Table of Contents
- 1 Beyond Diet Claims and Plan
- 2 The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind the Beyond Diet
- 3 Word on the Street About Beyond Diet
- 4 Alternatives to The Beyond Diet
- 5 The Bottom Line: Is the Beyond Diet Worth a Try?
- 6 Top 5 Diets Compared*
The Beyond Diet program was co-created by self-proclaimed nutritionist and exercise specialist, Isabel De Los Rios in 2008. It’s based on determining your metabolic “type” to determine what foods will best work for you, then eating to match that type. So customized meal plans based on a formula, with online recipes, community, and coaching thrown in. There are also three additional programs, available for an additional monthly fee, which further customize the program and allow more access—Beyond Blood Sugar, Live Smart, and BD Super Cleanse. That’s in essence the diet.\r\n
Exercise is not strongly emphasized in the Beyond Diet, though; which is interesting, because exercise and exercise science is De Los Rios’ background.
\r\nDe Los Rios has written many Beyond Diet books dedicated to the original premise and then focused to help particular demographics lose weight, including diabetics. It’s not just about food, though.\r\n\r\nWith a Rutgers University-degree in exercise physiology, and as a certified strength and conditioning as well as lifestyle coach, De Los Rios says the Beyond Diet is just that: beyond the dieting part. Her book, The Diet Solution Program, explains the program and that—coupled with her own New Jersey-based fitness center—moving the body is a part of the diet. Exercise is not strongly emphasized in the Beyond Diet, though; which is interesting, because exercise and exercise science is De Los Rios’ background.\r\n\r\nAnyway, De Los Rios says she’s\r\n
…helped over 250,000 people worldwide lose weight, improve their health and change their lives for the better. Co-founder of Beyond Diet, Isabel is recognized by industry experts as the #1 “go-to-girl” in Fat Burning Nutrition, employing a unique, cutting edge approach to nutrition that has produced results for many individuals frustrated by other methods.
Beyond Diet Claims and Plan
But again, many reviewers say there are continuous upsells of other Beyond Diet add-ons, books, and the like. You can ignore those emails, I suppose.
\r\nSo Beyond Diet focuses on nutritional education based on metabolic type, and sells the program—which includes the metabolic calculation, fat-burning meal plans, shopping guides, Beyond Diet recipes, and support. Should you decide to become a Beyond Diet subscriber, be prepared—because the upsells are ongoing.\r\n\r\nThe original retail price (um, ok) for the one-time membership fee is $97—but when you click to purchase, you get $10 off and “free gifts,” which is actually the program:\r\n
- Full-color hard copy of the Beyond Diet manual
- Quick Start Guide, “to lose your first 10 pounds”
- Desserts Done Right recipe book
- Access to the online program
- Oh, and free shipping
\r\nSo bottom line, it’s $47 for one year plus a 60-day money back guarantee. \r\n\r\nBut again, many reviewers say there are continuous upsells of other Beyond Diet add-ons, books, and the like. You can ignore those emails, I suppose.\r\n\r\nI noticed that the Live Smart program on the site, at $14.95 additional a month unlocks access to more meal-planning help and shows how to use online tools. Some folks complained that they paid the $47 and then were charged $14.95 every month on their credit cards, so be careful what you click on. \r\n\r\nThe Beyond Blood Sugar and BD Super Cleanse are other programs for additional fees which, honestly look suspiciously like the one before with just more access—and, as you already know, you can find most of this kind of nutrition information, weight loss or meal-planning help, and fitness tracking tools online and in apps for free. Keep that in mind.  \r\n
De Los Rios claims the metabolism boost based on better eating habits will give you more energy and generally just make you feel better all around.
