Does it Work? - Dr. McDougall's 12-Day Diet Meal Plan

05-01-2003, 01:02 PM
Has anyone heard of this?

I know McDougall is fairly well known and I know he's an advocate of low fat vegiterian diets, and now he has pre-packaged food.

The 12 Day Diet Meal Plan is 12 days worth of pre packaged food. Now, I'm not likely to eat just-add-water meals 12 days in a row, but I can always stand to have some easy to prepare healthy meals hanging around so that's why I got these.

Just wondering if anyone has tried them? I've read a few reviews that say they're not bad, but I can alway use more info.

Thanks in advance!

05-01-2003, 01:28 PM
As a veteran of the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Plan back in 1996, I feel pretty well qualifed to answer your question.

Dr. McDougall has actually had pre-packaged foods for some years now. (they're marked as "Smart Foods"). For the most part (from what I've seen) they are the cups of dehydrated soups that you pour boiling water in and let sit for five minutes (I remember he had soups, hot cereals, mashed potatoes, etc.). I still see them in the stores around here - in the soup and/or cereal sections mostly.

The ones I've tried ranged from bland to nearly inedible... :( I was not a repeat buyer of them.

As far as his diet is concerned...unless he's changed it, it's a pretty drastic ultra-low fat, vegan's what you CAN'T eat on it:

1) No fats or oils of any kind
2) No animal products of ANY kind
3) No soy products, including tofu of ANY kind
4) No flour products (i.e. bread, tortillas, etc.) of ANY kind

Here's what you can have:

1) Fruit (limited to one a day)
2) Veggies - unlimited
3) Starches and grains such as potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
4) Decaffinated herbal teas and water
5) Sugar in moderation (i.e. on your oatmeal)

Needless to say I lost weight...I also lost some of my hair...and my skin was so dry and itchy all the time...and of course as soon as I started eating 'normally' again...I started regaining the weight very quickly.

Incidentally, I followed the McDougall plan in conjunction with a hypnosis center - this was the diet they advocated. Keep in mind that this was in 1996, when everyone was convinced that fat was evil and that the less fat you ate the better. I think my fat consumption got down to 5% of calories during that time!

Once I started eating animal products again...and added healthy fats to my diet - my hair and skin became MUCH healthier.

Just my two cents...

05-01-2003, 02:23 PM
Oh my Lord, what a horrible diet. There's that word again, DIET! What we all need is a lifestyle change that we can live with, not a temporary strange way to eat.

Mrs. Jim, I'm glad you had some personal input. I can truly understand why you had hair loss and dry skin. Yuck.

05-02-2003, 12:21 AM
Yuck....just the sound of this diet makes me nauseated! Now I know something else to stay away from :fr: !

05-03-2003, 01:59 PM
I'm not really asking about the diet as a whole, I'm not even going to kid myself into thinking I'm going to go fat free and vegan. I just wanted a review of how the prepackaged foods taste.

I am on my own most days for lunch. I'm not going to cook for one or eat fast food every day. I'm tired of salads and sandwiches. Just looking for something easy to prepare that doesn't suck.

I guess my question should have been - do these taste ok or not?

One more time, I'm not even considering 12 days of just-add-water food, I'm looking at them as individual meals for days when I don't feel like cooking.

05-03-2003, 03:37 PM
Yup I know...the McDougall thing just got me on one of my famous tangents :)

Bottom line is...I didn't care for the taste. Very bland...weird spices...but see if you can find them to try individually, rather than buying a whole 12 days' worth and be stuck with 'em because you couldn't stand them :)

Around here, I've seen the "Right Foods" cups at Safeway, Albertson's, Draegers, Trader Joes' and Whole Foods.

05-03-2003, 10:50 PM
Thanks for the review. Weird, that's the worst. When you KNOW they're trying to make up for lack of fat (i.e. taste) with some strange spices that you can't QUITE put your finger on.

Oh well, I've ordered them (I'm impatient like that). If they suck, it'll be a lesson learned. I guess I can go back to salad and Triscuits for my lunches.


05-09-2003, 11:33 PM
MrsJim, you saved me after all! They products haven't arrived and when I asked - turns out they will be another 2 - 3 weeks. So over a month for something I now don't want? So I cancled. Thanks for the review. You saved me over $100!

05-29-2003, 11:33 AM
Jeeez what an awful plan. I had a friend that went on this to help cure his prostate cancer. Well, it didn't work I hate to say. I have another runner friend who is vegan and she suffers from anemia and thyroid problems.

I was put on a low fat diet by Physician's Weight Loss Center and I lost hair too until I started taking flax oil and eating more fish. At least when something bad starts happening they adjust the "diet" for you. Any diet that doesn't allow oils like olive, flax or fish is stupid and possibly dangerous.