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BeyondDiet provides diet plans, meal ideas and recipes focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods. They offer no physical products, but sell access to “over 3,000 delicious family-friendly recipes” and 2-week meal plans aimed at initiating fat loss. The structure and guidance are sold as an introduction to educating yourself in the basics of nutrition and diet. The company offers a variety of schemes with different focuses: Standard diet, diabetes-mitigation and ‘cleanse’ options, all paid for in a one-off fashion without further financial commitments. These are available between $15 and $49, providing a far more reasonable price point than we usually see with supplement companies, though it is important to remember that we don’t receive any actual products and will have to buy all the ingredients as well.
(9/10 – does what it says and what it should!)
Unlike with many supplement or diet plan companies, BeyondDiet simply attempts to reduce caloric intake, balance macronutrients and promote the consumption of nutrient-dense, whole foods. This has a large amount of scientific backing and clinical evidence to support the claims that it makes. Whilst BeyondDiet claims to have “700+ studies” published supporting their methods, the fact is that the entire wealth of nutrition science supports a diet that is high in unprocessed foods and a wide variety of animal, seafood and plant products.
Reducing calorie intake is a sure-fire way to improve fat loss in otherwise-healthy humans: “Assuming that an individual has no problem with the absorption of nutrients, stored energy will increase only if energy intake exceeds total body energy expenditure” . When we reduce the number of calories consumed below the number of calories used (through homeostasis and exercise), weight loss is sure to follow. When we adjust the macronutrients to increase the role of protein in the diet and reduce refined carbohydrates, we are likely to see this weight loss primarily in the form of body fat reduction. This approach also demonstrates a genuine concern for the wellbeing of customers, something that is always a positive when dealing in an industry that has such a poor reputation for profiteering.
The variety of quality, whole-food sources promoted in the diet plan also provides a strong basis for the important health-improving micronutrients associated with traditionally-healthy foods. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, and are found most commonly in a variety of fruits, vegetables and legumes. By focusing on fatty fish , dark berries , lean proteins and vegetables, the BeyondDiet plan provides a structure that is generally calorie-sparce but nutrient-dense. The logistical demands of this product are also favourable: the cost of the ingredients necessary for the meal plans is fairly inexpensive. Whilst fatty fish like salmon can be relatively expensive, focus is placed on vegetables, fruits, lean poultry and eggs – these items are affordable and can be enjoyable when properly cooked and seasoned. The focus on whole foods is also very positive, with processed foods generally being nutrient-sparce and calorie-dense [4, 5].
It is hard to argue against the effectiveness of this program: whilst it makes no fancy claims to ‘700% weight loss increase’ or similar, it provides a solid, reliable method to consistently lose weight. This integrity and proper approach to the marketing of a product sits well with us: companies that promise consistent and reliable weight loss, rather than exaggerated short-term weight loss, are generally more effective and contribute to the development of an understanding of how nutrition contributes to fat loss, rather than just causing fat loss.
(8/10 – a refreshing approach to “cleanse” methods)
The diet-based approach to fat loss and nutrition, generally, continues in the way that BeyondDiet approach the common “cleanse” style of dieting. This approach usually includes the ingestion of a very low-calorie diet mainly consisting of liquids and a variety of laxative or diuretic ingredients. However, the BeyondDiet “super cleanse” program involves a continued focus on whole foods, with a drastic reduction in the number of carbohydrates and a reliance on “lighter” meals to reduce intestinal burden and allow us to reduce water retention.
During this phase, there is also a focus on a higher proportional fruit and vegetable content. Whilst the original BeyondDiet plan is already focused on micronutrients, the amount of food that could be considered “obstructive” in the digestive tract is reduced and replaced by high-fibre, lean protein ingredients. This represents a responsible and well-informed approach to reducing the possibility of feeling “sluggish” or “weighted down” – high fibre content will return to regular digestive health and improve a variety of metabolic functions. In addition to this, the increased intake of vitamins and minerals associated with these foods will increase perceptions of being “light” and “energetic” whilst contributing to even further weight loss.
