Home Diet What is The McDougall Diet: Plan, Food List, Recipes, Reviews, and Results

What is The McDougall Diet: Plan, Food List, Recipes, Reviews, and Results

What is the McDougall diet?

As the world is moving towards following high protein, high fats, and low carbohydrates diets, Dr. John McDougall follows some different concepts to gain good health and lose weight. His menus are the vegan kind of dieting, which is an Elimination diet to all non-vegetarian foods, egg, milk and even oils. According to him, animal proteins build up toxicity in our body and also provide excess fat that the body doesn’t require. This overloads our kidneys and liver.

The McDougall diet promotes eating natural food sources like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. The menu very well explains how our nutrient requirement can be fulfilled by vegetarian sources.  For instances, it describes how the calcium from milk can be substituted with a bowl of kale; or, how proteins from grains can replace the animal protein.  As grains and legumes do contain all essential amino acids, there is no need to consume animal meat. Think of it more as a vegetable diet weight loss. If you are in need of fish, like the case of those following the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis diet, this diet will probably not be the right fit for you.

It suggests discontinuing all kind of oils including olive oil as it believes all oils are a source of liquid fats. Our body is capable of producing the cholesterol it needs hence there is no requirement to consume more cholesterol from either oils or egg, milk or any animal source. As you may know, plants do not contain cholesterol; it is safe to have them. This is exactly the beliefs of the caveman diet food list.

Dr. McDougall explains that as people are eating more of junk like burgers and fries they have weaker immunity and more diseases; hence eating more fiber from whole grains and vegetables can improve digestion and prevent toxin build up in the body. Feel free to also check about the IBS diet foods. In the westernized world our diets have more protein than required and fewer carbohydrates. In McDougall diet program, the focus is more on healthy carbs. You can follow if as a 17 day diet meal plan.

McDougall diet food list

In the McDougall diet program, the food list is given very clearly. It mentions which foods should often be taken and which should be taken sparingly. It suggests one make a grocery list and stuff their kitchen with a variety of vegetarian alternatives. One should also give away all the ingredients that are not used in the diet so that they don’t interfere. For example, your diet will not require the same food elements as the Shepherd’s diet plan.

In the food list, there are milk alternatives like soy milk, almonds milk, etc. The food list starts with whole grains options that should be served at the center of the table. It also has options for egg-free pasta, but it advises to consume rarely as they are mostly made up of refined flour. In the legume list, it suggests avoiding soya on a daily basis. You may wonder what is a raw food diet and can it manipulated in a way to align with this McDougall diet? Well, the answer is a yes and a no. It depends on the level of effort you are willing to make. For example, those who are following a detox soup diet know exactly what food list they need to buy from the grocery. The food options are not many and any directions are provided to ensure the maximization of the results.

Lastly, it includes fruits and vegetable list from which it allows green and yellow vegetables freely as they are low in calories but limits fruits to not more than 3 per day as fruits are very high in sugar. The fructose in sugar can increase the cholesterol and triglycerides hence anyone suffering from altered lipid profile should limit their fruit intake even more.

As there is no oil in the food list, it advises using non-stick Teflon coated pans for cooking and replacing oil with water, mashed banana or applesauce to add moisture to the recipes.

One should also replace caffeine with herbal teas and other hot beverages.

McDougall diet recipes

The McDougall diet has some very creative vegetarian recipes. It has detailed recipes for various entrees, appetizers, desserts and even ice creams. Instead of ice creams, one can have fruit sorbets. The recipe for blueberry muffins looks unique as it is made up of pitted dates and non-dairy milk. To add in moisture, they use applesauce. This recipe could also be used for someone on a soft food diet.

Someone on a potato diet or a starch diet would also like to try some of the McDougall recipes like potato casserole or potato hash.

From the various categories mentioned in the recipes list, there is one category specified for maximum weight loss. Recipes like aloo Gobi, cucumber salad and apple rice which is made up of brown rice are mentioned in this category. You do not need to worry about looking up for what is a soft food diet.

