Bernstein Diet

Dr. Bernstein Diet
Dr. Stanley Bernstein is a Canadian physician who specializes in medically-supervised weight loss programs. Dr Bernstein’s weight loss practice began in 1974 – and has now grown to over 60 clinics in Canada.

Dr. Bernstein’s program is clinic-based only and there are currently only clinics in Canada.

What is the Bernstein Diet?

The Bernstein Diet aims to lose 4-5 pounds per week and involves 3 visits to the clinic each week during the program.

Dr. BernsteinThe Bernstein diet program is a combination of low calorie diet (regular grocery store foods), behavior modification, education and vitamin and mineral supplements. The daily calorie intake could be anywhere between
800 — 1350 calories per day – it is a case-by-case situation.

The diet claims that only fat tissue is lost during this rapid weight loss phase, and all other tissue (muscle, electrolytes, fluid) is retained. One of the major features of the diet is the vitamin and mineral supplementation – this is achieved by vitamin injections.

B Vitamins

Dr. Bernstein believes that adequate B vitamin levels are necessary for health and weight loss. Patients are evaluated and some are given @B vitamin complex@ injections when deemed appropriate.

Dr. Bernstein has a number of phases on the diet –

  1. Weight Loss Phase: Dieters should lose 20 pounds a month and they guarantee at least 10 pounds a month will be shed.
  2. A Maintenance Phase: Reintroduces foods and helps prevent weight rebound.
  3. The “Tune-up” Diet: For small amounts of weight loss.

Foods on the Bernstein Diet

Here is a sample of the kind of foods found on the Doctor Bernstein Diet.


  • veal cutlet
  • chicken livers
  • small steak
  • chicken breasts
  • shrimp
  • tuna
  • white fish


Fruit and Vegetables

  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • bean sprouts
  • cabbage
  • tomato sauce
  • apples
  • lemons
  • oranges
  • green, orange, red and yellow peppers


Beverages and Miscellaneous

  • liquid Sweetener
  • Hermasetas/Equal
  • Jello Light
  • herbal tea
  • decaffeinated coffee
  • club soda


Spices and Seasonings

  • bay leaves
  • dried herbs
  • caraway seeds
  • soya sauce


Bread Substitutes

  • triscuits
  • melba toast



  • B 12
  • B 6

The Bernstein diet also has a number of other foods allowed.


The Bernstein Diet doesn’t have an established exercise routine or program. Although some clients are given supervised exercise regimens, many of their clients are too obese to exercise.

Overall, this diet believes that exercise is not necessary in order to lose weight, but instead, focuses on calorie restriction.

Cost and Expenses

The costs of the program are a bit vague, but some have reported spending over $1000.00 on the program. The costs will likely depend on how much weight loss is required and the amount of time spent at the clinics.

The Dr. Bernstein Diet also has a range of snacks and supplements that the dieter is encouraged to purchase.

See Also: DrBdiet – Official site for more details


  • Many have been successful on the program
  • Medically supervised
  • Counseling and support provided


  • Expensive
  • Exercise isn’t required.
  • B12 and B6 injections may not be necessary for everyone.
  • Clinic visits are necessary.

Medically Supervised But Expensive

The Bernstein Diet is a low calorie diet and is medically supervised, which makes it much safer than similar diets that are not.

However, because of the professional services received as well as the B Vitamin injections, the Bernstein Diet is one of the most expensive diet programs around.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Herbert, V., & Zalusky, R. (1962). Interrelations of vitamin B12 and folic acid metabolism: folic acid clearance studies. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 41(6), 1263. link
  • Wadden, T. A., Sternberg, J. A., Letizia, K. A., Stunkard, A. J., & Foster, G. D. (1988). Treatment of obesity by very low calorie diet, behavior therapy, and their combination: a five-year perspective. International Journal of Obesity, 13, 39-46. link
  • Apfelbaum, M., Vague, P., Ziegler, O., Hanotin, C., Thomas, F., & Leutenegger, E. (1999). Long-term maintenance of weight loss after a very-low-calorie diet: a randomized blinded trial of the efficacy and tolerability of sibutramine. The American journal of medicine, 106(2), 179-184. link


Comments now closed