What Is the Omni Diet?

Omni diet

Verywell / Debbie Burkhoff

At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and take the whole person into consideration. Prior to starting a new diet plan, consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

What Is the Omni Diet?

The Omni Diet is a six-week plan that claims to boost health and offer quick weight loss. Nurse Tana Amen developed the Omni Diet because, she says, despite eating foods she’d grown up thinking were healthy, she still dealt with nutrition-related discomforts, such as bloating, fatigue, and skin breakouts.

The overarching promise of the Omni Diet? Lose 12 pounds in two weeks. While the diet mostly emphasizes healthy eating patterns, as well as exercise, most experts and public health organizations recommend you only lose 1 to 2 pounds of body weight each week. Weight loss at a faster rate can indicate an underlying health condition or lead to a rebound after the diet is over. 

What Experts Say

“The Omni diet recommends both plant-based foods and protein foods to spur weight loss and prevent disease. Experts agree this can promote good health—but note that eliminating most grains and dairy may be too restrictive and requires additional attention to certain nutrients.”
Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH

The 7-Day Diet Plan

While there are many different versions of the diet, here is one example that gives you a sense of the diet's basic outlines (lots of plant-based foods and lean proteins; no grains or dairy).

  • Day 1: 1/2 cup berries, 2 boiled cage-free eggs; chicken breast salad; lentil soup, steamed broccoli
  • Day 2: Sauteed spinach and mushrooms, homemade ground pork sausage patty; steak salad with tomatoes and cucumbers; white fish, asparagus and carrots with coconut oil; 1/2 cup berries
  • Day 3: 2 scrambled cage-free eggs with ground turkey, 1/2 cup pomegranate arils; shrimp and asparagus stir fry; raw nuts
  • Day 4: 2 boiled cage-free eggs, turkey bacon; shredded chicken and chickpea salad; pork tenderloin, broccoli, sweet potato
  • Day 5: Asparagus sauteed in coconut oil, homemade ground pork sausage patty; tuna in water on salad greens with 1/2 cups grapes and walnuts; sirloin steak, green beans, sweet potato
  • Day 6: Turkey bacon and spinach omelet, 1/2 cup berries; chicken and vegetable soup; chicken breast, bell pepper, carrot, and pea stir fry
  • Day 7: 2 scrambled cage-free eggs, asparagus, 1 small apple; chickpea curry soup; turkey breast, peas, carrots, sweet potato

What You Can Eat

The Omni Diet is similar to the flexitarian diet in that it emphasizes mostly plants, and to the paleo diet in that it eliminates grains and dairy. Amen claims that “the balance of 70% plant-based foods and 30% protein restores energy, slashes the risk of disease, optimizes brain and hormone functioning, produces dramatic weight loss, and promotes health from the inside out.”

Fruits and Vegetables

Most all fruit and vegetables are accepted on the Omni Diet except potatoes. You must limit fruit to 1/2 a cup per day.

  • 1/2 cup fruit per day, particularly berries
  • Sweet potato (no white potato)
  • Green vegetables
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms

Naturally Raised Lean Meat and Poultry

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Free-range poultry
  • Wild-caught fish

Eggs

You can eat eggs on the Omni Diet, but they must be cage-free. There’s some evidence that cage-free eggs are healthier, but regular eggs still offer plenty of health benefits. 

‘Superfoods'

This group of foods is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, two cornerstones of the Omni Diet.

Healthy Oils

Healthy oils give your food flavor and promote feelings of fullness. Plus, oils with omega-3s and omega-6s help keep your brain and heart healthy. Amen also recommends taking supplements, including a daily multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, and probiotics.

What You Cannot Eat

The plan omits dairy and gluten and only includes organic, hormone-free, and anti-inflammatory foods. 

Sugary Foods and Alcohol

  • Candy
  • Sugary desserts
  • Alcohol during phase 1 (and preferably not during phase 2; limited to 2 glasses of wine or cocktails per week in phase 3)
  • Beer with gluten

Soy and Corn

The Omni Diet eliminates soy and corn. There’s a great debate about soy: It’s a known allergen, and many diets encourage people to avoid soy because of its supposed harmful effects (most of which have been refuted). But soy is also a good source of plant-based protein, known to help build muscle and contain all 9 essential amino acids.

  • Tofu
  • Soy milk
  • Corn
  • Cornmeal
  • Processed foods containing soy or corn

Grains and Gluten

The Omni Diet eliminates all grains and gluten.

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Beer
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice

Amen’s “Omni Golden Rule” is to eat 70/30 for 90/10: Eat 70% plant-based and 30% protein-based foods, 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, you can give yourself some nutritional leeway.

How to Prepare the Omni Diet & Tips

You’ll follow a six-week plan with phases on the Omni Diet. Phases 1 and 2 are the most restrictive. Each phase is two weeks long. Exercise is also a required part of the Omni Diet plan, starting in Phase 2.

  • Phase 1: Follow the food list and avoid all other foods. Fruit is limited to 1/2 cup per day. You will drink a meal replacement smoothie (the Omni Diet green smoothie preferred) once per day, consisting of vegetables to fruit in a 4-to-1 ratio, healthy fat, and 20 to 30 grams of protein. At all other times, prioritize water as a beverage. Protein should be consumed every 3 or 4 hours and make up 30% of your diet, mainly in the form of lean meats. Amen also urges sauna sessions twice per week.
  • Phase 2: Similar to Phase 1 except approved, unprocessed desserts without added sugar or white flour are allowed. You will add a 30-minute daily walk and work up to the provided full-body workouts.
  • Phase 3: In this phase, you can stray from the diet occasionally as long as you follow it 90% of the time. Amen suggests eating only 3 bites of foods not on the approved list, if you must, although this is generally discouraged. Two 5-ounce glasses of wine per week can be consumed, although again it is not recommended. This phase is two weeks long, but Amen suggests following it for the long term.

