Overnight Diet: Lose Weight While you Sleep

Overnight Diet

A new diet claims you can lose weight while you are sleeping. Almost sounds too good to be true, especially since you can still enjoy carbs and a glass of wine.

An obesity doctor and the author of, “The Overnight Diet,” Doctor Caroline Apovian insists you can lose up to 2 pounds overnight and up to nine pounds after one week.

She claims that her patients typically lose 9 pounds in the first week, and every week after, without experiencing hunger or cravings. The best thing of all? Two of those pounds are lost while you sleep.

So what’s the secret and how does this Overnight diet work? The diet is specifically designed to protect your muscles and stop them from shrinking while you are reducing your intake of food.

“The poor nutritional make-up of many diets can trigger the body to rob your muscles for energy,” says Dr Apovian. “You lose weight, but your muscles weaken and your metabolic rate slows. This process is called “shrinking muscle syndrome” and it’s the main reason so many diets fail.”

Apovian says her overnight diet is twofold. “On the first day of the week, you are going to power up and drink nutrient-rich smoothies all day and avoid carbohydrates, and that night you are going to lose up to 2 pounds,” she said.

The Overnight diet is this simple, it’s divided into two parts, and one day each week, you drink three smoothies, one for breakfast, one for lunch and one in the evening. These are specially designed smoothies packed with protein to protect your muscles and rich in fiber to aid in digestion and keep you feeling full.

The smoothies have also been designed to reduce the body’s production of insulin. So while you are fast asleep, your body is targeting problem areas in a week-long fat-burning attack.

The first step to finding your ‘daily protein requirement’ is to find your ideal weight according to your height.

As part of her plan, Dr Apovian has simplified things by working out exactly how much lean protein you need to eat to meet your daily protein requirement (DPR) according to your height.


  • Up to 5ft 5in: 350g
  • 5ft 6-7in: 375g
  • 5ft 8-9in: 400g
  • 5ft 10-11in: 425g
  • 6ft: 450g


  • Up to 5ft 7in: 400g
  • 5ft 8in: 425g
  • 5ft 9-10in: 450g
  • 5ft 11in-6ft: 480g
  • 6ft 1-2in: 500g
  • 6ft 3in: 540g
  • 6ft 4-6in: 570g

Once you have found your DPR it stays with you for life. Dr Apovian believes that whether you’re trying to lose weight or merely maintain the weight you’ve lost, you should try to eat this much lean protein every day.

Overnight Diet

For the other six days, you eat healthy. Follow a eating plan built around protein (meat, fish and eggs) to nourish the muscles and feed the body.

  1. Work out your own daily protein requirement (see guide above) and NEVER eat less than that in a day.
  2. Eat as much fruit as you like.
  3. Eat as many non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, leeks, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, swede, tomatoes) and as much salad as you like.
  4. Enjoy two 240ml servings of fat-free or low-fat yoghurt, skimmed milk, cottage cheese, or cheese a day.
  5. You can have two or three small servings of wholegrains a day such as half a wholemeal bagel, 1 thin slice of wholemeal bread, 2 wholemeal or rye crackers, or a 30g portion of oats, oatbran, high-fibre cereal (if it is sugar-free and at least 6g of fibre per 100g), brown rice, wholemeal pasta, quinoa or couscous.
  6. You can have 100g a day of starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkin, beans, peas or lentils.
  7. For fats, have 4×1 tsp servings a day of avocado, olive oil, low-fat mayo, nuts or seeds.
  8. For water, have 8 glasses a day. You can also drink black coffee, tea and diet drinks, but these do not count as part of your water allowance.

“You don’t have to lift a single barbell,” Dr. Apovian says. “There is nothing in this diet that completely eliminates anything. A glass of wine a night is fine.”

The only catch, “You need eight hours of sleep a night to allow this all to happen,” Apovian explains. “Sleep is a very important part of the diet. My patients have terrible trouble sleeping, and if you sleep six hours or less a night, it creates stress and the hunger hormone ghrelin, that’s made in the stomach, goes up to the brain and says you’re hungry.”
The Overnight Diet is the culmination of decades of work with thousands of successful dieters by Dr Caroline Apovian, one of the world’s leading weight-loss experts and former nutritional consultant to NASA.

The Overnight Diet by Caroline Apovian, M.D.

The Overnight Diet couldn’t be easier to follow:
• Kick-start each week with a day of delicious smoothies — the 1-DAY POWER UP. This revs up your metabolism overnight so that you keep losing weight and stay motivated.
•The 6-DAY FUEL UP follows. Yes, fuel up! That’s six days with lots of lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains — and all-you-can-eat fruit and vegetables.

The Overnight Diet – How to Make Smoothies

How do you make the power-up smoothies for The Overnight Diet? Caroline Apovian, M.D. and nutritionist Diana Cullum-Dugan RD, LD RYT demonstrate how using the Enchanted Blueberry Smoothie recipe. They combine baby spinach, banana, blueberries, frozen mixed berries, greek yogurt, and ice in a blender to make a delicious and nutrition-packed smoothie.

The Overnight Diet Exercises

Diana Cullum-Dugan, RD, LD RYT demonstrates the Quickie Rev-Up exercise moves from The Overnight Diet. These diet moves take only 21 minutes per day, 4 times per week and will help you keep the weight off!

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3 Comments on "Overnight Diet: Lose Weight While you Sleep"

  1. Trudy Williams | April 10, 2013 at 2:23 am | Reply

    I don’t get ‘diets’ they don’t work. In order to lose a healthy amount of weight and maintain your weight loss you need to live a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, it’s not hard, or expensive (like so many people use as an excuse) eat whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, lean meat, stay away from processed food, make your own cakes, use unrefined sugar such as agave necter as a sweetener, walk down the road instead of drive, take the stairs, take up a form of exercise you ENJOY. You’ll look better and feel better and in 5 years time you’ll still be reaping the benefits!

    • Alyssa Dylan | May 8, 2013 at 11:06 am |

      I understand what you mean when you say ‘diets don’t work’ Trudy, but it’s more what people typically associate with a diet (deprivation, starvation, etc.) that is a problem than the word itself. Despite calling this “The Overnight Diet”, it is actually a very healthy way to eat long term. There is no deprivation or starvation and your body gets all the nutrients (vitamins, protein, etc.) that it needs. Just living a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming for people (I’ve been there!), so having a plan to follow is important to get people onto that healthy lifestyle path and soon enough they aren’t looking up the ‘diet’ guidelines anymore they are just being healthy naturally.

  2. The protein levels on that chart are DANGEROUSLY high. Protein intake should be a part of how heavy you are. For example a miniminal amount is about 1/3 of a gram for every pound, so if you are a 150lb , you should be eating at least 50 grams of protein. Athletes and bodybuilders are know to eat 1:1 ratios or more meaning a 250 Athelete is eating a 250g of protein. The levels listed on that chart are double that and can lead to protein overdose. Also using height is a bad gauge, you can have a short 300lb morbidly obese person and a short 130lb person looking to lose 15 pound on the same protein scale. Large amounts of protein is very bad for your liver and kidneys, since both can only process so much protein at one time. Its also bad for your heart and cholesterol levels.

    Medically, this diet, and like the article says staying with those DPR levels for “life” will eventually kill someone.

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