About 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet by Dr. Oz

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Jan 17, 2017

By eating mostly plant-based protein for three weeks, the free 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet by Dr. Oz program promises to help you lose weight and inches, look great, feel energized, and reduce your risk for chronic disease.

Compared to many other programs, you won’t have to worry about buying packages, making shakes, or counting calories with 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough.

Instead, Dr. Oz claims you’ll just need to eat real, whole food for 21 days, using a variety of recipes that allow you to enjoy different flavors, without unnecessary fat and calories.

In turn, this will act as a “nutritional reset” to end your cravings, boost your metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and keep you full and satiated along your journey.

So what if Dr. Oz tells us that his 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet will address high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even chronic pain? What does it matter if it contains all the latest research in an easy-to-follow plan?

You want to know if it will help you lose weight. And if so, how much? Is it worth the time and effort? We’ll provide you with the information that can help you answer these important questions.

How Does Dr. Oz’s Breakthrough Diet Plan Work? The Basics

Although the Breakthrough Diet’s name might lead you to believe it only lasts 21 days, the reality is that you can stay on it as long as you like.

Each day, you’ll be allowed to have an unlimited amount of non-starchy vegetables, three servings of healthy fats, two servings of fruit, three servings of plant protein, and one serving of grains.

Twice per week (but no more) you’re allowed to have both animal protein and dairy. Here’s a quick example of a 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet meal plan:

What Will You Eat Each Day?

You’ll start each day with a cup of oolong tea, half an avocado, and one serving of whole grains (using Ezekiel bread, which is made from sprouted whole grains).

For lunch and dinner, you can make plant-based proteins, like beans, tofu, tempeh, and seeds. Animal protein, such as fish and chicken, can be enjoyed twice per week.

Outside of these protein sources, the 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet allows you to fill the remainder of your lunches and dinners with an unlimited amount of non-starchy vegetables.

Like what? A few quick examples include greens, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, okra, mushrooms, peppers, and asparagus.

For sautéing or dressing your vegetables, you can use up to two tablespoons of olive oil per day. Dr. Oz allows for an unlimited amount of balsamic vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, and all spices.

To help you keep track of everything, he also provides a shopping list and fairly extensive list of recipes.

Pro tip: While these meals certainly look delicious, they might become a little tedious, especially if you choose to stay on the Diet for more than 21 days. To expand your options, search online for phrases like “plant-based diet recipes” or “plant protein recipes.”

After all, keeping things interesting and delicious is a surefire way of maintaining sky-high motivation levels!

Diet IllustrationWith Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet, you’ll primarily eat non-starchy vegetables, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats, with limited animal protein and dairy. Image credit: The Dr. Oz Show

Do You Get to Eat Snacks on Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Diet Plan?

For your three daily snacks, you can eat two servings of fruit and one serving of nuts or nut butter. These contain healthy (monounsaturated) fats that can fuel your metabolism and help keep you full in between meals.

Snack examples include a 1/4 cup of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter, a piece of medium-sized fruit, or a 1/2 cup of berries. This way, you’ll get a satisfying crunch or shot of sugar with your snack, while consuming fewer calories.

As with lunches and dinners, you can replace your snacks with an unlimited amount of non-starchy veggies.

What Will You Limit or Completely Restrict on the Program?

While you’re on Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Breakthrough program, you’ll need to limit your coffee intake to one cup per day. Additionally, make sure it’s sweetened with nut milk or Stevia.

You’ll also need to limit your consumption of animal protein and dairy, such as poultry, fish, eggs, red meat, milk, and cheese to two times per week.

As for foods you'll need to avoid completely? Steer clear of processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and sugar.

How Much Weight Can You Expect to Lose with the 21 Day Breakthrough Program?

Dr. Oz tells us that his staff tested the 21 Day Breakthrough Diet with some viewers and found they lost 11 pounds and reduced waist size by 4 inches, on average.

Dr. Oz is very upfront that much of this is likely water weight, but that it still acts as a “great jump start.” Why is this important?

Here’s how Men’s Fitness puts it: “Losing water weight is like buffing your car—it makes the exterior look sleeker, but the beautification is short lived and no interior improvements have actually been made.”

In other words, your ultimate goal should be to make your body healthier by shedding fat. If you’re losing water weight instead of fat weight, you’re 1) not optimizing your health and 2) you’ll put much of the water weight back on as soon as you start eating carbohydrates again, since they retain water.

With this in mind, one pound of fat is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. This means that if you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day, you should lose about 1-2 pounds per week—or 5-10 pounds over the course of 21 days.

Will Dr. Oz’s app help boost your weight loss results in any meaningful way?

