The Total Choice Plan: FAQ

Get your questions about the Total Choice Plan answered.

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Dr. Oz Reveals the Total Choice Plan (2:47)

The Total Choice has been carefully designed to give you plenty of choices when it comes to your meal planning while also making it easy to stick to a diet plan that will help you lose weight. But questions can arise when the plan is applied to the lives of millions of people who have unique lifestyles and eating patterns. Here, some of the most common questions and answers about the plan so you can get started today.

What makes the Total Choice Plan different from the Total 10 Rapid Weight-Loss Plan?

The Total 10 Rapid Weight-Loss Plan is designed to help dieters lose a few pounds over a short amount of time. The Total Choice Plan is aimed both at helping you lose weight over the long term and maintaining that weight loss. We knew that meant giving dieters a lot of variety to choose from when it came to their meals. So with the Total Choice Plan, you have a wide variety of delicious recipes available to you that will keep you loving the food you eat while helping you lose about a pound a week.

Do I have to do the Total 10 Rapid Weight-Loss Plan to do the Total Choice Plan?

You don’t have to do the Total 10 Rapid Weight-Loss Plan to benefit from the Total Choice Plan, but we do recommend the Total 10 Rapid Weight-Loss Plan to help kick-start your weight loss. Sometimes seeing early results can keep you going when times get tough. The Total 10 Plan will help you drop a few pounds quickly that you can maintain using the Total Choice Plan.

How do I know which calorie plan to be on for the Total Choice Plan? 

The Total Choice Plan is built around two levels of daily calorie intake: 1200 calories and 1600 calories. Which one you’re on depends on how old you are, how tall you are and how active you are. Take the Total Choice Assessment to figure out which plan you should be following. Men should only be on the 1600 calorie diet unless otherwise advised by a physician.

Is there a shopping list for me to follow?

There’s no shopping list for all of the recipes since that would be a long list and many of the fresh ingredients would spoil before you used them. Instead, you’ll choose your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert) from in advance. Each recipe will have an ingredients list that you can conveniently email to yourself for reference while shopping. You also have the option of printing each recipe directly from the website.

Can I adjust the recipes?

Absolutely! The key is to stick to the core idea of the recipe. Switching out one type of fish for another is a great way to add variety. Adding a new spice to give your food a different flavor is a great way to keep your meals exciting. But be careful of adjustments that might dramatically change the calorie count of the meal. Having a steak sandwich for breakfast instead of eggs is probably not the way to go. Cooking with butter instead of olive oil could also make a big difference. If you find an adjustment that you think everyone should be trying, share it with us on Facebook!

I’m a diabetic. Can I be on this plan?

If you have a medical condition, you should consult with a doctor before changing your diet. This applies especially if you’re a diabetic because your medications are finely tuned to the amount of sugar in your current diet. If you dramatically increase or decrease the amount of carbohydrate in your diet, your medication dose could be off and cause serious medical problems. Get a sense of what you’d be eating on the new diet and go to your doctor with your plans. He or she can help you decide what might or might not be helpful.

Can I follow this plan while I’m pregnant?

Pregnant women need to gain weight during their pregnancy and should increase the amount they eat to match that need. This is both because the baby and placenta need energy and building blocks to grow and because a woman needs to build up an energy reserve for breastfeeding, which requires a lot of energy. Pregnant women should generally not be on a weight-loss plan. If you’re concerned you’re gaining too much weight during pregnancy, consult with your doctor before deciding to cut back on how much you’re eating.

Can I follow this plan while I’m nursing?

This plan shouldn’t be done within the first two months of nursing. Dieting too soon after giving birth may signal to your body that you don’t have enough calories to provide for your child. That may cause your milk production to decrease or even stop if you start dieting immediately after birth. Even after two months, you should always eat at least 1800 calories per day while you breastfeed. Remember, breastfeeding your baby can burn up to 500 calories a day. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re already getting a workout in. If you’re concerned you may be eating too much while breastfeeding, have a conversation with your doctor before deciding to cut back.

Can these meals be modified for vegetarians or vegans?

They can. All dairy and protein can be replaced with vegan alternatives. For example, fish or poultry can be replaced with tofu or other soy products. Beans are also a great source of protein that can be added to many of the meals. If you’ve found a great vegetarian or vegan replacement, share it with us on our Facebook page!

My doctor already has me on a diet. Should I do this one instead?

Diets can be prescribed for a variety of reasons ranging from weight loss to disease control. If your doctor already has you on a diet you should stick to it as closely as possible and avoid other diets.

I’m taking medications. Could this diet affect how they work?

Certain medications, like blood thinners or medications for diabetes, are affected by the foods you eat. If you’re on medications, discuss with your doctor whether dramatically changing your diet will affect how your medications work before starting the diet.

I’ve been doing this diet for a few days, but I’m starting to feel sick. What should I do?

If you start to notice changes in your health as a result of the diet, go back to your regular diet and consult a doctor immediately. If your symptoms are serious, call 911.