Bernstein Diet

The Bernstein Diet was created by Canadian physician, Stanley Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein specializes in weight loss and maintains numerous weight loss practices throughout the United States and Canada. The Bernstein Diet is designed to be followed under medical supervision at one of his clinics.

The Premise

On the Bernstein Diet, individuals will follow a low calorie, low carbohydrate, high protein diet to help achieve a 4 to 5 pound weight loss per week. Individuals are expected to visit one of Dr. Bernstein’s clinics 3 times per week. In addition to a low calorie meal plan, dieters are advised on behavior modification and recommended to consume mineral and vitamin supplements. Vitamin B injections are recommended for some patients.

Dr. Bernstein states that the design of his meal plan allows for the loss of fat tissue while still maintaining muscle, fluid and electrolytes. The Bernstein Diet has 3 phases: the rapid weight loss phase, the maintenance phase and the ‘tune-up’ phase.

The Diet

The Bernstein Diet meal plan recommends eating between 800 to 1350 calories per day. The allowed food list is broken down into a shopping list format with proteins, fruits, vegetables, bread substitutes and beverages listed. Foods that are banned include any foods that contain simple sugars, starchy foods, high carbohydrates, high glycemic fruits and an array of sugar free foods.

What to Get Excited About

When on the Bernstein Diet, individuals are able to continue shopping and prepare their meals at home. The diet is based upon a meal plan that includes regular and affordable foods in addition to quick and easy recipes. Dr. Bernstein promotes healthy, fresh and all natural foods. In addition to facilitating weight loss, Dr. Bernstein aims to teach healthy eating habits to his clients.

Things to Consider

The Bernstein Diet fails to outline an exercise plan for dieters to follow. While Dr. Bernstein’s Vitamin B injections may increase metabolism and therefore lead to weight loss, to maintain a healthy metabolism, individuals also need to incorporate exercise. Without an exercise plan of 30 to 60 minutes most days, individuals may start to experience a loss in muscle mass that can slow down the metabolism.

Unlike many diet plans on the market today, the Bernstein Diet incorporates a maintenance-eating plan. This plan slowly reintroduces foods and increases caloric intake to an individual’s diet until they reach a stable weight.


For certain individuals on the Bernstein Diet, the caloric meal plan will be too low. The Mayo Clinic recommends a low calorie diet as one that is between 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. Most individuals will probably experience weight loss on this diet, but being able remain on a 800 calorie diet on a long-term basis is unreasonable. For a healthier diet option, look for one that falls into the above recommended calorie consumption and also includes an exercise routine. Furthermore, the diet plan behind the Bernstein Diet is quite restrictive and individuals may experience boredom sooner than if they were on a diet that did not eliminate entire food groups (but was based on moderation and portion control).


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