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 for some people)
- Moderate amounts of fruit, especially berries
- Naturally raised lean meat and poultry, wild-caught seafood
- 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
- Grains (except for quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth in small amounts) and gluten
- Sugar and simple carbohydrates
- Artificial sweeteners (except for stevia in small amounts)
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.
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.
What Dr. Michael Smith Says:
Does It Work?
If you follow The Omni Diet, you’ll likely lose weight. It’s a nutritious approach to weight loss. And if you stick with the program for the long term, you’ll keep the weight off.
Because you’ll be cutting calories from your diet and burning them through exercise, the weight should drop pretty fast.
The promise of losing 12 pounds in 2 weeks is a bit of a stretch, but if you follow the program to a T, it could happen. If not, don’t get discouraged.
While there are no studies specifically on this diet, there is a great deal of research to support its components. One of its best features is that the calories come mostly from non-starchy vegetables.
There’s no guarantee you’ll lose weight if you go gluten-free, but if that helps you avoid overeating foods like bread and pasta, go for it. Just don’t replace them with gluten-free versions of those foods.
There’s also little research to support the supplements (except vitamin D which most people don't get enough of) Amen recommends, and they’re unlikely to help you lose weight.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
The Omni Diet is appropriate for anyone living with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, be sure to check with your doctor about the recommendations for coconut oil, which is high in saturated fat. Because the primary source of calories is plant-based foods, the diet is low in cholesterol. Limiting starchy carbs and sugar may be especially helpful for people with diabetes; just be sure to check with your doctor if you plan to follow this diet.
The Final Word
If you’re up for making the commitment, the Omni Diet is a great option to help you lose weight, although it might be difficult to stick to long-term. It’ll take some work getting used to the new way of eating and increased exercise, but you’ll be slimmer and healthier for it.