What is the Dubrow Diet?

Back in the day, I used to feature a lot of new diets and workouts on the blog and share my thoughts. I still LOVE featuring different classes and formats when I try something new, but as far as diets go, I don’t feel like there’s been a lot of new stuff out lately. I think this is a good thing because maybe it means that people are realizing fad diets don’t often have lasting power, but I’ve noticed a handful of new eating strategies pop up recently. (You can check out my thoughts on Keto here! While it’s not exactly new, it’s stuck around far longer than I expected.)

For today, I thought we could chat about the Dubrow Diet. Please keep in mind that I’m not an RD; just a fairly sane human sharing my thoughts. If you need help with a personalized eating plan, please seek out a local Registered Dietitian.

So, when you think of Dubrow, did this guy come to mind?

Img doctor small

Dr. Terry Dubrow, 50% of the hilarious, and extremely talented Botched duo.

Photo source

If you thought of him, you would be correct.

The Dubrow Diet was created by Dr. Dubrow and his wife Heather, from Real Housewives of Orange County.

Heather and Dr Terry Dubrow

Photo source

I have to admit that when I see Dr. Dubrow and his wife, I think they look amazing. They look young, healthy, and vibrant. Dr. Dubrow is also a plastic surgeon… so I take that with a grain of salt. (Like when I look at Heather’s gorgeous skin, I don’t think, “Wow, she must eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables and drink a lot of water” — I just remember that she gets Botox regularly.)

Here’s how the Dubrow Diet works:

This diet is primarily based on intermittent fasting, which is restricting your food intake to a time window. For example, you’ll fast for 16 hours and eat all of your meals and snacks within an 8-hour window. Intermittent fasting has been around for a very long time, but the research is mixed on the benefits. Some studies have indicated that it can help to reduce inflammation in the body and promote gut health, but it’s also been shown to affect hormone levels, particularly women’s hormones levels negatively.

It’s divided into 3 phases, and each phase is based on a different fasting window. Phase 1 (2-5 days) is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of fueling, Phase 2 is based on the following guidelines:

Protein: 2-3 servings per day

Fat: 2-3 servings per day

Nuts, seeds, and snacks: 1 serving per day

Dairy: 1 serving per day

Veggies: 2-3 servings per day

Fruit: 1-2 servings a day

Complex carbs: 1 serving per day

You’ll follow this until you reach your goal while using your fasting window appropriately and Phase 3 follows these same guidelines but is considered maintenance mode.  You’ll fast 12 hours a day for 5 days each week, and for 16 hours twice each week. You also get a “cheat meal” each week.

All about the dubrow diet

The pros:

– It’s marketed as more of a lifestyle than a diet. I give a little nod to anything that promotes sustainability for the long haul. While the fasting windows are restrictive, it does seem like something that would be fairly easy to adhere to over the long term if you found yourself enjoying it.

– No calorie counting. I like that they focus on serving sizes instead of calorie counting. While I personally count macros, I know that it doesn’t work for a lot of people and that it can be a huge pain to track and measure everything.

The cons:

– It’s kind of confusing. Anyone else feel a little confused by it all? It kind of feels all over the place and I also think it’s interesting that the fasting windows aren’t based on activity levels. For example, you probably shouldn’t do a 16-hour fast the day you’re running a marathon, ya know?

– The focus on appearance instead of health. There’s a lot of “hot bod” commentary in the book, and while that can be an initial lifestyle shift, it will not create long-term motivation. Your health goals MUST be deeper than surface level to have lasting power. If you go into a diet or fitness routine with the goal of having a six-pack, what happens when you get the six-pack? Do you quit? No. You need to keep asking yourself “why” until you can find the true motivation behind your goals. Physical results are just a few of the numerous benefits of making a healthy change.

– The negative impact it could have on hormones. I absolutely think that fasting works as a weight loss tool. At the same time, it does make me raise my eyebrows a little when it’s used as a blanket recommendation because, for some women, it can have a huge negative impact on hormones. This is a really informative article about how fasting can affect our sex hormones, thyroid, and cortisol. It works really well for some people, and not well at all for others.

So, tell me friends: are there any new diets or eating strategies you’ve seen lately? If you could describe your diet in one word, what would it be?



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  1. TG on March 11, 2019 at 8:12 am

    FYI, his first name is Terry!

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2019 at 10:08 am

      I know- I just felt weird referring to him by his first name because he’s a doctor 🙂

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on March 11, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Women have been shown in studies to have a negative impact on hormones when they intermittent fast for more than 13 hours. It bothers me that just because someone is famous and can influence people that they use it as a platform to create a diet. Nutrition and food is already so confusing and this stuff just makes it more confusing for the population.

    • Fitnessista on March 12, 2019 at 12:43 am

      totally agree!!

