The Beyond Diet is a popular eating plan that promises long-lasting weight loss using a simple, three-step system.
In addition to limiting several food groups and following a specific meal plan, the diet involves taking a powdered greens supplement, which is said to increase energy levels, optimize immune function, and support overall health.
Although proponents praise the diet for its ability to combat cravings, boost your metabolism, and ramp up fat burning, others have dismissed the plan as restrictive, overpriced, and unsustainable.
This article reviews the benefits and downsides of the Beyond Diet, along with whether it’s effective for weight loss.
diet review scorecard
- Overall score: 2.67
- Weight loss: 3
- Healthy eating: 2.5
- Sustainability: 2.5
- Whole body health: 2
- Nutrition quality: 4
- Evidence-based: 2
BOTTOM LINE: Although the Beyond Diet prioritizes healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, it also eliminates several food groups and may be challenging to sustain long term.
Founded by author and nutritionist Isabel De Los Rios, the Beyond Diet is a weight loss program that claims to help you shed pounds and ramp up fat burning using just three simple steps.
According to De Los Rios, the diet can also help you pick the right foods to curb cravings, boost your metabolism, and maintain weight loss long term.
The diet is divided into three phases. Meal plans and recipes are provided during the first and second phases, each of which is 2 weeks long.
In the second phase, you’re also able to take the Beyond Diet Metabolism Test, which is used to determine which foods you should eat to optimize your metabolism.
After completing these first two phases, you’re encouraged to design your own meal plan using the principles of the plan and the recipes offered on their website.
The diet includes foods like fruits, veggies, protein-rich foods, and healthy fats. Meanwhile, most processed foods, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and soy products are restricted.
A daily greens supplement is also recommended, which is available on their website for $99.95, or around $3.33 per day.
There’s also a one-time fee of $47, which grants you access to the meal plans, recipe library, shopping guides, and online community.
Exercise programs and specific regimens geared toward balancing blood sugar levels or “detoxing” your body are available for an additional cost.
The Beyond Diet is an eating plan that claims to help boost fat burning, curb cravings, and maintain long-term weight loss by picking the right foods for you.
The Beyond Diet involves eating three meals spaced out throughout the day, along with a morning and afternoon snack.
Each meal generally consists of a good source of protein with some vegetables and fruit.
The Daily Energy supplement, which is a powdered supplement that contains a blend of greens and “superfood” ingredients, should also be taken once daily.
Additionally, one “free day” is permitted per week, on which you’re allowed to have one meal with whatever foods you’d like.
During the first 4 weeks of the diet, meal plans and recipes are provided for your use.
After you’ve completed the first 28 days, you’re encouraged to create your own meals centered on the guidelines and principles of the diet.
Foods to eat
The Beyond Diet encourages dieters to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as protein sources like meat, poultry, and fish.
Nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and certain cooking oils are also permitted.
Although eggs, dairy products, and whole grains are limited during the first 4 weeks of the plan, they can be reincorporated into the diet after these initial phases.
Foods that are allowed on the Beyond Diet include:
- Fruits: apples, oranges, berries, melons, kiwis, bananas
- Vegetables: spinach, kale, avocados, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, tomato, celery
- Meat, fish, and poultry: ground beef, ground buffalo, nitrite-free bacon and sausage, chicken breast and thighs, ground or sliced turkey, salmon, haddock, cod
- Eggs: egg whites and yolks (in limited amounts)
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, cashews
- Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds
- Oils: coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
- Herbs and spices: rosemary, dill, cinnamon, black pepper, basil, oregano, parsley
During the third phase of the diet, several foods can be added back into the diet, including:
- Whole grains: sprouted whole grain bread, quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, spelt, buckwheat, barley
- Dairy products: raw butter, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese (in small amounts)
- Legumes: black beans, chickpeas, green beans, cannellini beans, lentils, fava beans
Foods to avoid
The Beyond Diet restricts several types of food, including sweeteners, sugar-sweetened beverages, soy products, and processed foods.
Some of the foods to avoid on the Beyond Diet include:
- Sweeteners: table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, artificial sweeteners
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, sweet tea, sports drinks, juice
- Soy products: tofu, edamame, tempeh, miso, soy milk
- Processed foods: convenience meals, chips, cookies, baked goods, fast food
- Refined grains: white bread, pasta, white rice, breakfast cereals
- Fats and oils: canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, lard
The Beyond Diet encourages dieters to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Specific meal plans and recipes are provided for the first 4 weeks of the diet.