Amen’s book doesn’t specify meal timing, so you should eat when you’re hungry. You may find it helpful to stick to your current eating timeline, as switching both meal contents and meal timing all at once can be stressful and overwhelming. Most people do well with three large meals per day or five to six smaller meals. The best regimen will be one that suits your schedule and keeps you satiated throughout the day.

The Omni Diet gets really restrictive, really quickly. It might be hard for some people to completely turn over their diets and avoid foods they’re used to eating regularly. If that sounds like you, try eliminating foods one at a time before you start Phase 1 of the Omni Diet. 

Pros of the Omni Diet

  • Focuses on healthy foods: The Omni Diet encourages a high consumption of healthy foods, especially vegetables, that provide plenty of nutrients and fiber. The diet omits processed foods and those high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and sugars.
  • Relatively simple: Even though the Omni Diet is pretty restrictive, it’s not necessarily difficult to follow. The rules are hard and fast. Focus on produce and lean protein, and you’re good to go. 
  • Encourages exercise: The Omni Diet promotes physical activity. Many diet plans leave this critical component out of the picture. The Omni Diet provides exercise guidelines throughout the six weeks, starting with walking and leading up to a full-body workout. 
  • Emphasizes fruits and veggies: On the Omni Diet, the bulk of your meals will consist of produce, fresh or cooked. You have free reign here: Stock up on leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cauliflower), squash, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, bananas, apples, and more. All of these foods provide essential macronutrients and micronutrients, which may help improve overall health.
  • Teaches you to make healthy food decisions: By forcing you to avoid processed foods, the Omni Diet will guide you to purchase, cook, and enjoy more nutritious foods. It also provides a reminder that physical activity and dietary changes go hand-in-hand for successful weight loss and maintenance.

Cons of the Omni Diet

  • Difficult to start and not sustainable: Switching to the Omni Diet may feel like a significant leap from your regular diet, particularly if dairy, grains, and packaged foods are currently staples. But restrictions ease as you move through the phases. 
  • May interfere with social and family life: The Omni Diet requires you to cut out many foods that are integral to the typical American diet, and those foods will undoubtedly show up at social events. You can try eating before you go to an event or bringing your own food. If you’re going to a restaurant, look up the menu beforehand to find something compliant. 
  • Expensive: Amen encourages Omni followers to purchase grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, eggs, and all-organic ingredients. These types of foods might indeed have small benefits compared to conventional foods, but they can get pricey.
  • May lead to a weight rebound: Diets with a specific start and end date can lead to a yo-yo effect. Anyone can lose weight quickly for a short period, but many people tend to regain all the lost weight—if not more—when the diet is over. The real challenge is maintaining your weight loss after the diet ends. 
  • Unnecessarily cuts out food groups: Some people have food allergies or sensitivities to dairy and gluten, but most do not. For the majority of Americans, gluten and dairy have a healthy and essential place in their diets. Many nutritious whole grains contain gluten, and dairy provides calcium and vitamin D, among other nutrients.  

Is the Omni Diet a Healthy Choice for You?

The Omni Diet guidelines align with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations on food and nutrition, but the Omni Diet is more restrictive. Both recommend consuming plenty of vegetables, fruits, protein foods, and healthy fats.

The USDA recommends eating dairy, while the Omni Diet does not. Gluten-containing grains are completely avoided on the Omni Diet regardless of whether or not you have a sensitivity or allergy. The USDA does not differentiate between gluten-free and gluten-containing grains. As well, the USDA suggests limiting your sugar intake while the Omni Diet requires outright avoidance of sugar.

No matter what diet you choose to follow, it's important to know how many calories you should be consuming each day if you hope to lose weight or maintain a weight loss. Most people need around 2,000 calories per day, but younger and very active people may need more. Your age, height, weight, genetics, occupation, and physical activity level all play a role in your calorie needs.

The Omni Diet is relatively healthy with its focus on unprocessed, whole foods that are highly nutritious. However, many people may find it too restrictive and unsustainable.

A Word From Verywell

The Omni Diet encourages people to make better food choices, but it unnecessarily cuts out major food groups. While some people do need to avoid dairy and/or gluten, most people don’t, and those two food groups can be part of a healthy diet. 

Additionally, the Omni Diet may be difficult to start and stick to if you’re used to eating a typical American diet. If you decide to try the Omni Diet, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or your physician to make sure you don’t leave any gaps that could lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Remember, following a long-term or short-term diet may not be necessary for you and many diets out there simply don’t work, especially long-term. While we do not endorse fad diet trends or unsustainable weight loss methods, we present the facts so you can make an informed decision that works best for your nutritional needs, genetic blueprint, budget, and goals.

If your goal is weight loss, remember that losing weight isn’t necessarily the same as being your healthiest self, and there are many other ways to pursue health. Exercise, sleep, and other lifestyle factors also play a major role in your overall health. The best diet is always the one that is balanced and fits your lifestyle.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC
Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC, is an advocate for simple health and wellness. She writes about nutrition, exercise and overall well-being.