Is the Mastering Diabetes program worth it?

written by Nina Shantel,, published July 27, 2021

Mastering Diabetes is an educational book which explains why people become diabetic and why a low-fat plant-based diet is the diet plan to reverse Type II diabetes, and better manage Type-1 diabetes. It’s a vegan diet program that discourages processed foods, and restricts protein and fats to 10% of calories.

Mastering Diabetes is also a coaching program that offers different types of coaching plans for those that need additional help and to answer personal questions.

fruit in large quantities is encouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program
Photo by Jane D. on

Signature Group Coaching Program:

The least expensive program is $99 a month, includes access to their Facebook community, some videos, and two group zoom meetings a month. There are a little over one thousand members on their Facebook group at this time, so it’s a small community, and if members post questions on their private Facebook page, most questions get answered within 24 hours.

tofu, potatoes, onions, and olives are permitted on the Mastering Diabetes program, but tofu & olives should only be eaten in small amounts because they are high in fat

The twice a month zoom calls are held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month and last about 90 minutes. Members can write questions during the meetings and/or get answers to their questions live in a chat while other members are watching and listening in. Since there aren’t that many members attending the zoom meetings (at this time), everyone has the opportunity to get their questions answered. This alone may make the $99 fee worth the price, but the $99 fee comes with a three-month minimum obligation, so it’s really $297 for three months.

fish is discouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program since it’s not vegan and is high in fat

You can cancel the membership and get a refund (depending on when you signed up) if you complete their decision trees and upload them, 14 consecutive days in a row. The decision trees are worksheets that you complete. You write down every piece of food you eat, what exercises you did, and list your blood sugar readings. You also need to calculate your carbs and fat for each meal, and the total fat and carbs in grams, each day on each worksheet. To get these calculations, they recommend using the chronometer app. While doing these tasks takes extra time and work, filling out the decision trees and using an app, are extremely beneficial in helping members see for themselves how many calories, carbs and fat grams they eat.

coconut is discouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program, since it is high in fat

Within 24 hours of posting a decision tree on the Facebook group, a coach reads the decision tree and offers snippets of “helpful tips” on how to modify the members’ food choices according to the plan. If someone has read the Mastering Diabetes book in its entirety, it’s very clear what’s allowed and not allowed on the program, so some of the advice from the coaches is redundant for those that have watched the videos and have read the Mastering Diabetes book.

sugar is discouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program

The downsides to the least expensive coaching program of $99 a month is that not all questions get answered if you post your questions on their private Facebook group, it has a very sales-focused aspect to it, by pushing members to upgrade to see other videos and get more personalized assistance.

While the coaches are well-versed in the program, they are not doctors, and have given false information to members about nutrition. For instance, one coach said that omega 6 fats are not needed (they are, but in small amounts which you can get from walnuts and other plants), that fats have 10 calories per gram, it’s 9 calories; that insurance covers consultations from doctors from Plant Based Telehealth, they don’t accept insurance, and that we can get a free consultation with one of the doctors from Plant Based Telehealth if you ask, they don’t, consultations range from $150-$200 for 30 minutes. While this untrue information is minor in that it probably wouldn’t hurt anyone, I wonder what other incorrect information they tell people. It’s perfectly fine if the coaches don’t know the answer; it’s not okay to guess.

Mastering Diabetes is a high carbohydrate diet, but the carbs should come from whole foods,
not processed foods like pasta or pizza

Mastering Diabetes pressures it’s members to eat a low protein diet even though there is no evidence that protein from plants need to be no more than 10% of one’s total calorie intake to manage diabetes. It’s common to see negative remarks from coaches “reminding” members not to eat protein powder since it’s a processed food, yet adding a vegan protein powder to one’s diet is recommended by doctors like Dr. Gregor, when people have trouble consuming enough protein or calories, which is common on this plan since fat intake is greatly restricted to a maximum of 20 grams per day. When you cut fat intake from nuts and nut butters, you’re greatly reducing calories and protein.

protein powder is discouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program because it’s processed and high in protein

They also heavily promote their amla tea powder, which has mixed reviews on Amazon. Some people don’t like the taste and others have complained about the consistency. One of the coaches said that amla powder needs to be taken consistently to build up in the body, and that it can take three months to see lower blood sugar numbers. He said people can see blood sugars go down by as much as 30 points, but if someone has blood sugars that are 100 points over what it normal while fasting, then an amla supplement doesn’t seem all that beneficial.

oils are discouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program because it is a low-fat diet & excess fat causes insulin resistance (high blood sugars)

Every few weeks, as a member, you get access to new videos, but you cannot view all of them on the portal. You have to pay the higher monthly fee for these other videos that appear to contain new and better information. In my option, these videos should be accessible to all monthly memberships. The difference between the coaching programs should be the individualized attention, not limited information to helpful advice on how to manage their disease. This is where it feels like the salesman is in your face, and all he cares about is your money.

dairy is discouraged on the Mastering Diabetes program because it’s high in fat & protein

Small Group Coaching Program

This program is $249 a month has weekly zoom meetings, so you get twice as many chances to get your questions answered, plus the benefits from the $99 plan, with access to more videos.

Private Coaching Program

This program is $599 a month, where you get a private coach who you can speak to 30 minutes every week, plus the benefits from the $99 plan, with access to more videos.

