Dr. Bernstein Diet Review | Not Bad 3.5/5 | MyFit

Rod Ferris December 24, 2011 19
  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Effectiveness
  • Safety

What is it?

Dr. Bernstein is a medical doctor who has created a new diet which claims to revolutionize dieting. The premise of the diet is that you will lose 16 to 20 pounds per month following the program correctly. Everyone that signs up for the program will be placed an a calorie reduced diet and be supplemented with injected and oral vitamins and minerals (B6 and B12 Shots). Your progress will be monitored by registered nurses and see a doctor frequently who will monitor your progress. If the participant has any other medical conditions they will be discussed beforehand and monitored throughout the diet.

Initial Consultation

To begin the Dr. Bernstein Diet you need to complete an initial consultation which will take 1-2 hours to review medical history and complete a health assessment. Then you will complete a program orientation, medical assessment and discuss the diet manual and recipe book. Note: The initial consultation fee is non-refundable.

Maintenance Program of the Dr. Bernstein Diet

After the weight loss goal has been reached you will reach a maintenance program which will slowly re-introduce most foods back into the diet.

Fees of the Dr. Bernstein Diet

This is one area of the diet that should be seriously considered. This diet is not for the cheap as the fees are as follows:

Initial Consultation: $315.65

8 weeks of of the diet: $1123.50

4 weeks of of the diet: $599.20

2 weeks of of the diet: $310.30

1 weeks of of the diet: $160.50

Maintenance Fees

One year service: $749 Three months service: $246 Two months service: $171

Concerns of the Diet

Myfit promotes exercise AND DIET while many diets focus on eating certain types of food to promote weight loss. The Dr. Bernstein diet secret is the B6 and B12 shots. These shots help your body go into a state where you burn fat as fuel. This is great but the concerns lie in two things. There is a problem with a long duration ketone state which can actually start other problems. The Dr. Bernstein doctors will monitor your ketone levels for this but we don’t know the long-term problems with being in this state for long periods of time. The other concern we have is your metabolism levels. Metabolism is the body’s caloric expenditure rate which is effected by a lack of nutrition, exercise level, genetics and many other factors. The diet doesn’t focus on exercise which is a huge mistake to keep the weight off. Muscle mass is extremely important for the maintenance phase and afterwards. If you are considering this diet please bring up the exercise point and ask if there is a personal trainer to see that they recommended.

MyFit Conclusion

The Dr. Bernstein diet no doubt works to lose the weight they say. I’ve met lots of people who have lost the weight on that program but I was concerned with their metabolism and activity level after the program ended. If you have the finances to pay for this diet it may be an effective way to lose weight. If you have tried this diet in the past write us with your story, we will post it here. Please tell us your concerns, weight loss details and overall costs.

Dr B. in the Forums

I have successfully used Dr. B’s diet and clinic over the past several years. I lost a total of 88 lbs.; but of course keep gaining some of it back and keep going back on Dr. B. I have been ill for the last year – terrible pain and vomiting once every one to three weeks – it has now been diagnosed and I am scheduled for surgery to have my gall bladder removed. All my liver function blood tests were extremely elevated. I feared the worst and thought I had liver cancer, but the news is good… Read more

  • Sputter

    It is a very low calorie (800/day) diet, relatively low in both carbs and fat, with an emphasis on vegetables and fresh fruit.  It is not “healthy” to eat so few calories, but if you are going to, this is not a bad plan nutritionally.  As such, it does work (if you can stick to it).  I successfully lost about 10 lb in a month on it, 2 years ago.  However, it is very expensive (about $1000 for consult plus 1 month), so I couldn’t afford to continue paying for “maintenance”.  Of course I regained the weight slowly over the past 2 years.  This time, I plan to follow the diet plan on my own without the injections and visits.  This is a reasonably balanced diet and no more or less safe than other very low calorie options, but some of the principles they emphasize don’t have medical evidence (eg. the need for injections; the rules about limiting skin creams/cosmetics; strict rules about avoiding certain brands of food; the exact same diet and calories for a 110 lb woman or a 400 lb man).  The biggest problem with any very low calorie diet that promises rapid weight loss is that it is not sustainable, and most people will eventually “cheat”.  It doesn’t build new healthy habits of living in the same way more moderate diets with exercise plans can do (slow weight loss can be more sustainable as you re-learn your habits as you go).  For those who are dangerously obese who can afford (or get insurance coverage) to do the full programme, including maintenance, I think this is a good programme.  However, the vast majority of the clients are folks like me who just want to lose a few pounds – and there are certainly less expensive and probably better ways to achieve that goal.

