One of the things that fascinates me the most about nutrition is weight loss. Many of us struggle on a daily basis, trying to figure out ways to lose weight and to keep that weight off.
That emphasis has led to many fad diets and a wide range of different approaches. Yet, despite all of the ‘solutions’ for weight loss, people continue to struggle with it.
The Beyond Diet claims to have the answer to this problem.
In this Beyond Diet review, we’re going to take a look at exactly what the diet claims and how the actual approach stands up to scrutiny. In particular, we’re focusing on whether you truly can lose weight with this popular diet and whether it would work for everyone.
The Beyond Diet Itself
Right now, Beyond Diet is a fairly popular approach to weight loss – partly because of the hype that surrounds it. The membership site boasts that it has more than 780,000 members, although it’s likely that only some of those are consistently following the diet.
At the same time, the Facebook page for the diet boasts more than 1.7 million likes, which is a key indication of their popularity.
The consistent popularity of this program does strongly suggest that it is legitimate but that popularity isn't actually proof.
After all, people often get involved in approaches simply because they are popular, without really looking at how well they are likely to work. That’s one of the key reasons behind this Beyond Diet review. I want to show you exactly what the diet offers and let you make an informed decision.
Besides, you only have to look at fad diets to see that something can be popular without being effective.
For example, the 3 Day Military Diet and the Clean 9 Diet were both popular for a time, yet there was never any evidence that these were effective. In fact, that same pattern is common across most fad diets, including related styles like Atrafen, Advocare and the Cruise Control Diet.
Going Beyond the Diet
The basic concept of the Beyond Diet is eating whole food and focusing on food that offers nutritional benefits. For example, some of the images of food on the site include these:
This general approach is one that has been gaining popularity lately, with good reason. In many ways, this approach is also a lifestyle rather than a diet and the focus is strongly on changing the quality of the food that you eat.
This makes a lot of sense for people who tend to rely heavily on processed food.
After all, the food we eat can have significant impacts on our body and on our health. For example, eating a lot processed food and high amounts of sugar may contribute to inflammation and even increase disease risk, while foods like raw honey and olive oil have been associated with health benefits.
The marketing for Beyond Diet plays into this concept, focusing on the idea that there are certain foods that you should eat and others that you shouldn’t.
I completely agree with the idea that the food you eat can help or sabotage weight loss (and health in general). However, I am a little skeptical about the idea that certain foods burn fat naturally. Realistically, food doesn’t really work like that and, at best, some foods might give your metabolism a little boost but that’s about it.
Nevertheless, the overall approach here does focus on lifestyle, rather than the idea of following a specific strict diet plan – so that is appealing.
Now, the idea of following a healthy lifestyle often does work much better than following a traditional diet. A key reason for this is that most diets are only ever designed to work in the short term. For some diets, it’s even dangerous to follow them for an extended period of time and there is a risk that you would become deficient in nutrients (the Clean 9 diet is one example of this).
In contrast, a lifestyle tends to be easier to follow, partly because this type of approach will often be more realistic. Likewise, a lifestyle tends to focus on long-term health and weight outcomes, rather than short-term weight loss.
Many food bloggers promote the same idea. For example, the Keto Adapted blog offers recipes that are keto and also sugar free - yet, there is also a focus on high-quality food and enjoying what you eat.
So, the underlying concept works for health.
In theory, a lifestyle that focuses on whole and healthy foods can also work well for weight loss – providing that people take approaches to limit their calorie intake in some ways as well.
But… what about Beyond Diet itself? Is this a good way to lose weight?
Essentially, the Beyond Diet is a lifestyle approach to weight loss, which is certainly a method that has potential
What’s Involved in the Beyond Diet?
Essentially the Beyond Diet offers three programs, one for blood sugar, one that is a detox and one that is the diet. For the purposes of this discussion, we’re just going to focus on the diet side of things, which is this program here:
The program offers the following features that are supposed to play a key role in weight loss.
Now, the Beyond Diet itself isn’t actually a new concept. Instead, the approaches were published in an eBook in 2011 and the current website was created from that. Currently, the site is immensely popular and claims to have helped more than 500,000 people lose weight.
One of the best ways to summarize this program is that it focuses on food and on enjoying food. So, this isn’t a diet where members starve themselves or where they avoid treats entirely. Instead, it is an approach that attempts to be realistic and practical.
This also ties into a popular idea called mindful eating.
Mindful eating suggests that we take the time to slow down and basically enjoy our food. This is something that a lot of people don’t do. Instead, we rush through meals, often paying relatively little attention to what we are eating.
Doing this means that our body doesn’t have much time to catch up and we often overeat without realizing it.
By slowing down our eating, we have the chance to enjoy food more and to actually eat less. For some people, this approach alone is enough to help them lose weight, although that isn’t true for everyone.
