Dr.Younan Nowzaradan is a well-known surgeon whose famous name is Dr. Now. Iran is his native country, where he was born in 1944. He studied at the University of Tehran, where he received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1970. After that, he traveled to The United States where he settled in Houston, Texas, and worked with “Houston Obesity Surgery”.

Dr. Now is a successful surgeon specializing in different medical aspects like gastric bypass surgeries, vascular surgery, gastric sleeve surgeries, and bariatric surgery. He has earned his popularity due to his excellent skills in the medical career, which make him a star of a  famous TV show on the TLC series “ My 600.lb Life”, where he helps turn around the lives of many overweight people. In addition, he has written two famous books, Last Chance to Live and The Scales Don’t Lie, People Do, in which he provides the readers with his long experience in dealing with overweight and obesity.

What is Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan?

The main idea of Dr.Now’s technique is to follow a diet plan which is strict depending on reducing the daily caloric intake by focussing on a balanced and healthy diet, which has a strong effect on dropping weight, especially for overweight and obese people before being approved to weight-loss surgery.

So, he has designed his special daily diet strategy which is consuming 1,200 calories per day by eating three meals, no drinks that contain sugar, and no sugar at all. His diet technique relies on eating low-fat, low-carbohydrates, and foods that are high in protein and vitamins. Moreover, it’s recommended to increase the amount of the daily water intake to keep hydrated and that contributes to addressing fullness.

Basically, it’s all about eating healthy food, and minimizing food portions, and giving away junk food, which is not useful for the body. This rough diet is very useful for overweight people who want to get rid of a huge amount of extra weight. It‘s not advisable to consume less than 1,200 calories per day because it could be dangerous and cause negative side effects on health. The body will suffer from not being able to get the nutrients that are necessary to be in a healthy condition. So, it’s not advisable and not safe to eat fewer than 1,200 calories. The most important thing is to keep following the healthy tips and learn to keep it as a lifestyle all the time.

How Does Dr. Now’s Diet Work?

As we mentioned before, Dr. Now’s dietary approach depends on reducing the number of calories that are taken daily, which helps burn off the fat that is stored in the body, which helps the body lose extra weight. Moreover, when you consume fewer calories, that means you will minimize the portion size, which helps to minimize the size of the stomach as well. Weight-loss surgery for overweight people is not a magical cure, therefore they have to learn how to keep a healthy lifestyle and make changes in daily eating to enjoy healthy body weight.

Of course, each one has his or her diet that depends on many factors including age, weight, gender, and health condition. It’s advisable to consume 1.200 calories daily no less to help the body meet its nutrients needs and to stay in a healthy condition by depending on a balanced diet which contains all food groups to help the body to get the required energy and suppress appetite as well.

So basically, the idea is if you eat low carb foods, the body will go for burning fat instead of carbohydrates to get the required energy which leads to a fast weight drop. For many severe cases, they have to commit to a rough diet to help their bodies get rid of more pounds pre-surgery to lower the risk of complications during and post-surgery. So, they have to commit to a rough diet by limiting calories to 1.000 or 1,200 calories per day to help them shed more pounds before surgery. After all, the patients should learn how to control and make an effort to keep healthy habits up.

Dr. Now’s Diet Plan Books

Dr. Now has written two books, in which he provides the readers with his long experience in treating obese patients and effective diet plans, which are a great guide for obese people to learn how to deal with and treat this disease. 

Dr. Now image
Via Instagram @younannowzaradan

Through his book “ Last Chance to Live”, he explains the reasons which cause obesity, and also shows how obesity affects the body and causes many health issues. Additionally, he gives tips for weight loss. Therefore, patients who have bariatric surgery can make use of reading this book.

Through his book “ Scales Don’t Lie, People Do”, he provides the readers with some advice on what kind of healthy foods that they can eat, and what kind of foods that they should avoid. He highlighted the effect of a balanced diet on losing weight, which should contain vitamins and minerals. The book explains how important it is to change bad eating habits and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, it contains a detailed explanation of different types of weight loss surgery.

Both books are considered a great guide for overweight people, in which he motivates them to eat healthy foods and keep exercising. The main idea of these books is that it’s never too late to change your life and reach your goals, but it’s not an easy journey.

Is Dr. Now’s diet effective for weight loss?

Results have shown that following Dr. Now’s diet plan helps the patients who suffer from obesity to lose weight in an effective way. Weight loss is vital for obese patients who need to be qualified for surgery. So, Dr. Now’s diet plan is depending on limiting caloric intake and exercising daily to reduce body weight.

His strategy has shown successful results with his patients who suffer from obesity. They have to keep working and never stop adopting the basic rules of a healthy life. Patients should maintain a diet routine before and after weight loss procedures to reach a healthy weight.

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Foods To Eat

In general, Dr. Now’s diet plan is simply eating real foods and avoiding junk foods without the elimination of any food groups. The average of the daily calories should be around 1,200 calories.

