Step aside keto, there’s a new diet in town, and it has a Hollywood twist. Introducing the Dubrow diet, an intermittent fasting plan that was one of the top trending diets of the year. Here’s what you need to know.
Wait, why does the name Dubrow sound so familiar? Because the diet is the brainchild of Heather Dubrow, of Real Housewives of Orange County fame, and her husband Dr. Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon who stars on the show Botched. Their book, The Dubrow Diet: Interval Eating to Lose Weight and Feel Ageless, was released in October 2018 and quickly topped the best-seller list.
OK, so what is the diet about? The Dubrow diet is a low-carb, intermittent fasting plan that promises to help you shed pounds, boost energy levels and feel younger (an anti-aging benefit dubbed “autophagy”).
And how does it work? There are three phases to the diet. The first, Red Carpet Ready, is the most limited stage that lasts from two to five days and specifies a 16-hour fasting period per day. During this phase, dieters can eat lean protein, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables and some complex carbs and fruit. Dieters follow phase two, Summer Is Coming, until they reach their goal weight. Here, fasting ranges from 12 to 16 hours and includes more complex carbs and healthy fats plus a small amount of alcohol. The third phase, Look Hot While Living Like a Human, is the maintenance phase in which dieters complete a 12-hour fast, five days a week with two 16-hour-fast days. The food is the same as in phases one and two but with a cheat meal.
What do the experts say? On the plus side, the Dubrow diet emphasizes whole foods, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats—without taking carbs completely off the menu. But although calorie-counting isn’t part of the diet, it’s pretty low in calories. “Limiting calories this much goes below the amounts generally needed when you're completely sedentary,” registered dietician Cynthia Sass told Health. “So, you’re eating less than it takes to support your body if you were to lay in bed all day and do nothing. This kind of deficit isn’t dangerous short-term, but it’s not necessary, and it can contribute to irritability, mood swings, persistent hunger, and cravings,” she says. Yikes.
One last thing: The research on intermittent fasting is limited and should never be attempted without a doctor’s supervision. Our vote? Stick to a diet plan that’s proven to work (like the Mediterranean or Nordic diet) and lets you indulge in wine and chocolate without the time constraints.