Acai Berry Diet Review

This ‘review’ has it’s humble beginnings as my response to a person who asked me about the Acai Berry Diet, yet the take-home message can be applied to any ‘fad’ diet. -JS-

Sure, the acai berry has nutritional benefits (so do most other fruits, veggies, lean protein sources, etc), but a diet based around a single food source wreaks of gimmick. Fad diets typically rely on some combination of caloric restriction and exercise (they need to in order to be “effective”)

But If it’s your first time following a calorie restrictive diet, yes, you’ll lose ‘weight’ (not necessarily body fat) – probably fairly easy, too.

The problem is that the more you cycle between restrictive and “regular” eating patterns, the harder it gets to lose anything meaningful as you continue the yo-yo cycle. And every time you go back to ‘regular’ eating, you’ll gain even MORE weight than you lost.

This is why I use (and HIGHLY recommend) Dr. John Berard’s Precision Nutrition with my private coaching clients. It doesn’t rely on simple calorie restriction as a short-term ‘trick’. Instead, it provides all the tools one needs to develop and modify (depending on personal goals) healthy lifestyle habits (notice the similarities to my ‘5 hour’ approach with “This Workout…” It’s all about the HABITS!)

There are times and places where restrictive diets can be deemed necessary (for profit or as part of a bigger health picture). For example, one of my former clients is an actor (codename: VisionQuest) and he gave me the challenge of helping him lose as much weight as possible in ~6weeks for a role as a meth addict.  Whether the weight loss was bodyfat or lean, healthy muscle wasn’t important.  He simply needed to look like a junkie

We did some insane things I would NEVER do with a ‘regular’ person, but his career is his life, and he fully understood the long term effects of extreme dieting/yo-yo cycles and the volume and intensity of workouts we needed to apply, so we went to work…

“VQ” came into this particular project extremely lean and he successfully dropped 18lbs in that short time. Hated every minute of it, but couldn’t have been happier with the results. (A real-life former addict served as a consultant to the film and said that the typical meth addict drops closer to FORTY pounds when they get hooked.) “VQ” was perfectly happy w/his little 18lbs and was even happier to eat again when the shoot was complete.

Medically, it’s sometimes necessary to lose ‘as much weight as possible’ before surgery (to minimize the work load on an already weak heart, for example).

Sure it would be great if cardiac patients had time/energy/motivation to lose weight “the right way”, but apparently the medical profession views extreme dieting as the lesser of 2 evils.  Even if I wanted to dispute their viewpoint, it wouldn’t really matter as I’m not in a position where I can override medically prescribed diets.  If you’re considering such an extreme diet, make sure it’s medically necessary first.

If you have a major lifetime event coming up (wedding, reunion, etc) where you needed to look as good as you possibly could, there are certainly shortcuts, but don’t expect to keep it off when the event is over and life returns to relative normalcy.

’tis a shame the diet industry won’t say any of this to consumers.

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  1. I just Googled Acai because I’m just not cool and don’t keep up with the latest fads, so, I was wondering what all the hype is about. First thought that crossed my mind as I was reading this was that it sounded like an Oprah thing.

    The guy pimping his book about this stuff is a dermatologist. Sure enough, he was on Oprah. Whoda thunk it?

    He’s got some other nifty ideas:

    copy/paste from wikipedia….

    “The Perricone Promise”

    Published in 2004, The Perricone Promise offers a new theory of aging circulating around neuropeptides, and focuses on an extensive diet intended to regulate them. He claims that the diet can be helpful in simultaneously losing weight and smoothing wrinkles, as well as improving one’s mood and decelerating aging. New topical recommendations are also included, the primary one being a neuropeptide-based serum exclusively sold by Perricone’s company that currently costs $570 per bottle (a 3-month supply), far more than any of Perricone’s other products.


  2. Okay, I’ve tried the Acai-Berry. I heard it was all the rage; that it was on Oprah and on CNN and I’ve seen it in pop-ups, on Myspace, Facebook and everywhere else. It was next to impossible to get more after my first 2 bottles ran out. I ordered online and the company said they were backed-up, even the vitamin stores I went to were all out. I became so frustrated and annoyed that the Acai Berry was so unavailable that I just stopped trying. In powder-form it is readily available, but I really liked it in pill-form; it was no mess, no fuss and easy to remember to take. Now did I see any results…? I am aware that the acai-berries have anti-oxidants, which are fabled to enhance cellular health and possibly slow down aging, but do they help with weight loss? I would first like to point out that the acai-berries DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT, give you a 6-pack. You will see these ads everywhere, promising that via the acai-berries, a 6-pack will be achieved. It’s impossible. First of all, a 6-pack cannot be achieved by just anyone, and those who can come close to it will tell you that they’ve almost losing their lives working out hard enough to get even close to one. It may help with weight-loss, but even I cannot say for sure. I think it may have given me some energy, but not a significant amount; I would say a barely perceptive amount. This fruit is not a miracle-maker, it’s a supplement, and like most supplements they do not work alone. You also hear everywhere “…in conjunction with diet & exercise.” I swear, this is absolutely true. If you keep eating McDonald’s hamburgers and fries, chocolate, ice-cream, candy, etc., you will be over-weight, regardless if you take the acai-berry or any other supplement that promises weight-loss no matter what. There is no such thing as a miracle weight-loss-inducing pill or powder. You HAVE TO get your eating habbits under control, period. I realize that is hard pill to swallow, but it has much more than just a few kernels of truth to it. Listen, I think the acai-berry is probably very beneficial for your body and for cellular regeneration and health, but alone it cannot cure America’s obesity problem. I think the acai-berry, like any supplement and in conjunction with good eating habbits and exercise, will definitely assist with weight-loss and a healthier you! Will it make a large difference? No – I personally don’t think so. But I believe it can give a push and a very slight edge to losing the fat and your mid-section. I think it can help, but not LARGER THAN LIFE-wise, like you will see advertised everywhere. Please do not get caught up in the false excitement of the acai-berry and other supplements. Of course, feel free to try any and all of them, but please use your judgment and be safe. The cliché statement of “my body is my temple” will always be good to remember. Don’t get suckered in people!


  3. Hi there…

    Just saw this post and this is in response to the previous post by Tony.

    You may have seen some of my videos on google and other places talking about VaNu and our acai berry blend.

    Its getting difficult to get good information out about the acai and other super foods because there is a lot of noise, scams and just bad information in general

    Tony brings up a valid point and its one that I mention in a few of my videos. The acai and any food cannot do it by itself and neither can it give you a six-pack.

    But here is what it does have in relation to weight loss. Essential fatty-acids and fiber. Both are important to weight loss and when introduced into a poor diet, weight loss can sure be a result. Not a six pack. I make try to make this point in my videos for two reasons.
    1. I want people to have a realistic understanding about any product they purchase
    2. I would hate to see the acai get a bad reputation simply because it was promoted based on bad information.

    Also Tony. You mentioned pill forms of acai. Anyone considering the use of acai should understand that, as a food source, it is very fragile. It does not withstand a lot of processing before it loses it benefit and the window of we have to work with after it’s picked is very short.

    Thats why we do not use freeze-dried acai in VaNu. Its cold-pressed and flash-pasteurized to ensure maximum levels of bioactive compounds remain intact.

    Use a lesser quality product and the results are sure to be reduced.

    You can check out many of our videos by doing a simple google search for “acai by Dale and Matt” or “vanu acai” or you can just go to the blog at

    Thanks for bringing some facts in the acai story.


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