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Some of the most renowned New York doctors rely on the nutritional guidance of Dr.Joel Fuhrman whenever they have a patient whose life depends on losing weight fast.
Fuhrman claims that dieters who have tried other diets and failed to lose weight will achieve success on his plan with promises of weight losses of up to 20 pounds within six weeks.
The basic concept is centered on the idea of nutrient density that is expressed by the formula Health=Nutrients/Calories. Fuhrman says that our health is directly related to this ratio.
Eat to Live Diet Basics
In his book Fuhrman provides two plans for weight loss.
- An aggressive six-week vegetarian plan for dieters who want to lose weight quickly.
- A more moderate plan that allows the intake of limited amounts of animal products.
If dieters feel they must have some animal products on the plan they are permitted to have one serve of lean fish such as flounder, sole, or tilapia once per week and one egg white omelet per week.
There is no requirement to count calories or portions, however, it would be very difficult for dieters to achieve a high calorie intake so long as they follow the recommended guidelines.
Foods to Include
- Raw vegetables in unlimited amounts. Fuhrman advises dieters to regard salads as the main dish.
- Cooked green vegetables, eggplants, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes.
- Beans, bean sprouts and tofu – 1 cup daily at least and more if desired
- Fruits – at least 4 serves daily
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn as well as whole grains are limited to one cup daily.
- Raw nuts – 1 oz maximum per day
- Avocado – 2 oz maximum per day
- Ground flax [email protected] 1 tablespoon per day
- When oils are included in meal plans the maximum amount recommended is one teaspoon per day.
Dieters are advised to aim for an intake of at least 1 pound of raw vegetables and one pound of steamed vegetables daily.
Foods to Avoid
All refined carbohydrates are to be avoided including…
- white rice
- fruit juice
Sample Diet Meal Plans
Vegetarian Meal Plan (for aggressive weight loss)
Baked apple with raisins and cinnamon
Whole-wheat pita bread stuffed with hummus and salad
Mixed baby greens with peppercorn dressing
Broccoli and red pepper soup
1 slice seven-grain bread
Corn on the cob with veggie based seasoning
Non-vegetarian meal plan (for moderate weight loss)
2 cups cooked oatmeal with
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 oz raisins
1/2 cup soy milk or skim milk
Green salad with balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chickpeas
Salad with orange and lemon juice
Stir fried vegetables with chicken and tofu
Steamed string beans with onions and mushrooms
Fuhrman advocates the importance of exercise however if the ability to be active is limited due to health issues then his aggressive menu plans will still allow dieters to lose weight without exercise. Regardless he does also state that almost anyone can exercise and even if dieters are unable to walk it is still possible to do light arm weight exercises or use an arm cycle.
Costs and Expenses
The book Eat to Live retails at $14.99. (paperback)
There may be an increase in the weekly grocery bill due to the extremely high intake of fresh produce that is a requirement for this diet.
IPhone and iPad Version
There is also an iPhone, iPod, and iPad version of Eat to Live via Vook.
This allows you to take the book anywhere and can be very helpful when eating out or while shopping to have all the concepts of the book at your finger tips.
This is an abridged version of Fuhrman’s book, so only the essential information is included for easier reading. This app is handy even if you already have the book or borrowed it from the library or a friend since it highlights only the important essentials.
- Educates dieters with information so that they are able to make informed choices regarding healthy dietary choices.
- High nutrient and low calorie diets may increase longevity.
- Promotes the intake of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least two pounds of vegetables and four serves of fruit daily).
- Reduces risk of and may actually reverse diseases associated with aging such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Beneficial for individuals who need to lose weight quickly in order to prepare for surgery.
- Includes menu plans and recipes with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
- Extremely restrictive which may make eating out very difficult.
- Requires a fair amount of time spent on food preparation.
- May not provide adequate protein for many dieters especially those who are very physically active.
- Some dieters such as those with inflammatory bowel disease may not tolerate the large amounts of raw vegetables and fruit.
- Many dieters would probably not enjoy eating this way.
A Bit Extreme
Dr. Fuhrman’s diet plan is very extreme, however, it is well supported by scientific research particularly in regard to its potential benefit for dieters with high cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
It is however important to be aware that not everyone responds favorably to this approach and some dieters achieve more beneficial results when they include larger amounts of healthy fats and protein in the diet.
Dr. Fuhrman’s Other Books
Super Immunity Diet
Eat For Health
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Craig, W. J., Mangels, A. R. (2009). Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(7), 1266-1282. link Dwyer, J. T. (1988). Health aspects of vegetarian diets. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 48(3), 712-738. link
- Berkow, S. E., Barnard, N. (2006). Vegetarian diets and weight status. Nutrition reviews, 64(4), 175-188. link
Last Reviewed: March 27, 2018