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The Eat To Live Diet

What Is The Eat To Live Diet?

By PEERtrainer Founder

The Eat To Live Diet, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, is a very popular book with members of the PEERtrainer community. Members recommend the book and the approach to each other and support each other every day in their own team called Eat To Live Challenge. Click Here to join this team for free and get supported and motivated each day.

Eat To Live focuses on two primary objectives- weight loss and optimal health. This is achieved by consuming foods with a high nutrient to calorie ratio such as fruits, vegetables and legumes. These goals are also accomplished by stringently limiting the amount of meat, dairy and processed foods that one consumes. Research shows strong correlations between low consumption of these foods and low rates of obesity and a variety of diseases and cancer. Adherence to the Eat To Live diet can quickly reduce cholesterol levels.

Will Eat To Live Help Me Lose Weight?

If you follow a good part of the advice, your odds of losing weight will improve dramatically. At PEERtrainer we see people use Dr Fuhrman's advice in conjunction with other weight loss tools such as Weight Watchers, hypnosis and other tools focused on the psychological aspects of weight loss. It is important to note that people usually have tried many other approaches prior to discovering Eat To Live and Eat For Health. When they add Dr. Fuhrman's advice this is often a very exciting point where people start to feel a lot more confidence than they ever have.

We also see a group of people who need some help "transitioning" to a high nutrient diet. The PEERtrainer Cheat System, which we just rolled out, is designed to help this group. It will get you up to speed on the basics of nutrient density, and then serve as a "gateway" to help you take advantage of the full range of Dr. Fuhrman's proven advice.

How Is Eat To Live Different From Weight Watchers?

This is an interesting question. The primary value of Weight Watchers is that they teach people portion control. This is an important step one for anyone who is overweight. People tend to consume many more calories than they think. Their Points System does a good job of giving people a basic framework to get the overeating under control.

But there are sharp differences in the philosophy of eating between Eat To Live/Eat For Health and Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers seeks to work with what people "normally eat." The problem with this approach is that what people normally eat has led to some obvious results. Dr. Fuhrman's approach is to encourage a fairly sharp departure from what is "normal." When people get their portions under control, and then start to incorporate the Eat To Live ideas, people seem to have a much easier time losing weight and keeping it off.

The odds of long term success are low on Weight Watchers based on published research. From what we have observed over the years in the PEERtrainer community, when people add the knowledge of Eat To Live to the Weight Watchers points system, overall success improves. In general when people incorporate as many good ideas as possible, success with long term weight loss improves. If you are one of those people who likes the structure that Weight Watchers provides, but tend to struggle with adherence, you'd really do well incorporating Eat To Live/Eat For Health ideas into your overall plan.

Concerns About Weight Watchers New Points Plus Program

An important difference between Weight Watchers and Dr. Fuhrman is how they treat the issue of protein. In Fuhrman's view people already get plenty of protein, and primarily need to focus on increasing greens in one's diet to improve the nutrient quality. Weight Watchers has recently adjusted their points formula to incentivize protein, and limit carbs and fat. Dr. Fuhrman has expressed some very serious concerns about any diet that encourages high protein, low carb and low fat behavior. Weight Watchers has some good intentions in that they encourage fruit and vegetable consumption, but the concern is that many people, especially those who do not succeed in adhering to Weight Watchers, will default to a high protein, low carb diet. Which usually leads to people gaining weight back.

How Eat To Live and Eat To Health Can Help Treat And Reverse Disease

Eat To Live can help to both prevent and treat disease. The diet is similar to new approaches such as the Fat Smash Diet and the Okinawa Diet that seek to identify healthy foods that can be eaten in large portions- eliminating the need for difficult and ultimately futile portion control strategies. However, Dr. Fuhrman has pioneered research into Nutrient Density which sets the diet apart. In particular, The Eat To Live Diet highlights the importance of phytochemicals in addition to vitamins and minerals. It is believed that high intake of foods containing phytochemicals is strongly associated with better health.