Here are some excellent recipes for the McDougall diet:

  • The pancakes: These fluffy pancakes are simply sensational. You can have it for breakfast and it will only take 35 minutes to prepare and cook. Every pancake has 84 calories and this recipe can yield about 12 pieces. What you will need is three quarters of a cup of whole wheat flour, three quarters of a cup of unbleached flour, two small spoons of baking powder, one big spoon of egg replacers, one cup of mashed banana, one cup of soy milk, half a cup of sparkling water, one big spoon of sun-sweet, one big spoon of lemon juice and one third a cup of blueberries. You can substitute the sun-sweet with apple sauce if you want; or even, some mashed banana. Such a pancake will give you about 18g of carbs and 3g of proteins. This recipe can surely be a part of a soft food diet.
  • The beans soup: this simple recipe is just a life saver. While some people like to have heavy meals, others prefer a more simplistic way of eating. This heartwarming recipe can be prepared in about 45 minutes including the 30 minutes of cooking. It yields about 6 servings and each serving will provide you with 153 calories. You will need half a cup of onions, three garlic, half a cup of carrots, half a cup of celery, two large potatoes, one bowl of white beans, one bowl of tomatoes diced, eight cups of veggies stock (low sodium), one small spoon of thyme, one bay leaf, one small spoon of seasoning, two cups of kale and salt and pepper to taste. Such a recipe will provide about 29g of carbs and 7g of proteins per serving. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, as it will provide you about 96% of what you need per day of this vitamin.

 McDougall diet reviews: pros and cons

McDougall diet is not just a meal plan but also a lifestyle modification. It is not easy to give up on what you have been eating for years. Hence setting up goals is very important. Giving up on all kind of animal foods and milk is a difficult task, and one needs to consider it seriously before beginning this diet. This is surely not a twelve day diet.

This diet not only helps in weight loss, but also prevents a lot of diseases like IBS, ulcerative colitis, heart stroke and cancer. Detailed recipes and the food list are given on the website so that one has enough options to eat. One can give it a 10-day free trial.

However, you should not ignore its cons, even though there are not many of them. The diet is 100% vegetarian, which means is a deficit in Vitamin D and B12. Therefore it becomes necessary to take a walk in the sunlight and have B12 supplementation. As the diet uses no oil the taste and preparation of the food will also be very different. One needs to get adapted to it. There is a chance of deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins due to lack of oil in the diet. If grains are not taken in combination there could be a protein deficiency and weakness.

McDougall diet results and guidelines

People who adopt a vegan lifestyle and follow the guideline of the diet properly do get excellent results; however, if one is not very serious about following it, he or she may end up increasing weight or getting some kind of a nutrient deficiency. Also, the ones who do some amount of activity like a simple walk daily get very excellent results. The website shows a lot of detailed success stories. Below, we share a few of them.

Success stories:

Anne Heinemann, a woman who was practicing a lot of diets since childhood, had never had good permanent results. She went for McDougall’s 12-day program, and she loved it. This program helps her prevent sugar cravings and makes her eat and stay healthy. She started practicing yoga and walking too. She lost 70 pounds in 3 years. She suggests to her friends and her daughter to cook recipes from this book.

Benji Kurtz was obese and was practicing a high protein high fat diet before he came to know about this diet. It took a lot of time for him to get convinced with this diet. He was a meat lover and to give up on meat was very difficult. However, he started with it but didn’t give up on oil. He found amazing results. With time he realized he wasn’t feeling clean on eating oil anymore; hence, he gave up on oil too. He had started with 278 pounds and had reached 110 pounds. His blood profile shows impressive results also. He began with swimming as a part of his activity. This man’s before and after results are quite impressive!

Dan Curtin, a 59-year-old man, was weighing 226 pounds and had an altered lipid profile. He had become lazy and didn’t feel like working. He was then introduced to McDougall’s books and tapes. He got so motivated by it that he overcame his sweet cravings by listening to the recordings again and again. He lost 36 pounds in just four months, and high lipid profile got better too. His doctor was pleased with his results and suggested that he stick to the plan.