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Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan Complete Guide (Updated)

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan Complete Guide (Updated)

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If you have made your way to this article then it is fair to say that you are looking to unlock the secret of Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet plan. This article will walk you through all that you need to know.

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan – Who is Dr. Nowzaradan?

Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, MD, commonly known as “Dr. Now,” is a distinguished surgeon and author hailing from the vibrant city of Houston, Texas. His expertise spans a range of surgical disciplines, encompassing bariatric, general, and vascular surgery.

With close to three decades of dedicated surgical practice in the United States, Dr. Nowzaradan has carved an indelible mark in the medical field. However, it is his dual identity as a medical practitioner and television personality that has propelled him to widespread recognition.

Dr. Now’s journey to fame finds its epicenter in the widely acclaimed TLC show, “My 600-Lb Life.” Here, he consults with and undertakes transformative weight loss procedures on patients facing extreme obesity. His appearances on “Body Shock,” particularly in episodes like “Half Ton Dad,” “Half-Ton Teen,” and “Half-Ton Mum,” further cement his influence in the realm of healthcare and lifestyle transformation.

One of his groundbreaking contributions to the field is his approach to super-morbidly obese patients, often exceeding the 600-pound mark. Dr. Nowzaradan combines the precision of surgical interventions with meticulously crafted diet and exercise plans to facilitate remarkable weight loss journeys.

Notably, Dr. Now was an early advocate and practitioner of laparoscopic surgical techniques, recognizing their adaptability to various surgical procedures, including bariatric surgery.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Nowzaradan has authored several insightful books, including “Scales Don’t Lie, People Do,” “Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan Book for Beginners” and “Last Chance to Live.”

But what has garnered much attention and anticipation is the elusive diet plan associated with Doctor Now. The good news is that we’ve assembled the comprehensive guide you’ve been seeking in this very article. Dive in and embark on a journey towards improved health and well-being under the expert guidance of Dr. Nowzaradan.

Basic Facts

Education and Background:

  • Where is Dr. Now from? Dr. Now was born in Iran in 1944
  • Received his Medical Degree from the University of Tehran (Iran) in 1970
  • Completed his Medical Orientation Program at St. Louis University (St Louis, Missouri in 1971)
  • Completed his Surgical Internship at St. John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan
  • Completed his Surgical Residency at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Completed a Cardiovascular Fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas
  • Formerly married to Delores Nowzaradan (divorced in 2002 – three children Jonathan Nowzaradan and Jennifer Nowzaradan) 

Current Specialties and Locations:

  • Specializes in laparoscopic roux-en Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic surgery on patients 600 pounds and above, the lap band system, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, surgery to revise previous weight-loss surgeries, and post-gastric bypass surgery to remove excess skin.
  • Practices at First Street Hospital, Doctors Hospital at Tidwell, Renaissance Hospital, Surgery Specialty Hospital (formerly known as Vista Medical Center), and University General Hospital.

Steady Progress is Key to Success with Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan!

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of Dr. Now’s diet plan we want to talk about the importance of building healthier eating habits. Building these habits can be hard at first, but with consistency, they will get easier.

If you are struggling with your diet, here is a new article we have written on 13 ways you can stop eating junk food.

We have also partnered with a few companies that can help you with this journey.

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan – Pre-Bariatric Surgery

The quest for Dr. Now’s official 1200-calorie diet plan, as featured on “My 600-Lb Life,” has led many to a fruitless search. The reason behind this seemingly elusive plan lies in the fact that each individual who graces the show or seeks private consultation with Dr. Now receives a meticulously tailored diet plan designed exclusively for them.

To gain a deeper understanding of Dr. Now’s dietary approach and whether it aligns with your goals, we invite you to explore our latest article on this very topic.

Drawing from the shared experiences of past patients, it becomes evident that Dr. Nowzaradan’s pre-surgery diet plan typically falls within the range of 800 to 1200 calories per day. The specifics of each person’s pre- and post-surgical diet regimen are contingent upon a multitude of factors, including:

1. Pre-surgery weight.
2. Goal weight.
3. Current dietary habits.
4. Age.
5. Gender.
6. And any additional medical conditions necessitating specific dietary restrictions.

Dr. Nowzaradan’s pre-surgery dietary strategy is strategically designed to facilitate rapid weight loss, which accounts for the strict caloric constraints. Furthermore, adhering to a reduced calorie intake necessitates adjusting to significantly smaller portions, a challenge that resonates with many Americans.

Notably, Dr. Now maintains high expectations for his patients, often expressing his concerns if they haven’t made substantial progress in weight loss. It’s not uncommon for patients on “My 600-Lb Life” to fear that he may decline to perform surgery if they haven’t met his weight loss criteria.

Dr. Nowzaradan is known for his direct and no-nonsense approach. He’s unapologetic in his assessment of whether a patient is a suitable candidate for a procedure or if they’re not taking the necessary risks seriously. This unwavering commitment to patient well-being underscores his dedication to transforming lives through surgical intervention and lifestyle change.

