Most diets aren’t fun. And that’s because they’re usually all about what you can’t eat. Some even require you to eat some insanely small portions of food, count every calorie you consume, and discourage you from enjoying things like alcohol, coffee, or even a once-in-a-while cheat meal.
But, what if there was a diet plan that was more about what you CAN eat vs worrying about what you always have to avoid. What if this diet could even promise amazing weight loss results?
It’s time to introduce you to the Dubrow Diet.
The Dubrow Diet, sounds familiar? Well, that’s because it probably is. The diet is a creation by reality TV power couple: Dr. Terry Dubrow, a popular plastic surgeon from the show Botched and Heather Dubrow, a former star in the Real Housewives of Orange County show.
Their book promises to teach you how to go on a diet that leaves you looking and feeling as good as they do.
We know he can fix flawed plastic surgery, but can Dr. Terry really deliver on his promise to help you shed some pounds without the need to go under the knife? But is there really any substance to their eating approach? What’s their huge secret?
In this Dubrow Diet review, we’ll take a closer look at the Dubrow Diet to find out if it works, and whether it’s worth your time and money.
What is the Dubrow Diet?
The Dubrow Diet is a combination of a low-carb diet and interval eating. Intermittent fasting is core to their plan, so by itself it’s not such a huge secret. In fact, it’s among the hottest things in dieting and weight loss right now.
However, while there are quite a number of approaches to intermittent fasting, the Dubrow Diet focuses on time-restricted fasting.
What this means is that you can only eat during a given window of time in your day, and then fast for the rest of the hours. For instance, you can choose to fast for 12, 14, or 16 hours a day. They refer to this as a fast (reset) and feast (refuel) schedule.
On the Dubrow Diet, the main target is metabolism; to train the body to burn fat naturally. There’s no counting macronutrients or calories here.
The book is primarily narrated by Heather, who often shares some great tips on how to maintain a camera-ready physique (like hers), while still enjoying your food and alcohol. It advocates for keeping things simple, by focusing on the what, the when, and how much to eat.
One unique aspect of their plan that differentiates it from other approaches is that it promises to not only help you lose weight, but also activate the anti-aging ability found in your cells, via a process of cell turnover referred to as autophagy.
Dubrows’ Rules for Intermittent Fasting
The couple claims that interval eating can not only help you achieve an unprecedented metabolic control, but also internal cell rejuvenation and powerful anti-aging effects.
In fact, they go as far as suggesting that the long-term effects of this are similar to plastic surgery, and insinuate that this plays a key role in how they maintain their appearances.
For the Dubrows, embracing interval eating allows cells to burn off the stored fat for fuel, stabilize blood sugar levels and insulin, and even reduce chronic inflammation.
Cells will begin the autophagy process, where they renew themselves and have an anti-aging effect. You will also lose weight in the process, have more energy, and look better overall.
How Does the Diet Work?
The Dubrow Diet has three phases. Each of these phases is accompanied by its food list, survival guide, and a meal planner contain meals from the Dubrow Diets recipes guide.
The only different between each of them is the time interval between meals, and the kind of foods you eat when you’re feasting (not fasting).
Phase 1 – Red Carpet Ready
The Red Carpet Ready phase has the most popular and perhaps the simple interval eating plan. The phase is all about kickstarting your weight loss by fasting 16 hours on a daily basis for about 2 to 5 days, with an 8-hour refuel.
This means that eating is restricted to an 8-hour window, and you fast for 16 hours. the couple refer to this as a “metabolic boot camp”, or the Lean gains protocol.
The main goal of this stage is to trigger autophagy, which is the body’s natural way of detoxifying itself.
The second is rewiring the satiety and hunger triggers in the brain to better determine when you need to eat, and how much food you need. In this stage, alcohol is not allowed, though beverages like tea, coffee, water, and other zero-calorie drinks are allowed.
Allowed foods in this stage include healthy fats, lean protein, dairy, nuts, fruit, non-starchy vegetables, dairy, and a small amount of complex carbs.
Phase 2 – Summer is Coming
This phase is broken down into three separate options for intermittent fasting: slow, medium, and fast, based on how much weight you’re looking to lose.
It has 12 to 16 hour fasting window, and you are advised to stay on schedule until you reach your weight goals.
The option you select will determine how quickly you see results.
Slow: 12-hour fasting and 12 hours refuel window
Medium: 14 hours of fasting and 10 hours of refueling
Fast: 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours refueling window
The foods you can eat on this stage are the same as the foods in the Red Carpet Ready stage, with some minor adjustments. You can eat a bit more complex carbs and healthy fats, and moderate consumption of alcohol that’s low in sugar is allowed.