Will the Dr. Oz App Help Your 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Progress?

Available for iOS and Android devices, the Dr. Oz app claims to provide “all the recipes, episodes, and health plans you need to improve your health from head to toe.”

While the Dr. Oz app doesn’t appear to be much more than an extension of his website, we’re told that it integrates with Apple Health (we only downloaded the iOS version) and keeps track of any daily tasks you complete. These include strengthening your core, adding certain healthy items to your grocery list, eating/snacking on healthy foods.

Even though you can sign up to receive notifications about many of Dr. Oz’s health and weight loss programs, his app doesn’t appear to add any tracking or functional capabilities to the 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough.

Dr. Oz's Mobile AppWhile you can choose to receive additional notifications, we didn’t find that Dr. Oz’s app added any meaningful benefits to the 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet.

On iTunes, the Dr. Oz app had an average rating of two stars, with many complaints referencing bugs (inability to see the entire screen, slow loading, didn’t save information, and inability to access). We didn’t experience any of these issues when downloading and using the app.

The Dr. Oz app received a much higher average rating of 3.8 stars on Google Play. There, most complaints referenced similar issues as on iTunes.

Taking a Closer Look at 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet’s Foods

Now that we’ve covered the basics about Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet, let’s take a closer look at how the foods he’s chosen might benefit your health.

Oolong Tea

While Dr. Oz claims that “oolong tea has been proven to boost your metabolism,” this doesn’t necessarily translate into lost weight. Why?

According to authoritative websites like WebMD, oolong tea is listed as possibly effective for preventing ovarian cancer, and its natural caffeine content has been shown to temporarily boost alertness and mental performance.

However, they indicate there’s insufficient clinical evidence that oolong can promote weight loss, prevent high blood pressure, or treat diabetes.


Every serving of avocado contains almost 20 vitamins and minerals and features healthy fat. However, avocados contain a fairly high amount of fat and they’re also high in calories.

In fact, by eating half for breakfast, the avocado content alone tallies up to 150 calories.

From a health perspective, WebMD indicates that avocados can help lower bad cholesterol, while avocado soybean unsaponifiables (a type of extract) may help reduce overall disability related to osteoarthritis.

They don’t, however, reflect Dr. Oz’s claims that avocado can promote weight loss, decrease risk of breast cancer, target belly fat, or improve the look of skin and nails in otherwise healthy individuals.

Whole Grains

Whole grains (the entire seed of the plant) are packed with nutrients and can contribute to many health benefits, including reducing heart disease, addressing type 2 diabetes, reducing obesity, and even decreasing instances of some forms of cancer.

Common whole grain examples include brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, whole rye, whole oats oatmeal, and even popcorn!

It appears the only whole grains you’ll consume on Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Breakthrough program are from Ezekiel bread, which is made from sprouted whole grains. Dr. Oz tells us that these types of grains are often easier to digest, making their nutrients more readily available for the body.

Non-Starchy Vegetables

The American Diabetes Association tells us that non-starchy vegetables can deliver all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals our body craves, but without the carbohydrate content of starchier veggies like potatoes, corn, and peas.

These veggies are also a great way to maintain a sense of fullness and satiety, without the higher calorie count of alternate options.

Plant-Based vs. Animal Proteins

Inside your body, protein acts as an important component of every cell, helping to make enzymes and hormones, build and repair tissue, and act as a building block for bones and blood.

And there are two primary sources from which to obtain protein: animal and plant. The difference?

In general, plants like beans, tofu, seeds, and tempeh contain less fat, and consequently fewer calories, than animals. As a result, those who obtain most of their protein from plants tend to consume fewer calories than those who obtain it from animals.

In turn, this lower fat and calorie content means a meatless diet can help decrease the risk of heart disease, reduce instances of type 2 diabetes, help you maintain a healthy weight, and even reduce the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

Is Snacking Important When You’re Dieting?

While you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, healthy snacking can manage hunger and cravings for unhealthy sugary snacks, while reducing binge-eating.

In the 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough program, you’ll focus on fruits and berries. The Mayo Clinic recommends sticking with snack options that are 100 calories or less, including a medium apple, small banana, 20 grapes, one medium peach, or 20 pea pods.

How does Dr. Oz’s advice in the 21 Day Diet program compare to the competition?

21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough vs. Other Plant-Based Diets

The fact of the matter is that a plant-based diet is a plant-based diet. In other words, while there might be some procedural differences between each available program—and there are thousands—as long as you limit your carbohydrate and animal protein intake, you could likely achieve many of the same benefits as Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough.

Like Dr. Oz’s Breakthrough, many of these options are completely free, which is definitely a boost compared to the fee-based systems you might be used to.