    • Rod Ferris

      Thanks for your first hand experience.  That’s the exact response I have heard from most people as well.  Why they don’t focus on trying to create a successful lifestyle I’m not sure.  They need to focus on building more muscle mass to increase your BMR.  Also, that must have been really hard to stick to that 800 cal/day diet!?

      • guest

        I am currently on  the Dr. B Diet. I did the program ten years ago and loss the weight and maintained it for four years, until a personal issue and old habits crept in and I emotionally ate my way to 236 pounds-my heaviest ever. I lost that weight gradually through eating a mostly clean diet and limiting bread and sugar intake–I don’t crave this naturally, which works in my favour as a dieter.  I fluctuated around the 195 mark and have been stuck here for the last few years. My healthy weight is 145 lbs, so I am nowhere near close to that.

        I joined Dr. B again in the summer of 2011. I had gained weight and lost 30 pounds in two months and got to 190 lbs. I then started experiencing lots of immune issues and picked up every illness under the sun, including having a painful cyst develop in my armpit (which I have never experienced in my life?!)
        I didn’t go way off diet, but still, if you do go off, your body doesn’t know how to metabolize properly any food, it seems. That is why they stress maintenance so much. I re-entered the program one month ago and lost 16.5 pounds as of today, in 27 days. I started searching the internet for reviews as honestly,  I am well-disciplined usually, however, there can be absolutely no cheating on this diet as you need to be in a state of ketosis. My experience is that if you do cheat, you stay the same weight for at least a week…and when  I say cheat, I mean throwing yourself out of ketosis by eating a banana to eating a piece of cake–it doesn’t matter. It is quite costly, and I am currently sitting at 195 lbs, wondering if I will budge.

        The weight loss for me is roughly 2-3 lbs a week. For the price and also the social inconvenience, it is almost impossible to succeed, it seems. I now can only dine out at specific restaurants, and ordering is very painful.

        The diet itself comes nowhere near to 900 calories a day–especially if you walk in there and you are not in ketosis, as they take away your fruit allowance, thus further limiting your calories.

        My daily diet consists of 2 proteins, 2 “breads”, 2 fruit servings (limited to low-carb) and 2 veg servings, no more than 8 oz each serving. Protein is 3.5 oz each serving and has to be fish, chicken, etc with one serving of beef or salmon a week. The bread…well you have 1 slice of WW bread, that is your 2 servings.

        I have been eating a diet for the last month that is roughly  as follows:

        6 egg whites-about 85 calories
        1 slice WW bread- 69 calories
        1 C strawberries- 46 calories
        3.5 oz chicken breast, boiled-78 calories
        6 oz spinach-41 calories
        8 oz chopped green pepper-30 calories
        1 C raspberries-20 calories.

        There you have it, your daily allowance.
        no fat, little milk, and when I add that up,

        Based on my weight, to maintain it I should eat almost 2000 calories a day, with no exercise calculated.There you have it, 379 or so calories a day I eat. And they happily mark my diet sheet that I am doing great.

        So, yes, I am losing 3-4 lbs a week, and this is why. I am seriously wondering why I am even on this diet to begin with.

        I know better.

  • Jilllynn5555

    I finished the Dr B diet about 18 months ago. I always struggled with my wieght, I was never severely obese and always very active. I was about 5 7′ and 170. I got down to 135 in 2 months on Dr Bertsteins and was the skinniest I had ever been in my life, but I was always cold and no energy. I kept working out (just more moderately) while on the diet thinking it would help my metabolism afterwards……boy was I wrong. It took me around 6-8 months to gain all the weight back plus an exta 5 lbs. I even did the maintenance program for 2 months but it didn’t matter, the moment you start consuming anthing over 1,000 calories a day (even while working out) you’ll slowly gain it all back, no matter how active you are before/after. While on the diet my body was constantly in a state of starvation…they call it ketotis which is basically starvation.

