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Overview

On the Beverly Hills Diet plan you can eat almost anything—as long as the food is eaten in the right sequence and with the right combination of other foods. This diet claims that if you follow it exactly, you will lose 10-15 pounds in 35 days.

How Is This Diet Supposed to Work?

The premise of this diet is that it’s not food that causes weight gain, but rather undigested food that results from inefficient digestion. Moreover, the key to proper digestion is separating certain foods and combining others. This supposedly allows enzymes to work as they should, which allows food to be fully digested. Additionally, this diet claims that you can further enhance how well your enzymes function by eating fruits that contain natural enzymes.

What’s Involved?

You can eat most foods on this diet, but there are rules about when you can eat what and which foods can be combined. For example, foods that are considered proteins can only be eaten with other proteins. The creator of this diet terms this method “conscious combining.”

The Beverly Hills diet classifies foods into three main food groups: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrate group also has subcategories. Fruit is in its own carbohydrate category because of the enzymes it contains. Other carbohydrates are classified by how long they take to digest, with maxi-carbohydrates taking the longest. Here are some examples of different foods in each of these groups:

Food TypeExamples

Proteins

Beef, cheese, cheesecake, eggs, fish, flan, ice cream, milk, nuts, pork, seeds, shellfish, yogurt

Fats

Butter, heavy cream, mayonnaise, oil, sour cream, whipped cream

Carbohydrates
  • Fruits
    • All fruits, brandy, champagne, cognac, wine
  • 50/50 These can be considered either proteins or carbohydrates:
    • Avocados, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, soybeans
  • Mini-carbohydrates
    • Asparagus, celery, herbs, lettuce, mushrooms, zucchini
  • Midi-carbohydrates
    • Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, parsnips, tomatoes, turnips
  • Maxi-carbohydrates
    • Artichokes, barley, breads, bulgur, chocolate, cookies, corn, grains, millet, oats, pasta, potatoes, rice, rye, wheat, alcohol (beer and distilled liquors)

Beverly Hills Diet Eating Plan

This diet is set up as a 35-day meal plan. Each day begins with eating an enzyme-rich fruit. You can eat as much of this fruit as you would like to, but you have to wait at least one hour before eating another fruit. Additionally, you can’t eat food from another food group for at least two hours. And once you eat food from another group, you can’t eat fruit again for the rest of the day.

Basically, there are many rules for what you can eat and when. Here are some of the principles of conscious combining:

  • Proteins go with proteins. Carbohydrates go with carbohydrates. Fruit must be eaten alone.
  • Fats can be combined with protein or carbohydrates, but not with fruit.
  • Every day needs to begin with an enzymatic fruit.
    • You can eat as much of a fruit as you want, but you can’t mix different types of fruit.
    • Wait at least one hour before having another type of fruit.
    • Wait at least two hours before eating food from another food group.
    • Once you eat food from another food group, fruit is not allowed again until the next day.
  • If you eat carbohydrates after eating fruit, you can eat as much of them as you want, until you eat a protein.
  • Once you eat a protein, 80% of what you eat for the rest of the day should be protein.
  • Diet sodas, artificial sweeteners, and artificial additives are not allowed.
  • Regarding alcohol:
    • Because most alcoholic beverages are carbohydrates, they need to be consumed with other carbohydrates.
    • Wine is considered a fruit, so it should be consumed with other fruits.
    • Champagne is considered “neutral” and can be consumed with anything.

According to this diet you can “miscombine” once in a while as long as you compensate by eating certain foods afterwards. For instance, if you eat something greasy, you can burn it off by eating pineapple or strawberries the next day. You can even compensate beforehand, if you know you are going off the recommended plan.

Concerns

There is no science to back up the theory behind this diet. The idea that undigested food is what makes people fat is incorrect. If food is not digested, its calories can’t be used by the body.

This plan can also be dangerously low in calories and lacking in certain nutrients. For example, on the first day, eating only pineapple until dinner is recommended. And then all that is allowed at dinner is salad and corn-on-the-cob.

Finally, this diet does not include an exercise component, which should be part of every weight loss plan.

Bottom Line

This diet might lead to weight loss because the many rules about what you can eat make it overly limiting. The plan itself is confusing and complicated to follow. The most successful diets are ones that you can stick with and make part of your lifestyle. Overall, the Beverly Hills Diet is not recommended for anyone who wants a healthful, balanced approach to eating and weight loss.

  • American Dietetic Association

    http://www.eatright.org

  • Choosing a Successful Weight-Loss Program

    Weight-Control Information Network

    http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/choosing.htm

  • Dietitians of Canada

    http://www.dietitians.ca

  • Health Canada

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/

  • Mazel J. The New Beverly Hills Diet. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc; 1996.

  • Mirkin GB, Shore RN. The Beverly Hills diet. Dangers of the newest weight loss fad. JAMA. 1981;13:2235-2237.