20/20 Diet Review

by The Diet Critic on June 26, 2017

20/20 Diet Review
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Ease of Use
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

The 20/20 Diet is about changing your eating habits and focuses on eating 20 specific power foods that may help you feel fuller for longer, increase your calorie burn rate and require a lot of energy to break down. The diet and corresponding book with the same name, comes from American psychologist, television personality and celebrity Dr. Phil McGraw, who is more commonly known as Dr. Phil.

According to McGraw, there are seven reasons why other diets fail people who want to lose weight. These include: hunger, cravings, impracticality and expense, feeling of restriction, temptations, boredom and disappointing results of plateaus. In his book, he addresses each of these challenges by reportedly applying the latest theories and research associated with each.

In essence, the book explains why people have been unsuccessful at achieving weight loss before and empowers those who seek to shed pounds with cognitive, behavioral, social, environmental and nutritional tools to help them learn life-long healthy habits, reach their weight loss goals and maintain their results.

The 20/20 Diet is split up into four different phases:

Phase 1 – “The Five-Day Boost” – For the first five days you’ll eat only the 20 foods listed in the plan. Some of these include: coconut oil, green tea, almonds, apples, dried plums, pistachios, leafy greens, lentils, peanut butter, raisins, yogurt, eggs, etc.

Phase 2 – “Five-Day Sustain” – You are to include foods in your diet beyond the initial 20 but a minimum of 2 foods apart of your meals and snacks must be from the original 20 foods.

Phase 3 – “20-Day Sustain” – More foods are allowed during this phase and you are to eat four meals, four hours apart for 20 consecutive days. Each week, you’re allowed two splurges (no more than 100 calories each) twice.

Phase 4 – “Management Phase” – More foods are allowed to your diet but you’re to continue eating the healthy foods from the other phases to help you make your lifestyle changes and stick to them.

If you don’t happen to reach your weight loss goal by Phase 4, you are to start over with the first three phases again. Additionally, McGraw recommends drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water per day and taking a high-quality vitamin supplement.

As for exercise, followers of the plan are encouraged to aim for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours a week of moderate activity and at least 2 to 3 hours of vigorous activity every week.


The 2020 Diet consists of both a diet plan and psychological tools to provide a well-rounded physical and mental weight loss approach. Eating low-calorie meals and engaging in regular exercise is likely to lead to weight loss. Furthermore, changing the way you think about food and dieting can lead to effectively changing behavior and overcoming unhealthy thought patterns. Other than purchasing the book, there are no additional costs associated with this diet.


There isn’t anything overly revolutionary about Dr. Phil’s diet plan. His diet recommendations are in line with conventional weight loss programs designed to change behavior and unhealthy thought patterns. That being said, the diet may actually be lacking in certain nutrients, such as iron, magnesium and potassium as well as may be high in cholesterol, according to an analysis carried out by the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetes.

It should also be pointed out that his low-calorie meal recommendations are not individualized, so the calories may to be too high or too low for certain people.

In addition, McGraw’s advice regarding binge and emotional eating is quite simplistic. Furthermore, his advice on disordered eating is merely opinion based as he does not specialize in this area. Therefore, any advice provided in The 20/20 Diet should never be a substitute for obtaining expert advice from your medical professional.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: