It doesn’t have to be January for there to be diet buzz. And a diet doesn’t have to be all about weight loss to get attention. Several programs are now targeting diabetes management with a side of weight loss. That makes sense: One in 10 Americans have diabetes (most of them type 2), and more than one in three have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss, especially with the growing use of newer medications like semaglutide (Ozempic), is an increasing focus of treatment, as a press release detailing the American Diabetes Association’s 2023 Standards of Care notes.
Of course, eating habits can make a difference in weight, too.
The Klinio diet is one eating approach people with diabetes who are looking to lose weight may consider. Klinio was developed in 2019, according to the founding company, Kilo.Health. The program claims 180,000 active subscribers from 192 countries. So, what’s behind the hype? Here’s what you need to know about the diet, including pros and cons to keep in mind and how to get started if you think this plan might be what you need to manage your weight and blood sugar.
What Is the Klinio Diet?
The Klinio diet is a program geared toward helping people better manage prediabetes or type 1 or 2 diabetes and lose weight. There are three main parts to the program.
Klinio diet app The app is Klinio's flagship product, and it provides personalized calorie and macronutrient goals and a customized meal plan to help you lower your blood sugar and lose weight. You can also log your physical activity, follow their no-equipment beginner workouts, and track your progress, according to the website.
Supplements Klinio Weight Loss Fuel is a fiber-rich drink powder mix in a strawberry lemonade flavor designed to lower cholesterol, decrease hunger, and accelerate weight loss. You are instructed to take the supplement one to two hours before your first or last meal.
Book The Klinio diet offers a Diabetes Management Cookbook & Guide.
Klinio’s website says that you don’t have to have diabetes to use Klinio. Anyone who wants to lose weight might try it. The app would give you a choice between a moderate-carb diet, a ketogenic diet, or a 28-day no-junk-food challenge. If you have diabetes, the Klinio website walks you through how to choose your plan. For example, they do not recommend following a ketogenic diet if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are at risk for disordered eating, or have renal disease. The two other diets offered do not have any restrictions, but the company does suggest you speak with your doctor first.
Common Questions & Answers
The Klinio Diet: Pros and Cons
When it comes to diabetes programs, there are a variety of options to choose from. Weighing both the perks and drawbacks of the plan before committing to a subscription can save you effort and money, and help you find the plan that best aligns with your goals. Here’s what you need to know about the Klinio diet.
With guidance, a shopping list, and progress tracking, the app can help you stay on track toward your goals.
- The app allows you to log your food. Recording what you eat keeps you accountable. The program's meal plan is geared toward providing the calories and macronutrients — that is, carbohydrates, protein, and fat — that you need to manage diabetes, and they say it's customized to you.
- The app syncs with glucometers. You can connect a glucose tracking device to your Klinio app to monitor your blood sugar changes throughout the day.
- The app provides recipes and a grocery list. Planning can be a big part of success, so any time-saving tool, such as a grocery list or meal ideas, can help you incorporate this into your life. “There are some reviews that say that the recipes are simple and easy-to-follow, which is good,” says Nicole Bereolos, PhD, a clinical psychologist and certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) based in McKinney, Texas.
- The app has multiple functions. “It’s an all-in-one app and may be a good place to start for some people who are new to managing their diabetes,” says Dr. Bereolos.
- There’s a progress tracker. You can see how far you’ve come — and where you’re going — by tracking measures like your blood sugar, A1C levels, steps, food, and weight.
Some experts question the long-term results, the lack of research, and the focus on body change.
- You may not be able to stick to it long-term. “The number one thing any patient has said about these types of platforms is that ‘it works for a while, but the second I stopped doing the plan, I regained all of my weight,’” says Disha Narang, MD, an endocrinologist and the director of obesity medicine at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Illinois. This often comes from a recommended calorie intake that may be too low to maintain as a lifelong strategy, she says.
- There is an emphasis on aesthetic goals. In the supplement section, the company promises that the supplements will help you get your “dream body.” “I never talk about dream bodies as a weight and obesity medicine specialist,” says Dr. Narang. Why? It sets false expectations. “Wellness is the key here, versus getting in a bathing suit,” she says.
- The expert panel lacks a physician. Though Klinio boasts expert advisers, including those with RD and CDCES credentials, the experts interviewed for this article said they would like to see a physician on board.
- It's a significant time commitment. You will be shopping for and making your meals, which will take time out of your day. To make this work, you’ll want to be confident you do have the time to devote to food prep, as well as the desire to do it.
- There is no published research. “Where is the science behind this diet?” says Bereolos. “I can’t find any data behind it,” she says. Though the website cites statistics that, on average, people lost 7.3 percent of their body weight within the first year and saw a 0.5 percent HbA1C reduction, on average, in the first 85 days, they do not specify a source for this data, and it does not look like peer-reviewed research has been published to support the plan’s touted efficacy. Our experts said they would have liked to see this published research on the program, which would provide evidence that the Klinio diet works and is safe.