  3. Jeannie on March 11, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    My coworker does this..thx for this helpful review. What do you follow..how are you eating these days and what are you doing w macros?
    Have u discussed this on blog yet? I would be interested and I’m sure others would as well 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 12, 2019 at 12:43 am

      i currently track macros and enjoy it! i think i may have done a post on it — i’ll link if i can find it 🙂

  4. Juliana on March 11, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I hate fad diets and personally follow Michael Pollan’s philosophy, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

    This one seems ridiculously confusing! Hard pass. Also, I really appreciated your take on the Keto diet (I think it’s a glorified eating disorder).

    • Fitnessista on March 12, 2019 at 12:42 am

      same! it’s not something i’d ever want to follow. (and i wish the keto craze would just die already)

      • Jodie on March 15, 2019 at 6:49 pm

        100000000000 percent agree.

        • Jodie on March 15, 2019 at 6:51 pm

          My diet in one word: Balanced!

  5. Sam on March 11, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    I just finished reading How Not To Die. While I love all of the science behind eating a pant-based, whole grains diet, I just don’t think it’s sustainable for me.

    • Fitnessista on March 12, 2019 at 12:42 am

      i love the science behind it, too, but my body does way better with some meat 🙂

  6. Mary on March 11, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Diets make zero sense to me. They basically want you to believe your body is lying to you, which…your stomach has no consciousness…so…it can’t lie…lol. Like, what if I’m supposed to be “intermittently fasting” and I get hungry? I ignore the hunger? Why would I do that? I dunno, that’s just my logic. The human body is pretty darn incredible and smart, we should be listening to it.

  7. Megan on March 11, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Ugh. It’s kinda sad to me that you look at her and think she looks amazing. She looks so unhealthy to me. Very, very thin & willing to take extreme measures to achieve that…(I’m sure you remember the leeches at the party & she was bleeding through her bandages) I’ve been reading your blog since nearly the very beginning, but these are the posts that make me second guess coming back. Intermittent fasting could have been discussed without the bravolebrity touch. This all comes across as so very disordered

    • Fitnessista on March 12, 2019 at 12:40 am

      i don’t watch any of the real housewives shows – i’ve watched a couple of random episodes here and there but never got into it – so i’m not sure about the episode you’re referencing. i just mean she looks vibrant.
      this post isn’t about intermittent fasting; that’s just one of the components of the diet. it’s a popular eating plan so i thought i’d share some thoughts on it. i’m extremely sorry if it didn’t resonate well with you. i could see it being disordered if i was like, “hey guys, here’s a plan where you don’t eat for 16 hours. you should do it!” i talked about why fasting can be a bad idea, but i’m all about different strokes for different folks. i always like to include the fact that readers should meet with an RD if they have specific concerns and that health and fitness isn’t one size fits all.
      it’s frustrating to see how often the term disordered is thrown around. it’s kind of a burn to the people who are survivors and currently suffering or healing from true eating disorders. an 800-word blog blog post about a trendy diet (and why it doesn’t sound like a great idea) in’t anything similar to what they’re going through.

      • Megan on March 12, 2019 at 8:10 am

        I understand that & the differences between intermittent fasting and this plan. I just think it’s misleading, especially coming from someone who has a platform. It also seems frustrating to me that leaving feedback on a blog is so different now than it was years ago. As someone who reads (& has read for nearly the length of existence of your blog) I’d think it to be a positive thing for someone to leave feedback, even if constructive criticism. Also, disorder and disordered eating is separate from an eating disorder, and does not negate the experiences of survivors of eating disorders.

  8. Frances on March 11, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    I laughed out loud when I saw the picture and post title. Why is this worth taking seriously enough to write a post about?

    • Fitnessista on March 12, 2019 at 12:35 am

      i wrote about it because i like to cover topical subjects on the blog that relate to health and fitness. this is a very popular diet, so i thought i’d share some thoughts on it and what it’s about

  9. Stephanie Woods on March 12, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    I enjoy your posts! I wasn’t aware of this diet but I find the topic interesting and love to hear your take on all the fads. Be it dieting fads or exercise fads. Keep on being you and posting what you enjoy. If some don’t like it, then that’s their choice and it’s okay. You can’t please everyone. I’d rather read what you find interesting than what you think will please everyone

    I’ve been doing a 10 hr eating window for a few weeks and I find that I feel better while on it. Sometimes I go past 10 hrs and it’s no big deal. I also find it helps me not to snack after putting the kids to bed. I feel that I digest my food better and don’t feel as weighed down in the mornings. And the two times I had breakfast before 9 the past weeks I felt sluggish. Not even a heavy sugar laden breakfast. Anyway just what I’m currently doing. I’m not restricitng the types of foods, although I should probably be more intentional on eating my veggies!

  10. Katie on April 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I agree.
    Have you heard of The Plan? I’d love to read your take on it.

    • Fitnessista on April 9, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      no i haven’t! i’ll look into it!

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