Getting Started on Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Diet

How to Do the Bernstein Diet

Close-up of a person's hand taking a blood test
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How do you go about "doing the Bernstein Diet?" Here are six steps to success. Note that if you are taking diabetes medications, work with your health professional while making diet changes.

1) Learn All About It

Some diets are possible to follow with information found online. However, it is absolutely essential to fully understand the underpinnings of Dr. Bernstein's approach. Diabetics should certainly read Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution.

It is truly a complete guide. Excerpts can be found on Dr. Bernstein's Web site. Non-diabetics can probably get by with just reading Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Diet. Although "Solution" has a lot more information, it also has a lot that is less relevant such as information about injecting insulin.

Books to Read:

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Diet

2) Consider Home Blood Glucose Testing, Even if You're Not Diabetic

This may sound crazy, but Dr. Bernstein's approach is rooted in promoting normal blood glucose. So the only real way to know what yours is doing and how you respond to foods is to test your blood glucose. Why I Test My Blood Glucose

3) Learn How to Count Carbs

Bernstein's plan relies on knowing how much carbohydrate is in everything you eat. Therefore, it's important to learn about carb counting. There are books with carb counts and software you can buy or use online.

Find some of these resources here, or plug a food into the box at the bottom of this page or most pages on this site. This will bring up information from the Calorie Count site.

4) Learn What to Eat

The rules of carbohydrate eating on Bernstein's plan are summarized as "6-12-12." This means that 6 grams of carb are eaten at breakfast, 12 grams at lunch, and 12 grams at dinner/supper.

He has a lot of tips about how he likes to do this in his book.

See also Food Lists for Dr. Bernstein's Diet

As far as how much protein and fat, he advises people to get to know about how much will get them through to the next meal, and eat that same amount at that meal each day.

5) Plan Ahead

It's important when starting out on a new way of eating to plan your food ahead of time. This really cannot be emphasized enough. Plan at least a week's worth of menus, and have food on hand a few days ahead of time. Then you won't be caught wondering what to eat.

Resources on This Site:

6) Take the Plunge!

The first week of a new way of eating is usually challenging. Know that there will be rough spots, especially as your body converts to a new way of eating.

7) Get Support!

This could be the most important step of all: Get support from family and friends. If possible, find someone to do the diet with you. 

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