It seems that there’s a new diet cropping up each week these days—and they invariably offer a new and improved slant on ketogenic eating (lookin’ at you, Ketotarian). Whatever your feelings about keto; love, hate, or love to hate; your interest might be piqued by the latest kid on the diet block—the Dubrow Diet.
The brainchild of reality TV couple Heather Dubrow (from the Real Housewives of Orange County), and Terry Dubrow (from Botched), the eponymous diet has already reached Amazon’s Best Seller List with its new book. So what’s the deal, we hear you ask?
When we say keto-inspired elements, we mean that the Dubrow diet, like keto, advocates restricting carbohydrates. Instead of cutting them out, however, it promotes a low-carb diet whilst intermittent fasting, with the inclusion of a few cheat meals here and there. Sound like your kinda thing?
The basis of the diet is reflective of the concept of the 16:8 diet—where you fast for 16 hours and ensure that you eat all of your food for the day within an eight-hour window. On the Dubrow diet, however, you don’t track macros or count calories—you just abide by the three rules of eating: ‘when’ (which highlights the importance of maintaining a 16-hour fast), ‘what’, (which refers to eating a clean, simple diet) and ‘how much’ (which encourages portion control).
The couple touts the benefits to be many and varied. They argue that it activates the anti-ageing ability found in your cells, due to a process of cell turnover called autophagy. The couple claims that the long-term effects of autophagy are similar to plastic surgery, and suggest it’s how they maintain their youthful appearances.
The Dubrow diet calls for eating in three specific phases; with each phase having a different recommended fasting period.
The first phase is intended to shock your system and recommends fasting for 16 hours a day for two to five days per week. During this phase, you must also abstain from alcohol but can drink coffee, water and tea, and it’s intended to reset your hunger and fullness cues.
This second phase is to be performed until you reach your goal weight, and can be tailored depending on how quickly you want to get there. For instance, if you want to do it fast, you’d stick with a 16-hour reset and 8-hour refuel window; a medium length would mean a 14-hour fast and 10-hour refuel window, while slow would mean a 12-hour fast and 12-hour refuel window. During this phase, you’re also allowed to consume moderate amounts of alcohol.
This is the maintenance phase where the goal is simply maintaining weight loss and continue reaping the benefits of the autophagy process. The outline is for five 12-hour fast days per week, with two 16-hour fast days.
While the concept of intermittent fasting with a whole foods diet approach and minimal carbs is nothing groundbreaking in the weight loss community and definitely has its merits, we aren’t so keen on the aesthetic-focused names of the phases and outdated, restrictive mindset it promotes. We thought we were at a slightly more body-positive, health and wellness-centric stage of diet culture than that—which makes this option feel a little antiquated in its approach.