- The app requires an additional expense. Bereolos says you can likely pull together multiple free apps to save on the subscription cost. (That said, there is a definite benefit for some people to have multiple functionality on one app.)
The Benefits and Risks of the Klinio Diet: An Overview
Overall, the Klinio diet may give you the tools you need as a beginner to make food choices that will support blood sugar management. That said, an app doesn’t know you — even if it claims to.
What Are the Benefits of the Klinio Diet?
Despite a lack of research, the Klinio diet may support your goals in the following ways.
- It provides an infrastructure. Guidelines surrounding what and how to eat can be helpful, as it takes the guesswork out of improving your diet. “I appreciate the fact that various platforms — not just this one — guide users toward healthy food options and various meal options,” says Narang.
- It may give you motivation. Progress tracking is crucial for achieving success with health goals, says Bereolos. “Research tells us that any type of tracking — even using a sticker chart as an adult — will lead to a positive outcome,” she says.
- It encourages consumption of whole foods. With lean meats, beans and legumes, and fruits and vegetables, you’ll be eating nutrient-rich foods on the diet.
Are There Any Risks to Following the Klinio Diet?
- The company sells supplements. This is a huge red flag when it comes to diets. “There are no validated supplements to help with weight loss long term. Nor are there supplements to aid diabetes control long-term,” says Narang. At best supplements can cause expensive pee — at worst, they can cause side effects.
- It’s not as personalized as claimed. Bereolos points out that the information given, including the calorie and macronutrient recommendations, tend to be general in nature. It’s based on your answers to a quiz, rather than designed by a CDCES or registered dietitian specifically for you. “The plan is not individualistic at all,” says Bereolos.
- It can be very low calorie. Although the company says it customizes calories and nutrients to the individual, the sample menu below shows that they may recommend eating fewer than 1,000 calories per day on some days. Harvard Health advises that when losing weight, men should not consume less than 1,500 calories per day, and women should not eat less than 1,200 calories per day, unless directed by a physician. Dipping that low puts you at risk for nutrient deficiencies.
- May set up unrealistic expectations. “I worry that people may feel pressured to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time by following a plan that asks them to spend money and suggests they’ll easily lose all this weight,” says Bereolos. In addition, overhauling your diet all at once can make you feel overwhelmed, and this may lead you to stop prematurely. Making just one or two changes at a time — and getting used to them — will lead to more consistent results, she explains.
Klinio Diet Reviews
According to about 1,200 reviews of the Klinio diet on Trustpilot, the program receives a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, on average. Reviewers have praised the diet for a variety of food and meal choices offered, quick results, its motivational daily check-in messages, as well as ease of use with the app.
People who were unhappy with Klinio said they did not like the time commitment needed for tracking food and their blood sugar, as well as the time needed for food preparation. Unhappy customers also noted that it was difficult to get a refund for the program, and were offered a 50 percent refund instead of a full refund.
How Much Does the Klinio Diet Cost?
The Klinio diet app is available in a two-, four-, or six-month membership. Here’s how the price breaks down:
- Two-month membership for $33
- Four-month membership for $66
- Six-month membership for $99
When signing up, the company entices you with a special offer to save 33 percent off a six-month membership, bringing that cost to $66. If you delay signing up, the company will continue to send emails to try to entice your subscription. In the last email the author of this story received, the company offered a six-month subscription for $6.50 per month ($39 total). In addition, the book and supplements, which you purchase after you sign up for the app, may incur an additional cost. But that information is not readily available on the website.
Klinio Diet Food Menu
One of the perks of the Klinio plan is that the app provides plenty of meal and food options, so you can choose based on your likes and dislikes. You’ll also focus on eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods (see the food and shopping list below).
A 3-Day Sample Menu on the Klinio Diet
According to the Klinio blog, the personalized meal plan takes into account your allergies and food preferences, as well as the number of meals and snacks you like to eat. (They offer an option of three to five meals and snacks per day.) They’ve also provided an example plan on their blog for someone who has type 2 diabetes and is looking to lose weight and improve their blood pressure and cholesterol.
Breakfast Greek yogurt and fruit
Lunch Chicken and avocado wrap
Snack Peanut butter toast
Dinner Fruit smoothie
Total calories: 884
Breakfast Overnight oats and fruit
Lunch Turkey tortilla wrap
Snack Rice cakes topped with avocado and egg
Dinner Fruit smoothie
Total calories: 1,087
Breakfast Grilled cheese
Lunch Turkey kebab with veggies and egg
Snack Fruit smoothie
Dinner Zucchini parmesan
Total calories: 1,341
A Complete Klinio Diet Food List
You’ll be preparing most of your food on the Klinio diet. Here’s what you might go shopping for.
- Lean meats (such as skinless chicken, turkey, eggs)
- Whole grains (buckwheat, millet, bulgur, quinoa, barley, oats, brown rice, low-carb tortillas)
- Beans and legumes (pinto beans, black beans, peanuts, lentils, chickpeas)
- Fruit (pineapple, blueberries, apples, bananas, etc.)
