Dr Phil's Diet

Type of Diet:
Type of diet: behavior modification, cognitive restructuring, low calorie, high nutrition foods in book form

Foods You Eat on this Diet: 
Low fat, low sugar, high fiber diet with an emphasis on “high response” foods – foods that take work to prepare and effort to eat.

General Facts:  
This diet program uses the same behavior management and cognitive or thought restructuring techniques used for decades by diet experts as well as low fat, high nutrition foods that are controlled in calories and exercise encouragement. Dr. Phil adds in the idea that “apple” and “pear” shaped bodies have an additional need for specialized supplements that are sold with his name on them.

Can you keep it off on this type of diet?
Since Dr. Phil’s diet encourages the basic nutritional principles of reduced calories, increased exercise and changing thoughts related to food, this diet has as good a chance of producing positive outcomes as other balanced nutrition diets that include behavior management but lack individualized, ongoing professional support.

Includes a simplistic version of behavior modification, restructuring the environment and a very basic plan for eating low calorie foods. Straightforward and attempts to simplify the process of making permanent changes to lifestyle.

Very short on actual practical application and weak on real diet help – meal plans, recipes, professional support with nutrition – diet just provides of list of healthful foods with a generic set number of servings. The addition of “apple” and “pear” pill supplement reduce the creditability of this plan.


(Supplements are quite expensive)

Safety and Health Issues:
The principles encouraged by Dr. Phil are based on obesity and behavior research and good nutrition is encouraged. Safety or health issues related to diet supplements are unknown.

Diet Surf Recommendations: 
Dr. Phil’s book is good supplemental reading to give people ideas on problem areas, especially related to negative thinking and behavior management. Emphasis on healthful foods, but actual caloric values may be too low for some.

Dietitian’s comments about Dr. Phil:
If you like Dr. Phil, you will see a lot of his “big” personality in his writing. He tells you what to do. There’s really nothing new here – Dr. Kelly Brownell (and many others) have provided decades of research on obesity and these principles are incorporated into Dr. Phil’s book. Dr. Phil’s celebrity makes these principles accessible to his fans. This is a good overview of the basics and is a good supplement, but a more individualized program that integrates ongoing professional help and more in-depth help with the hard work of planning meals and choosing foods (menus, recipes and a specific diet for an individual) may be more helpful on the diet side. On the behavioral side, for those with real behavioral issues and serious food issues, this is just a beginning to a complicated problem that typically requires long term specialized professional help. The scientific evidence supporting the use of diet supplements based on body shape to improve weight loss needs much further review.

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