The Truth About Dr. Now's Famous Diet Plan For My 600-Lb Life

Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, or Dr. Now as his patients lovingly refer to him, is the miracle worker at the heart of TLC's hit show, "My 600-Lb Life." The Houston-based surgeon famously takes on patients others refuse to treat, proudly telling the 2017 Obesity Help conference, "I don't have a selection process like most doctors have. I don't have any selection process. Everybody comes and we take care of them."


His tough-love approach to weight loss is highly motivating. He will tell morbidly obese patients they need to diet extensively before going under the knife, and that the alternative to losing weight is death. To that end, Dr. Now has a pretty extensive diet plan that anybody looking to avail of his life-changing services must follow to the letter.

Dr. Now's diet plan must be followed prior to surgery

All diet plans are customized for the patient in question to make sure they work as effectively as possible. Dr. Now creates each individual plan, but they're all fairly similar, starting with restriction to about 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day — sometimes less, in extreme cases. This ensures patients begin on the track to a healthier lifestyle while also teaching them to limit caloric intake, which will be imperative following their surgery.


Dr. Now explains on his website that the most commonly performed weight-loss surgeries, and by extension those shown most often on "My 600-Lb Life," are Lap Band System and the Vertical Sleeve. Both aim to address fullness, so the patient can learn how to limit caloric intake on a long-term basis. However, patients still have to put the effort in post-surgery to stay on track. Decreasing the stomach's overall size is great, but only healthy eating habits will keep the weight off.

There's no denying Dr. Now's diet plan for My 600-lb Life works

Generally, the diet is low-carb and low-fat but high in protein, while patients also have to avoid sugary snacks and soft drinks. Distractify has the exact diet plan the late L.B. Bonner was given during his stint on season 6 of the show. Plainly speaking, the diet plan relies on real food and small portions, so patients eat egg whites or oatmeal, for breakfast, lean protein for lunch, and similar for dinner, while snacks are limited to turkey or ham roll-ups or plain, sugar-free Greek yogurt. It's a tough diet to follow but clearly it works. 


Amber Rachdi, who appeared on the show back in 2014, told Starcasm it's all about keeping those good habits up. "I still go to the gym 3 days a week," she said. "I'm working on myself ... I'm trying to live my life the best way I know how." Rachdi also emphasized that she isn't the "perfect" weight loss role model, because there's much more to her story than just the story "My 600-Lb Life" showed. 

Can anybody follow the Dr. Now diet plan?

As "My 600-lb Life" continues to be popular with viewers, more people are wondering whether the Dr. Now diet plan could work for them, too. However, as Healthline notes, it's only for the most extreme cases and should not be undertaken without the assistance of a medical professional. If you are looking to try it out, though, the diet involves eating two to three meals per day of about 400-600 calories each, depending on the frequency. Additionally, no snacks are allowed. You can't have any sugar and also need to increase your protein and fiber intake overall.


It's worth remembering, though, that this is an extremely restrictive diet. Moreover, it isn't sustainable in the long run, because Dr. Now and surgeons like him explicitly use it for patients that need to lose a lot of weight quickly. As registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade warned U.S. News, "Following a restrictive diet like this long term can increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies as well as lead to disordered eating patterns." She added, "This is a medically supervised weight loss plan and should not be attempted by individuals on their own without guidance of a physician and dietitian."

Dr. Now is always realistic about weight loss

Dr. Now isn't your typical reality star, and his passion shines through on "My 600-lb Life" and social media alike. While celebrating reaching 500,000 followers, Dr. Now took to Instagram to thank everybody for their support, gushing, "I am fortunate to do what I love, and it brings me joy to see all the fans and messages sharing how much the show positively impacts so many people." The Houston-based physician added that he gets tons of messages about how "My 600-lb Life" inspires viewers to finally get healthy, encouraging those reading to, "Continue to make good choices." Dr. Now frequently shares helpful messages about weight loss, solidifying how dedicated he is. 


In an interview with People, the reality star acknowledged that sometimes he has to put his foot down, though. "It's a daily challenge to work with some patients that can be self-destructive. My job is not to get aggravated but to find a way to motivate them to work hard to get to their goals. There are times where I think it's necessary for some tough love, and I have to be stern with them, so I show some of my concern and frustration," Dr. Now explained. However, the "My 600-lb Life" star made it clear his job is always to help get them to their goal, and to support that journey regardless of what else is going on.