Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan Explained and Digestible

Dr. Nowzaradan discussing nutrition with a patient with a table of the diet protocol on the side of the image.

You may be wondering what the diet is like for the people on the TLC show “My 600-lb Life”.  This diet plan is not right for everyone and the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet is for Post-surgical Diet Modification.  We can learn a lot from the diet plan of post-surgeries like Gastric Banding and Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. These surgeries may not affect how you feel when eating certain foods. However, you will need less food to feel full. Because these surgeries are done to cause you to eat less, the Dr. Nowzaradan diet is about maximizing nutrition and minimizing the amount and calories of the food.

Who is Dr. Nowzaradan

Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, M.D., F.A.C.S. has been practicing general and vascular surgery for over 40 years.  He specializes and is most famous for weight-loss surgery including laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass.  He lives in Houston, TX, and works out of the Houston Obesity Surgery. Dr. Nowzarada is well-published with many medical papers on surgery.  He accepts the most challenging weight reduction surgical candidates many of who have been previously denied surgeries by other centers.  As a result of Dr. Nowzarada’s work with super morbidly obese (over 600 lbs.) he was featured on TLC through “My 600-lb Life”.

Dr. Nowzaradan is an Expert in Obesity Surgery and Weight Loss

While Dr. Nowzaradan is famous for weight loss he also is well known for redoing and revision unsuccessful previous weight reduction surgery performed by others.  Finally, after successful weight loss has been achieved for his morbidly obese patients, he also performs surgery to remove all the now excess skin.

Dr. Now's Best Moments | My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet is Designed for His 3 Most Performed Surgeries

Restrictive Surgery

These surgeries result in you eating less, and it restricts the amount of food that can be consumed.  Restriction occurs by either banding or making the stomach smaller.  The results of the surgery make you feel fuller quickly and eat much less food.  When you physically restrict your diet it is even more important that you get the required nutrients in a small amount of food.

Gastric Banding

Gastric Banding is a restrictive type of weight loss procedure. The band causes you to feel full after eating a small amount of food. Gastric banding is less evasive than other weight-loss surgeries.  The gastric band is an adjustable silicone band that goes around the upper portion of the stomach. The band makes it harder to fill your stomach and gives you the feeling of feeling full quicker.  This procedure can be reversible since the band can be removed.

The Gastric Sleeve

The Gastric Sleeve is also a restrictive type of surgery and uses surgical staples to seal off and remove part of your stomach.  This procedure is not reversible since part of the stomach is removed.  While this may seem more invasive and permanent, the surgery can be done with small incisions laparoscopically. Consequently, Gastric Sleeve preserves the normal function of the stomach.  The surgery gets its name since the stomach forms a new shape similar to a sleeve.

How Bariatric Surgery Works

Restrictive and Malabsorptive Surgery

In addition to making your stomach smaller and making you feel fuller earlier, this surgery has a malabsorptive function as well — malabsorptive means that it prevents the absorption of nutrients in the small intestines.  So not only will you eat less but you will also get fewer nutrients and calories out of the food you do eat.

Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass

Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass is the third kind of restrictive weight-loss procedure that has the best results for weight loss because it also reduces nutrition absorption.  You may be concerned in that this procedure is more invasive.  Similar to the Gastric Sleeve a Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass can also be done laparoscopically.  Additionally, like the Gastric Sleeve staples are used to make your stomach smaller which is the restrictive portion of the procedure.

Malabsorptive Function

In addition to restriction, the surgery bypasses parts of the small intestine and makes it so your body doesn’t absorb as many nutrients and calories. In contrast to a Gastric Sleeve, Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass can be reversed, but it is a much more intense surgery and a reversal is not always possible.  The reason that it is reversible is that the bypassed part of the intestine and the unused part of the stomach is left in intake and not connected in your body.

Why the Doctor Put You On a Diet

The reason we can learn a lot from the Dr. Nowzaradan diet plan is that weight-loss surgery requires you to change your diet.  Dr. Nowzaradan has been doing this for over 40 years so he has a lot of experience and results to draw from.  Diet is an extremely important part of post-surgery.  For purely restrictive weight loss surgery your body will feel fuller earlier.  Since you will not want to eat as much food you will need to maximize the nutrition that you get out of the food you do eat.  With the Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass, it is even more important that you get the nutrition out of your food.  Because in this surgery you are removing some of your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and you are reducing the amount of food you can eat.

