There are two major rules that are simple to follow.
System 20 is Dr. Oz's new lifestyle plan that not only helps you lose weight but may also reduce your risk for health conditions, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, by 20% in 2020. If follower correctly this plan will help you reduce your waist to under 35 inches as well as lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and RealAge – all of these factors help your body stay healthier. It actually works: Women who tested System 20 lost an average of nine pounds in just the first three weeks plus their blood pressure was lower.
While the plan is multi-faceted, the core of it revolves around intermittent fasting; you eat for eight hours a day and fast for the remaining 16. If you've never tried a fasting plan, the idea might sound intimidating, but it's actually simple with a few basic rules to follow. This cheat sheet can help guide you and show you exactly how to eat on System 20 to ensure you have success on the plan.
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Eat From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Forget breakfast; break your fast every morning with brunch. On System 20 you should be eating between the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This might sound difficult, but if you think about it, you're sleeping for a decent portion of that fasting window. You are allowed to drink coffee before the 11 a.m. start time, but it must be black. The reason for this is if you have too many calories (via milk and sugar) before your eating period starts it can ruin your fast. You can, however, add MCT oil to your coffee because it can assist with weight loss. You should stop drinking caffeine by 3 p.m. every day, so plan accordingly.
Try your hardest to stick to the plan and stop eating by 7 p.m. – the earlier you finish eating the longer your body has to digest and burn fat. If you do need to eat later, make sure to maintain your 16 hour fast regardless. So, if you eat dinner at 8 p.m. one night because work ran long, make sure not to start eating until 12 p.m. the next day.
Eliminate Added Sugars
Sugar has been proven to make you gain weight, increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes, and more. There is no beneficial or nutritional reason for added and artificial sugars to remain in your diet. Focus your eating on whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, proteins, and even dairy instead of packaged products. Check all labels on products before consuming to ensure there is no added sugar.
If you have a sweet tooth, that's ok. System 20 still allows you to have sweet things like dark chocolate and berries – just not processed sugar.
You Can Have Snacks (As Long as They're Low-Carb)
You read that right – snacking is not off limits on System 20. The most important thing is making sure you're eating within the right window of time and that the snacks you're consuming are low-carb. We have a whole list of Oz-approved, low-carb snacks that can work on this plan. While you shouldn't view this as an unlimited eating plan, you can have two snacks a day if you're hungry without consequence; just pay attention to serving sizes.
Eat Beans, Greens & Proteins
Your lunch (brunch) and dinner meals should consist of three things: beans, greens, and proteins. This formula helps give your body tons of nutrients while also ensuring the meals are healthy and filling. The best part about this equation is that you can mix and match to get a creative, delicious, and different meal every time. If you don't have a lot of time during the day, you can easily prep these meal combos in advance and eat when needed.
In addition to the beans, greens, and proteins mix, you should be adding two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to lunch or dinner because some research shows it can help lower blood sugar responses after meals in those with Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance – meaning you improve blood sugar overall. You can either mix it into a recipe or, if you'd prefer, you can mix it with a glass of water and have it before, during, or after your meal.
Don't Forget About Your Day Off
While not a part of regular intermittent fasting plans, System 20 is unique because it allows you to take one day off per week. During your day off you're able to ignore all the rules and eat what you want when you want. Of course, indulging too much could derail the progress you've made throughout the rest of the week, so just be mindful not to overdo it. This allows flexibility so you don't need to miss out on girls' night out, date night, holidays, or that 50th birthday party you've been invited to. You might notice, as you get more used to System 20, that you have adjusted and don't require a day off. But you are allowed one, so definitely use it.