The Day-Off Diet was designed by Dr. Oz and his team of diet, exercise, and health advisors based on all the past successful diets that have been highlighted on his weekday TV program and in his magazine The Good Life. This diet was formally introduced in January of 2016. As its name implies, the diet is to be followed for 6 days a week with one day off.
This diet initially targeted 3 weight loss goal groups. Each one has a Facebook support group page. The first group was people who wanted to lose 50 or more pounds over a 10 week period. The second was those who wanted to lose up to 50 pounds over a 6 week period. And the third was made up of people with the goal of losing 10 pounds over a two-week period. There were other factors that determined which group you would join. That is figured out by taking an assessment quiz.
What is the Day-Off Diet?
This is a diet that was in response to many people who requested that they are allowed to take a break once in awhile from their diet protocol without guilt. The premise is that having a cheat day will allow you to enjoy holidays, special events, and relax by indulging a little.
You will eat proteins, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, some fruits, and limited complex carbohydrates, in prescribed amounts 5 times a day for 6 days. On the 7th day, you can eat whatever you want, but not use this day off to binge. You can choose any day in a week.
There are no processed foods included in the diet. In turn, you are not required to purchase any food products, supplements, or e-books. You only spend money on the healthy, allowed food options.
The plan is straightforward, but it is precise. You will eat certain food groups at certain times of the day and in the amounts recommended. There is a plan, a shopping list, and a calendar that you can download to make this easy to follow. You can find that on the Dr. Oz website.
How Exactly Do You Follow the Day-Off Diet?
Here is what a typical day looks like, for 6 days:
- As soon as you wake up drink a mug of hot water with fresh lemon to detoxify and get your digestive system working.
- Breakfast is high in protein. You can choose from eggs, 7 ounces of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or a smoothie made with yogurt, almond butter, fruit, and flaxseeds. The smoothie recipe can be found here.
- A MUFA (monosaturated fatty acid) snack is taken mid morning. These are snacks that are comprised of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, or olives. Here is an informative video on approved MUFAs and the amounts allowed.
- Lunch includes 3 ounces of lean protein, 1 serving of allowed complex carbohydrates, and unlimited non-starchy vegetables (which you can eat any time of day).
- Mid-afternoon snack is more MUFAs.
- Dinner is a repeat of lunch.
Processed foods, dairy other than yogurt, red meat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and trans-fats are not permitted. Only 2 tablespoons of heart-healthy oil are allowed per day. The shopping list that is included in the downloaded version of the plan is fairly limited, which may make this diet easier to follow for some. Remember, you do get a day off and can eat things that are not on the list, within reason.
The website and the Facebook group pages offer some good recipes. Several of the recipes have been prepared by well-known chefs and health advocates, such as Candice Kumai and Lisa Lillien of Hungry Girl. You can find some good recipes on the Dr. Oz website or in the Dr. Oz The Good Life magazine.
Here is a sample lunch or dinner recipe.
Penne with Chicken
3 ounces chicken breast, cooked and sliced
1-1/2 cups cubed eggplant
1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
2/3 cup of whole wheat penne pasta
1 garlic clove minced
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 pinches of sea salt
Fresh basil leaves
Cook the penne and reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
While the penne is boiling, sauté the eggplant in the olive oil with 2 pinches of salt until golden brown – 4 to 6 minutes in a large pan. Add the grape tomatoes to the eggplant and heat through for about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken, pasta water, and penne to the vegetables and heat through on high for 3 minutes.
Season and garnish with remaining salt, pepper, and basil leaves.
Has the Day-Off Diet Been Successful?
The initial test groups included 600 women of various ages, health goals, and BMIs from around the US. The largest group tested included 400 women who were in the 2-week rapid weight loss category.
After 3 months, the participants were invited to be on the Dr. Oz Show to share their results and to ask questions about the program. Of the 600, there was a collective weight loss of 1,394 pounds. While that sounds like a lot, it is really an average of 2-1/3 pounds per person.
Some of the participants were able to lose an impressive amount ranging anywhere from 10 to 50+ pounds. The results showed that, on average, people were able to lose 7 pounds the first week and continued to lose an average of 2 pounds per week while remaining on the diet.
Some of the participants mentioned that the one day off was difficult for them for a couple of reasons. First, the tendency was to want to eat really sugary, fattening foods, and possibly too much to the point they didn’t feel well.
Secondly, a few felt that it was really hard to restart the diet after eating junk or too many carbs on the day off. One woman decided that the day off wasn’t worth the risk of sabotaging her efforts.
Not many people post their results on the Facebook pages. It seems to be more of place to post photos of their meals. However, a few people have mentioned that they are feeling better on this diet even if they aren’t reaching their desired weight loss goals as quickly as they had hoped.
Should You Try Dr. Oz’s Day-Off Diet?
The Day-Off Diet is a very healthy eating plan. It is much like the heart healthy, Mediterranean Diet. That makes sense because Dr. Oz is, after all, a cardiologist and a heart surgeon. He mentioned on the website after show that this is basically how he eats every day. He also said that he allows himself to have fun at family events by veering off of his healthy diet. Yet, he doesn’t stick to a calendar with a specific one day off.
Basically, this seems to be more of a healthy way of eating than it does a strict weight loss diet. There is nothing wrong with that assessment. It must be noted that any diet only works for weight loss if it is combined with physical activity, in the form of exercise, and other healthy habits. As with any diet, you should consider consulting with your health care professional before you proceed.
What is a real plus with this diet plan is that you aren’t roped into spending a fortune on meal deliveries, or solicited to pay a membership fee for support. You also don’t have to buy a truckload of supplements. Dr. Oz and his team did all the research and just shared it for free. There is no financial commitment, other than buying real whole food. That seems to be a good enough reason to maybe give it a try.
Now that it has been 14 months, perhaps there will be a follow-up with some statistics showing how well the diet is working. So far, there haven’t been any published results of how successful the diet has been long-term.
Have you tried Dr. Oz’s Day-Off Diet? Did you lose weight? We want to know! Please leave a comment down below.