Dr. Sebi was the moniker chosen by Alfredo Darrington Bowman, a Honduran healer and herbalist who came to prominence in the 1980s as an advisor to several celebrity clients. He developed a strict plant-based diet that he claimed would rid the body of disease.
Although he passed away in 2016, Dr. Sebi remains a controversial figure—his namesake diet is still popular despite heavy criticism from the medical community. Learn more about what the Dr. Sebi diet entails and why it’s generally not recommended for people trying to lose weight.
What is the Dr. Sebi Diet?
Dr. Sebi believed disease was caused by excess mucus and high levels of acidity in the body. His diet was not intended specifically for weight loss but for returning the body to an alkaline state, which he felt diseases could not survive.
The Dr. Sebi diet is even more restrictive than the average vegan diet, eliminating beans, lentils, and many fruits and vegetables in addition to foods from animal products. To follow the diet, one must:
- Only consume foods and beverages on Dr. Sebi’s unique nutritional guide
- Drink one gallon of water each day
- Take Dr. Sebi’s proprietary supplements before taking any medications
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid canned and seedless fruits
- Avoid using a microwave for any reason
Criticism of the Dr. Sebi Diet
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that “Dr. Sebi” was not actually a doctor—he had no formal medical training and had in fact been arrested for practicing without a license and sued for making false claims about his products’ medical benefits. There is little scientific evidence to support the efficacy of his diet or his theories about disease.
Although plant-based diets can help people lose weight and reduce their risk of developing some diseases, the Dr. Sebi diet is too restrictive to do so in a healthy way. The foods in his nutritional guide don’t include enough of certain vital nutrients, like protein and vitamin B-12, and nearly all of them are low-calorie items, which can prevent people following the plan from getting enough energy throughout the day. Lastly, while most successful diets recommend eating specific quantities of food daily, the Dr. Sebi diet doesn’t designate measurements or introduce any element of portion control.
Find a Better Solution Through Diet Doc
In summary, the Dr. Sebi diet may help someone lose weight, but
its severe restrictions are both inconvenient and unhealthy, and it’s been
almost universally dismissed by medical professionals. Many other diets,
plant-based or otherwise, are safer and more effective ways of controlling your
If you’re looking for a better alternative to the Dr. Sebi Diet, request a consultation with a Diet Doc physician. They’ll create an individualized diet plan, backed by scientific evidence, that will help you lose weight without any risk.