Dr. Oz System 20: Doctor Oz Airs New 2020 Lifestyle Plan


Happy 2020 new year to everyone! To kick off the new decade celebrations, Dr. Oz debuted his scientific-research based System 20 lifestyle plan to the world where he declared ‘dieting is dead'.

Dr. Oz has unveiled a new wellness plan System 20 on his Doctor Oz TV show to help kickstart your health in 2020 and take control of your wellness future by fighting body fat and reducing the risk of deadly diseases by up to 20%.

The Dr. Oz System 20 plan, which took a year-long process to develop, goes well beyond a weight loss diet program as it hopes to not only help individuals lose up to 20 pounds of weight but also lower the chances of experiencing diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Because it is high-tide season for New Year's Resolutions, Dr. Oz created his System 20 lifestyle wellness plan as a complete overhaul towards healthy living in 2020 and beyond by applying his '20 goals' system.

The comprehensive System 20 initiative comes complete with much more than fad dieting tips and weight loss tricks, including the following:

  • meal recipes
  • food shopping checklists
  • healthy go-to snack list
  • celebrity-created fitness routines
  • sleep tracking
  • mental health and emotional awareness
  • cheat sheet for the coveted cheat day portion of the plan
  • and even a private Facebook group for System 20 users

Let's review Dr. Oz's new System 20 program in-depth and discuss the flagship component of the plan, intermittent fasting, which was a top 5 most searched diet trend in 2019 according to Google search data along with Dr. Sebi diet, Noom diet, the 1,200 Calories Diet and the GOLO diet.

Find out everything you need to know about Dr. Oz’s System 20 and how it works today in our review.

What is System 20?

System 20, which recently aired on the Doctor OZ TV show, is a “lifestyle system” that claims to help you “lose weight while lowering your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and more”, according to the official System 20 page on DoctorOz.com.

Specifically, Dr. Oz, who preaches preventative care approaches to health, says his System 20 consists of “20 goals” that will help you lose “20 pounds” and reduce your risk of disease by “20%”.

Dr. Oz also positions the System 20 as a health and wellness plan anyone can stick with because they’ve made it as easy as possible to follow. As with other previous Dr. Oz's diet systems, System 20 is less about strict rules and more about general guidelines.

Dr. Oz is careful to explain that System 20 is not a dieting system or a fad diet:

“Dieting is dead; that’s my definitive verdict going into the new decade. I want you to forget fad diets that promise quick results and are hard to manage, and instead take your health into your own hands in 2020. That’s why I created a new plan called System 20.”

With these claims in mind, let’s take a look at exactly how System 20 works.

How Does System 20 Work?

Doctor Oz has published 20 goals in the form of an infographic. If you follow these goals, you can lose 20 pounds and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke by 20%, according to Doctor Oz.

Dr. Oz System 20

As you can see, there’s a mix of diet goals (“eat more beans, greens, and protein”) and lifestyle goals (“replace one text conversation with a phone call”). There was a promotional video found on Doctor Oz's official website that pokes fun at previous fad diet trends like eating cabbage morning, noon and night or going on a grapefruit-only diet, or overexercising because it is the first week of January and we all know what that means.

System 20 Lifestyle System Rules

System 20 is built around a set of guidelines. Here are the most important parts of those guidelines:

Morning Routine

  • Wake up at the same time every day
  • Start your day with two minutes of meditation and a stretch
  • Do a fasted cardio routine
  • Add MCT oil to your morning coffee

How to Eat

  • Intermittent fast from 7 pm to 11 am every day (have your first meal of the day at 11 am and your last meal of the day at 7 pm)
  • Skip breakfast and break your fast at 11 am
  • Have beans, greens, and protein at brunch and dinner (half a cup of beans, one cup of greens, and one palm-sized amount of protein)
  • Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to lunch or dinner
  • Avoid foods with added sugars
  • Eat low-carb snacks
  • Eat frozen blueberries for dessert
  • Take one day off per week

Sleep, De-stress and Connect

  • No caffeine after 3 pm
  • Replace one text conversation with a phone call once per week
  • Stop using your phone one hour before bed

Number-based Goals

  • 35-inch waist circumference
  • 120/80 blood pressure
  • 100 fasting glucose
  • 100 LDL cholesterol
  • Work up to planking for one full minute
  • Lower your RealAge by two years (Dr. Oz has a “RealAge” system he promotes with a company called Sharecare)

What Can You Eat on System 20?

System 20 isn’t technically a diet system; it’s a full lifestyle system. However, dieting is a crucial part of the system.

Unlike with most diet systems, however, Dr. Oz isn’t telling you to cut out specific food groups. There are no restrictions on dairy or even alcohol, for example, and dieters are permitted to “snack freely on low carb snacks”.

Dr Oz System 20 Low Carb Snacks

The most important restriction is that you eat only between 11 am and 7 pm every day, then fast from 7 pm to 11 am. You’re skipping breakfast (or pushing your breakfast to 11 am, however you choose to look at it).