Dr. Nowzaradan Foods to eatSo, if you are wondering about what you can eat, you have many options such as:

  • Fruits with low sugar are rich in vitamins and minerals, which are needed for the body to work properly like oranges, berries, kiwi, strawberries, avocado, grapefruit, and others
  • Non-starchy vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber-like cucumber, cabbage, celery, zucchini, mushroom, radish, cauliflower, and others
  • Fish is an important source of protein especially salmon, which is an excellent source of healthy fats and oils
  • Low-fat dairy, like low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, and low-fat yogurt are very important to provide the body with the necessary amounts of calcium for healthy bones and teeth
  • The non-fat diary also is an important source of calcium like non-fat yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread
  • Seafood like swai fish
  • Low-fat meat is an important source of protein which is highly required on the diet
  • low-calories seeds and nuts
  • Poultry
  • Vegetable oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, and peanut oil

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Foods to avoid

  • High-calorie foods should be avoided 
  • Sugar
  • Potato chips
  • Crackers
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Chocolate
  • Fruits with high sugar
  • Syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, pies, 
  • Milkshakes and chocolate milk
  • Puddings
  • High-calorie nuts and seeds
  • Soda and sugary drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • French fries
  • Rice
  • Alcohol
  • High starch vegetables like beans, sweet potatoes, corn, chickpeas, butternut squash, and peas
  • Jellies and jams
  • Packaged morning cereal
  • Candied fruits
  • Smoothies
  • Dietary supplements
  • Popcorn

During the diet, you can enjoy healthy snacks between meals to curb hunger. Though the snack should be healthy, low in fat, and low in carbohydrates.

The Importance of counting food calories

Calorie counting is considered an effective way to be aware of the number of calories that you consume per day and to have the knowledge of what you eat. In fact, it’s a successful way to lose weight since you eat fewer calories than you burn off. The amount of calories that the body needs daily is different from one person to another, which is determined by different factors like age, gender, weight, and how active you are.

Counting caloriesDr. Now’s diet plan depends on consuming 1,200 calories daily by tracking your food intake to reduce the extra weight. Dr. Now’s books have detailed information about different kinds of foods and their calorie amounts. In addition, you can use an app or online tool to track your food intake.

The most inspiring success stories 

There are thousands of true stories about the journey of losing weight for morbidly obese people. Each one has his or her own journey, which shows how important it is to work hard to restore their lives and reach their goals. Dr. Now works hard to motivate his patients to follow the instructions to achieve their goals and improve their lives.

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan before and afterThe biggest challenge for him is to work with severe obesity patients who have physical and psychological problems. Let’s know more about some success stories before and after transformation. 

 Anne Jeanette Whaley

When she joined the show in season 7, her weight was about 679 pounds. She said that the food makes her feel comfortable and it is a kind of relief of pain. She had suffered from food addiction after the death of her mother. Although she tried for years to get rid of the extra kilos, she failed.

When she met Dr. Now in the show, he tried his best to help and motivate her through her journey of weight loss by giving her a strict diet with daily exercises, which helped her to lose about 274 pounds, and for that, she managed to be approved for surgery. She succeeded in losing more pounds, which made her happier and healthier. She always shares posts on social media and shows how she is happy and satisfied with her new body shape. (Read her full story from here)

Sarah Neely

Sarah’s story is one of the most remarkable stories on My 600-lb. Life.  When she joined the show, she was 642 pounds. Sarah suffered from obesity since she was 8 years. Through the show, she committed to Dr.Now’s strict diet and daily exercise, and she was approved for gastrectomy surgery. She eventually managed to lose about 320 pounds. Dr.now has helped her to start a new life as she is engaged and expecting a baby. (Read her full story from here)

Lupe Donovan

Her journey on the show has inspired many people who suffer from obesity by confirming that nothing is impossible. When she appeared in the show, her weight was 642 pounds. She committed to Dr. Now’s rough diet to be qualified for surgery. After surgery, she managed to lose 300 pounds in one year. (Read her full story from here)

James Jones

His first appearance on the show, his weight was 750 pounds. He started his journey by asking the help from doctor Nowzaradan to change his life after the loss of his father and sister because of obesity issues. It was hard for him to do it by himself because food for him was a kind of comfort.

For that, he started to follow the strict diet of Dr. Now for weeks to drop his weight be prepared for gastric bypass surgery. He successfully managed to lose a huge amount of weight by the end of his episode. After all, he has learned that it’s necessary to keep following the healthy way of eating and be active to stay in good health.

Christina Philips 

The first appearance of her on the show in 2014, her weight was 708 pounds. Her overweight made her a prisoner in her house for 2 years. She had to be completely dependent on her husband and her mother. She realized that she was losing her life and wanted to change all of that. When she came on the show, Dr.Now told her that she had to lose weight before being approved for gastric bypass surgery.

She managed to lose 267 pounds before having the surgery in 2015. As a result, her weight was 183 pounds and she is happy with her body weight and with her healthy life. She revealed that she enjoys her life as a mother with her son. (Read her full story from here)

Chuck Turner

He is one of the inspiring stories on the TLC series. He weighed 693 pounds when he started his episode of the show. So, he asked for Dr. Now’s help. He said that his weight made him unable to play with his son and affected his marriage. After his first wife’s death, he began to suffer from depression which caused overeating and weight gain.

So, he decided to start to work to change his life by following the diet plan of Dr. Now. As a result, he was qualified for having gastric bypass surgery. He successfully managed to shed 433 pounds and that’s a great achievement for him.

Last words

Finally, we can see that Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet plan needs determination and hard work to get successful results for those who struggle with their overweight. It’s a long journey with pain and desperation sometimes, but they have to do their best to save their lives and to enjoy a healthy life. He is such an inspiration to many people for teaching them to maintain eating healthy as a lifestyle.

Sophia Alex
I have been a Registered Dietitian for over 11 years, working in many different capacities. The majority of my experience has been working as an outpatient dietitian. I have had a lot of experience in the areas of research, general wellness, weight loss, oncology, CKD/renal failure, celiac disease, diabetes (I and II) and gastrointestinal concerns.


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