The Body Reset Diet is a popular 15-day eating pattern that’s been backed by several celebrities.
Proponents suggest that it’s an easy, healthy way to boost metabolism and shed weight fast. However, you may wonder whether its claims stand up to scrutiny.
This article reviews the pros and cons of the Body Reset Diet to tell you whether it aids weight loss.
Diet Review Scorecard
- Overall score: 2.7
- Weight loss: 3
- Healthy eating: 3
- Sustainability: 1.5
- Whole body health: 4.5
- Nutrition quality: 4
- Evidence-based: 2
BOTTOM LINE: The Body Reset Diet promotes weight loss via a smoothie-based meal plan alongside whole foods and exercise. Yet, its extreme calorie restrictions and short-term nature make it largely unsustainable.
The Body Reset Diet was created by Harley Pasternak, a celebrity trainer with a background in exercise physiology and nutritional science.
As such, the Body Reset Diet aims to jump-start weight loss with low calorie meal plans and light exercise over the course of 15 days.
Pasternak’s book, “The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, Blast Fat, and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days,” lays out the meal plan, which emphasizes homemade smoothies, high fiber snacks, and simple meals.
You’re meant to follow specific recipes from Pasternak’s book and a supplemental cookbook, “The Body Reset Diet Cookbook.” Pasternak suggests that these recipes minimize time and effort in the kitchen, which he believes is key to a successful diet.
Though the exact calorie count varies depending on the recipes you choose, you can expect to consume an average of 300 calories per smoothie, 150–200 calories per snack, and 360 calories per meal. This equates to roughly 1,200–1,400 calories per day.
The diet suggests light exercise like walking and 5–10-minute bouts of resistance workouts like weight training to burn calories without “supercharging” your appetite.
The Body Reset Diet is a 15-day low calorie plan that aims to initiate rapid weight loss by relying largely on smoothies and simple meals.
The Body Reset Diet is split into three 5-day phases. Each phase has its own dietary pattern and exercise routine.
You eat five times per day, progressing from mainly smoothies in Phase 1 to more solid meals in Phases 2 and 3.
Here’s an overview of the three phases (2):
- Phase 1. Replace breakfast, lunch, and dinner with smoothies and eat 2 snacks per day. For physical activity, walk at least 10,000 steps each day.
- Phase 2. Replace 2 meals with smoothies, eat 1 solid meal, and have 2 snacks per day. For physical activity, walk 10,000 steps each day and complete 5 minutes of resistance training using 4 different exercises on 3 of the days.
- Phase 3. Replace 1 meal with a smoothie and eat 2 low calorie meals plus 2 snacks per day. For physical activity, walk 10,000 steps and complete 5 minutes of resistance training using 4 different exercises every day.
After the diet’s standard 15 days, you’re meant to follow the meal plan outlined in Phase 3 with one addition — twice-weekly “free meals” that allow you to eat or drink anything you want. These are included as a reward and a way to avoid feelings of deprivation.
After the first 15 days, there’s no official end point to the diet for weight loss and maintenance. According to Pasternak, the routine and habits you’ve formed in the first 15 days are intended to be followed for a lifetime (2).
The Body Reset Diet is divided into three phases, each of which lasts 5 days and follows a specific meal plan comprised of smoothies, snacks, and solid meals.
Though the Body Reset Diet itself has not been studied, some of its main principals are based on scientific evidence.
Here are some potential benefits of the diet.
May help you lose weight
The Body Reset Diet is likely effective for weight loss — at least in the short term.
Ultimately, weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you take in. Since this plan is comprised of low calorie smoothies, snacks, and meals, it will likely put your body in a calorie deficit. The plan’s exercise regimen also helps you burn calories.
In one study, dieters on a similar 1,200–1,500-calorie diet consisting of 2 meals and 2 meal replacement shakes per day lost an average of 15 pounds (6.8 kg) (5).
However, this was over the course of a 1-year weight loss and maintenance plan.
It’s also important to keep in mind that various factors, such as age, weight, height, and sex, factor into weight loss (6).
May keep you motivated initially
Though 15 days is a relatively short period, any weight you shed during this time may encourage you to stick with the Body Reset Diet longer.
Conversely, low initial weight loss is associated with higher dropout rates in weight loss programs (8).
Researchers suggest that this discrepancy may be due to motivation levels. Simply put, people who experience immediate results may be more motivated to continue with the program because they believe it works (1).
High in nutrient-rich foods
The Body Reset Diet emphasizes nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, lean proteins, and low fat dairy.
These foods make up a well-rounded diet because they provide an array of essential vitamins and minerals (9).
What’s more, the Body Reset Diet meal plan is packed with fiber from the numerous whole foods in its smoothies, snacks, and solid meals.
Diets high in fiber are associated with lower body weights and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and other chronic illnesses (10).
The Body Reset diet may help you lose weight and keep you initially motivated. Moreover, it’s comprised of highly nutritious foods.
Although the Body Reset Diet may help you lose weight, it comes with potential downsides.
May overly restrict calories
Though the diet offers slight recipe modifications for individuals over 175 pounds (79 kg), it generally provides around 1,200–1,400 calories per day.
This is not only too severe of a calorie restriction for some people but also may lead to nutrient deficiencies. Simply put, low calorie diets often lack all the carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals you need for optimal health (12).