To help you step out on the right foot, Forks Over Knives’ Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Plant-Based Diet recommends:

  • Focusing on fruits, vegetables, tubers (potatoes and sweet potatoes are common examples), whole grains, and legumes
  • Avoid processed or refined grains
  • Focusing on the positives, such as improved health. After all, if you’re not used to this type of diet, it may take a period of adjustment!

You can also check out US News’ list of 38 of the top plant-based diets, which ranks based on weight loss potential and overall healthfulness.

Topping the list? The Mediterranean Diet, The Flexitarian Diet, and the Ornish Diet.

Will You Find Success With the 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet?

Ultimately, only you can define what success looks like. But if your definition involves losing 100 pounds in a couple months’ time, or something that works miraculously without willpower, resolve, or the capacity to change habits, then you almost certainly won’t find it with 21 Day Weight Los Breakthrough by Dr. Oz.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a widely recognized system (plant-based diets, not 21 Day Breakthrough specifically) that’s clinically proven to deliver a whole host of short- and- long-term health benefits—including potential weight loss, then we don’t see why you couldn’t find success with Dr. Oz’s version.

And that’s just what this is; a version. There are perhaps thousands of other plant-based, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet plans out there, many of which are distinguishable by only the smallest of differences—and which are also completely free.

Is there anything that makes Dr. Oz’s 21 Day Breakthrough Diet more worthy of your attention? The only way to find out is by giving it a try.

After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You lose weight and improve your health?

Just keep in mind that most health professionals recommend complementing any diet program with some sort of exercise (even walking) to maximize your results.

Read 2 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet by Dr. Oz Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 4.0
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    No counting calories AMEN!

    I just completed week one of the Dr. Oz 21 Day Weight Loss Breakthrough and am feeling not just physically good, I also feel super psyched because I have lost 3 pounds!

    What I really like about this diet is that there are no counting calories. I hate doing that! What I love too is that I wanted a diet plan that spelled out the grocery list and recipes. This diet does so perfectly. I am finding that taking the time to prep my food for 3-4 days at a time is really key to my staying on track. Because there are containers of yummy veggies, and proteins in my fridge I am able to feed myself daily with such ease.

    I am also on a burning calorie routine at my gym. The bike and elliptical machine workouts I do supposedly amount to a 500-600 calories daily burn. I plan to play around with this calorie burning number. Next week, for example, I want to try to go for an 800 calorie burn as an experiment to see if I lose faster. In total, my goal is 10 pounds. Once I reach that I may go for another 10.

    I want to also include that I am not hungry! And my digestion is being super revved up. It's kind of shocking! I recommend this diet! I will post more again too.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    It's done something, but not all that easy.

    • By Su Sabol,
    • Cleveland, OH,
    • Jul 29, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wanted to try this diet more for the "reset your metabolism" than for weight loss (not that I don't have weight I need to lose). I have thyroid issues, chronic migraine, diverticulosis, general fatigue, body aches, back and neck pain and a sweet tooth that have all contributed to my wrecked system.

    I'm not crazy about all the hype that this is so easy, and everything is so delicious (bull). Getting off the sugar is the hardest, and I still miss crackers and cheese. I am on week three of this plan and have lost about 7 lbs. Fortunately, weight loss was not my goal, so I'm not too disappointed.

    One of the frustrating aspects was cooking two meals because my family was not on board giving this a shot. Many a night I was just eating whatever veggies I made and throwing in that cup of chickpeas for protein. Sometimes it was pretty good but usually just ok. I did try the eggplant roll-ups with the fake ricotta. The recipe on the website is awful and just throws the almond ricotta on top. After some internet searching, I figured it out. It was pretty good, but don't tell me it tastes just like ricotta because it DOES NOT! It tastes like the nuts it is. I even added the normal spices I would use in ricotta. Nonetheless, it was a tasty substitute.

    I don't really know if my metabolism is being reset, but I think it has helped my digestive tract. Diarrhea is gone, I am more regular, and I am off the heartburn pills. I snack better and less now (I used to be more of a grazer). There is no change in my thinning hair, old skin or flimsy nails. I'll finish out the week, and actually probably maintain a less meat, more plant lifestyle.

    Overall, it is no 21-day breakthrough diet. Tone down the hype and be real! The only ones this would be "easy" for are those who only have themselves to be concerned with and aren't addicted to sugar, love chocolate or crave bread. I believe that you have to find what works for your body and your life. Sadly, this was another unsuccessful search for me. Some swear by low carb, some by no sugar, some by vegan, etc. If it works for you, great, keep at it. I'll continue my search.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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