At the same time, the process of mindful eating means that you may be less likely to turn to comfort food or sugar, because you get more satisfaction and enjoyment from meals.
Indeed, some people end up getting to the point where they enjoy healthy food as much as they do junk food – which is a great outcome for weight loss.
Another interesting thing about the program is that it is also customized to your own needs and you can customize it further yourself.
So, when people sign up, the website asks some basic questions and then creates a nutrition plan that is based around your responses.
As this is based on an algorithm, it might not be entirely accurate but the program does teach people enough that they could make further adjustments on their own.
The same is true for any guidelines and food recommendations that you are given.
To me, that customization is appealing. Realistically, we do all have different nutritional needs – especially as we vary in what health issues we have and in how much we move around in a given day. Internally, there are even differences in the ways that our bodies respond to some foods. So, it makes sense that the exact same diet isn’t going to work for everyone.
The general idea with the diet is to follow the recommendations and guidelines that you are given along with the recipes on the site.
Additionally, the Beyond Diet doesn’t actually involve calorie counting – which can make it appealing to some people. Instead, there is an emphasis on ‘eyeballing’ portion sizes. This approach will tend to work really well for some people and not so well for others.
This overall approach is another way that the diet is flexible – and there are thousands of different recipes on the site to choose from.
The Beyond Diet relies on guidelines and personalized recommendations, along with a range of recipes that members are supposed to follow to aid their weight loss
Testimonials and Beyond Diet Reviews
One of the biggest drawcards of the Beyond Diet is the success that other people experience. Often, people get involved with this diet simply because of those success stories or because of the number of members the site has.
But, how realistic is this?
In some cases, you do find sites that use stock images and fake stories with their testimonials but I doubt that is the case here. For one thing, you can’t rely on stock images for before and after photos, which means that the testimonials are likely to be legitimate.
However, there are a couple of things to consider.
The first thing is that before and after photos can be misleading.
There are various examples of this, but this social media post is a good one:
This particular post was used to highlight that point – because the two images were taken just 15 minutes apart. Even though this looks like a typical before and after transformation, in reality the woman was the exact same weight in both images.
Many sites have talked about this practice as well, such as Health.com.
Now, I’m not saying that the before and after images for Beyond Diet are faked. Honestly, I suspect they are entirely real. However, they can make the diet seem better than it is.
In most cases, you'll find that before-and-after photos are a little bit of both. So, there is some weight loss. But, people have also changed what they wear, are standing better and are more confident. Those are all positive outcomes - and they may be a reason to follow the diet.
But, the pattern does suggest more weight loss than what actually happens.
The other thing (as the site itself makes clear) is that testimonials don’t give you any indication of how the diet is going to work for you.
With any diet, results are going to vary from person to person. Some of that is based on how well people follow the diet. For example, there are always going to be some people who are successful on pretty much any diet approach. In some cases, those people may just have extremely strong dedication, while in other cases, that diet may be a perfect fit for their needs.
In practice, this means that the testimonials and Beyond Diet reviews that you find don’t really say all that much about the diet.
Sure, some people lose weight but, does everyone? Probably not.
In fact, my overall impression of the approach is that it would work really well for some people and not for others.
There are lots of positive Beyond Diet reviews out there and they do appear to be legitimate. Nevertheless, diets are an individual challenge and the success of other people doesn't necessarily mean the diet will work well for you
The Good versus the Bad
Without a doubt, there are some good things about Beyond Diet and I imagine that the system does work well for many people. However, there are still some limitations and in this Beyond Diet review, I’m going to weigh up the good and the bad things about the diet.
- A lifestyle rather than a diet
- One-time fee ($37/$47) for the basic diet
- Community support
- Flexible diet with lots of recipes to choose from
- Variety of recipes means that there are meals for many different dietary restrictions and food preferences
- Don’t have to rely on expensive food or ingredients (even choosing organic food is optional, although organic options are recommended)
- Don’t have to buy specific products, supplements or premade meals
- Doesn’t leave you feeling hungry
- Doesn’t provide exercises or workout plans (although you can pay extra for this)
- Need to pay monthly for updated and VIP content
- Doesn’t teach strategies for managing cravings
- May be too flexible for many people and not having to count calories or portions can make overeating easy
- The approach is essentially just a healthy diet and many of the concepts are fairly obvious
- The program assumes that you have the time and finances to create the recipes that it promotes, which may not be realistic for everyone
There is a lot that I like about Beyond Diet and it is nice to see a weight loss approach that is actually realistic.
To me, the diet seems like it would work exceptionally well for some people and may do little for others.
In part, this would depend on the areas that you are struggling with to start off with.
For example, some people who promote the diet argue that it works much better than programs that involve counting points or counting calories. And yes, that’s true to a degree.
