Is anyone doing Dr. Bernstein diet?

Here, here!

Only one thing I would add. I do the low carb to get good numbers, good control. Unfortunately, I have not lost weight - in fact, I have gained 20 in the past year. But, that has nothing to do with the low carb and everything to do with insulin and being extremely insulin resistant. So I have just started Symlin along with weight training in order to lower my insulin dose and increase insulin sensitivity (moderate aerobics didn’t seem to affect it much). Sucks…I know low carb is usually very effective with weight loss…sigh.


Thanks, Judith!

Gerri and Judith …your responses mean a lot to me as in true understanding and support . Thank You both .
I am going to add : when I eat carbs , I choose the ones with vitamins and fiber and variety . Potatoes withou the peel do not do it for me … for the occasional treat I have a cookie , dark chocolate or icecream …always have salad with my supper meal , which hubby makes …again a lot of fiber and coloured veggies .Oatmeal ,plain joghurt , fruit , for breakfast is the norm . I have been on this food path since way, way back prior to diagnosis in 1983 ( my secret: I used to be a Director of Food service in a Hospital ) and possibly my metabolism has been set way back too .
My tummy just too small to have any type of desert right after the meal , so I am NOT tempted .

Hey everybody! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge. This a great site for a newbie like me! I’m experiencing some low moods 3 days into low carb but BG is coming under control.

I’m doing a few more carbs than Dr. B recommends but his book has changed my entire perspective. Much more informative than my endo who says, “you need to get your sugars down, that will be $200.”

Thanks everyone!

Cynthia D.

Cynthia D.

I’m the same way as you are with how you eat Nel. I know though that I’m juggling two books right now - and one is to do with the Twilight series (oh Edward - drool) - and the other is Dr. B’s book called Diabetes Solution. He is a fascinating man to read about (would love to meet him) - and way ahead of his time (he managed to get his wife, who is a doctor to get him a BG meter back in the late 60’s - wish I’d had one then - urine testing was all we had). If you look past his low carb way of eating - and incorporate it into a way that suits you - he’s quite the genius (I’m having probs putting the book down - it’s such an interesting read). If you ever get a chance to read one of his books - do so - not that it will change our eating habits - I like my carbs too much - but it is very insightful as to how he came around figuring out how much 1 unit of insulin handles 15 g of carb, and the effects on his BG’s.
See you soon!!! Counting down the days until the you come to Montreal!

Cynthia - glad to hear Dr. B is helping you out - you’re not the only one to say this! Incase you’ve never seen Dr. B in action - check out this video from (promoting the place I currently work at - what the heck - we have some good stuff there )!

Dr. Bernstein does a monthly webcast. It’s an hour & he covers a lot of topics from write-in questions. You can sign up at


You’re an inspiration. Wish I had half your energy & dedication to exercise.

Yes…I follow it:) Not as strict…still include dairy and sometimes increase CHO to 20-30 grams/meal on special occasions. I also sometimes do not eat breakfast (6gms) so, eating less than 30 gms/d. I have been on the diet for about 2 months and my HgA1c has dropped from 7.6 to 5.9% This is an amazing difference for a T1 on an insulin pump and not even 3 months on the lowered intake! I felt a little achy the first week…but, great thereafter. I am not hungry…which is a MAJOR change for me…resulted in 12-15 pound weight loss. I have dropped my TDD (total daily dose) of insulin by 1/2…suspect I will continue to increase my insulin receptivity as I get closer to my IBW too:) so may eventually get back to my original basal rates as a 20 year old! It has been amazing. I am waiting for some lipid labs to come back to see if any change there. I must qualify, that the fats and carbs I eat are mostly our own organic foods. We feed our chickens flax, purslane…so, the fats I take in via eggs, etc. are healthier fats. I am also pretty strict on what carbs I eat…no starchy vegs or if so, just a taste:)

Hi Everyone! I am new to this website and new to trying out low-carb. I have had Type 1 diabetes for 15 years and am in generally good health (no complications). I take Lantus and Novolog pen-shots. When I went to the doctor in August, my A1c was 8.0. This is only the second time in my diabetic history it’s been this high, and I am concerned. My doctor’s main suggestion was to increase my insulin dosage and check my sugar more often (duh). I figured it’s because I was being lazy over the summer and eating snacks in the afternoon sometimes without taking shots, but I felt I was eating generally healthful foods other than the occasional binge (I have quite a sweet-tooth). I went vegetarian (except fish) last August and I wonder if I increased my carb consumption in order to feel satiated. I got cravings like mad and nothing was working. Recently I stumbled upon the concept of going low-carb, high “good” fats (including saturated fats like Coconut oil), and have been trying to transition into cutting out grains/starches. I am eating organic meats again, and don’t yet feel amazing (it’s only been 6 days), but I certainly haven’t gained weight doing this - probably due to the fact that I’m eating less and don’t really feel hungry all the time like I used to. My blood sugars have been in much greater control and I have reduced my insulin quite a lot. So, it seems like it’s going well. Of course, my main concerns have to do with whether this is truly healthful living (it is totally against most conventional wisdom and the internet is a plethora of conflicting information). It stresses me out to think I might not be treating my body properly but I have to wait until December for my next doc’s appointment to get blood test results. Who can I trust? My doctor? A nutritionist? The thousands of conflicting health studies on the web? I have Dr. Bernstein’s book on hold from the library but have not had a chance to read it yet. I’ve also been waking up with lows the last two mornings so I think it’s time to decrease my nighttime lantus. Is it OK for me to be doing this on my own with nothing to guide me but a bunch of studies on the internet and my own monitoring? I suppose anything for three months won’t kill me, but I’m hoping in the long run it helps! I would love advice from anyone who has tried something similar. I know stress is bad for BG control as well so some peace of mind would be nice.

It may be comforting that it was my endocrinologists who recommended I “read Bernstein’s book, and follow the diet”. She is at a top 10 hospital and is well published researcher. I told her…I read his book some years ago, tried it, much better BGs, and then stopped because I was worried about what it may do to my CVD and kidney risk. She assured me that it would not put me at increased risk and we would monitor my lipids. Well… that was a little over several months ago and then 2 months ago I decided to take the plunge…I am glad I did.

As far as being ok w/ adjusting your insulin…that is something you must know or be in touch w/ your doc/CDE. I am ok w/ it and my doc is ok w/ it. On the low CHO you will more than likely have to adjust your insulin a few times. A lot of it depends on how insulin resistant you are or how much insulin you still make. I, like yourself, am a T1 (no insulin production) for a long time. I…maybe unlike you, am a little insulin resistant given I gained a fair amount of weight as an adult on the ADA diet (high carb). Even w/ my insulin resistance…I had to drop my basals almost immediately and still doing so. You will have to monitor your BGs a lot to get this all straight as you lower your CHO intake. It may be a little more difficult on shots, but hang in there. Some of the other folks on Tu may have some additional online resources for you to check out. Bernstein’s book has a lot of practical, good info…so, I would get your hands on it. Janet Ruhl’s website is also helpful. Good luck and be well:)

Hi Sarah,

I was a vegetarian for decades before diagnosis. Some people can, but I couldn’t keep BG in control being a vegetarian. In order to get enough protein, I was consuming too many carbs along the way & constantly hungry.

My low carb meals following Dr. B consists of lean protein & lots of low carb veggies. I eat vegetables with every meal. I eat a lot of fish, organic eggs (have a friend with healthy, happy free range chickens), nuts & cheese. I use coconut oil, too. For baking, I use almond meal, golden flaxseed meal & coconut flour. Instead of milk, I use unsweetened almond milk. Seems like a very healthy diet to me.

My experience with nutritionists, CDEs & dieticians hasn’t been good. They all push the ADA carb plan & food pyramid.

I say trust your body:) See how you feel & how your body reacts. Reducing insulin needs is a good thing.

During 15 years having diabetes have you relied on doses solely following your doctor’s guidelines? I change my doses all the time on my own & seems that many people do. When changing doses, if you decide to, make small changes by only 1 unit. Stay at this dose for three days so you’ll know the effect.

Thanks, Gerri. That sounds pretty similar to what I’m trying, and I had similar frustrations with my vegetarian year - I was always hungry and my weight either remained the same or went up! However, part of the reason for it was environmental, though I believe I can still achieve that from organically raised meat/eggs and veggies. Good to hear it is working well for you.

No, you’re right, I do change my dosage all the time on my own so I will just continue to do that. :slight_smile: I warned my boyfriend who lives with me that I’m making some major changes so if he could keep an eye out for me in case of overnight lows that would be great.

I really appreciate your insight and support! Hopefully in a month or so I’ll know where I stand.