Private Coaching with the Founder.

If you want a private coaching session with Cyrus Khambatta, who has a Phd in Nutritional Biochemistry from Berkeley, the cost is:

  • $1500 per month
  • $750 for 60 minutes
  • $375 for 30 minutes

Based on those exorbitant prices, it appears as if Cyrus doesn’t want to coach people one-on-one. He’s promoting his book, advocating his online coaching programs, doing interviews, and creating YouTube videos so he’s probably very busy and doesn’t have much time left to coach.

exercise is recommended to manage blood sugars on the Mastering Diabetes program

Is the Managing Diabetes program worth it?

The answer to this question really depends on what someone expects to get out of this program and in what timeframe.

If you need specific answers related to diabetes, then it’s a great resource for a fee. If you want people to support you with weight loss, eating healthier, staying motivated, and feel like you are a part of a group of people like you, it’s really helpful.

If you expect to get your diabetes reversed in 30 days or 90 days without attending the meetings, watching the videos, posting your decision trees, and following the protocol ninety percent of the time, it’s not for you. To get results from any program designed to help you lose weight and improve your health, you have to put in the time and effort.

The high carb vegan diet from Mastering Diabetes is definitely doable if you put in the effort

The managing diabetes program frequently reminds you to pay more to upgrade, which is an annoying tactic that’s a turnoff and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. When you’re trying to help people with their health, provide them with all the information that you have available, not some of it. While there are issues that can easily be fixed on the Managing Diabetes program and platforms, it can still help diabetics who need help losing weight, reducing salt and cholesterol intake, and getting their blood sugars under control.

If cost is an issue, buy the book, read it from cover to cover, and refer back to it every so often. Follow their advice and make the recipes included in the book. If you need more help, try the $99 a month plan. If that plan isn’t working, you can upgrade. If you don’t feel the program is working for you, give it at least three months and follow their guidelines. You cannot expect to see significant changes unless you are making significant adjustments to your lifestyle.  

6 Comments on “Is the Mastering Diabetes program worth it?”

  1. A couplef things I dont think you mentioned. If you dont want to pay any money, you can join the free Mastering Diabetes Facebook Group where others, trying to follow the Mastering Diabetes way, will support and give you their opinions. Also, as a member who pays the $99 per month I get a lot more than an extra video a month! Every week they have more webinairs ranging from cooking to explaining in more detail how your pancreas works.
    Yes, they do try to advertise Alma Green at the end of these videos very often, I just turn it off at that point. The two meetings a month are extremely helpful as well as the facebook group, Promoting healthing eating is a win-win for all!

    • The Mastering Diabetes Group is not open to everyone. You have to be a paying member to gain access to their Facebook page. Maybe they added some more features/videos since July of 2021, when this post was published. I was never interested in their cooking videos because I’ve been cooking since I was thirteen and have published two heathy cookbooks. Yes, promoting whole vegan foods (ie: healthy eating) is definitely a good thing.

  2. I joined the paid FB group a few years ago. I found it helpful, but I hated the fat phobia in the group. I remember posting a meal with a veggie burger with 5 grams of fat in one patty, and ppl would obsess over a few grams of fat even though it was well below the amount allowable at each meal.

    You’re right about the cost structure. It’s very expensive and when you just need help for a life and death condition like diabetes, it seems exploitive of these coaches to charge high fees. I could never afford their fees, even on a payment plan.

    In all fairness, I will relate that when I wanted to quit the paid FB group, I got a personal call from Cyrus asking me if I was sure I wanted to leave. He offered me a few days of free coaching from himself , to get me motivated. It was a thoughtful gesture, but I know it was to keep my business. I’m sure he wants to help ppl, but its a business too.

    Like you said, you reap the results if you’re consistent with it and do the work. I think for me it felt too restrictive at that time and I wasn’t ready to fully embrace a low fat vegan diet, even for diabetes.

    • Thank you so much for your lengthy comments – just what I was looking for. I am a physician and a Health & Wellness coach who was just diagnosed with prediabetes. After reading Mastering DM, I decided I wanted some additional 1:1 coaching sessions. I signed up for a “Discovery Session” which is usually a coaching session to determine “fit” between client and coach, but soon found out it was anything but that. Their salespitch was really off-putting; I didn’t want a FB group or a group coaching call. I wanted an experienced Plant-Based Coach who knows this DM terrain. Period. Someone who I could retain for a series of sessions to get me on track on my terms. I certainly didn’t fit into their plans.

      Except with executive coaching that is paid for by corporations, nobody except a handful of top coaches can charge prices of $350/hr and beyond. I guess Cyrus is now a “celebrity” and can charge $750/hr as he wishes. Yes, he is brilliant but not sure that any coaching is ever worth that much.

      Usually going rate for health coaching can be up to $125/hour but more commonly in in the range of $50-75/hr. They are charging essentially $150/30 minute session which is really expensive. Wondering if these coaching are really worth those prices.

      • I offer one-on-one coaching at $65 per hour. My specialty is helping diabetics. I have a Certification in Fitness Nutrition, am a published author, one book is on nutrition called The High-Five Diet, and I am a Certified Plant-Based Grassroots Ambassador. If you are interested in my help, you can send your contact information to me privately through my website and I’ll email you back.

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