Counting exactly what you’re eating can be frustrating and hard to stick to. Yet, at the same time, this approach is necessary for some people because they have trouble with overeating otherwise.
Likewise, this diet does follow the idea that your food should always satisfy you.
Indeed, many of the recipes that the program provides are relatively high in protein, so it is likely that the food will be more filling than meals you might have been eating beforehand. This approach corresponds with research as well, which suggests that protein can be good for health and even for weight loss.
However, the hunger signals that our bodies give us aren’t always in line with what we need. This is especially true for people who are overweight or obese, as they can be fighting leptin resistance.
Leptin is also known as the hunger hormone and it helps people to know when they have had enough to eat. However, it does not always behave as it should and this means that relying on hunger and satisfaction as eating cues can make it much more difficult to lose weight.
Additionally, we’re starting to realize that hunger isn’t necessarily a bad thing to begin with and our bodies may even need to go through periods of hunger to help with our overall health and also with weight loss.
Nevertheless, the diet is fairly inexpensive, especially as it is just a one-time fee.
That reason alone certainly makes the diet worth considering.
Even if it isn’t something that works for you, you may well come away with some information that can help with losing weight and with understanding how to improve your lifestyle.
In many ways, the Beyond Diet is a program that can work. However, it certainly isn't revolutionary and much of the advice that it offers is fairly obvious
Hype for the Program
There is also one other thing that I want to talk about with this program, which is the hype that surrounds it, including the way that some information is presented.
Now, in some ways, the Beyond Diet is pretty realistic about what you can expect and you do get a good indication of what the program involves before you sign up.
However, there were some things that I noticed on the site that I found a little concerning. One of them was this video:
Now, I do agree that all of these products are deceptive foods and they sound healthier than they actually are. However, the idea that you shouldn’t ever eat them is a pretty major exaggeration.
Likewise, there is a claim that the diet is supported by a large amount of research:
Well… yes and no.
There probably are that many studies proving various points about the diet. However, many of those studies are going to be ones that talk about specific foods as being healthy (like yogurt or whey protein).
Now, in the case of the Beyond Diet, the studies do provide some evidence but they don’t actually prove anything about the diet as a whole. Instead, the research mostly shows that these are good foods to eat to improve your overall health. In most cases, the research doesn't even focus on weight loss specifically.
With this in mind, there certainly isn't much evidence that the entire Beyond Diet is actually a weight loss tool.
I also noticed this on the payment page for the site:
To be honest, I found this incredibly disappointing. While I don’t think it works for everyone – I do like the concept of the Beyond Diet. However, this timer is classic manipulation and it’s a shame to find it on a legitimate site.
The whole idea here is that the timer tries to force you to make a decision quickly without thinking it through all the way. It isn’t a big deal and this certainly doesn’t mean the product isn’t legitimate but still, it is manipulation and that makes it frustrating.
In fact, much of the Beyond Diet site has a focus on sales and getting people to spend money.
For example, there are various upsells promoting other products or parts of the service, such as the 30-day transformation. I find the marketing particularly concerning, partly because it contains claims like this:
The individual nature of diets and weight loss means that any claim like this cannot possibly be true because the approach simply won't work for everyone. That's just a simple fact of diets and lifestyle changes, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
At the same time, some members have found that they have been tricked into extra costs, including monthly fees. Other members noted that cancelling the program was difficult, which is deeply concerning.
This doesn't necessarily mean that the diet itself doesn't work but it means that you should be very careful when signing up for it, especially if you sign up for any of the options that have a monthly subscription.
While the hype doesn't detract from the program itself, that approach is disconcerting and reinforces the idea that the diet sounds better than it actually is
My Overall Beyond Diet Review
Unlike many sites and approaches, Beyond Diet isn’t really a fad diet. Instead, the site has a much greater focus on teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, there is a greater emphasis on healthy approaches rather than following a strict menu.
This approach is much more realistic than a diet and it would tend to be more sustainable in the long-term.
The fact that the Beyond Diet includes guidance and support would also be useful for some people and could be enough to keep them on track with the diet. Likewise, there is a community support system that could also help some people.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that this isn’t really a revolutionary approach. Instead, the Beyond Diet simply takes fairly common health advice along with community support and recipes, and provides it all as a package.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing – because the information and approach would be effective for some people. Nevertheless, the approach does feel a little misleading and would probably work better for some people than for others.
With the fairly low cost and the considerable amount of information provided, I would recommend this diet as an approach to check out and learn from. For some people, the diet may well be effective as it is. For others, the information provided may be a good place to start a healthy food journey and may offer a base of information to build from.
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What do you think? Would the Beyond Diet work for you or is it simply a lot of hype for something that really isn't that special?