Drop 10 Diet


The Drop 10 diet is a diet plan created by Self magazine that promises ten or more pounds of weight loss over five weeks.


The Drop 10 Diet was created by the editor of Self magazine, Lucy Danziger. Around 2007, Danziger decided that she wanted to lose a few pounds, but she did not like the idea of the traditional diet with all of its restrictions. Instead, Danziger decided to focus on eating fewer packaged foods that had long shelf lives, and instead eat more fresh foods. She even made a rule that if it was a food she could grow (not that she necessarily grew it, but that she could have done so), she could eat an unlimited quantity of it.

Danziger found that simply by making these food choices she lost ten pounds in five weeks and even more weight in the months that followed. Danziger continued to follow this eating plan and as of 2012 had successfully kept the weight off for five years.

Danziger's experiences and success with choosing healthier foods from the earth led to the development of the Drop 10 diet. She identified 30 “superfoods” that make up the bulk of the food suggested by the diet.


The Drop 10 diet is a diet plan that includes 30 foods to promote weight loss without the dieter having to follow a completely restrictive diet. The diet was developed by Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of Self magazine. Self heavily promotes the diet, and it is featured prominently on the Self magazine website. The diet promises weight loss of 10 pounds in five weeks. The diet is laid out in the book The Drop 10 Diet: Add to Your Plate to Lose the Weight by Lucy Danziger, published in 2012.


The heart of the Drop 10 diet is a list of superfoods that it proposes help increase weight loss by boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, reducing overeating, and increasing the body's ability to burn fat. Though the term has become increasingly used, there is no officially sanctioned list of superfoods, and so the foods on the Drop 10 diet plan were selected by the diet's creator. Some of the superfoods identified by the Drop 10 diet include:

The diet provides different levels of incorporating these foods into the dieter's daily eating habits. Dieters can begin by simply adding more of the superfoods to their plates, eventually replacing higher-calorie, less nutritious foods and leading to slow but steady weight loss.

For dieters interested in a more intensive plan, the book lays out a variety of recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that include the superfoods. Each of the recipes provides about the same number of calories, allowing dieters to substitute their favorite recipes from any meal for others that they do not care for as much.

The diet provides about 1,600 total calories each day. Of these, 1,400 come from meals made of recipes provided by the book. An additional 200 calories each day (called “happy calories”) can be spent on any type of food the dieter desires.


The Drop 10 diet provides a workout program for those who desire it, and though it is not required, it is suggested that dieters exercise in addition to eating the superfoods.

The exercise regime suggested by the Drop 10 diet consists of two days each week of muscle toning exercises, and three days a week of high-intensity interval training. Specific workouts are provided and are available as videos for registered users of the Self.com website.

Additional tools

The Drop 10 diet provides many additional tools and forums for individuals who desire extra help and support while following the diet. The Self.com website produces the Self “Drop 10 Challenge,” which includes a variety of videos, recipes, and inspirational stories to support the diet. It also provides tools such as a weight loss tracker to help dieters achieve their goals.

As of mid-2018, the Self.com website also provided regular drawings for prizes, including coupons for free food, beauty products, and a vacation. These drawings were open to individuals who signed up for the Drop 10 Challenge. The Drop 10 diet also provides content to support dieters on Facebook and other social media platforms.


The Drop 10 diet is intended to help people develop the habit of choosing healthier foods and is not a highly restrictive diet plan. Instead of restricting specific foods, types of foods, or calories, the Drop 10 diet focuses on promoting the inclusion of the super-foods in the diet. The Drop 10 diet is intended to be more of a lifestyle and outlook about eating than it is a diet. Through introducing the superfoods to the diet as quickly or as slowly as is desired, dieters can begin to adjust their eating habits in ways that work with their lifestyles.


There are many benefits to eating fewer processed foods and eating more whole foods. Highly processed foods often contain large amounts of added sugar and sodium (salt). Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats (such as chicken or fish) typically contain little-to-no added sugars or salt, and are often high in dietary fiber and nutrients. Fresh foods are typically less calorie dense than processed foods, meaning that they contain fewer calories in the same volume of food. Foods with a low calorie density help promote a feeling of fullness after fewer calories have been ingested, helping to promote weight loss.

Some evidence suggests that eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables can lower cholesterol, help prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of some cancers, and promote weight loss.


Before starting any new diet or exercise program it is important to consult with a doctor or other health professional to ensure that it is safe to do so. The Drop 10 diet has not been studied using a controlled research study to ensure its safety or effectiveness.


The Drop 10 diet does not specifically forbid any foods, but dieters are encouraged to eat extensively from the list of 30 superfoods. While some of these foods are fresh fruits or vegetables, such as apples and broccoli, many are foods that contain high amounts of fats and oils such as almond butter, eggs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and steak. Eating extensively from the superfoods list or eating only certain superfoods could result in a diet higher in fat than that recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Depending on age and gender, it is recommended that individuals consume no more than 5 to 7 teaspoons of oil per day; fat should make up 20%–35% of an adult's daily caloric intake.

A waxy substance made by the liver and also acquired through diet. High levels in the blood may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Irreversible damage to the brain caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain as the result of a blocked artery. Damage can include loss of speech or vision, paralysis, cognitive impairment, and death.
Type 2 diabetes—
Formerly called adult-onset diabetes. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas either does not make enough insulin or cells become insulin resistant and do not use insulin efficiently.

Beginning vigorous exercise after a period of inactivity can be dangerous. Exercise should commence slowly and build in intensity over weeks or months. Suddenly engaging in vigorous physical activity can increase the risk of muscle strains and sprains as well as stroke, heart attack, and even sudden death.

Research and general acceptance

As of late 2018, there was no research completed or underway investigating the efficacy of the Drop 10 diet. The book states that it provides a diet backed by scientific research, but the specific research referred to is not always clear. The diet as a whole has not been scientifically studied, and the concept of certain foods as “superfoods” with characteristics that significantly increase weight loss is not generally accepted by the scientific or medical communities. However, a diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains is generally accepted as a healthy diet.


See also Metabolism ; Whole grains .



Danziger, Lucy, and Editors of Self magazine. The Drop 10 Diet: Add to Your Plate to Lose the Weight. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012.

DeBruyne, Linda Kelly, Kathryn Pinna, and Eleanor Noss Whitney. Nutrition and Diet Therapy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2012.

Gandy, Joan, Angela Madden, and Michelle Holdsworth, eds. Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.


“Drop 10 Diet” Self.com . http://www.self.com/about/drop-10-diet (accessed March 26, 2018).

Mayo Clinic staff. “Weight Loss: Choosing a Diet That's Right for You.” MayoClinic.com . http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00616 (accessed March 26, 2018).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. December 2015. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/ (accessed May 1, 2018).

Wilson, Jacque. “Eat More ‘Superfoods’ to Lose Weight.” CNN.com , April 10, 2012. http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/10/health/superfoods-weight-loss-diet/index.html (accessed March 27, 2018).


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plz., Ste. 2000, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040, (800) 877-1600, amacmunn@eatright.org, http://www.eatright.org .

Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, 10th Fl., Alexandria, VA 22302, (703) 305-7600, Fax: (703) 305-3300, support@cnpp.usda.gov, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov .

Tish Davidson, AM

  This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.