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The Omni Diet

The Promise

Ready to shed 12 pounds in 2 weeks? You could on The Omni Diet by Tana Amen, RN.

On this plan, you eat mostly plant foods, plus lean protein. Amen’s diet takes the best of both plant-based diets and high-protein plans and combines them. You get all the health benefits of the nutrients in plants and the feeling of fullness, sustained energy, and stabilized blood sugar that comes from eating lean protein.

The plan has three phases. Like many diets, the first phase is the most restrictive. The second phase loosens up a bit, and the third phase is ongoing.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

You can have:

  • Fresh vegetables (except white potatoes and other vegetables Amen claims might cause problems)
  • Moderate amounts of fruit, especially berries
  • Naturally raised lean meat and poultry, wild-caught seafood
  • Eggs
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Coconut, almond, macadamia nut, grape seed, and olive oils
  • Dried beans and lentils in limited amounts
  • Fresh and dried herbs and spices
  • Super foods such as maca root, goji powder, lucuma, and pomegranate

Off-limits:

  • Dairy
  • Grains (except for quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth in small amounts) and gluten
  • Sugar and simple carbohydrates
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Artificial sweeteners (except for stevia in small amounts)

Amen recommends taking supplements including a daily multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, and probiotics.

Alcohol is not allowed in Phase 1 and preferably Phase 2 of The Omni Diet. If you must drink in Phase 2 and beyond, Amen recommends limiting yourself to two glasses of wine or cocktails per week. You may not drink beer or other alcoholic beverages containing gluten.

Level of Effort: Medium to Hard

Limitations: This plan will be a big change, if you currently eat a typical American diet. You may find you like a lot of the foods you switch to on this plan, but it's probably going to be a big adjustment.

Cooking and shopping: You will need to plan menus and prepare foods, including 9 cups of vegetables a day.

Packaged foods or meals: No.

In-person meetings: No.

Exercise: Required. Exercise is a key part of The Omni Diet. The book includes a detailed plan that starts with walking and works up to a full-body workout that takes 30 minutes a day.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarian or vegan diet: Although you can adjust The Omni Diet if you're a vegetarian, it does emphasize lean animal protein sources like eggs, fish, and poultry, and limits beans. If you are a vegan, following this diet will be even more challenging, as you will have a much more restricted list of foods and will have to rely heavily on nuts, seeds, and the limited amounts of beans and other legumes allowed.

Gluten-free diet: This plan would work for you.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: You may spend more on groceries, since you’ll need to buy naturally raised meats, wild-caught seafood, lots of vegetables, berries, nuts, and no convenience foods.

Support: You do this diet on your own, but you will find lots of tips and Omni Diet-friendly recipes online.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on January 25, 2014

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