Frequently Asked Questions about our proven weight loss program.
There is a new class of drugs that have come to market more recently that contain the active ingredient Semaglutide that mimics the effects of a hormone that helps us recognize when we are feeling full and tells us to stop eating. These drugs were designed primarily to help people control their diabetes, but results also showed a corresponding weight loss.
It’s important to note that, while the weight loss effects of these drugs has shown to be better than some earlier drugs, they are no “silver bullet” according to the World Health Organization.
The drug companies claim that patients can lose up to 15% of their body weight over a period of about 17 months. For a person who weighs 200 lb, that amounts to a potential loss of up to 30 lb, which isn’t all that impressive at all for a 17-month long effort. In addition, the patient is required to remain on the drug indefinitely or risk putting the weight back on when the effect of the drug stops.
There are other factors to consider as well before deciding to start on a new drug, including the expense and potential side-effects.
These drugs carry a monthly cost of over $1,000 (USD) and may not be covered by insurance. So, the example patient described above would be facing a cost of more than $17,000 (USD) to potentially lose 30 lb, and then have to continue that monthly cost indefinitely.
Many articles have been published recently that document the side effects of these drugs. One article that was recently published in the journal Medscape, lists some of these:
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as:
• stomach pain
• loss of bowel control while sleeping
• severe heartburn
Other non-gastrointestinal side effects may include:
• gaunt-looking “Ozempic Face”
• hair loss
• debilitating fatigue
At the Bernstein Diet & Health Clinic, we never use any diet drugs and there are no unpleasant side effects. Our patients can lose all the weight they need to at the rate of up to 20 lb every month. They quickly regain their health and vitality, and learn to maintain their ideal healthy goal weight for the long-term.
Improper dieting (poor diet) methods can lead to losing muscle tissue, bodily fluids etc. This results in feelings of hunger and fatigue during the weight loss phase and rebound weight gain once you stop dieting. Estimates show that depending on the type of diet, between 25% and 75% of the weight lost can be lean body mass (muscle, proteins, fluids, electrolytes). Once you stop dieting and try to eat normally, your body will start to regain the essential tissue creating rebound weight gain. This usually results in rebounding or regaining much of the weight you lost. With our properly structured diet, we ensure that you have all the necessary nutrition to keep your body healthy as you lose weight, and therefore prevent rebound weight gain.
Yes, you can! the allowed foods are grocery store-bought items. The Dr. Bernstein Diet caters to the needs of both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. There is a variety of proteins to choose from, such as lentils and beans, tofu, some processed protein brands like M&M, Yves, Zoglo’s, etc. In addition, our Recipe Book also has appetizing recipes for vegetarians.
The Dr. Bernstein Diet consists of regular grocery store-bought foods which allow patients to prepare their meals according to the dietary laws of their religion. There is a wide variety of foods to choose from in all four food groups; protein, vegetables, bread substitutes and fruits.
Gallstones take years to develop. At least 50% of people do have at least 1 gallstone, and most never produce symptoms. People who go on unbalanced diets and lose weight rapidly have developed symptoms and been found to have gallstones. It is thought that the associated loss of muscle, protein, electrolytes, etc. during an unbalanced diet causes precipitation of minerals in the gallbladder and aggravates stone formation as well as colic or pain. It should be noted that diets that are balanced and result in only fat loss, and not in the loss of normal healthy tissue, are not associated with stone formation or colic.
When someone is on a low fat diet, the gallbladder rests and does not pass bile into the intestinal tract. But if someone does have an existing stone, and then has a fatty meal, the gallbladder does force bile out into the intestinal tract and may lodge an existing stone into the bile duct and cause colic or pain.
Because gallstones take years to develop, and because our patients lose fatty tissue and not healthy lean tissue, it is not possible for a patient to develop a stone as a result of being on our diet.
Our nurses and doctors teach you how to order food in restaurants and how to handle food choices at parties and work functions. We also have a selection of delicious and easy-to-prepare protein supplements (shakes, bars, soups and oatmeal) for you to enjoy when proper food choices aren’t readily available – helping you stick with the diet and lose the weight!
The Maintenance Program is the best way to keep the weight off long term. We will show you how to carefully reintroduce more foods to your diet so there is no rebound weight gain. We teach you how to keep up your good habits long term. Our Maintenance Program offers support and ongoing medical monitoring for as long as you like. We'll always be here for you.
Diabetes is a very common problem and there are many people who are diabetic because they are overweight. The extra weight results in poor carbohydrate control. They develop diabetes and will need insulin and/or other medications to control their blood sugars. Many of these people even continue to gain weight as a result of the pills and the insulin.
When you follow a healthy diet and lose weight properly, you have better control of your foods and blood sugar levels. Inevitably you'll see that control becomes easier with less medication. All our Type 2 diabetic patients (often called adult onset diabetes) end up reducing or discontinuing their costly medications (pills and insulin).