Although there’s currently no research on the effectiveness of the Beyond Diet specifically, several components of the diet may be beneficial for weight loss.
For starters, the plan focuses on eliminating processed foods, including refined carbs, fast food, chips, cookies, and frozen meals.
These foods are typically higher in calories and lower in important nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and studies show that they may be linked to increased body weight and belly fat (1, 2, 3).
Furthermore, the diet encourages eating a variety of high protein foods, including meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and seeds.
Therefore, implementing certain principles of the Beyond Diet may lead to increased weight loss and improved appetite control.
The Beyond Diet limits processed foods and added sugars, which may aid weight loss. It also encourages eating foods high in protein and fiber, which can promote feelings of fullness.
In addition to promoting weight loss, the Beyond Diet has several other potential benefits.
Limits added sugars
Restricting your intake of added sugar is one of the key components of the Beyond Diet.
Added sugar not only brings little to the table apart from extra calories but also has been linked to a long list of negative side effects.
In particular, studies show that the excessive consumption of added sugar may contribute to a number of serious health conditions, including heart problems, diabetes, liver disease, and obesity (11).
What’s more, certain ingredients that are high in sugar, such as soda, may negatively affect blood sugar levels by impairing your body’s ability to use insulin efficiently (12).
Promotes fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are considered staples in the Beyond Diet and are included in most of the recipes and snacks on the meal plan.
These foods are incredibly nutrient-dense, meaning that they’re low in calories but provide a good amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in every serving.
Restricts many processed foods
Many processed foods like frozen meals, snack foods, and sweets are restricted on the Beyond Diet.
For example, one study in nearly 105,000 people found that a 10% increase in consumption of highly processed foods was tied to a 12% higher risk of developing cancer (18).
What’s more, a recent study reported that eating more highly processed foods was associated with a higher risk of premature death among adults over 45 (21).
The Beyond Diet limits added sugars, promotes fruits and vegetables, and restricts many processed foods, all of which may benefit several aspects of your health.
Despite the potential benefits of the diet, there are a few downsides to consider.
Eliminates several food groups
During the first two phases of the diet, many food groups are eliminated, including whole grains, legumes, and dairy products.
Studies likewise show that legumes like beans and lentils may be beneficial for weight management, blood sugar control, and heart health (23).
Soy products are also restricted during all phases of the diet, including foods like tofu, tempeh, and soy milk.
This may make it more difficult for some vegans and vegetarians to meet their nutritional needs while following the Beyond Diet.
Encourages processed meats
Despite restricting many processed foods, processed meats like nitrite-free bacon, sausage, and hot dogs are permitted as part of the Beyond Diet. In fact, they are even included in many of the recipes listed on their website.
However, research suggests that processed meats may not be the best option when it comes to your health.
According to one review of 20 studies, processed meat intake was also associated with a 42% higher risk of developing heart disease and a 19% higher risk of type 2 diabetes (30).
Expensive and unsustainable
For dieters looking for a good deal, the one-time $47 fee may sound pretty appealing.
However, there are other costs that should be taken into account, including the daily greens supplement, which costs $99.95 per month, or around $3.33 per serving.
Other optional products are also available on their website, including protein powders, omega-3 supplements, online fitness routines, and cleansing plans.
In addition to its high price point, the restrictiveness of the diet may make it hard to follow long term.
Only a few specific fats and oils are permitted as part of the plan, and certain whole grains, dairy products, and legumes are only allowed during the final phase of the diet.
This may make it challenging to sustain long term, especially for those with dietary restrictions.
The Beyond Diet eliminates several important food groups, encourages the consumption of processed meats, and may be expensive and unsustainable in the long run.
The Beyond Diet is an eating plan that claims to increase weight loss and fat burning by prioritizing foods that can combat cravings and boost your metabolism.
While research on the diet itself is limited, certain components of the diet may promote weight loss and improve several other aspects of your health.
However, the diet is also expensive, eliminates several key food groups, and encourages some unhealthy ingredients, such as processed meats.
Therefore, incorporating some of the principles of the Beyond Diet, such as reducing your intake of added sugar and processed foods, into a well-rounded and nutritious diet may be a better approach for long-term weight loss.