Dr. Nowzaradan Diet | The Complete Guide for Weight Loss

making salad

Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan is an effective dietary regime designed for significant weight loss.

It works through cutting calorie intake to 1200 calories per day, while maintaining balanced diet that includes almost all food groups.

This diet is ideal for those who want to lose a lot of weight.

Who is Dr. Nowzaradan?

Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, also known as Dr. Now, is a general and vascular surgeon in Texas.

His main specialty are weight loss surgeries. Dr. Nowzaradan is best known as the doctor from the TLC show “My 600-Lb Life”, a reality show following obese people on their road to weight-loss and health improvement.

Dr. Nowzaradan received his medical degree from the University of Tehran in 1970.

He has specialized in gastric bypass surgeries, gastric sleeve surgeries, lab band system and revision surgeries.

In addition to surgery, Dr. Nowzaradan has developed an effective weight-loss dietary regime for his patients.

His approach is focused on cutting calorie intake while maintaining a balanced diet. By following a 1200 calorie per day diet, you can lose a lot of weight over a relatively short time period.

At the same time, this low-calorie diet is rich in vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that your body needs to be healthy.

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan & Benefits

Dr. Now’s diet plan is designed for significant weight loss through cutting calorie intake.

As such, it is best suited to people who are overweight or obese and want to lose a lot of weight. However, it is possible for everyone to follow this diet plan.

The key is to be careful about applying a new dietary regime because you want to cut calories while still maintaining a balanced diet.

The idea behind Dr. Now’s diet is to cut calorie intake to around 1200 calories per day, but without excluding any food groups except for sugar.

This diet is restrictive in calories but not in food groups.

The main benefit of this diet plan is effective weight loss. In short, this approach works. By cutting your calorie intake to 1200 calories per day, you burn stored fat.

This quickly leads to weight loss.

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Never go under 1200 calories a day

Dr. Now also advises people not to ever go under 1200 calories per day.

It is difficult to get all the nutrients you need if you go under 1200 calories. The goal is to have a balanced diet with all the important food groups present.

You might be hungry with his diet, but it should not endanger your health. This is why it’s important not to go under 1200 calories.

Dr. Now’s diet plan also encourages you to adopt new habits and approach to food. It will teach you how to control your portions and your calorie intake in the future.

Once you lose weight you will need to continue with a balanced, healthy diet to maintain your ideal weight.

Keep in mind that it is likely that you will be hungry with this diet, especially in the beginning.

To make it more bearable, it is recommended to consume allowed snacks between meals and to drink plenty of water.

Also, make sure to sparse your calories in a way that feels best for you.

For example, some people need a strong breakfast to help them go through the day. If this is you, have a stronger breakfast and a light lunch and dinner.

On the other hand, if you are a person who can skip breakfast easily but gets hungry in the evening, have a snack and a light lunch and save most of your calories for a stronger dinner.

Related article: 7 Days Easy and Healthy 1200 Calorie Diet Plan

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Food List

The main philosophy behind Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan is to have a low-calorie yet balanced diet. As such, foods allowed on this diet will be low in calories and high in protein.

Carbs are not cut completely but it is important to eat only low-calorie carb foods. The only food group that is completely avoided is sugar.

Dr. Now emphasises the importance of protein in diet. Men need about 6-8 ounces of protein per day while women need 4-6 ounces.

Protein sources can include low-fat meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dry beans, seeds and nuts. Avoid high saturated fat foods such as fatty beef and cream.

Another source of protein are eggs. However, they can be high in calories, so it is best to stick to egg whites or to eat eggs in moderation.

Check out key negative calorie foods that can help lose weight.

Here are the main foods allowed in Dr. Now’s diet:

1. Fruits and vegetables

Shopping Healthy Food

These are important sources of vitamins, fiber, minerals and other nutrients.

Both men and women need 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

One serving of fruit is equivalent to one medium apple. For frozen and canned fruit, one serving is half cup. Check out fruits and vegetables serving sizes here.

Generally speaking, fruits are not forbidden as long as they are low in sugar and calories, such as:

  • melon
  • papaya
  • rasberries
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • starfruit
  • avocado
  • tomatoes
  • orange
  • grapefruit
  • peach
  • nectarine
  • kiwi

For vegetables, low-starch vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli) one serving is 1 cup, while for high-starch vegetables (potatoes, corn) one serving is half of a cup.

Sources of vegetables include:

  • spinach
  • carrots
  • brocolli
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • celery
  • zuchinni
  • asparagus
  • cabbage
  • mushrooms
  • radish
  • eggplant
  • cucumber
  • watercress

Vegetables are not forbidden but do eat in moderation those high in calories and sugar such as potatoes, beets and carrots.