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan Broken Down

<0>Dr. Nowzaradan Diet divides food into eight groups, seven of which you need and one that you should avoid.  The diet plan is very difficult to understand and follow as it is laid out on www.drnowmd.com. The diet is difficult to follow because of what he calls the eight food groups only four are actually food groups and seven food groups.  The other four groups are actually nutrients that you shouldn’t be making your meals with but naturally occur in the four food groups.

Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Breakdown is in an Easy to Read Infographic at the Bottom of the Post.

For more information on Calorie Restrictive Diets check out this article.

Why Calorie Restriction And Longevity May Not Mix For You

Four Food Groups

The four food groups you need are Grains, Dairy, Meat, and Fruits and Vegetables.  Men and women should basically consume the same amounts of these foods. Though the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet recommends that women consume slightly fewer grains and meats as we will discuss.


Four Nutrient Groups

The Dr. Nowzaradan diet will become much easier to follow once you understand the difference between how to track the four food groups and the nutrient groups.  The four nutrient groups to track are Fats and Oils, Fiber, Salt and Sugar, and Sugar should be avoided altogether.  These nutrients are naturally found in the four food groups either in food like fiber and Fats or used to prepare food like Salt and Oil. As a result, when you are selecting food in the four food groups you need to check and track the amounts of these four nutrients.  Then choose your food appropriately to meet the bellow guidance from the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet.

Fats and Oils

Men need up to 9 teaspoons, and women need up to 7 teaspoons a day of Fats and Oils.  You need to consume healthy fats every day.  Fats are an important source of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.  It is important to consume sufficient omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flax and to reduce the consumption of saturated fat found in red meats, and trans-fat and hydrogenated oils found in processed foods.

One serving is equal to one teaspoon.  Fats are already found in much of the food we eat.

Sources for healthy fats include fish, flax, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils like olive oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil.


Men need about 25-35 grams and women 20-25 grams of fiber for general good health and to help maintain a healthy digestive system and healthy cholesterol levels.

Serving size depends on the food group that is the source of fiber.

Sources of fiber include whole grains, whole fruits, and vegetables.


You need less than 2300 mg per day of sodium, so be sure to read the labels of prepackaged and processed foods.

One serving is equal to one dash of salt, which contains 155 mg of sodium.

Sources of salt or sodium include processed foods, canned vegetables, salt, and prepared foods.


You do not require any sugar to be consumed on a daily basis. Sugar and sweets add excess calories and very little nutrition.  Stay away from sources of sugar and sweets including soft drinks, candy, pastries, all sugars, syrups, honey, and molasses.

Tracking the Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan

It is very important that you track what you eat if you are on a post-surgery diet plan or if you are on a diet to lose weight.  Once you have transitioned to a diet it becomes a lot easier; you will quickly recognize what you can and can’t eat.  You can stop tracking what you eat when you have become familiar with what you can and shouldn’t eat and will stick to your diet limits.  Using the below infographic you can plan your meals for the day.  The table makes it easy to see what and how much food you can eat in a day.  You should plan your meals using the four food groups, and ensure that you don’t go over the four nutritional limits.

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Infographic of Dr Nowzaradan Diet Plan in a table format.
Feel free to use this infographic on your pages as long as you link back to this page.

About The Author

4 thoughts on “Dr. Nowzaradan Diet Plan Explained and Digestible”

  1. Darnell McSwain

    Protein is a lean cut of meat. Fat is the gravy you ought never to pour over it. Moreover, health experts say that fat molecules promote putting on weight since it is an extremely dense way to obtain calories. Also, when you consume excess calories from fat molecules, you store those calories as body fat more than excess calories from other sources efficiently. On the other hand, additionally, it may help you lose weight if you don’t fall into the so-called fat-free trap naturally.

    Manufacturers keep developing low-fat or fat-free versions of these best-selling foods, but Americans anyway keep getting fatter. One of the best delusions of the 1990s is the fact that no fat means non-fattening. The simple truth is, you’re getting just as many calories from the no-fat version often if the calories aren’t via fat even. The word fat-free can be considered a trap if you learn to believe you can eat any amount of the foodstuffs that are advertised doing this. What’s more, it is to react to hunger with healthful snacks best.

  2. Hello. I have checked your musclemagfitness.com and enjoyed this breakdown of Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan. Can I use this infographic?

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