- Some cheeses (low-sodium cottage cheese, Emmentaler, mozzarella, cream cheese)
- Nuts (pistachios, almonds, pecans, etc.)
- Seeds (hemp, sunflower, pumpkin)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Spices (chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper)
- Red and white wine, light beer, some hard liquor (no more than two drinks per day)
How Much Should You Exercise on the Klinio Diet?
The diet recommends 30 minutes of exercise per day, though this amount can be broken up into smaller increments of 5 to 15 minutes. That’s in line with recommendations from the CDC, which stipulates a goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, in addition to two days of resistance exercise. The CDC also notes that this duration can be divided into smaller chunks, if that’s what helps you get the exercise done.
The app provides workouts to choose from, or you can pursue the activities you like, such as running, biking, or swimming.
How to Get Started With the Klinio Diet
Interested in giving the Klinio diet a try? Here’s what you need to know.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re considering dramatically changing your diet — even if the plan you choose involves making more healthful food choices — you still need to let your doctor know first. This is especially important if you’re managing diabetes. In this case, your healthcare team can work with you to monitor your blood sugar and make adjustments to medications, because weight loss can affect your dosage. “I love when patients first ask me about the diet plans they’re considering. I can help guide them by providing concrete data so they can make the decision that’s best for them,” says Narang. Likewise, if you’ve been sedentary and are going to start to exercise on Klinio, ask how you can best ease into movement to avoid injury.
Answer the Quiz
The first step is to determine your goals and develop a plan. You’ll do that with the “Take Quiz” button at the top right corner of the homepage.
Download the App
You can’t follow a Klinio diet plan without the app. Choose the subscription duration that’s realistic for you and is in your budget. You can renew for as long as you want.
Sync Your Glucose Monitor if You Have One
This allows you to see how your meals and snacks affect your glucose levels.
Go Shopping (and Start Chopping)
Get acquainted with your grocery store or your grocery delivery service, and start learning how to make the meals and snacks Klinio recommends for you. Make a note of your favorites and return to those often.
You can start off with one of the workouts they say is geared toward beginners, or try a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood, office, or a local park.
Resources We Love: Klinio Diet
Best Website for Information on Klinio
This is one of your first stops on this diet journey. Here, you’ll find general information about the program and its products, along with their blog, which gets into foods that are recommended (and those that are not).
Best Websites for Diabetes Management
The ADA is one of the most important online resources for research-backed guidance on living with diabetes. To get advice about diabetes management, what to eat, and recipes to make, as well as resources that make insulin more affordable, go straight to the ADA.
For a resource on living with diabetes, this page is a go-to for all your questions. Learn about creating a diabetes care schedule, managing sick days, and lifestyle changes that will help better manage your blood sugar.
Best Weight Loss Hub
There’s a lot of info out there about how to lose weight, but the NIDDK has a hub that provides everything you need to begin in a healthy and sustainable way. Links on the page include a Body Weight Planner tool, information to understand overweight and obesity, how to choose a weight loss program, as well as nutrition and activity tips.
The Klinio diet is an app-based program designed for weight loss and diabetes management that provides a meal plan, a grocery shopping list, beginner workouts, and progress tracking to help you meet your goals. While the company itself says its users have success in both weight loss and decreasing their A1C, there are no published studies on the Klinio diet. Klinio sells a fiber-based supplement, but the experts interviewed for this story recommend skipping that part of the plan, noting that it’s likely a waste of money. Talk to your doctor before you make changes to your diet and exercise routine.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- The Facts, Stats, and Impacts of Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 24, 2022.
- It’s Not Your Typical Diet. Klinio.
- Manage Diabetes Through the Power of Habit. Klinio.
- Can I Follow Klinio Diet if I Don’t Have Diabetes? Klinio.
- Klinio. Trustpilot.
- Klinio Sample Menu: 3-Day Meal Plan for Debbie. Klinio. March 29, 2022.
- The Nextgen Solution to Diabetes Management. Klinio.
- How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. June 2, 2022.
- Basmati Rice and Diabetes: Is Rice a Healthy Meal for Diabetes? Klinio.
- Legumes and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Blueberries and Diabetes: Can Blueberries Consumption Lower Blood Sugar? Klinio.
- Exploring the Relationship Between Apples and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Bananas and Diabetes. Klinio.
- How Great Is the Relationship Between Cheese and Diabetes? Klinio.
- Avocado and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Pistachios and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Almonds and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Pecans and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Hemp Seeds and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Sunflower Seeds and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Yogurt and Diabetes. Klinio.
- Beer and Diabetes: Can I Still Drink Beer? Klinio.
- Wine and Diabetes: Can I Still Drink Alcohol? Klinio.
- Which Meal Plan Should I Choose? Klinio.
- American Diabetes Association Releases 2023 Standards of Care in Diabetes to Guide Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment for People Living With Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. December 12, 2022.