2. Grains & carbs

These are an important source of fiber and are needed for a balanced diet.

However, many grains are high in carbs, so you need to use them in moderation.

Men need 6-7 one-ounce servings of grains per day, while women need 5-6 one-ounce servings.

One ounce is equal to one serving. One serving is equal to one slice of bread and half of a cup of pasta and rice.

It is particularly important to eat whole grains (at least three servings per day), so read labels carefully.

Sources for grains include bread and pasta, brown rise, quinoa, amaranth and spelt products.

3. Dairy

This is an important source of calcium. Both men and women need 3 cups od dairy products daily.

The best choices are low-fat or no fat dairy products.

Good dairy sources include low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, low fat cheese.

4. Fats and oils

Men need 9 teaspoons of fats and oils daily, while women need 7 teaspoons.

It is important that fats and oils you consume are healthy ones.

Fish such as salmon provides plenty of those healthy oils and fats. On the other hand, make sure to reduce your consumption of saturated fats found in red meat and processed foods.

Most above mentioned foods already contain all the fats and oils needed for a healthy diet.

Sources of healthy fats and oils include fish, seeds and nuts. If you want to use oils, make sure to do it in moderation and use only vegetable oils, such as olive oil, peanut oil or sunflower oil.

5. Salt

Both men and women need lees than 2300mg of salt per day. This is not much so you need to monitor your salt intake.

One dash of salt includes about 155mg of sodium.

Foods to Avoid

Here are some of the main foods to avoid with Dr. Now’s diet plan:

1. Sugar

This includes white and brown sugar, honey, syrup and molasse.

According to Dr. Nowzaradan, sugar and sweets are excess calories that our body doesn’t need.

Men and women don’t need any sugar for healthy, balanced diet.

As an option, opt for low-calorie natural and artificial sweeteners, but only in moderation.

2. Sweets

This includes sweets, candy, donuts, cake, pies, ice-cream, milkshakes, pastries, pudding, sweetened fruit, dried fruits, jellies, jams and chocolate.

Use only low-calorie sweeteners (and, possibly, artificial low-calorie sweeteners) but in moderation.

3. Packaged snacks

Potato chips, crackers.

4. High-calorie nuts and seeds

Peanuts (and peanut butter), popcorn, almonds, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds.

5. French fries

These should be avoided, along with other fried potato foods.

6. Fruit juice

Freshly-squeezed lemon juice is okay, but do not use other fruit juices.

7. Fruit high in sugar

This includes bananas, watermelons and cantaloupes.

8. Sodas

Sugary drinks, sodas and energy drinks are to be avoided.

9. Cereals

This includes grits, packaged muesli/granola and any other packaged morning cereals.

10. Meal supplements and shakes

These often contain high amounts of sugar and carbs.

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Foods to Eat in Moderation

Rice and Pasta

1. Bread

Bread is allowed only in moderation.

2. Potatoes

They can be a good food source, but they are rich in carbs and sugar. Use them only in moderation. Avoid French fries and other fried potato foods.

3. Rice and pastas

Use them in moderation only.

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan 1200 Calories for Weight Loss

Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan is designed around 1200 calories per day.

This dietary regime is made for weight loss while ensuring balanced diet full of nutrients.

With his own patients, Dr. Now always customizes his diet plans. A diet is tailored to the person in question.

For each of the patients, Dr. Now creates an individual plan that is built around 1200 calories per day.

This is a very restrictive approach, but it is safe because it is overseen by a medical doctor.

If you wish to follow Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan, make sure to never go below 1200 calories per day and to include all food groups in your diet.

Finally, it is important to discuss your diet with a doctor. Your doctor can advise you on how to approach your diet and what might be dangerous for you to do.

Diet Plan

Healthy salad
Eating 1200 calories a day will not leave you feeling hungry.

The key behind Dr. Now’s diet are small portions, low-calorie foods and elimination of sugar.

With such an approach, it is possible to have 1200 calories per day divided between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan takes morning and afternoon snacks into account. These snacks can help you get through the day between larger meals.

There are no strict rules on how to divide calories per meals, just that the total daily intake should be 1200 calories.

This allows you to make meals according to your preferences. Those who prefer to skip their breakfast can have a small snack in the morning and a stronger lunch and dinner.

Those who need more calories in the morning can make a strong breakfast with a light lunch and dinner.