\r\nBeyond Diet claims that as long as you follow the meal plans, you “set yourself up for long term success.” With the meal plans, access to recipes and Beyond Diet community support which consists of 500 members, Beyond Diet-certified coaches and “Isabel herself” to cheer you on you’ll begin to “see results.” Nothing specific, just results. \r\n\r\nAnd, the meal plans are designed from your taking the Beyond Diet Metabolism Test to “find out which foods and portions are best for your metabolism so that you lose the weight fast.” Also, you have to use your “Success Journal” tracking tool to assess progress.\r\n\r\nYou cannot access these tools without a membership, but I found screenshots in reviews. You eat three meals, two snacks, and are encouraged to take an Omega-3 supplement. And those meals consist of a lot of (expensive) organic whole foods including very lean proteins (meats and fish); you get the vast majority of your carbs from fruits and vegetables. Virtually no grains (bye, bread and pasta) and you get your fat from seeds and nuts. Very little dairy save raw, organic, no artificial sweeteners (that’s fine), and no processed foods of any kind. (Good with that, too.)\r\n\r\nDe Los Rios claims the metabolism boost based on better eating habits will give you more energy and generally just make you feel better all around. And besides weight loss, blood sugar levels will be better, blood pressure will improve, and your good/bad cholesterol levels will improve as well.\r\n
…But I did find a scientific review of her diet specifically.
\r\nBeyond Diet has a massive following on Facebook—albeit followers can be purchased, so there’s no way to know exactly how many folks are real, but the page says the combined Likes and Follows near two million. And De Los Rios posts frequently, including a Facebook Live as recent as July 13. \r\n\r\nBut it’s not just Facebook; it’s YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.   \r\n\r\nAnd you can contact Beyond Diet via Facebook Messenger. De Los Rios seems legit. And her diet appears to be as well. She says as much: “The Beyond Diet principles are supported by 700+ studies published in credible, peer-reviewed scientific journals, because our passion is helping people become success stories – without health risks and without long term side effects.” \r\n\r\nSeven-hundred-plus studies is a lot of research. I’m pretty sure she’s referring to general research about good nutrition, blood sugar, processed foods, bad carbs, trans fats—you get the idea. But I did find a scientific review of her diet specifically.\r\n
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind the Beyond Diet
\r\nWebMD calls Beyond Diet a “holistic diet and lifestyle plan that combines foods matched to your metabolic type along with a mind-body connection.” But WebMD, and science in general, has problems with her theory that you can lose weight only once you’ve determined your metabolic type and then calculated calories needed to lose weight eating your specific carbs, protein, and fat. WebMD also takes issue with other Beyond Diet claims:\r\n
The Diet Solution is based on the theory that losing weight starts with an understanding of your body’s metabolic type, calorie requirements, and specific amounts of carbs, protein, and fat in your meals. … [However,]
Nutrition experts agree about the importance of good intentions, motivation, and staying positive while dieting. But beyond that, The Diet Solution falls short of evidence for many of its claims.
“It is based upon unsubstantiated, unscientific, and potentially dangerous advice. Therefore I would not recommend the program,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and Washington, D.C.-based nutrition counselor Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD.
Tallmadge adds that the author is not a nutrition expert qualified or licensed to practice and her sources are not from peer-reviewed scientific journals. … Tallmadge agrees with De Los Rios that you need to focus on the source of calories to lose weight. But Tallmadge says it has nothing to do with metabolic typing. 
A number of the claims made by De Los Rios—who is not a dietician, much less a physician—including that grains and dairy are bad, are swiftly dispelled.
\r\nOne of the best things before starting any diet is to do a little research. A good first stop is a visit to the National Institutes of Health page (NIH) that dispels nutrition and exercise myths. A number of the claims made by De Los Rios—who is not a dietician, much less a physician—including that grains and dairy are bad, are swiftly dispelled. \r\n
Word on the Street About Beyond Diet
\r\nSo how about Beyond Diet reviews?\r\n\r\nThe 2012 De Los Rios book Pure Fat Burning Fuel: Follow This Simple, Heart Healthy Path To Total Fat Loss (The Beyond Diet, Volume 1) has 280 Amazon reviews with an average rating of 3.4 out of 5. Over half of those 280 rate it 4 stars or better, but the 3-star and 1-star percentages match the 4-star. And some of the 5-star ratings don’t indicate the customer has done anything more than read the book—they haven’t actually put the program into practice. \r\n
But what about actual dieters who are not on the Facebook page or the website? Not fans on SparkPeople.com, which is a good site for real, if not very recent, reviews.