The traditional American diet consists of extremely high levels of animal protein, dairy, and low-fiber processed breads. Some studies have shown that Americans consume 93% of their daily calories from non-vegetable sources. As a result, we are the most obese people on the planet and have the highest levels of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the world. Cultures that have high levels of calorie consumption from vegetables have much lower rates of obesity and disease.

It has not been proven that consumption of animal protein leads to cancer, but there are literally hundreds of studies that show that high levels of fruit, vegetable, greens and bean consumption lead to weight loss and reduced levels of life threatening diseases.

Can I Eat As Much As I Want on The Eat To Live Diet?

Within reason, yes you can. Foods high in fiber tend to be plant-based foods. Foods high in fat tend to be animal-based foods. As you change your diet to include daily fruit, vegetable, green salad and bean consumption, you will have more energy, feel fuller and lose weight. If you eat enough raw and cooked vegetables each day, you will find it difficult to maintain your previous weight. The key to this is bringing your dairy and animal protein consumption to very minimal levels. (Click Here for a list of fruit and vegetable Weight Watcher's points).

The Myths Of Protein and Calcium

We were all taught in school about the four basic food groups. Two of these four boxes were meat and dairy. It was drilled into us at an early age that a healthy diet was centered on meat and dairy. It was communicated to us that protein was the most important nutrient, and that these two food groups were the best source. Cancer rates subsequently soared. The reality is however, that whole grains, nuts, beans and vegetables are rich in protein and also contain additional nutrients that keep you healthy and nourish you. Meat and dairy is simply loaded with fat and cholesterol.

A good way to think about the power of protein from plants is by asking this question: what do elephants, gorillas and giraffes eat? They eat plants and are plenty big. Green vegetables contain more protein per 100 calories than steak. We have also been told that milk is the best source of calcium. Again, plants are a phenomenal source of calcium. As you begin to eliminate meat and dairy from your diet, you are creating an environment in your body that is hostile to, rather than friendly to cancer and tumors. Instead of saturated fat your body is taking in more fiber and antioxidant. Your risk of osteoporosis becomes lower. Weight loss becomes possible.

Curing and Preventing Disease Through Diet and Nutrition

The entire US health care system is focused on treating disease, or "sick care". This is a reactive system that focuses minimally on prevention, wellness or even basic compliance (processes to ensure one does what they should do). The average person gets sick and sees a doctor. Ten minutes later, he or she will throw a prescription or two at you, and you'll be on your way. There is very little attention paid to the underlying causes of illness. Often, illness is a result of poor diet. Diet can cause disease, help reverse it or prevent it in the first place. Unfortunately most doctors are hostile to the idea that diet has an effect on disease. Diseases that are thought to be correlated with diet include diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies, asthma, diverticulosis, kidney stones, stroke, angina, arthritis, colonic polyps, gastritis, hemorrhoids and osteoporosis. The Eat To Live diet is designed to have maximum health benefits.

Can My Doctor Help Me Lose Weight?

In this age of insurance-driven, 10 minute medicine, your doctor is highly unlikely to give you helpful advice. A course in nutrition is not something the average doctor takes when in medical school. Because the medical system is so complex, the best doctors specialize. The best general practitioners are jack of all trades, but masters of none. One needs to understand that they must take responsibility of their own weight loss and health journey. Odds are, your doctor eats as badly as you do, and will give you poor advice, if any. Do you know how many doctors out there smoke? More than you might expect. Many doctors out there were trained 20 years ago or more, and in their eyes the only solution to weight loss is to quit eating so damn much. There are some doctors, such as Mehmet Oz, who are very advanced in their thinking and advice, and are very highly regarded within the medical community. You On A Diet is a fantastic reference for overall health. Every doctor out there has a unique approach, but you will see great similarities in the work of Joel Fuhrman and Mehmet Oz.

