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Dr. Now Diet Guide & Resources — Calories, Foods, and Meal Plan

Dr. Now Diet Guide & Resources — Calories, Foods, and Meal Plan

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Updated 1/30/2022

For fans of bariatric surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan and the TLC show My 600 Lb. Life, we’ve put together a few popular resources to help you on your weight loss journey. We’ve compiled the Dr. Now diet guide, post-surgery supplement list, and Dr. Now’s published books, as well as some additional resources that will help keep you on track. We’ve also made these documents and images easy to download and pin so you can reference them later!

What is Dr. Now’s Diet?

Also known as the My 600 Lb. Life diet, the Dr. Nowzaradan weight loss diet is an extremely restrictive program designed for pre-bariatric surgery.

It promotes rapid weight loss to prepare patients for the stresses of surgery. It also helps dieters establish good eating habits that they’ll continue long after their surgery so that they keep losing stored fat and eventually maintain a healthy body weight.

Because of its restrictive nature, you should only follow the Dr. Now diet under the supervision of a doctor.


The Basics of the Dr. Now Diet

Here’s a quick rundown of the Dr. Nowzaradan diet, a low-calorie diet that can lead to rapid weight loss:

  • Consists of 800 to 1,200 calories per day
  • Allows for 2 to 3 meals per day
  • Snacking is strongly discouraged
  • Composed of all the food groups, except sugar
  • Focuses on high protein, low carb, and low fat
  • No sugar is allowed, not even fruit

What’s Allowed on the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan?

It’s not always clear what is and isn’t on Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet plan based on what subjects of the show choose to eat.

Even those patients with the best intentions sometimes sneak in foods like white and brown rice, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and low-sugar fruits like strawberries — all of which are banned on the Dr. Now Diet.

To help you figure it all out, we’ve put together a quick guide to what Dr. Nowzaradan likely tells his patients they should and shouldn’t be eating to lose weight before bariatric surgery.

Foods to Eat

  • Lean protein sources: baked chicken breast, grilled chicken, canned tuna, eggs and egg whites
  • Low-fat dairy: plain Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, skim milk
  • Non-starchy vegetables: asparagus, bean sprouts, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, steamed broccoli
  • Whole grains (sparingly): wheat bread, whole grain bread

Foods to Avoid

  • Carbohydrates: pasta, rice, white bread, oatmeal, cereal
  • High-fat foods: olive oil, vegetable oils, bacon, butter, cheese, nuts
  • Junk food: french fries, fried foods, cake, fast food, soda, pizza,
  • Pre-packaged foods: potato chips, crackers, microwave dinners, popcorn
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn, squash, peas, carrots
  • Sugar: cookies, candy, chocolate, ice cream, fruit, fruit juice, honey


EMH’s Dr. Now Diet Breakdown

It’s important to note that there is no single printable Dr. Now diet sheet. That’s because his patients all receive their own custom diet plans based on their current weight, health conditions, age, gender, and other variables.

However, we can give you the next best thing: EMH’s Dr. Nowzaradan’s 1,200 calorie diet plan PDF. This one-page Dr. Now Diet PDF contains more info on how to plan your meals so you can get on your way toward gaining command of his diet program:

EMH Dr. Now Diet Breakdown

If you’re looking for a quick guide to foods you can’t have on Dr Now’s diet plan, you can also check this out:


Sample Dr. Now Meal Plan

The typical Dr. Now diet menu plan allows for 1,200 calories per day, split between two or three meals.

While Dr. Now highly discourages snacking because it’s often associated with bad food choices and can lead to binge eating, having a small snack between meals can be a healthy way to stay on track, especially when you’re first starting the diet and dealing with hunger pangs.

Since it’s one thing to see what foods you’re allowed to eat and another to create meals around them, we’ve put together this great sample of an actual Dr. Now diet-approved menu:

Dr. Now Diet Resources – Progress Enhancers

Just knowing which foods you can have on the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet isn’t enough to lose weight. You have to take your newfound knowledge and apply it in a meaningful, sustainable way.

Below, we discuss products and services, including some that Eat.Move.Hack. has partnered with, that can help you more easily achieve success on the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet.

Noom — Change the Way You See Food

With over 235,000 positive reviews, we believe this app is doing something very right. Noom will help you stop dieting, master your mindset, and build better habits — all keys to long-term healthy change.

Noom will help set and achieve short and long-term goals with a personal goal specialist. It will also help you develop practical skills to conquer your food triggers, master mindful eating, shop smarter, and make healthier overall choices.

Lose Weight For Good With Noom

Bistro MD — Healthy and Hassle-Free Meal Prep

Bistro MD can help you take all of the work out of eating healthy. The lack of time available to prepare healthy and nutritious meals is often the number one complaint about failing to remain compliant with a new eating habit.

Bistro MD has developed a doctor-designed meal prep and food delivery program that removes the barrier to healthy eating. How does it work? Well, here is the information direct from Bistro MD: Select a plan that works for your dietary preferences and your schedule. Each week, choose from over 150 delicious chef-prepared meals that are ready to eat in 5 minutes or less. Looking for healthy-eating, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, or menopause-friendly weight loss plans? We’ve got you covered.

