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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Eat to Live

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The Promise

Losing 20-plus pounds is a great accomplishment, and Joel Fuhrman, MD, aims to help you do that with his book, Eat to Live

Eat to Live isn't just about losing weight without feeling deprived or hungry. It's also about improving your blood pressure, cholesterol, and more.

The 6-week plan shows that if you eat foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, you can eat more and feel fuller for longer. Fuhrman call this a "Nutritarian" diet.

On this plan, you cut down on some carbs (bread, pasta), sugar, and oil. You also quit meat and dairy for at least 6 weeks, and eat more whole fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, and whole grains.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

In unlimited quantities, you may eat:

  • Raw veggies
  • Steamed or cooked green vegetables, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and more
  • Beans and other legumes. Fuhrman suggests eating 1 cup daily to benefit fully from the fiber and resistant starch, which helps you feel full and passes through the intestine without being digested.
  • At least four fresh fruits per day, but no juice. You can have frozen fruit, but not canned. You can use dried fruit sparingly, as a sweet accent.

In limited quantities, you may eat:

  • 1 cup per day of cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains (winter squash, corn, potatoes, rice, bread, cereal)
  • 1 ounce per day of raw nuts and seeds
  • 2 ounces per day of avocado (1/5 of a medium avocado is 1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons per day of dried fruit
  • 1 tablespoon per day of ground flaxseed

Off-limits:

  • Dairy products
  • Animal products
  • Snacks between meals
  • Fruit juice
  • Oils
  • Processed foods

Fuhrman says it’s best to avoid alcohol if possible, but you can have one drink a day if that will help you stay on the plan.

Level of Effort: Medium to Hard

Limitations: This is a very restrictive diet. You will be eating tons of vegetables at most meals, with some fruit, some legumes, and a limited amount of starch at one meal. You will not eat meat, dairy, sugar, or oil at all on the initial 6-week plan. After you complete the first 6 weeks, you may reintroduce fat-free dairy, meat, fish, refined carbs, and olive oil in very small amounts. If you don't add the animal products back in, you will need to get supplemental vitamin B12, vitamin D, and potentially also an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

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