Track your calorie intake easily using apps such as MyFitnessPal or Lose It. Check out more free apps options here – Lose 5 Pounds in 2 Weeks Calculator

Breakfast Options:

Low-fat cheese such as cottage cheese.

Boiled eggs, beans, oatmeal, low fat yougurt, turkey sausages.

Non-starchy vegetables are also a good choice.

You may also eat fresh fruits and a piece of wholegrain toast.

Healthy toast topping options: Avocado, avocado and tomato, cottage cheese and sliced tomatoes, turkey and cottage cheese.

Lunch Options:

Lean meat (cooked, baked, broiled or grilled), fish (salmon, white fish, tuna), salads without dressing (vinegar and a teaspoon of oil are fine), steamed vegetables or soups without noodles.

Dinner Options:

You can eat same types of foods as those recommended for lunch. Remember that you can change it up and have a lighter or heavier meal at night.

A great dinner option is grilled fish or chicken breast with steamed vegetables and a fresh salad. Fresh and dry herbs are allowed for seasoning.

Another great option is a vegetable soup with lentils.

For more healthy meal ideas, check out our 5 Day No Sugar Diet Plan.

Snack Options:

Vegetable sticks (example: carrot/cucumber/celery/tomatoes), a piece of fresh fruit, ½ cup of low-calorie nuts, a cup of low-calorie yogurt.

Hydration is very important for your well-being. It is best to drink water, but if this is too plain, you may consume coffee and tea, as long as it’s not in large quantities.

To make your water tasty, you can squeeze a lemon juice into a pitcher of water. Juice from one lemon is about 10 calories total.

Lemon Water Mint recipe

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Recipes

Here are examples of Dr. Nowzaradan recipes you can use for weight loss:


Egg and Vegetable Omelette
Total Calories: 100-130 (depending on your choice of vegetables or mushrooms.)

1 medium-sized egg
1/2cup vegetables of your choice (spinach, chopped tomatoes, peppers; you can also use mushrooms)
1 tsp of olive oil
a pinch of salt


1. Chop vegetables. Make sure to remove excess water.
2. Whisk the egg in a bowl and add salt. Make sure that the egg white and yolk is well-mixed.
3. Heat a pan and add a teaspoon of olive oil.
4. Pour the mixture in a pan. Cook for 1 minute.
5. Add vegetables. You may want to mix them with the egg or keep it separate.
6. Cook for a few minutes. Serve.

Feta Toast
Total calories: 188

1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted
1 tablespoon low-fat feta cheese
1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
2 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
a pinch of salt


1. Prepare toast.
2. Spread cream in a thin layer on bread.
3. Add feta cheese on top.
4. Slice tomatoes and add on top.
5. Season with a pinch of salt, parsley and sesame seeds. Serve.


Peas with Chicken and Mushrooms
Total calories: 480

1 cup peas
½ chicken breast, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, cut in small pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt


frying mushrooms

1. In a pot, heat oil. Add pieces of chicken breast. Cook until soft (about 10 minutes.)
2. Remove chicken pieces to a plate.
3. Add mushrooms to the pot and cook until crisp (2-3 minutes.) Remove mushrooms to a plate with chicken pieces.
4. Add butter, salt and garlic to the pot. Cook until garlic is soft (1-2 minutes.)
5. Add peas and cook until peas are soft and hot (10-12 minutes.)
6. Pour the content of the pot to the plate. Serve.


Grilled Salmon with Broccoli
Total calories: 421


1 ounces salmon fillets
1 cup broccoli
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
½ lemon
pinch of salt


1. Prepare salmon: season it with lemon juice, salt, parsley and garlic.
2. Heat a pan with olive oil. Place broccoli in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add salmon and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
4. Transfer to a plate and serve.

Related article: Juice Fasting – The Complete Guide for Weight loss


Walnuts with Raspberries
Total calories: 76


1/2 cup of raspberries
¼ ounce of walnuts


1. In a cup, mix walnuts and raspberries. Serve.

Rasberries snack

Baked Apples
Total calories: 155


butter – 1 teaspoon/ 4.5g
green apple, sliced – 1 apple/20 g
ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon/4g


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut apple in slices. Spread a thin layer of butter on slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Place apples on a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve.

Related article: Flat Belly Diet Recipes – 7 Simple and Delicious Recipes

3 thoughts on “Dr. Nowzaradan Diet | The Complete Guide for Weight Loss

  1. Valerie Edwards says:

    please send me a copy of your 1200 calorie a day meal plan. I am currently under a cardiac diet and this seems to fit that category

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