Some of the food-based restrictions and rules on System 20 include:

  • You can eat pretty much anything between 11 am and 7 pm
  • Beans, greens, and protein for dinner (1/2 cup of beans, 1 cup of greens, and 1 palm-sized amount of protein)
  • Tacos made from ground turkey, romaine lettuce (as a shell), black beans, and taco seasoning
  • Approved low carb snacks include lean deli meat, nuts, guacamole, cottage cheese, broccoli, green olives, cocoa nibs, kale chips, eggs, and cheese chips
  • For alcohol, Dr. Oz recommends trying 1 oz of clear alcohol (like vodka or gin) with lime and seltzer
  • Dark chocolate and berries are okay as long as you’re not eating processed sugar
  • Emphasize whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein, and dairy instead of packaged products
  • Check all labels on products before consuming to ensure there is no added sugar
  • There are no specific snacking targets, although Dr. Oz suggests aiming for two snacks per day maximum
  • Some will eat two meals per day on this plan, while others will stretch it out to three meals; the official Dr. Oz System 20 guideline, however, suggests having one brunch to break your fast at 11 am and then a larger dinner at around 6 pm or 7 pm to end your fast
  • Dr. Oz recommends eating your largest meal of the day at lunch and then a lighter dinner; this system helps the fast, as your body will begin burning fat more quickly after a smaller dinner meal
  • If you plan on having dessert, then you need to eat dessert before 7 pm
  • Add MCT oil to your coffee because it assists with weight loss, according to Dr. Oz
  • You are allowed to drink coffee before your 11 am start time, but it must be black; adding milk and sugar to your coffee introduces too many calories before your eating period and can ruin your fast
  • Aim for a 16 hour fast every day; if you eat dinner at 8 pm one night, then aim to start eating at noon the next day

Dr. Oz has also published a list of recipes on his System 20 page, and we’ll talk about some of those recipes below.

System 20 Exercise Requirements

System 20 doesn’t recommend any specific exercise routine. The only recommendation is that you perform a “cardio routine” sometime in the morning while fasting.

Under System 20, you break your fast at 11 am. As long as you do some type of cardio routine (say, 30 minutes of jogging or cycling) before 11 am, you’re matching the System 20 requirements.

System 20 Checklist

Dr. Oz has published a System 20 weekly checklist. The checklist lets you verify you’re following the lifestyle plan. Key checklist items include:

  • Woke up at [insert your goal time here and keep it the same every day]
  • 2-minute morning meditation
  • Stretched
  • A.M. cardio routine
  • Skipped breakfast and started eating at 11 am
  • Drank coffee with MCT oil
  • Beans, greens, and protein for lunch
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with lunch
  • Stopped drinking coffee by 3 pm
  • Beans, greens, and proteins for dinner
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with dinner
  • Stopped eating at 7 pm
  • Turned off technology at [one hour before your bedtime]
  • Went to bed at [your bedtime]

The checklist also has a section for “Today is my day off”. Remember: the System 20 lifestyle plan gives you one day off per week. On your day off, you can skip cardio, eat whenever you want, and avoid all other rules of the plan.

Dr. Oz System 20 Checklist

System 20 Shopping List

Dr. Oz has published a recommended System 20 shopping list online:

Dr Oz System 20 Shopping List


  • Lean deli meat (turkey or chicken breast, for example)
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken thighs
  • Salmon
  • Tofu
  • Ground turkey
  • Ground chicken


  • Chickpeas
  • Lima beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Pinto beans
  • Lentils
  • Soybeans
  • Navy beans
  • Great Northern beans

Nuts & Seeds (purchase unsalted varieties)

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds


  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Butternut squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cucumber
  • Mandarins
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes


  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Unsweetened, plain whole milk yogurt
  • Unsweetened Greek yogurt


  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Edamame
  • Swiss chard
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Zucchini

Other Foods

  • Green olives
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Kale chips
  • Guacamole
  • Cheese chips
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 70% dark chocolate
  • Pickles
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter
  • Flaxseed crackers
  • Bone broth

How to Build a System 20 Bowl for Lunch and Dinner

how to eat on system 20
Photo Found on DoctorOz.com

One of the easiest ways to follow the System 20 plan is to make your own lunch and dinner bowls. You pick one item from each category, then mix it all in a bowl.

  • Pick one bean (chickpeas, lima beans, black beans, or any other beans in the shopping list above)
  • Pick one protein (eggs, tuna, shrimp, or any other protein listed above)
  • Pick one green (spinach, broccoli, kale, asparagus, or any other green listed above)

Why Follow Dr. Oz's System 20?

Photo Courtesy of DoctorOz.com

Dr. Oz claims he created System 20 because he’s passionate about preventative care – especially when it comes to heart disease as it was his first profession because transitioning into daytime TV. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States and most other developed nations.

Dr. Oz also wanted to create a lifestyle system based around the number 20. The rules above consist of 20 things that will help you lose 20 pounds and reduce your risk by 20%.

By following the plan, you can purportedly achieve the following goals:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Lower your blood sugar
  • Educe your waist to under 35 inches
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Lower your RealAge by two years

As mentioned above, your RealAge is a metric created by Sharecare and Dr. Oz. You provide your medical information to a company, and that company tells you your “real age” based on your physiological factors.

He also included celebrity-fitness trainers Yusuf Myers and Jeanette Jenkins to design a System 20-specific workout routine that all users could follow and apply to their total lifestyle overhaul. The Doctor Oz episode on System 20 also revealed that investigative trend reporter Mara Schiavocampo, along with all of the wellness plan participants, followed and tracked their before and after results by weighing in, measuring their waist, checking their blood sugas levels and pressure taken. Many of the successful results were posted inside the Dr. Oz System 20 private Facebook group for members to encourage and get ideas from others.

Final Word

Dr. Oz introduced the System 20 lifestyle system in an episode of The Dr. Oz Show on January 6, 2020. The system consists of diet goals and lifestyle goals. The purpose of the system is to drop 20 pounds, lower your blood pressure, and lower your risk of heart disease by 20%.

It will be interesting to see how the 2020 wellness plan by Dr. Oz fares in the new year, as the 2020 System shopping list, recipes, food menu, snack list, cheat sheet and exercises seems to be one of the doctor's most comprehensive healthy diet plans assembled since he began giving nutrition advice on the Oprah show all those years ago. Only time will tell if the System 20 plan can rival top diet programs like GOLO, Ketogenic Diet or Noom in the new decade.

You can learn more about System 20 and how it works by visiting the official DoctorOz.com website or System20.com.

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