Why is this great for Dr. Now’s program? Bistro MD has specific plans for men and women. The men’s program averages 1,500 per day and the women’s program averages 1,200 calories per day — sound familiar?

Save 25% Off Your First Order from Bistro MD

MyFitnessPal — Record Calories So You Stay on Track

MyFitnessPal is a free mobile app for Android and iOS devices that lets you track calories, macros, exercise, and more to monitor your progress as you work to lose weight. As you follow your diet plan, make sure to enter everything you eat online or through the app.

MyFitnessPal has a database of over 14 million foods to take the guess work out of calorie counting and will keep a running total of your calorie intake so you can see how you’re doing.

Track Your Progress With MyFitnessPal

Ozeri Multi-Function Kitchen Food Scale

Almost all pre-packaged foods in this country are required to have nutritional labels that detail the number of calories per serving. But what about when you eat fresh foods like broccoli, celery, and chicken breast — just like the Dr. Now Diet calls for?

The only way to get an accurate assessment is to measure your serving and then use a tool like MyFitnessApp to calculate calories. While there are many kitchen scales available, the Ozeri Multi-Function Kitchen Food Scale is one that tens of thousands of people have turned to over the years. It’s well-made, highly accurate, and super easy to use.

Accurately Measure Foods With an Ozeri Scale

Supplements Guide


After weight loss surgery, most patients are prescribed supplements to ensure that they get all the nutrition they need without relying fully on what they get from food alone.

At the very least, you should take a daily multivitamin while on the Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan. This will help ensure you’re getting the basic nutrients you need to stay healthy. Bari Liquid Force is a great example of a Dr. Now-approved multivitamin supplement for after weight loss surgery.

As a restrictive diet can also affect gut health, a quality probiotic is also recommended. These supplements contain good bacteria that will help keep your digestive system balanced.

Dr. Now’s Books

Our list of Dr. Now resources wouldn’t be complete without talking about his books.

Dr. Nowzaradan isn’t just a doctor — he’s an author as well. If you want more insight into his approach and experience, check out these two books:


What is Dr. Now’s Diet Philosophy?

As part of his F.A.T. philosophy, Dr. Now believes that there are three pillars that contribute to successful weight loss: frequency, amount, and type. Each of these pillars applies to food: how often you eat, how much you eat, and what you eat. He believes that if you control each of these aspects, you’ll curb bad eating habits and lose weight.

Is the Dr. Now 1200 calorie diet right for me?

Dr. Nowzaradan’s weight loss diet was designed for preoperative weight loss. It’s the meal plan he gives his patients before gastric bypass surgery to help them lose weight and start developing better eating habits.

Even if you aren’t planning to go through with weight loss surgery, the straightforward simplicity of Dr. Now’s diet can be the perfect tool to jump start your weight loss and help you develop a sustainable diet that will work long term.

Is the Nowzaradan Diet Plan similar to a keto diet?

The fact that Dr. Now’s diet concentrates on high protein and low carbs may remind you of keto. However, there’s a big different between keto diet plans and Dr. Now’s 1200 calorie diet. Keto encourages the consumption of fats like olive oil, while Dr. Now forbids it.

How long should I follow the Dr. Now Diet?

Because Dr. Now’s diet is very restrictive, you have to be careful about how long you follow it. Long-term compliance can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which could contribute to health issues.

If you’re trying it out for the first time, consider a 21 day Dr. Now diet. Three weeks is long enough to get used to a lower caloric intake and lose some weight. If you want to go longer than that, double-check with a doctor first.

Are there any downsides to Dr. Now’s diet plan?

If you follow the Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan exactly, you’re sure to lose weight quickly. However, there are some downsides to the diet of which you should be aware.

For starters, it can be difficult to follow long term due to how restrictive it is. Depending on what you eat, the low calorie diet may also be lacking in important nutrients, so it’s important that you go for regular checkups with your doctor to monitor your health.

Are there any side effects to the Dr. Now’s 1200 calorie diet plan?

All diets have the potential to cause side effects, especially if you limit your carb and sugar intake.

When it comes to Dr. Now’s diet, specifically, you may notice constipation, dizziness, headaches, and low energy. Thankfully, these side effects tend to diminish as your body gets used to your new eating habits.

How much can I lose on the Dr. Now weight loss plan?

How much you’ll lose on the Dr. Now diet, or any restrictive diet for that matter, depends on several factors. One way to predict your weight loss is to use a Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculator to figure out how many calories it takes to maintain your current weight. Subtract 1,200 calories from that number to determine your calorie deficit, and then times that number by 30, the number of days in a typical month. Finally, divide this number by 3,500 (the number of calories in a pound) to see how much you can lose in a month if you follow the diet exactly.


We hope these Dr. Now resources help you learn more about Dr. Now’s approach and the experience of the subjects of My 600 lb. Life. Remember, if you’re interested in losing weight through diet, fitness, or other lifestyle changes, it’s always best to start by working with your doctor. Everyone’s journey to health is different and the guidance and assistance of qualified medical practitioners are SO important!EMH Dr Now Diet Breakdown