Proper weight loss results in a lowering of high cholesterol and a reduction in hypertension. Thus, our doctors are able to reduce or discontinue medications you are taking to control these diseases.
We know that if you lose weight properly, not only do you take the fat out from below your skin (you can see your waist and your hips trimming down almost daily), but you can also reduce the cholesterol deposits in your arteries, which in turn can lower your risk of arteriosclerosis. That means it's less likely that you'll have a stroke or heart attack and less likely that you'll develop cardiovascular diseases.
Losing weight can definitely improve most arthritic conditions, especially the common osteo-arthritis. Think of the benefit to someone who has arthritic pain in their weight-bearing joints like their knees and hips. When you walk around with an extra 10, 20 or 50 lb, your joints will feel every step you take, so any loss of weight will mean an improvement. When you lose weight properly, even the small joints in your hands become less inflamed and less swollen, resulting in diminished pain and greater movement from issues such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The diet and vitamin supplements have a positive impact on most women that have pre-menstrual and pre-menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and stress reactions. When you lose weight properly many, if not all, of those symptoms greatly improve. Eating sensibly along with weight loss and vitamin supplements is a more natural way to treat PMS. And unlike hormone replacement therapy, there are no unknown long-term side effects.
We know that people who eat extra food at night - a lot of carbohydrates, sugar, starches, and desserts - will often have nightmares and restlessness because of the reaction to sugars. When you eat sensibly and lose weight you sleep better and nightmares tend to disappear.
Most of our patients notice a general improvement in their health within a week of starting the program. Certainly from the first 10 lb lost our patients feel better from improved metabolism and nutrition and some pre-existing problems begin reversing. You'll start enjoying more energy and will no longer get tired and fatigued in the middle of your day. Patients who tend to have indigestion, heartburn, stomach cramps, or irritability from different types of fatty foods and spices will notice significant improvement within 1 to 2 weeks of being on the diet. Most who are taking heartburn or hyperacidity medications won't need them anymore. Mentally, you'll achieve a higher level of concentration and mental clarity – a combined result of your blood sugar stabilizing and other factors. We help this along by supplementing the diet with vitamins and minerals.
Yes, absolutely. Being overweight puts you at risk of developing cardio-vascular diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, angina, and others as well as metabolic diseases like diabetes and fatigue. As soon as you start losing weight you can actually start improving or reversing your medical conditions and diseases. Our patients reduce and usually eliminate their need for insulin and medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, angina, and arthritis along with their healthy weight loss.
If you have diabetes, high cholesterol or any of the other cardio-vascular or metabolic diseases mentioned above, we can monitor and treat these conditions while we help you lose weight.
We can work with your personal physician to manage your medications.
We have successfully treated many patients who are unable to exercise due to physical problems such as heart disease and arthritic joint mobility problems. We don’t require exercise because it’s not the most effective way to lose weight. With roughly 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, it would take the average person over 8 hours of moderate exercise on a treadmill to burn off just 1 lb of fat – the Dr. Bernstein Program is just more effective at reducing your excess weight without all the work.
There is no doubt that exercise is very beneficial for your cardiovascular system, strength, general health and sense of well-being, and it is always recommended. Many of our patients are on supervised exercise regimes while on our diet.
As well, many overweight people are in poor medical condition to exercise, so our program is uniquely suited to help them regain their health. We do encourage exercise once they achieved significant weight loss and their medical condition (e.g. cardiovascular disease, severe asthma, arthritis, etc) has improved.
When taken orally, vitamins are significantly destroyed in the intestinal tract resulting in only small amounts being absorbed. Injecting vitamins bypasses the intestinal tract and results in a higher concentration in the fat cells. This resulting higher concentration of vitamins, along with the strict diet, minerals and other aspects of the program, helps increase the rate of breakdown of fatty tissue or triglycerides inside the fat cells. The B vitamins are also used by many other metabolic processes in the body. This results in a faster, healthier weight loss while helping you maintain your energy level, a key shortcoming of most other diets.
With many weight loss programs, when a person experiences rapid weight loss (generally greater than 1 ½ lbs per week), the body’s tendency is to burn essential tissues (muscle, protein and electrolytes), making the person feel weak and tired and become ill. The body also restores these essential tissues and fluids at its earliest opportunity, causing rebound weight gain.
The Dr. Bernstein Program is different. Our physicians and nurses work to ensure that you lose primarily fatty tissue and not normal necessary tissues (muscle, protein and electrolytes). Our patients don't get gaunt or shallow in the face. We medically manage and control difficulties that people have experienced on other diets, such as headaches, fatigue or hunger. As well, our diet is supplemented with vitamins and minerals to ensure your body gets the proper nutrition it needs. Dr. Bernstein's Program is very safe. Patients meet regularly with medical staff who constantly monitor their health to ensure their weight loss is healthy and effective.