\r\nSo let’s go across the spectrum.\r\n\r\n“Continag” (2016, 5 stars) loves it: “I LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s so information to get heathly. I’ve lost so much weight using beyond diet. I love all this book! If you want to lost weight try this book! You will lost so much! Thank You for this book!” \r\n\r\n“Ann Wilkinson” (2014, 4 stars) said:\r\n
I liked the principles of the book. It is similar to Dash , but does not eliminate fruits and all breads the first 2 weeks. I do not have time to make eggs every day and I did not like the mini quiche with frozen spinach in the micro-wave. So- I liked Isabels’ suggestion for Ezekial bread. I thought the book was informative and learned about organic foods and the dirty dozen. 
\r\nAn anonymous but verified customer (2013, 3 stars) said:\r\n
She does have pretty good info and you definitely can lose weight on this diet. What I didn’t like about it is what I don’t like about most diet books is that they don’t provide enough information about the science, the why the foods work this way, which seems kind of patronizing to me. I was confused about her stance on carbohydrates too. She lists the grains that are good for you, but then posts a diet with no grains at all… I think there’s some good info here but she could have been more thorough. She has recipes which is nice too… I would call this good but I wasn’t dazzled by its greatness.  (emphasis added)
\r\n“Bookworm” (2013, 2 stars) found it lacking: “Thought I was getting more info. like meal planning, which foods to prioritize. This book only tells half the story. I thought it was going to have the whole A-Z diet in it.” \r\n\r\n“O. F.” (2015, 1 star) says, “A vague publication, designed to lure readers into buying her other books. Don’t bother. Buy an exercise ball and cut back on carbs.” \r\n
And “Joe James” (2013, 1 star) wasn’t impressed at all: “Not worth reading. This is a compendium of bumper sticker information. A hash and rehash of information that even the majority of uninformed voters knows and prefers to ignore.”
\r\nAnd “Joe James” (2013, 1 star) wasn’t impressed at all: “Not worth reading. This is a compendium of bumper sticker information. A hash and rehash of information that even the majority of uninformed voters knows and prefers to ignore.” \r\n\r\nOuch.\r\n
But what about actual dieters who are not on the Facebook page or the website? Not fans on SparkPeople.com, which is a good site for real, if not very recent, reviews. 
\r\n“JhenS40,” “NurseJFW,” and “Toniwynn” all agree the Beyond Diet has information available for free online and isn’t worth paying for; in fact, two of these reviewers claim they were scammed.\r\n\r\nBut “JhenS40” says what I think many have concluded:\r\n\r\nThis is basically a knock off of the Whole30 program. You can go to the Whole30 Website for FREE and get the same plan. Don’t waste your money to get The Beyond Diet Plan. It’s essentially eating WHOLE, NATURAL FOODS found in NATURE, no additives, preservatives, or hormones. Check out Whole30 for basically the same plan for FREE.  \r\n\r\nBut these reviewers seem to be in the minority, if you count the millions following the diet and De Los Rios.\r\n
Alternatives to The Beyond Diet
\r\nThe Beyond Diet has a wide (no pun intended) following, but newbies doing research often check out these diets, too.\r\n
- Trim Down Club (Recommended)
- Weight Watchers
- 21 Day Fix
- Paleo Diet
Trim Down Club vs Beyond Diet
Anyway, in the Beyond Diet, once your type has been determined (eye roll), a fat-burning meal plan is created and you get recipes and support; all for $97.