A photo of healthy foods spread out on a table that fit Dr. Nowzaradan's Diet Plan.

Dr. Now emphasizes real, whole foods over pre-packaged food.

The Importance of Pre-Surgery Weight Loss

Performing surgery on individuals weighing 600 pounds or more is a perilous undertaking, and it’s a procedure that only a select few surgeons are willing to tackle.

Weight Loss for Survival and Dedication

The importance of shedding excess weight prior to surgery cannot be overstated; it significantly enhances the chances of a successful procedure. Yet, Dr. Nowzaradan has a deeper motive for requiring his patients to shed pounds beforehand: it’s a litmus test of their commitment.

Weight loss surgery is not a magical fix. It won’t miraculously strip away hundreds of pounds in the operating room. Although there may be rapid initial weight loss post-surgery, the journey to a healthy weight is an arduous one that demands substantial effort.

Before Dr. Nowzaradan places his reputation and the patient’s life on the line, he seeks assurance of their unwavering dedication to embracing a healthy lifestyle.

The Foundations of Dr. Now’s Diet Plan

While obtaining an exact copy of Dr. Nowzaradan’s 1200-calorie pre-bariatric surgery diet may be challenging, we can glean insights from his guidelines. His dietary philosophy revolves around two core principles:

1. Embrace Small Portions: Dr. Now advocates for controlled portion sizes, a departure from the prevalent reliance on pre-packaged foods, laden with preservatives that aren’t conducive to health.

2. Whole Foods, Not Junk: Dr. Now emphasizes the consumption of real, whole foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. This stands in stark contrast to the consumption of heavily processed, bagged junk food.

The Low-Carb Approach with a Distinction

Dr. Now’s dietary recommendations favor a high-protein, very low-carb regimen, particularly in the lead-up to surgery. The goal is swift and substantial weight loss, which a low-carb approach effectively facilitates. However, it’s worth noting that Dr. Now does not advocate a full-on ketogenic (keto) diet.

The Difference Between Dr. Now’s Plan and Keto

The keto diet is characterized by its high-fat, very low-carb composition. However, Dr. Now’s pre-surgery diet is intentionally low in calories, which diverges from the typically calorie-rich nature of keto diets. Moreover, keto diets do not necessitate calorie counting, whereas Dr. Now’s plan is calorie-focused.

Caution Regarding Keto and Alternatives

While the keto diet has found proponents, its long-term effects remain uncertain, especially for individuals at heightened risk of heart disease, such as super-morbidly obese patients. Dr. Now’s emphasis on calorie-conscious, low-carb eating is a calculated approach tailored to the specific needs of his patients.

In summary, Dr. Nowzaradan’s pre-surgery dietary recommendations are rooted in the principles of calorie control, whole foods, and a distinct low-carb approach designed to expedite weight loss without venturing into the territory of keto diets.

An image showing various healthy foods and the naturally occurring vitamins in them.

Healthy foods contain important vitamins and minerals.

The Role of Snacking and Meal Frequency in Dr. Now’s Diet

In the realm of Dr. Nowzaradan’s 1200-calorie diet plan, curbing caloric intake often involves the strategic avoidance of snacking between meals. Beyond the calorie aspect, this practice serves an additional purpose: aiding the proper functioning of your liver.

The Impact of Frequent Meals on Weight

Interestingly, research has shed light on the link between frequent meal consumption and obesity. Dutch researchers have pointed out that a “hypercaloric diet with frequent meals” can lead to the accumulation of intrahepatic triglycerides (IHTG) and increased waistline fat. Importantly, elevated IHTG levels are strongly associated with insulin resistance, a precursor to persistent high blood sugar levels and the development of type 2 diabetes.

The Carbohydrate Constraint in Dr. Now’s Plan

A cornerstone of Dr. Now’s 1200-calorie diet regimen is the imperative to limit carbohydrate intake, which extends to fruits as well. This typically entails the consumption of a balanced portion of protein (approximately 3 ounces, akin to the size of a deck of cards) alongside a substantial serving of vegetables.

Adjusting to a 1200-Calorie Diet

Adapting to a 1200-calorie daily intake can be a substantial shift from conventional eating habits, particularly given that the FDA’s dietary recommendations are based on a 2000-calorie diet, exceeding the needs of most individuals. What eases this transition for individuals adhering to Dr. Now’s plan is the inclusion of ample protein and fiber. These elements play a pivotal role in prolonging the sensation of fullness, thereby assisting in adherence to the diet. Additionally, staying well-hydrated with plenty of water further complements this dietary approach.

In summary, Dr. Nowzaradan’s dietary strategy advocates minimizing snacking, explores the effects of meal frequency on liver health and weight management, and underscores the importance of balanced, low-carb meals, all within the framework of a 1200-calorie daily intake. The emphasis on protein, fiber, and hydration aids in making this calorie-restricted journey a manageable and effective one.