    So save your money, I spend well voer $3,000 only to regain al lthe weight, yeah I tried going bac kto Dr B once i had 5-10 even 15 lbs bakc on, but I just couldn’t do it again, its REALLY tough on you and impossible to follow long term.

    I recently joing U Weight Loss which is a moer sensible diet program (more of a lifestyle change). They combine a detox then vitamins and 300-400 calories meals based on 30% carbs, 30% fat and 40% protien. The yalso guarantee 2 lbs per week. Its slower than Dr B, but I’m not starving and I’m encouraged to work out daily!

    Save you money and stay away from Dr B….I would only reccomend it if you have 10-15 lbs to loss before your wedding or a trip somewhere, that’s it and only do it 1 month before the BIG EVENT and be fulyl prepared to gain it all bakc by the time you return from your trip!

  • nnn

    I did this diet and lost 50 lbs in 4 months after being  pregnant but gained it all back in a year. I have a love/hate relationship with this diet as it does have it’s advantages but I figured out a way to do it without compromising my health. I combined the Bernstein diet with the Atkins diet as they are both ketogenic diets.  I have learned that If you starve your body for more than 3 days, your body will just store the fat and next time you get tempted to cheat, you will go ballastic and eat more than you should and gain 2 lbs at one meal. I am currently doing this atkins/bernstein diets together and I do not do Bernstein for more than 2 days. If you do high and low calorie days, it’ tricks your metabolism and shocking it in a good way. If oyu do low calorie for more than 3 days, your body will get used to it but if you trick it, it won’t know what to do so you will keep your metabolism burning. I would eat about 400-500 cals on bernstein for 2 days, buy my b12 injections at the pharmacy and the b6 at an online pharmacy in canada, bought the cal-k pills through bernstein website and went to the grocery store and stocked up on foods at the grocery store. For the atkins diet, there is always the myth of eating too much protein can damage your kidneys. On atkins you can still have carbs but only 20 grams a day. So less food on bernstein with more carbs and then atkins with less cars but more food and higher amounts of fat. I am consistenly losing 4 lbs a week and I have the energy to work out. I just don’t work out on the days I’m doing bernstein. And you do not gain weight from going from bernstein one day to atkins the next because they are both low carb. That’s hte whole beauty of it! When I go to a restaurant I can have a steak or cesar salad. I just make sure I’m doing atkins that day. By doing this, I lost 18 lbs in the first month and never suffered because I knew after 2 days I could have more food. Try this! It works!  

    • Srw

      May I ask what dose of the vitamins are you injecting? I’m thinking of doing my own injections and don’t know where to start and any suggestions for doing your own injections?

      • mmmisha

        i give myself injections both b6 and 12. i do 1 ml of each 3 times a week. ive read that dr b uses 3.5ml but apparently its a cocktail including other b vitamins.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joe.commisso.142 Joe Commisso

          i was told to use .35 cc of each b6 and b12.,which is a third of your using.does your dosage work?

    • AC

      Im doing br bernstein for about 10 days now. Its really hard, and Im not loosing a lot of weight. I usually feel hungry all the time. If I switch to atkins now or in a month instead of their maintnance program, do you think I would start gaining weight?

  • Tbhajou

    I have been on dr b diet for three years. I quit finally because I gained all back and 10 pounds more. After that no other diet works for me because you cannot get the same fast result like Drb diet. I spent close to 6k.
    However I downloaded an Atkins diet on my iPhone for 2.99. It has very similar plan, no carb.
    And I am loosing weight.

    Trust me Drb is not any safer than Atkins. So try less expensive Atkins or even weight watchers.

    After Drb, I lost so much hair, aged, and has bladder problem.

    You cannot starve your body too long. And ultimately that’s what Drb is trying to make you do.