Perhaps the two most important differences between the BeyondDiet cleanse and the majority of liquid-only or supplement-based cleanses are the side-effects and the consistency of weight loss. When we observe the effects of most cleanses, we see that the use of excessive caffeine to compensate for hunger actually results in various complains of elevated heartbeat or other symptoms associated with a high caffeine intake (as some of our other reviews have shown). The lack of diet-aiding supplements drastically reduces the chances of suffering any negative reactions and the structure of the program means that there are no ‘necessary’ ingredients, further reducing the chances of adverse reactions. Equally, liquid-only cleanses have inflated weight loss because there is no intestinal mass and water retention, meaning that when we return to solid foods the weight returns almost immediately.
As with the regular BeyondDiet program, the focus on whole food and dietary adjustments behoves the company overall. Focusing on a sound scientific understanding of nutrition and a food-first approach provides a long-term solution to the long-term problem of intestinal health and weight management.
(0/10 – confusing, word-y and unnecessary)
Sadly, BeyondDiet hasn’t been impressive on every single product they offer. The so-called “magic eraser” seems to be out of place on their website and within the otherwise-excellent approach that they’ve developed. The magic eraser page begins by repeatedly describing how we might make poor food choices and how we need to get back on track. In fact, it repeats these two simple messages so many times that it was initially hard to understand what this service actually does. The main problems highlighted are diet-based universal inflammation, poor gut health and weight gain.
When we dig through the THOUSANDS of words of poor quality, clickbait-style copywriting, we find out that the program itself is directed at reducing intestinal burden, focusing on berry-based smoothies and low-carbohydrate, high-protein foods. What confuses us about this is how, exactly, it is meant to act as a “magic eraser”: this seems to suggest that it will undo the effects of poor diet decisions in a way that other services won’t. However, when we look at the general description of the “magic eraser” as given above, it seems fundamentally the same as the “super cleanse” praised earlier in this article. This seems totally out of step with the rest of the marketing strategy and mars an otherwise-positive company.
Additionally, the inclusion of a 15-minute exercise guide to accompany this program seems to be a cheap attempt to add extra value to the product because it has very little to begin with. These exercises are minimalist in the extreme and promote the false idea that proper exercise and fitness can be achieved in 15 minutes or that this will have any impact on the overall weight loss experienced. The very-low-calorie diet will achieve this end by itself and the exercises provided are far from a complete workout, especially since they are suggested to be performed in such a short period. Whilst BeyondDiet appears to have a very firm handle on the way that nutrition and diet should be handled, their approach to diet and exercise seems rudimentary in the extreme. Whilst it Is totally understandable that some individuals will not have a huge amount of time to perform exercise, and some is always better than none, the suggestion that you can “get fit in 15” or similar is intellectually dishonest in a way that the rest of the company is not. This entire service is very confusing!
Overall, we’d highly recommend the regular BeyondDiet services to those who need extra guidance and structure in their diet. If you’re trying to find a supplement to fix your weight then, generally, you’re focusing on the wrong areas. Diet and exercise are the foundations of health, fitness and physique. BeyondDiet puts this principle at the heart of their service and simplifies the process of dietetics and provides a well-balanced approach. This service not only addresses the need to change dietary habits, but also to learn the how of structuring a diet towards health, fitness and performance.
Whilst there are some serious concerns about the way that some of the products are marketed, structured and paired with low-quality exercise prescriptions, there are a variety of very positive things to be said about BeyondDiet. Dietitian consultation can be expensive and time-consuming, but this program strikes us as a far more affordable and low-commitment approach to the problem of weight management. For this reason, we’d give BeyondDiet an 8/10 overall, but we recommend sticking to the original program.
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John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry! You can contact him via the "About Us" page.