Thursday, May 24, 2012

F.A.T. Friday! The Dr. Bernstein Diet...

Welcome to my second weekly instalment of F.A.T. Friday! (That's Forging Ahead Together to a healthy lifestyle)

This week Suggested Topic was: Talk about what your “healthy lifestyle” entails.  Are you on a specific diet?  Are you using a certain program and if so how does it work?  What are some of the “perks” and/or challenges? If you are maintaining a healthy weight, come on…share-share sugar bear!

And so, I would like to "talk" a little about the Dr. Bernstein diet. I will start by saying that I do not proclaim to be an "expert" regarding this diet and all the opinions and information expressed is that of the writer...that'd be moi!

I have been on almost every diet out there. Weight Watchers, Diet Centre, Herbal Magic, Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Dr. Atkins...just to name a "few". Dr. Bernstein has,  BY FAR , been the easiest to follow and demands that I eat a very well balanced, healthy diet. His method has been scrutinized by many and the rapid weight loss experienced is controversial. Sceptics argue that unless you remain a lifelong Dr. Bernstein dieter, you WILL put on all the weigh you loose AND quickly. I don't disagree. However, isn't that true about any "diet"? If it takes you one week to loose 2 pounds on any given regime, it will take you 2 weeks to put it back on if you indulge in old, unhealthy habits. Same is true with Dr. Bernstein, only you will put the weight on faster because you loose it faster. It's all relative.

The Dr. B Controversy

One of the most controversial debates regarding the Dr. Bernstein diet is that your body goes into a state of ketosis. If you don't know what this is, the "quick" explanation is that your body begins to utilize stored fat cells, not muscle or healthy tissue, for energy. If you'd like a through explanation you can read all about that here. For those of you who do know all the nitty-gritty details of ketosis, I am sure you have an opinion one way or another; it's a terrible or reasonable method of weigh loss. If you sit in the "yard" of terrible, I would like to clarify that on the Dr. Bernstein diet we are not deprived of carbohydrates which IS a bad thing for the body and brain. We are extremely limited with regards to the amount and types of carbs we can consume but we DO consume them nonetheless. Ketosis levels are measured throughout the week during clinic visits.

The "Rules" of the Diet

For me, the most beneficial component to this diet is the restrictiveness. WHAT?? Yes, you did hear that correctly, I LOVE how restrictive this diet is. I'm the type of person, at least when it comes to food, that if you give me an inch...I'll take a mile. There is no room for "sneaking this" or "adding that". We are provided with an extensive, detailed list of the food we can and can not eat and must record it faithfully on our food sheets that are checked at each visit. 

There are only a few, simple rules to follow and weight loss success is guaranteed...

Rule #1- If it ain't on the list it ain't to go in your mouth!

Rule #2- Everything, I repeat EVERYTHING you eat must be weighed, measured or counted out.   It must also be recorded IN DETAIL on a food sheet.

Rule #3- Drink. Drink. And Drink some more.  Water that is!   Absolutely NO ALCOHOL! (total bummer.  It's the only "con" that I can think of.)

Rule #4- Eat all your protein & carbs everyday. 

Rule #5- You must "weigh-in" and be seen by Registered Nurses on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. (You must also complete all blood work and medical tests as required within 10 days or services are ceased.)

Rule #6- You must see the clinics Doctors once every month.

I am a total rule follower and these expectations help me remain accountable and on track. Following these rules GUARANTEES healthy, rapid weight loss of 3-5 pounds a week.  Because of these two factors...The Dr. Bernstein Diet works for ME!

Vitamins & Supplements

On my Monday & Friday visits to the clinic, I am given B12 injections and I am injected with B6 on  Wednesdays. These "shots" are no different than taking a vitamin supplement of the same, except that it is injected intramuscular and therefore is utilized fully by the body rather than most of if being expelled as it would if taking in tablet form. I am also required to take a multivitamin once a day and 2 Cal-K (potassium) pills twice a day.

What Do I Eat/Drink In A Day?