I can’t eat soy because of thyroid problems. I wonder now if all the soy I previously consumed lead in part to my thyroid problems. I also wonder if I was getting enough protein on my former vegetarian diet. Be aware that protein will effect BG, so you don’t want to go overboard on protein either.

From Jenny’s site here’s a protein calculator:

Happy to help! Keep us posted.

I found Jenny’s protein calculator interesting, but in my case it gave a rather “scary” low value for protein. I am a fairly musclular lean 205 lbs and it recommended 50 g protein. It suggests that a 100lb sedentary 30 year old female should eat more (68g). I consider that level to be below what is required to sustain a healthy diet. In practice, I believe Dr. B suggests about 75g for a normal adult and that you modulate that level to gain or lose weight. I actually try to get 200-250g of protein.

I consider Dr. B to be a guru. His teachings are what makes me informed. I may never be able to fully follow his diet or achieve the levels of control he advocates, but he always teaches me proper path that I need to follow.


I don’t know what you put in for the 100 lb. 30 year old sedentary female because it’s based on carb intake as well. I entered that this woman was 65’ tall & eating 40 carbs daily. Based on this it shows her needing 137 grams of protein to maintain her weight. If you entered much higher carb, her protein needs would be different.

Your Height: 65 inches
Your Current Weight: 100 pounds

Your Age: 30

Your Gender: Female

Your Activity Level: Sedentary with Metabolic Advantage

Your Calculated Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1,175

Activity Factor Used to Compute Activity Calories from BMR: 1.43

To maintain your body weight eat 1,680 calories.

You have decided to eat 40 grams of carbohydrate a day.

To avoid loss of muscle mass you must eat 137 grams of high quality protein each day. This can be found in 22.8 ounces of meat, eggs, or hard cheese.

Round out your diet with 108 grams of fat.

Gerri, I was in error. Thanks. I entered a 30 year old 100 lb sendentary female eating 80 g carbs a day for more than 3 weeks. It suggested ‘16’ g protein. The 68g was for just the first three weeks. In my case, it recommends 50g protein and a whopping 255 g fat. I like butter, but that is some serious butter. I just think these are woefully inadequate levels of protein.

Perhaps raising the carb level from 40-80 is the difference, in either case, for myself I found it a quite off.


Agree that 50 grams of protein doesn’t seem like enough for a 205 lb. active man. Just curious because I want to play around with the calculator to see what it brings up for different inputs. How many carbs did you enter for yourself? How tall are you?

That is some serious butter:)

I have had D for 43 years and just recently started following Dr. B’s diet. For the first time I can have Blood sugars normal . I try a new food test every 1/2 hour to see how much insulin I need to not spike my BS. than write all down. Food and hunger were an ongoing struggle with me untill I started th Dr. B’s way of life. I approached my Endo about doing this , and he said " I really feel guilty I have been telling my patients what I was taught in Med school the ADA way to eat anything and cover with Insulin., but new research shows the way to go is a low carb less insulin routine. I higly respect my Endo Dr. Berger of the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara CA. and with his blessing i am doing better than I have ever done. My plan is to see dr. B sometime soon. I do stick with the 6 12 12 and my Insulin dosage is much less than befor. I was taking about 25-30 u Humalog for the day and now take about 6. Hunger what hunger!!

Watch out for Ketoacidosis… make sure you keep checking your ketones… I find that those kind of diets are dangerous as heck. The body requires protein AND carbohydrates for proper function. Restricting carbs too much is very dangerous to the kidney and liver and anything else internal… I wound up in the hospital thanks to a low carb high protein diet… stupidest thing I ever did… I almost had to get a new liver thanks to that idiotic move… talk to your doctor and make sure they are not on the “Quack List” when it comes to intelligent dieting…a little is fine too much is plain lunacy…Good luck to you!!!

Ketosis & diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are two very different things. Limiting carbs does not cause DKA…

Ketosis is a natural process where the body burns fat for energy during weight loss. Mild ketones are normal when this happens. I’ve been on a low carb (about 30-40 carbs daily) for about 1.5 years & have never had ketones.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially lethal condition brought on by very high BG & accompanying dehydration. Ketones present are very high.

Restricting carbs isn’t dangerous to the liver or kidneys or “anything else internal.” Did you have kidney or liver problems before? How much protein a day were you eating?

Regarding the body needing carbs, that the body converts about 58% of protein (amino acids) to glucose has already been covered in this discussion. .