Dr. Younan Nowzaradan
Originally from Iran, Younan Nowzaradam aka ‘Dr. Now’ is a famous gastric bypass surgeon and probably best known for his role on My 600 lb. Life. He is based out of Houston, Texas and he also performs vascular and general surgery as well as bariatrics. A stomach bypass surgeon for more than 30 years, Dr. Now works with the super-morbidly obese by providing a strict diet and exercise plan along with surgery to help them lose weight. He was a pioneer of laparoscopic surgery and thought it could be adapted to many different procedures, including bariatrics. His book Last Chance to Live chronicles his decades-long career treating thousands of morbidly obese people and the effects being severely overweight has on the body. Dr. Now has a cult following on social media.
Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet
While Dr. Now’s Pre-Surgery Diet is custom-tailored to each of his patients based on factors such as current weight, goal weight, age, gender and other medical conditions, the general plan involves eating 800-1,200 calories per day that come from whole, natural foods eaten during 3 meals. It is high in protein and low in fat and carbs. The basic diet is about 6-7 oz. of whole grains, 3 cups of dairy, and men will have 6-8 oz. of protein, and women 4-6 oz. Healthy people should eat 20-35 grams of fiber, and fats should come from healthy sources like fish and flaxseed. Trans fats need to be avoided and sodium must be kept under 2300 mg. Dr. Now does not approve of snacks. No sugar is allowed, including fruit. Eating so few calories also involves practicing eating smaller meals, something bariatric surgery patients will have to do post-operation anyway.
- Low Carbs 5% 5%
- Low Fat 15% 15%
- High Protein 60% 60%
Dr. Now’s diet is based on eating whole foods found in nature, not pre-packaged, chemical-laden junk that comes out of a colorful bag. He recommends a 3-oz. serving of meat and a healthy helping of vegetables. The protein and fiber should help you feel fuller for longer.
While some health experts recommend small, frequent meals, Dr. Now does not think there is any such thing as a healthy snack. He says by avoiding snacking, the liver can do its job of processing food correctly. There is also research that indicated that frequent meals contributes to obesity.
While Dr. Now wants his patients to go low-carb, he does not recommend full keto pre-op because fat contains a lot of calories and what he believes that his patients need most of all is a low-calorie diet. Furthermore, many of his patients already have or are at risk for heart disease and a high-fat diet is not right for them at this stage.
No Fooling Around
Many of Dr. Now’s patients have expressed concern that he will refuse to perform surgery on them if they do not lose enough weight beforehand, and they are right. Dr. Now expects everyone to fully understand the seriousness and the risks of the undertaking of surgery when a person is severely overweight. He believes that if a person cannot commit to making lifestyle changes before surgery there is very little likelihood of him or her doing so after.
What to Eat
High quality, low-fat protein like chicken or turkey breast
Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, broccoli, kale, asparagus, etc.
Non- fat or low-fat dairy: low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, etc.
Whole grains: oatmeal, wild rice, quinoa, etc.
What to Avoid
Meal Supplements & Shakes
Dr. Now on Obesity
‘Do you think you gain weight from thin air?’
Dr. Now on Food Addiction
‘Food addiction is not fully understood. It’s a drug and it’s killing [people] like any other drug.’
Dr. Now on Weight Gain
‘The delusion that your weight gain has nothing to do with what you eat is incorrect.’
Dr. Now on Bad Habits
‘Nobody wants to believe that there’s something wrong with their eating habits. They always think it’s something else.’
Younan Nowzaradan’s Fitness Routine
Move It Or Lose It
Many of Now’s patients are quite literally eating themselves to death and cannot even stand. Now would definitely recommend everyone get moving so that they never wind up in his office.
Easy Does It
For Now’s patients, even a simple walk or stroll is often a challenge, but he still expects them to try.
Psych Yourself In
The psychological factors related to weight and obesity are significant, and without addressing those, Now says it will be nearly impossible to make the necessary changes to your routine that will result in lasting changes to your life.
Dr. Now’s Exercise Routine
The only thing Now wants his patients and everyone to do is move their body every day. Do what you can. Many of his patients cannot even stand up, but he expects them to move their arms and legs, and most importantly, keep trying.
Dr. Now on Health
‘Weight loss surgery may address the mechanics of how much food you will need in order to feel full, or how much of the nutrients and calories are absorbed into your system, but the surgery does not control your own post-surgical behavior.’
Dr. Now on Obesity
‘Severe obesity is a complex physical and psychological condition with many components.’
Dr. Now on Bariatric Surgery
‘Once we removed the physical compulsion to eat with weight loss surgery, we have our best window to get them to see that and address those issues that will lead to long-term success for them.’
Dr. Nowzaradan’s Supplements
helps support liver health as well as detoxifies the blood, improving cognitive function.
is an amino acid that promotes the formation of glutathione which aids in the destruction of free radicals and supports immune function.
Dandelion is a popular traditional remedy and bitter herb used to detoxify the body.
Made from orange peels, d-limonene stimulates the liver, helping to prevent heartburn and detoxify the blood.
Activated charcoal absorbs toxins, unwanted materials and gas and helps them to pass through the digestive system safely.
Younan Nowzaradan’s Lifestyle
Living The Dream
Now says even as a little boy, all he ever wanted to do was be a surgeon. He received his initial degree in Tehran, Iran before moving to the US to complete his training.
A Labor of Love
Now does not always earn a profit over the course of a patient’s treatment. He views his job as a moral obligation to see the treatment through to the end and says he doesn’t feel the need to get rich.
The Original Workaholic
Now isn’t the celebrity doc who breezes in for a couple of minutes and then has his staff do all the hard work. He puts in 12-14 hours per day, 7 days a week, seeing an average of 60-80 patients every day.
Going Gold For The Win
Dr. Now always sports a gangsta gold stethoscope, and you can too. Check out the ‘Recommended Products’ section.
Now on his Job
‘My job is not to get aggravated, but to find a way to motivate them to work hard to get to their goals.’
Now on his Job, Take II
‘Taking care of these people, that’s my job. I never worked a day in my life.’
Now on Enablers
‘Families can either be enablers or encouragers. Having a supportive family for patients on a weight loss journey is an important component to their success. If they don’t have that, it’s almost impossible for them to be successful in the long-term[…]’
Now on Surgery
‘They think surgery is the solution for everything. And it’s not going to change people’s behavior toward food.’
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