\r\nDefinitely advise Trim Down Club over the Beyond Diet or any of these and here’s why: Like the Beyond Diet, and many others, the Trim Down Club starts with some nutritional reeducation: eat this, not that. The Beyond Diet too is about nutritional education, but here’s where it becomes gimmicky, and also the part that hooks people (Isabel De Los Rios is an expert and has tons of followers so I’ll go with her plan): The Beyond Diet begins with determining metabolic type with a gadget-y online tool. Recall that actual registered and certified experts and health professionals say that her program is not based on any real science and that losing weight has nothing to do with metabolic typing. Anyway, in the Beyond Diet, once your type has been determined (eye roll), a fat-burning meal plan is created and you get recipes and support; all for $97. Listen, despite the whole determine-your-metabolic-type, there’s sound nutritional advice here, including avoiding processed foods, junk foods, and added sugar. But the prohibition on all grains, many of which are solid nutritionally, is a no go. Plus, there’s not a thing she talks about that cannot be found online for free. The Trim Down Club, on the other hand, is all about eating whole, fresh, nutrient-rich foods and pairing that with exercise; the advice any nutritionist worth their salt (again, no pun intended) would give to folks to get fit, trim, and stay healthy. The Trim Down Club’s foundation is whole, fresh, fat-burning food for you and your whole family; no more buying separate foods, especially the so-called diet prepared, processed, keeping-you-fat foods found in every aisle of your supermarket.\r\n\r\nLike the Beyond Diet, the Trim Down Club believes in accountability and support, hence the word ‘club.’ It’s a vast network of people like you and me, all together in a supportive and active community. So while De Los Rios has her followers, the Trim Down Club has its members, 1 million strong. Oh, and it’s cheap; about the same as pair of movie tickets and a money-back guarantee.\r\n
The Trim Down Club’s foundation is whole, fresh, fat-burning food for you and your whole family;
Whole30 vs Beyond Diet
\r\nThe Whole30 pops up too when searching for the Beyond Diet. And like the Beyond Diet, Whole30 is focused on low carbs. Now, that’s a vast, wide, and sweeping understatement: the Whole30 is a highly restrictive, hard-to-follow and a bottom of the barrel diet, as per the very oft searched for U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets. Yes, Whole30 was 38 out of 38. It’s beyond the Beyond Diet.\r\n
Weight Watchers vs Beyond Diet
\r\nWeight Watchers, which may be one of the most well-known of diets and certainly shows up when doing a diet search, is a tried, tested, and true diet plan. You will lose weight on Weight Watchers. I know this first hand. Not once, not twice, but three times I lost weight on WW. Two problems: the obvious, as I’ve just pointed out, the weight returns unless you have completely changed your lifestyle and eating habits. Some celeb endorsers have been successful on Weight Watchers and kept the weight off, but they likely have personal chefs, too. The other problem is all the packaged, processed foods with Weight Watchers. If you’ve been on it, you know you’ve had a freezer-full of entrees and a cupboard full of snacks. It’s all filled with stuff you definitely should not be eating. Something the Beyond Diet stresses, but what the Trim Down Clubs teaches you about and helps you avoid every day with its built-in support network and up-to-date nutritional education.\r\n
21 Day Fix vs Beyond Diet
\r\nYou’ve probably seen the 21 Day Fix appear as a people-also-look-for diet in your search. The 21 Day Fix and the Beyond Diet could not be more different. Beyond wants to change the way you eat and the 21 Day Fix is just that: a quick fix. This is a no-brainer. If you want to lose weight to fit into a favorite dress or suit you’ve (cough, cough) outgrown, maybe it’s for you.\r\n
Paleo Diet vs Beyond Diet
\r\nIf the Paleo Diet didn’t pop up in your search, I’d be surprised because like the Beyond Diet, it’s another low, or no, carb diet offering; and another fad. The Paleo Diet wants us to eat like prehistoric humans (no disrespect to our ancestors, but I’ll take Roman, Greek, and Egyptian cultures’ food over that of folks hiding in caves during eclipses and worshipping woolly mammoths after they drove them over cliffs), subsisting on foods that mimic what the original hunter-gatherers ate—except the insects part; that’s left out and interestingly, from what I have read, was as integral part of their diet and as important as foraged foods and scavenged animals. So, no to Paleo.\r\n
The Bottom Line: Is the Beyond Diet Worth a Try?
\r\nSome good nutritional advice, like no processed junk and cut all the sugar. But that’s about it. There are plenty of good-for-you grains, so cutting those is a deal-breaker for most people. And there’s not a thing here that you cannot find online for free, including her Facebook page. I’m with O.F. up there.\r\n\r\n\n