May be hard to follow long term
Research suggests that any low calorie diet can work for weight loss as long as you can stick with it (1).
The Body Reset Diet may lead to severe calorie restriction in some people, which may decrease muscle mass, slow metabolism, and cause nutrient deficiencies.
The Body Reset Diet has you eat five times per day. Its meal plan includes low calorie smoothies, snacks, and meals.
Smoothies are on the menu three times per day in Phase 1, twice per day in Phase 2, and once per day in Phase 3.
Though Pasternak does not offer any size stipulations for the smoothies, he provides specific recipes that have 270–325 calories each.
Still, if you weigh over 175 pounds (79 kg), you’re allowed to increase serving sizes by one-third to account for increased calorie and nutrient needs.
The smoothies are made using four main components, the ingredients of which you can alternate based on your preferences:
- Liquid base: water, flavored water, low or nonfat milk, or nondairy milk like almond or soy milk
- Protein: protein powder, tofu, or fat-free yogurt
- Healthy fat: avocado, nuts, or seeds
- High fiber carbs: any fruit — though berries, oranges, apples, and pears are recommended for their fiber content — plus leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale
Sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and cane sugar aren’t allowed in the smoothies, and neither are packaged fruits that contain added sweeteners.
Three types of smoothie recipes are provided, named after their colors when blended — white, red, and green smoothies.
You eat low calorie snacks twice daily throughout the entire 15-day diet.
These snacks should have around 150 calories, be low in sugar, and contain at least 5 grams of both protein and fiber. Examples include:
- plain air-popped popcorn
- celery with peanut butter
- whole wheat crackers with fat-free cheese
- apple slices with deli turkey
Homemade solid meals are added in Phases 2 and 3. The Body Reset Diet book provides specific recipes, which offer 230–565 calories per single-dish meal.
The recipes are made with whole, minimally processed foods and include a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Examples include:
- Salads: leafy greens topped with chopped vegetables, fruit, nuts, and lean protein like legumes or chicken, alongside a homemade olive-oil-based dressing
- Sandwiches: made with whole grain bread, deli meat, veggies, and low fat condiments or cheese
- Soups: made with reduced sodium broth, vegetables, seasonings, and lean protein like legumes or chicken breast, served with whole grain bread
- Stir-fries: lean protein like chicken breast or shrimp, plus vegetables, seasonings, and brown rice or soba noodles
- Egg white scrambles: made with veggies, low fat cheese, seasonings, and high fiber carbs like whole grain toast or potatoes
Additionally, only calorie-free beverages are permitted, such as water, flavored water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea.
The Body Reset Diet promotes smoothies and snacks in all phases, plus simple meals in Phases 2 and 3. All dishes follow specific nutrition criteria.
As the Body Reset Diet involves a specific meal plan with recipes, there isn’t much room for deviation.
You should always avoid these foods during the diet’s first 15 days:
- full fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
- highly processed or fried foods
- white breads, pastas, and other refined grains
- soda and other sugary beverages
Pasternak’s rationale is that full fat dairy and processed foods are high in saturated fats, which have long been seen as unhealthy. However, some scientific evidence suggests that the fats in full fat dairy don’t harm heart health — and may even promote it (24).
Refined grains are banned because they rank high on the glycemic index (GI), a measure of how quickly blood sugar rises in response to food (25).
Furthermore, alcohol isn’t allowed until after the first 15 days, as it’s high in calories. Pasternak also suggests that it decreases your ability to burn fat, and that intoxication may lead to poor food choices.
The Body Reset Diet bans full fat dairy, refined grains, sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and processed and fried foods.
Here is a sample meal plan for 1 day during each of the three phases.
- Breakfast: a white smoothie made with fat-free milk, plain nonfat Greek yogurt, banana, sliced red apple, raw almonds, and cinnamon
- Snack 1: celery sticks with almond butter
- Lunch: a red smoothie made with raspberries, blueberries, orange, vanilla protein powder, and flax seeds
- Snack 2: air-popped popcorn
- Dinner: a green smoothie made with fresh spinach, avocado, pear, grapes, plain nonfat Greek yogurt, and fresh lime juice
- Breakfast: a white smoothie made with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, peaches, raspberries, pistachios, ginger, and fresh lime juice
- Snack 1: whole wheat crackers with hummus
- Lunch: a red smoothie made with raspberries, orange, almond milk, and vanilla protein powder
- Snack 2: boiled edamame
- Dinner: a roast beef sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Breakfast: a white smoothie made with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, mango, pineapple, banana, and flax seeds
- Snack 1: a pear with deli turkey slices
- Lunch: homemade butternut squash soup
- Snack 2: whole wheat crackers with peanut butter
- Dinner: chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice
The accompanying book offers numerous additional meals that fit the diet’s criteria.
The Body Reset diet recommends eating five times per day with a specific meal pattern that favors smoothies and light meals.
The Body Reset Diet is a 15-day weight loss plan that involves a low calorie meal plan and regular light exercise.
The meal plan emphasizes smoothies, snacks, and small meals, all of which you prepare at home using the recipes outlined in Harley Pasternak’s guidebook and cookbook.
You’re likely to lose weight quickly, as the diet provides around 1,200–1,400 calories per day.
However, it may lead to extreme calorie restriction and insufficient nutrient intake for some people. If you’re concerned about feeling hungry or getting enough nutrients, this diet may not be right for you.