-effects and grave complications, and second – commitment test for the people who are adamant about following through with the second step and going under knife. The operation is never enough for a solid long-term weight loss. Afterwards, patients have to make drastic changes in their daily diet and eating practices for the operation to be successful. A continuous healthy lifestyle is the only way to obtain desired body looks.

What Is Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan?

This strict diet plan is essentially a mix of high-protein, low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb products. Patients are permitted to eat around 1200 calories per day, which is a far cry from the recommended amount of an average daily calorie intake and at first glance this eating pattern seems completely unfeasible and unsustainable. However, Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet claims to be a healthy way of shedding pounds, while maintaining low-calorie intake by not excluding any food group except sugar. Also you can’t simply throw caution in the wind and get below 1200 calories on Dr.Nowzaradan diet if you wish to fast-track the results, as a lower amount of calories does not supply your body with essential vitamins and energy-providing macronutrients.

Which Foods Are Not Allowed On Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet?

While on this diet, you shouldn’t consume the following:

  • Any kind of sugar, sweets, and pastries
  • Packaged snacks (potato chips, crackers)
  • High-calorie nuts and seeds (peanuts, popcorn, almonds, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds)
  • Fried foods such as French fries
  • Fruit juice and high-sugar fruits
  • Sodas and energy drinks
  • Packaged muesli and granola

Overall, food limitations on Dr.Nowzaradan diet are reasonable. Fruits with low sugar and low glycemic index are effective in assisting weight loss (3), while junk foods and other high-calorie products have a reverse effect.

Which Foods To Consume On Dr Nowzaradan’s Diet?

  • Vegetables (spinach, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, celery, and others as long as they are low-calorie and non-starchy.
  • Low-sugar fruits such as berries, grapefruit, honeydew melon, oranges.
  • Whole grains.
  • Low-fat and no-fat dairy.
  • Fish, seeds and nuts, with exception of aforementioned ones. Avoid processed and red meat and use vegetable oils in moderation.


To sum up, Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet is a way for people who are chronically obese to lose weight without spinning out of control and putting their health in jeopardy. Its benefits include the effectiveness and inclusion of all nutrients required for proper body functioning. The foods this diet recommends are indispensable for weight loss. Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs, benefitting people with diabetes (4), and low in calories, allowing you to eat more and gain nothing. Rich in fiber whole grains are also more filling while associated with losing weight and lower risks of obesity (51). If you are not severely obese, Dr. Nowzaradan diet without 1200 calories-norm may be simply used as a guide for a balanced daily menu.

Apart from following a proper diet, physical exercise is also essential for your body and health.

Alexandra Danieli

Alexandra Danieli, CHC, The Conscious Gut
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