You can also cheat during this phase.
If you’re on the Slow option, you get one cheat snack for the week, those on Medium get one cheat meal for the week, while those on Fast get one cheat day for the week.
Phase 3 – Look Hot while you Live like a Human
This phase is made up of two fasting schedules, and focuses more on maintaining your weight loss, which the book refers to as the maintenance phase. The two fasting schedules include a 12-hour fast for 5 days a week, and 2 days of fasting for 16 hours.
This stage runs for an indefinite amount of time, and follows the exact food guide as with the previous two phases. It also helps you experience the anti-aging skin benefits from the autophagy process, along with disease prevention benefits.
You also get an option for a cheat meal.
Dubrow Diet Pros and Cons
1. Clean Eating
The diet focuses on whole, minimally processed foods – less processed foods are generally more nutrient dense, and contain less additives such as fat, sugar, and colorings.
2. Say Goodbye to Calorie Counting
No need to counts macronutrients or calories – calories a fundamentally a poor measure of food quality, and there’s more to weight loss than burned or consumed calories.
3. Vegetable Rich
The diet places a greater emphasis on non-starchy vegetable, especially the green ones. This is great for most of us who don’t meet our daily vegetable recommendations.
4. Learn Skills for Long-Term Weight Loss
A key focus of the diet is the quality of food, portion size, and intuitive eating, all of which have great long-term health effects.
Intermittent fasting works for so many people because it limits the number of times you can eat, which can greatly help with weight loss.
Results Vary from One Person to the Next
For effective weight loss, the diet plan has to be individually tailored. That’s not the case with the Dubrow diet, so your personal results might greatly differ from another person’s.
Some Find it Hard to Follow
The different phases and fasting lengths make the plan a bit more complicated to follow.
Not Always the Best for Folks with Special Needs
The diet is not ideal for anyone with diabetes as fasting can drastically affect blood sugar, and pre-menopausal females because fasting can interfere with the natural regulation and production of the sex hormone.
Does Dubrow’s Interval Eating Work for Weight Loss?
Scientific research has demonstrated that intermittent fasting can be a safe and effective way of losing weight. The diet also focuses on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods, which is certainly a good thing for weight loss.
However, we were a bit concerned that the diet is too low on calories and essential nutrients, while still discouraging counting the same.
When eating within an 8-hour window, there’s simply less to eat, which is one of the reasons why intermittent fasting is effective in the first place.
Now, account for the limited servings of food you’re eating a day, and you’ll be getting about 1,000 to 1,200 a day, especially when in the first two phases. While this kind of calorie deficit isn’t dangerous in the short-run, it can contribute to persistent hunger and cravings, mood swings, and irritability.
Plus, the diet seems to be centered around helping the dieter achieve an attractive appearance instead of improving on health.
We believe that weight loss should ideally be a result of developing a balanced, healthy, and sustainable relationship with food.
But if the focus is all about the body image, then it could shift into a restrictive mindset and undernourishment, which is not healthy emotionally and physically in the long-run.
So, will the Dubrow Diet help you lose weight?
Well, yes, probably.
However, this is more likely because you’re watching your portion sizes and consuming lesser calories. Moreover, we can’t help but be a little concerned about the big promises the book makes, which appear to be based on the couple’s personal beliefs rather than concrete science.
What Are Real Reviewers Saying?
Many reviewers aren’t exactly liking the diet. Not because the diet doesn’t work (a lot of reviewers have reported being successful on the plan), but because the Dubrows’ explanation of interval eating is quite light on novel, practical info.
For instance, one reviewer on Amazon commented that the book is “mostly fluff” while another advised that anyone curious about the diet can just visit Barnes and Noble and thumb through the book for 15 minutes.
Another group of individuals feel like the book doesn’t offer something revolutionary or new to the theory of intermittent fasting for weight loss. Many of these folks say the Dubrow Diet is a retread of the different weight-loss recommendations that have already been available for years.
Bottom Line: Who Should Try the Diet?
Overall, we like that The Dubrow Diet encourages whole foods, vegetables, minimally processed foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins without taking carbs off the plan.
However, the low-calorie count and the big focus on superficial results raised a red flag, as it’s not really sustainable in the long-term.
Plus, there are many benefits one gets from eating healthy and intermittent fasting, all of which have nothing to do with getting a red carpet ready, bikini body.
The Dubrow Diet might work perfectly for the Dubrows, but just as with any other diet, whether it works for you or not will depend on whether it’s something that you will personally enjoy and stick to in the long-run.
For that, you’re the best judge.
If you do decide to give this time-restricted diet a try, be sure to talk to a professional dietician first to find out if the Dubrow Diet makes sense for you and your health.