I am allowed the following servings from each food group every day: 3 protein (including dairy), 3 carbohydrates, 3 vegetables, 3 fruit and 3 "Garnishes". As mentioned above, there is a very lengthy list of these items that I can use to keep it interesting and enjoyable. I can't post the entire list but here are a few examples of some Allowed & Not Allowed Items in each food group:

Not Allowed
Protein (3 ½ ozs)
Crab, Clams, Mussels

Deli Meats

Salmon, Tuna, Haddock
Any Ground Meat

Pork Tenderloin

Turkey Breast
Restaurant Chicken

Dr. Bernstein Bars/Oatmeal

Breton Crackers (9)

Specialty Bakery Bread  (1 slice)

Goldfish Crackers/Melba/Wasa

Pitas/Tortillas (1/2)

Vegetables (8 ozs)



Green Beans

Fruit (5 ozs)




I thought I'd also include a pictorial of a days worth of food that I consume for your viewing pleasure:
Breakfast- Dr. B Protein Bar & Strawberries
= 1 protein & 1 1/2 fruit

Lunch- 3 egg white salad sandwich with 1 tsp light Mayo & Veggies
= 1/2 protein,  2 bread, 1 garnish & 1 veggies

Afternoon Snack- 1 laughing cow cheese chunk and 17 Goldfish crackers
= 1 garnish & 1 bread

Supper- Fillet Mignon, Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions and Mrs. Dash Green Beans
= 1 protein, 1 1/2 veggies

Night Snack- CINNABON: 3 egg whites, cinnamon, twin sugar, fat free cream cheese & allowed pancake syrup (1/2 each)
= 1/2 protein & 1 garnish

4-5  water bottles(750 ml) = 12-15 glasses of water

And Finally...this weeks weight stats:

Week #3- Wednesday May 23, 2012
Start Weight: 282 pounds
Goal Weight: 150 pounds
Last Week's Weight: 266.8 pounds
Current Weight: 261.8 pounds
Weight Lost this Week:   5 pounds
Total Lost to Date: 20.2 pounds

*Since weekly weight loss may not be noticeable in pictures, I plan to post updated photos once every 3 weeks

Are you making the commitment this week? Come on then...Link Up & Let's (get) F.A.T!

Next Week's Suggested Topic:   Do you set short term and/or long term goals? Are they visual?  Do you "allow" yourself a reward for reaching a goal?  Have you reached a goal recently?  Please share!


  1. Ginger, you are doing FABULOUS!

    Normally I do have a problem with the no carbs diets but this one has stuff from all the food groups so I'm happy :)

    You're really doing great!

  2. this is so awesome and i'm going to try participating next week, if that's ok. i sort of touched on what i'm doing (low carb) on my post today- before seeing this linkup.

    i've never heard of Dr. B. so i found this very interesting. thanks for doing this.

  3. Wow! Way to go Ginger! As I was reading this, I was thinking, "Yes, this is perfect for Ginger. She LOVES when things are set in stone and HAVE to be followed!" LOL I'm sure you will be successful and are looking great so far!!! Great job!

  4. I am a big fan of low carb diets. I was doing a 'slow carb' diet from the 4 Hour Body Book. It is a great diet and it is my plan for maintenance. The nice part of the is it allows 'cheat days' which is good for real life because there is always a birthday or something. I am doing an at home version of Dr. B, mainly because I can not drive into the clinics. My husband has done the diet with the clinice and knows everything.

    Great job, Ginger! Your success is motivating me to keep going. I find the weekends to be so hard!

  5. I saw your comment on Christina's blog and had to come check out your challenge. I would love to take part and link up next week. Congrats on your weight loss, you are doing great!

  6. Thanks for your comment, Ginger. I linked up as you suggested even though I'm not on topic this week. Next week I will be though ;-)

  7. I don't diet, there something in my mind that tells me to crave food the second I tell it that I cannot eat said food. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and found out that I gained back 9 of the 10 pounds that I took off last spring. Big sigh and the dieting and extra work outs begin. For my first week I'm cutting back on my alcohol (baby steps) and adding in a fruit and veggie at every meal. Then I feel full and I'm ready for week two when I'll add in another workout to my schedule. It works for me and hopefully I'll be down the 9 pounds soon.

  8. It does look like a balanced meal plan...and as long as you're doing something YOU can follow, that's healthy, that's what matters.

    So very proud of you, Ginger! Hope you can hear my Southern self cheering you on! ;)

  9. I just started this diet, im having a difficult time planning meals, finding certain foods.. etc. but im staying on track for the most part. :) Good luck to you and all who participate in this diet, you're doing a fabulous job already

  10. This is an amazing combination for all the right ingredients needed for good health.The presentation is just perfect...I have a lot to learn from your recipes, photography and food styling...will be back for more...great work..

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