Does Dr. Oz’s Revolutionary 21 Day Weight Loss Diet Work?

If losing weight was easy, there wouldn’t be 10 million different diets promising you the moon. But it’s not easy, and that’s why there are countless methods marketed as the newest, best, fastest, and easiest way to lose weight. In truth, any diet that makes bold claims should be taken with a grain of salt – but not too much salt.

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With this in mind, one of the diets that makes such claims is the revolutionary 21 Day Weight Loss Diet brought to you by renowned physician Dr. Mehmet Oz, known as Dr. Oz.

How it works

This eating plan includes many well-founded nutritional ideas, and many more that are, at best, unproven and difficult to follow.

He recommends a mostly plant-based diet, with do’s and don’ts.

  • Non-starchy vegetables, such as asparagus or broccoli.
  • Vegetable proteins.
  • Healthy fats.
  • Limited quantities of fruits, nuts, nut butters and whole grains.
  • Oolong tea.

  • All processed foods.
  • All artificial sugars and sweeteners.
  • More than two servings of animal protein and dairy products per week.

You should eat three meals and two snacks a day, drink plenty of water, and consume two cups of oolong tea a day. The diet also lists exactly which foods you can and cannot eat from each group. For example, there are 42 vegetables on his list, including turnips but no carrots or potatoes.
Protein comes from beans, legumes, soy products (like tofu and tempeh), and nuts and seeds (like pumpkin, flax, and chia). Some animal protein is allowed, but not a lot – only two servings per week of meat, fish or eggs.

Healthy fats include avocado fat — he suggests having half an avocado for breakfast — and olive oil, but no more than 2 tablespoons a day.

Dr. Oz’s diet dislikes fruit, limiting it to just two servings a day, or whole grains, with just one serving a day.

And then there’s the joker here: oolong tea. Dr. Oz says two cups of this particular tea each day have been proven to “boost your metabolism – which encourages weight loss, lowers cholesterol, aids digestion and can help stabilize blood sugar.” It also increases mental alertness.

What the Experts Say: The Benefits

Celebrity Diets Should Always Come With A Warning caveat buyer: buyer beware. This one is no different.

Indeed, Dr. Oz has a long history of promoting questionable nutritional advice. A 2014 study in The BMJ analyzed claims made on 40 randomly selected episodes of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and found that scientific evidence supported only 46% of his claims, contradicted 15% of others, and was not found for the remaining 39%. Overall, credible or somewhat credible evidence supported only 1 out of 3 recommendations made on his show.

That’s not to say that some of the advice in this plan isn’t sound – it is. “The diet is basically a well-balanced, mostly plant-based diet. It eliminates processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners and limits animal protein and dairy to two servings of each per week. Eating this way should lead to weight loss,” says Abby Greenspun, registered dietitian in Westport, Connecticut. “This type of diet is great for weight management, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, improving gastrointestinal health, and reducing inflammation and joint pain.”

Melissa Majumdar, a registered dietitian specializing in obesity and weight management, agrees that any diet rich in vegetables, healthy fats and plant-based proteins is healthy. “All of these foods are foods that most of us don’t eat enough of and for which there is strong evidence to support more consumption. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” She says Research has shown that replacing animal protein, especially red and processed meats like bacon, sausages, hot dogs and salami, with plant-based protein can reduce health problems like diabetes. , cancer, heart disease and premature death.

And certain types of tea can indeed help promote weight loss. A 2018 meta-analysis in the journal Molecules concludes that certain chemicals found in green, oolong, black and black teas “all exhibit measurable weight loss properties in a large majority of studies.” How they do this is unclear, but may be related to how they affect the gut microbiome and carbohydrate digestion.

What the Experts Say: The Cons

On the other hand, “there is no evidence to support that any specific diet works better than others for weight loss,” says Majumdar, a bariatric coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta and a carrier. word of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “In other words, there is no specific macronutrient profile or specific amount of carbs, protein, or fat that has shown better weight loss than other diets.”

Additionally, the plan is not tailored to an individual’s specific dietary needs. Perhaps most importantly, both dietitians caution against any diet that restricts options too severely. “As soon as we are told to ‘eliminate’ something, we want more,” says Majumdar.

Finally, short-term fixes never prepare you for long-term success. “What you do on day 22 and going forward is most important,” says Greenspun. “If this plan leads you to rethink your habits and continue to eat fewer processed foods and eat more fiber from whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, then that’s great. If you come back to your old habits, then 21 days of healthy eating is worth nothing.”

The essential

No dietitian would support this plan. “I wouldn’t recommend any plan that has a time limit and that kind of rigidity,” says Greenspun.

“This diet can work for 21 days, but I would never suggest a change to someone that would change their life so much that they couldn’t sustain it for longer than 21 days,” Majumdar agrees.

Instead, both suggest consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist who can work with you to identify ways to include more of these healthy foods without drastically cutting out whole food groups. “The plan should include foods that the person likes to eat and should not cut out their favorite foods or eliminate whole food groups. It should be realistic and meet their health goals, not focus entirely on scale,” Majumdar concludes.