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan Do-Not-Eat List

Perhaps just as important as what you are allowed to eat on Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet plan is what you’re not allowed to eat. To illustrate we have compiled a list of Do-Not-Eat foods – some of the foods on this list (which is probably not comprehensive) are no-brainers, but others may surprise you:

  • Sugar (artificial sweeteners should also be avoided)
  • Candy, or any other dessert-type treat (pie, cake, brownies, cookies, frozen yogurt, ice cream, donuts, etc)
  • Chocolate
  • Fruit with high sugar content (watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, grapes, cherries, pears, figs, bananas)
  • Jellies and Jams
  • Dried or candied fruit
  • Crackers
  • Chips (even the baked kind)
  • Potatoes (in any form — baked, mashed, fried, tots, chips, etc)
  • Starchy vegetables (beans, peas)
  • Popcorn (even without butter)
  • Nuts (including their kinds of butter)
  • Rice (both white and brown)
  • Pasta (both white and brown)
  • Cereal (even oatmeal is debated upon — some say Dr. Now is fine with small portions of oatmeal, while others claim he prefers his My 600-lb Life patients to skip it)
  • Bread should be restricted to whole grain, in one-ounce portions, and early in the day, if possible
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Honey
  • Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Meal supplements and shakes
  • Sports beverages
  • Energy beverages
  • Alcohol

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan Sample Menu

Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet plan (officially) isn’t available online. However, we can make some assumptions based on what we know about his diet philosophy and what patients from My 600-Lb Life have shared online about their custom diet plans.

One recommendation we can make to you is to embrace meal planning. Here are two great articles available on EMH that can help you accomplish your diet goals. 

Here is a sample menu for a 1200-calorie low-carb, low fat, high protein diet: How to Properly Meal Prep for Weight Loss and The Best Meal Prep Snacks to Curb Your Food Cravings.


  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white (cannot be fried) – 105 calories
  • 2 oz turkey sausage (cooked in water, or microwaved) – 130 calories
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat toast – 80 calories
  • 0.5 low-fat cottage cheese – 90 calories
  • Unlimited: black coffee, water, or unsweetened tea

MEAL TOTAL: 405 calories


  • 1 can of tuna in water – 200 calories
  • 1 Tbsp light mayo – 50 calories
  • 2 cups spinach – 40 calories
  • 2 carrots – 60 calories
  • Unlimited: water, unsweetened tea



  • 3 oz grilled chicken – 130 calories
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli – 100 calories
  • 1 oz low-fat cheddar cheese – 50 calories
  • Unlimited: water, unsweetened tea



  • 2 oz turkey breast slices – 75 calories
  • 1 slice of low-fat Swiss cheese – 60 calories




Dr. Nowzaradan has a method and approach that requires dedication and determination but can yield lifesaving results for those who need it. If you want to learn more about Dr. Now’s general philosophy you can also read other articles and find tips on diet, fitness, weight loss, and more! 

Want to read more about diet and fitness plans? Check out these articles!

Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet plan was originally published on December 21, 2017. Here at EMH, we appreciate that what was old can be new again, so we have updated this post to keep it current and relevant to our readers. 



Thursday 5th of March 2020

I would love to have a copy of the diet! How can I do that?


Sunday 17th of April 2022

Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men.

Looks very difficult take this much of a calorie isn't it?


Thursday 10th of October 2019

I have a reverse problem. I DONT eat enough. I am considered obese at 190 pounds. I am 5’ 3” and I am an old athlete. At 35 I played NAAJC VOLLEYBALL for my community college. I was injured in 2013 and have limited use of my arms plus I have had 2 surgeries on my right knee and both ankles have had corrective surgery. What can I do to lose my hereditary abdominal fat? When I suck in my gut I can see the outline of my abdominal muscles so I know they are there.


Saturday 18th of January 2020

hey Terri, 3 square meals a day, packed with fresh veg, beans, greens, grains, herbs, spices. nothing of animal origin. no oil/sugar/salt/additives. snack food is fresh fruit washed down with plain water. traditional starchy staples will give you the energy to live with no side-effects. packing in a wide variety of greens will fill you up. dark green is better than pale.

you can eat huge quantities of this stuff and be filled up with fibre and nutrients. that will heal you and degrease your entire body. serious exertion is not necessary. as long as you are moderately active, the weight will come off and stay off. after 3 years, you will be slim. there's no trick. it's just human biology.


Saturday 12th of October 2019

Terri Thanks for the comment and trust me, I understand the struggle. For me, it was nearly impossible to lose the last few pounds of fat that were "insulating" my abs. That is at least until I learned more about intermittent fasting and the benefits that area provided with this lifestyle. Visit our articles on that topic and follow along as we keep adding onto the series -

Brittney Lanclos

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

I can’t get to his official site can someone guide me on what else I can do? Brittney Lanclos


Thursday 6th of June 2019

Brittney, this is what I believe to be his official site -


Monday 4th of March 2019

So is this a good plan to follow. I’m about 160 lbs and I’d like to lose 20 lbs I do work out a lot


Sunday 24th of February 2019

Get the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman. It teaches you how food works in your body and you will make better choices.


Thursday 6th of June 2019

I totally agree!