  • Phme69

    I did it and lost 40 lbs pretty fast.   Like everyone else on here, I put it back on slowly over the next 2 years.  It does work though, and works fast.   The suprising thing was that I didn’t feel really hungary on the diet, but had cravings for the things I used to eat (and would be around other people eating).
    It’s much easier to follow during the week than the weekend, when your normal daily routine is disrupted.
    I was suprised to see that they don’t recommend exercising when on this diet.  They said that it wouldn’t result in any additional weightloss.  That seems to be bad advice, as exercise is for more than just weight loss.

  • Wie Gehts

    When I was on the Dr. Bernstein diet, I successfully lost weight and one day, suddenly, my body shut down and I was sent by ambulance to a hospital. My body recovered quickly and yet, they still ran a battery of tests on me. I mentioned that I was on the Bernstein diet and the hospital told me that there was a women that arrived with partial temporary paralysis who was also on that same diet. So don’t know if my body went into shock in order to transform further.  Now 1 year later and after losing the 30 pounds, I now have 20 pounds back even though I am a healthy small eater and exerciser. So not sure about recommending the Bernstein diet – it’s scary!

  • Dabramscarlett

    I am on day 8 and lost 9 lbs.  Not hungry, although miss the wine and carbs a bit…basically from habit, not from really feeling deprived due to the food I am eating.   I am 20 lbs over my ‘comfortable weight’ and am only looking to do this for 4 to 6 weeks.   I too, am a bit nervous about the regaining but, haven’t really ever had a weight issue, more than 20-30 lbs over my stated-normal weight.  I have had lots of energy and only today, have a headache.  My vice has been keeping my cup full, of lemon and Lipton tea with, tossing some water in between.  I don’t move without that cup in my hand.  Lots of trips to the ladies room but, no feeling of being hungry.  I am hoping that I can go on maintenence at 4 weeks- and looking forward to incorporating a healthly glass of red wine right at this moment. 

  • dreamtobefaster

    I am just coming into the maintenance phase of the diet.  I have gone from 192 to 158 lbs, I am 5’8.5 and a sturdy build.  I am very active!  I had come off my first marathon at the end of October at 185 lbs, by Dec 31st I was 190, by Jan 4th, 192 lbs, too much.  Ski season was just beginning and I ski with a women’s camp at Sunshine.  I went to put on my newly purchased $1000 ski suit (purchased September) and it barely fit, and it was an XL.  There are no fat downhill skiers out there, ever noticed that!  Well, being a chunky monkey and trying to pick yourself up off of a slope is real hard so I was desperate.  I went to the Brentwood clinic in Calgary, plunked down the cash and started.  The diet is a low carb, low insulin response so the first two weeks you lose up to 12 lbs, huge motivator.  Then you just kind of settle into the eating plan and go with it.  I coped with the diet whilst skiing all day Saturday/Sundays for 10 weeks and with exercise class 3X per week.  They just told me to eat one extra protein serving and I would usually add an extra fruit or veggie serving if I felt extra hungry.  Because of that,  I took a little longer (6 months for 35 lbs) but I have been able to cope with the marathon training thus far and I am still doing my exercise classes while on this diet.  When you wean yourself off the sugar, when you have it, your appetite definitely spikes, so I can only surmise that insulin makes you hungry.  I am looking forward to being on Phase 1 of maintenance, which gives you the same foods as the diet, just more variation in veg and fruit, but protein still the same amount.  I plan on losing the last couple of pounds on maintenance.  All in all, I am extremely happy with the results, could I have done it on my own, probably, with lots of research.  I also want to add that all my perimenopause symptons disappeared, probably from the supplemental B12 shots, and the shots gave me a huge energy burst.  I am waiting to see how I do without the shots, ti will be interesting, and at age 51, I don’t want to ahve to go through this again, so I intend to be vigilant.  I know it sucks to not eat the crap anymore, but now my goal is to live as long and healthy as I can and do the stuff I want to do, ski, bike swim, soccer, running etc.

