Fans tune in to TLC's My 600-lb Life to learn about people's struggles with food addiction and obesity, and they usually like to cheer on the patients as they try to reach their weight loss goals with the help of famed bariatric surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan. But other fans watch for inspiration and motivation to start or continue on their own weight loss journeys — and many of them follow Dr. Nowzaradan's 1200-calorie diet plan.
When patients arrive in Houston for their first appointment with Dr. Nowzaradan — or Dr. Now for short — they are usually not approved for the weight loss surgery right away. First, the patient has to prove to Dr. Now how serious they are about making a healthy lifestyle change by following his strict, 1200-calorie diet.
The diet is a low-carb, low-fat, high-protein diet. Former patient L.B. Bonner — who is one of the show's many success stories — shared a list of high-calorie foods that he was instructed to avoid during the program, given to him by Dr. Now.
On the list of foods to avoid are sugary snacks like candy, cookies, cake, donuts, pies, ice cream, sweetened fruit, frozen yogurt, sherbert/sorbet, milkshakes, chocolate milk, pudding, sweetened gelatin desserts, chocolate, crackers, and chocolate. Even snacks that are generally viewed as healthy are to be avoided — like popcorn, peanuts (and peanut butter), almonds, cashews, pistachios, and sunflower seeds.
High-carb foods like potato chips, potatoes, french fries, mashed potatoes, tater tots, white rice, brown rice, pasta, noodles, and cereals of any kind (including oatmeal and grits) are to be avoided. Any types of bread and tortillas are to be limited. Dr. Now also warns patients not to consume meal supplements or shakes since they can also be high in sugar and carbs.
Sugar in any form should also be avoided, which included honey, syrup, molasses, fruit juices like orange juice, cranberry juice, and grape juice, jellies/jams, candied fruits, dried fruits. Of course, that means soda, sugary drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks are off limits — even high-sugar and high-carb fruits like watermelon, cantaloupes, and bananas are meant to be avoided. Patients are allowed to use artificial sweeteners like Sucralose or natural sweeteners like Rev A to replace sugar in their diets.