This Is What One Longtime PEERtrainer Member Says About Eat To Live:

"I have tried a wide variety of diets and support in my life: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Powdered Shakes (does anyone remember the Cambridge Diet??), Cabbage Soup Diet, Overeaters Anonymous, Personal Nutritionist, Physician prescribed diet. I started reading The Beck Diet Solution this summer which lead me here, to PT, to find a coach. The PT Point of No Return program and this website introduced me to Fuhrman's Eat to Live. I feel like I have FINALLY found what I've been looking for my entire life! I would describe my way of eating as a fusion of Eat to Live for my food plan, and PT/Beck for behavior/emotional support. I have lost only a modest amount of weight, but given how much I have struggled in the past year with gaining, I am very pleased with the results!"

Tips and Suggestions For Following Dr. Fuhrman's Eat To Live Diet

-Think of salad as the primary dish for lunch and dinner. Salads fill you up and contain important nutrients.

-Eat as much fruit as you want, try for 4 per day. Fresh and frozen fruits are fine, and it is a great way of satisfying your sweet tooth.

-Mix up your greens and eat a wide variety of them.

-Avoid starchy veggies whenever possible. Try to limit these to a cup a day of rice, sweet potatoes and the like.

-Eat beans and legumes each day, these are the dieters best friend. Beans especially help fight food cravings.

-Avoid animal and dairy products when possible, especially at the start of your weight loss journey.

-If you don't eat fish, have a table of flax seed each day.

Important Tip On Losing Weight On The Eat To Live Diet:
To lose weight, limit the consumption of nuts and seeds to an ounce a day. Once you are in maintenance mode you can increase the consumption of these important nutrients. You also want to pay very close attention to the amount of oil in any food you prepare. Oils are low in nutrients, even healthy oils.

Dr. Fuhrman has written two other books which are as important as Eat To Live. Eat For Health is designed for non-vegetarians, and introduces a new Point System (better than Weight Watchers) that helps you eat the right amount of nutrient dense foods each day. Disease Proof Your Child is a guide to feeding children. He has also just created an online program called "The Nutrition Prescription."

Read The PEERtrainer Review of Dr. Fuhrman's "Nutrition Prescription"

Dr. Fuhrman is a board certified family physician and a graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. He is the author of the national best selling book Eat To Live and is considered a world leader in the area of nutrition-based weight loss. Dr. Fuhrman has appeared on Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN and MSN. Mehmet Oz M.D., the renowned heart surgeon, calls Dr. Fuhrman's program: "A Medical Breakthrough."

To download the first chapter of Dr. Fuhrman's latest book, Eat For Health (free) you can click here and you can read it in PDF format. It gives an excellent introduction, and really focuses on the WHY of his approach.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman's work is a must read for anyone looking to lose weight and improve their health. If you want to learn more about the ideas presented in this article, his books show you how to put his ideas into practice.

Eat To Live Friendly Recipes

Spicy Thai Curry Recipe

Mango Salsa Recipe

Do I Have To Buy Organic Fruits and Vegetables To Get A Benefit?
Some researchers such as Bruce Ames at Berkeley thinks that the minute amounts of chemicals in fruits, vegetables and beans poses little to no risk. Even organic foods contain trace amounts of naturally occurring toxins that a healthy person can break down relatively easily. 99.99% of carcinogenic chemicals eaten are naturally present in all foods consumed. Others believe that we either do not know or that there is some risk. Regardless, a diet that is habitually detoxifying is the best assurance there is that your body will properly eliminate most toxins.

Is Salmon Recommended By Dr. Fuhrman and Eat To Live?

Salmon is documented to high levels of essential fats such as Omega 3. Most people consider Salmon to be a healthy food. That said, one wants to limit their overall animal protein intake as a percentage of calories to roughly 10%. It's hard for most non-vegans or vegetarians to hit this, but it is a helpful metric to aim for, according to Dr. Fuhrman.