  • user

    I did this diet for two months. I had lost a total of 35 pounds. I went from 160-125 pounds. I maintained this weight of 125 pounds for about a year and actually went down to 120 pounds on my own. After a year however, I started getting very ill. I started feeling depressed and started bingeing. Little did I know that this bingeing was a result from doing a rapid weight loss diet program, Dr.Bernstein. Just so you know gaining weight is my biggest fear and I have maintained an active lifestyle my whole life, I was a professional dancer this whole time. As the bingeing continued I started gaining weight, losing my job as a professional dancer. In one month I put on 50 pounds!!! The pounds I put on almost doubled the pounds I lost on Dr. Bernstein. I do not recommend this diet to anyone!! It will cause you more harm and damage your wallet! I will not lie and say as I lost the weight and fit in size 2 at lululemon it felt incredible!! I felt like I was on top of the world losing the weight! Those feelings are not worth the pain, the depression, the suicidal thoughts, the drastic weight gain. I literally felt like I was in a fat suit. Luckily for me, I have always maintained a healthy lifestyle so once the bingeing stopped and I could resume physical activity and eating healthy my weight came off within a year. No one should have to experience what I experienced! There are better more natural ways to lose weight!!

  • Marc Houde

    Everyone is complaining that they put the weight back on and blame Bernstein. Blame yourself. His diet delivered exactly what he promissed. Rapid weight loss. If you go back to your same habits how can you not expect to put the weight back on. Lose the weight fast so that you’re motivated with how great you look and feel, then commit to yourself to change your lifestyle. Eat healthy, exercise and stick to it! Stop with the blame game and the pitty party. Nobody is jamming those cheeseburgers down your throat.

  • mmmm

    I absolutley detest this diet. Yes, you lose the weight, I was losing up to 2 pounds a day. But at what cost? at the beginning you will find that you aren’t craving food at all, but after a week or so you will become VERY famished, to the point where you cannot do anything other than sleep because you have absolutley no energy whatsoever. You are basically eating nothing, there is many times where I would have a protein bar for breakfast and then around lunch I want another protein because of the fact Im so hungry, and then when it comes to dinner you’re forced to eat only vegetables, and in return end up going to bed hungry. which is not a good feeling. There was one point where after 3 days of trying to add a little bit of protein into my dinner (as suggested by ONE OF THEIR OWN NURSES) I ended up losing only .2 pounds over those 3 days, and in return was GIVEN A LECTURE by again, ONE OF THEIR OWN NURSES as to why I should not be eating 3 proteins a day and is why Im not losing weight. when I replied saying “but im practically starving” the nurse said “thats the point, because you need to go into ketosis” right. ok. so basically youre putting your body into starvation mode. you know what is going to happen after you get off the diet? youre going to gain back ALLLLLL the weight you lost so quickly, and then you will be screwed. so please, unless you will have no trouble with being hungry 90 precent of the time, DO NOT DO THIS DIET BECAUSE IT IS INSANE.

  • i’vebeenthere

    Take the thousands you will spend and invest it in a good gym membership or personal trainer. You will lose the weight – that is a given. But what it does to your body over the long term is very unhealthy – your hair suffers, your nails suffer, you develop bad breath from the ketosis, you get leg cramps, you are constipated and after a while, you are exhausted. I would recommend it to someone who needs to shed weight quickly for a surgery or for an ocassion or someone who just needs to lose 20 lbs. or so. For the long term, this is a very unhealthy way to go (and the weight gain does not and cannot last).

  • CrystalT

    I was on the program 2 years ago for 2 months and lost 40 lbs. I felt awesome on it. I had energy, I slept great. I was only off the program one month and got pregnant so I gained the weight back. Now that I’m done breastfeeding I’m going back on the program to loose this weight again. I’m planning on shedding my extra pounds (i will be exercising during this program as i did the first time) then hitting the weights and focus on building my muscles up in order maintain my weight loss. When I’m on this program it feels like a cleanse to me and I feel great on it. And Dr.B is comparable price wise to other weightloss programs. Jenny Craig costs about $160 per week just for their prepackages foods (yuck) and then you still have to buy all the other food you need. With Dr.B you are still eating REAL food. You learn to cook healthy meals etc. granted this program is not for everyone but it works for me.