Dr. Oz Day Off Diet

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Young woman holding tape measure

If you're looking for a weight loss diet that allows for a cheat day, you may be interested in learning more about the Day-Off Diet from Dr. Oz. The basics of the diet are you eat clean but have one day off, where you splurge on what you want.

Meal Plan Instructions

When following this diet, use these general meal plan instructions.

  1. First thing when you wake up: Drink hot water with lemon to "kick start" the digestion process.
  2. Breakfast: Eat 25 grams of protein from either a protein/fruit smoothie or eggs with Greek yogurt plus fruit.
  3. Snack: Consume a snack rich in monounsaturated fat (nuts, seeds, olives or avocados).
  4. Lunch: Eat as many non-starchy veggies as you'd like, 3 ounces of a healthy protein (chicken, turkey, fish or tofu), and one serving of a fiber-rich starch (corn, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, squash, whole-grain pasta, quinoa or brown rice).
  5. Snack: Consume a snack rich in monounsaturated fat (nuts, seeds, olives or avocados).
  6. Dinner: Follow the same guideline as lunch.
  7. Extra snacks: If you need extra snacks to fill you up, eat as many non-starchy veggies as you'd like.
  8. Day off: Choose one day a week to splurge on whatever you'd like to.

Sample Menu

The following is a sample menu from the plan.

  • When you first wake up: 1 to 2 cups of hot water with lemon
  • Breakfast option 1: One scrambled egg, 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, and one piece of fruit

OR

  • Breakfast option 2: A smoothie made with 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1/2 banana, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed or flax oil, and ice
  • Snack: One serving of pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • Lunch: 1 cup of broccoli or other non-starchy veggies, 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, and 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast
  • Snack: One serving or avocado slices or olives
  • Dinner: 1 cup of cooked zucchini or asparagus, 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato, and 3 ounces of baked salmon
  • Optional snack or meal add-on: 1 cup (or more) of non-starchy veggies

What You Can Expect

When following the plan, expect to eat cleanly by consuming a variety of nutrient-dense, healthy foods six days a week and have one cheat day. You'll likely lose weight and feel better when following this meal plan because you'll cut out added sugars and other junk food and follow a lower-carb, high-fiber, high protein way of eating (six days per week). Doing this should cause you to eat fewer calories than you normally would and allow you to shed unwanted pounds.

Does the Diet Work?

The plan will likely lead to weight loss and better health, says Dr. Melinda Ratini in an interview with WebMD. This is mainly due to the fact the diet is loaded with fiber and is lower in carbs than many Americans' diets. Low-carb diets lead to weight loss in numerous research studies, like the one published in 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Pros and Cons

As with any weight loss or healthy eating plan, pros and cons exist when following the diet. Benefits include the diet is heart-healthy, will likely lower your chronic disease risks, and should cause you to shed pounds if you're overweight. You can get a copy of the meal and menu plan for free (yet another perk). Likewise, having one cheat day a week is an advantage for many dieters.

However, this way of eating is very clean six days per week, so it may be difficult to follow long term if you're used to less restrictive meal plans. High protein diets aren't for everybody, so chat with your doctor to make sure the plan is safe for you long term.

Getting Started

Getting started on the plan is simple. The meal plan is easy to follow, and it allows you to pick and choose which meals and snacks you prefer. Simply download the free diet plan from Dr. Oz's website.

Dr. Oz Day Off Diet