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Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss Hardcover – January 2, 2003
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About the Author
Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is the author of "Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease," published by St. Martin's. He lives in New Jersey.
Top customer reviews
I want to keep eating poorly because it tastes good. I want to eat cheese and as much as I can and at anytime. I want to continue eating luscious breads anytime I want and as much as I want. I want to eat sweets without reserve. I love butter. Cereal and milk. And pizza.
And that is just the short list.
And I'm miserable with my weight because of my excess and eating whatever I want. Breads, sweets, dairy, meat sometimes. But my toxic body revels in it. And I am normal, unfortunately. And I want to stay normal at all costs. And yet normal is miserable, for me, at least.
So reading this book for the second time I am faced with the fact that in order to be where I want to be: healthy and fit, I can either change or stay the same or be somewhere in the middle. I usually go for the somewhere in the middle and then end up going back to the same, but I never really change.
This book is about change. It is about eating mainly vegan - no matter what the other reviewers say - it really is about veganism. I have always been jealous of vegans = because it is the hardest thing a normal eating person can be.
This book advises against all animal products - no matter what other reviewers say. Furhman states over and over that animal products are bad for the human body, toxic to the liver, great for cancer and fat, bad for humans. Yes, he does say that over and over, and then a sentence will come up here and there stating you can have a little fish if you are this kind of person or you can have some meat twice a week if you are that person, but really, he wants you to be vegan. No animals products. Sigh. NO CHEESE.
He hates cheese. Really, it really bugs him. Not once does he ever say, you can have cheese if you are that kind of person or this kind of person. I guess cheese is really bad. Uggh. My toxic body is crying - don't stop the cheese, please. I just had a cheese sandwich - luscious bread, too much cheese, swiss and cheddar, some lettuce, a bit of processed turkey, mayo, mustard, italian dressing. Sometimes I add tomato and cucumber (to appease Furhman).
He states over and over a lb of greens and a lb of vegetables per day. He does tend to mix things up and kind of says one thing then changes it a little then goes back to what he said earlier, so he goes in circles at times to where you are not really sure what you should do. That does sort of drive you crazy in trying to figure out what exactly you should do. But I do know this is what he really is trying to say: to be healthy, you must stop the bread, stop the pasta, stop the sweets, stop the cheese, stop the milk, stop the meat, stop the fish, stop oils, stop diet sodas, stop over eating - just stop.
To lose weight: eat vegetables, eat fruit, beans and nuts in smaller amounts, oatmeal is acceptable also (I think). Again, it depends upon the page.
He does sell a lot of products on his website and they are expensive. But it all looks healthy and good.
If you are strong enough this diet/way of life, can really change your life, I truly believe this. I didn't give it 5 stars because it is so restrictive - but that is not necessarily bad, I'm just kinda weak battling my food demons. And I must be jealous of Furhman, in some way, so the penalty is 4 stars when he probably, most likely, deserves 5.
What is this diet?
In short, it is six weeks of vegan food with no booze, caffeine, salt, or fat. That means no olive oil, nuts, or fatty things that are still good for you like avocados. After 6 weeks you transition to a diet that can include meat and alcohol plus days where you can eat whatever the heck you want. That's where I'm going now.
Why did you go on it?
My cholesterol was too high. I was slowly putting on weight and not liking the way I looked. I was sick of pretending that doing nothing was going to work.
Does it work?
In short, yes. I lost a total of 24 pounds in 6 weeks. It kind of blows my mind that I still don't look the way I want and I had 24 pounds on TOP of that. That's what years of gradual weight gain will do to someone I guess.
Do you get hungry?
Actually, no. This one surprised me the most. The basic premise is that you should eat 1 pound of raw vegetables, 1 pound of cooked vegetables, and 1 cup of beans a day. Think about that, it is a lot of food (you can also add more to that as long as it is healthy stuff). I often had trouble finishing the meals I was supposed to eat.
What do you eat?
Breakfast consisted of a bunch of fruit or some oatmeal a few times a week. Lunch was pretty much always an enormous salad. Dinner varied and I learned to cook a lot of different things and make extra for leftovers. I'd usually have a small(er) side salad, some sort of main entree (beans, mushrooms, some sort of fat free sauce), and some more veggies. You're allowed a little bit of bread now and then (as well as some starchy vegetables) so I never got massive carb cravings or anything.
Do you get enough nutrients?
Yes. This was a big eye opener for me, but I never realized how much protein is actually in vegetables. Calorie for calorie, vegetables have WAY more protein than meat. That is why you have to eat huge salads though, you need to eat more to get the same amount of protein in chicken or steak, for instance.
What would you change about the diet?
Some of the recipes in the book are rather ridiculous. I spent 4 hours cooking his "famous" anti-cancer soup and if I never have that crap again I'll be a happy man. Also, he kept wanting me to have simple green salads that I would soak in orange juice. Um...no thanks, I'll pass. So I bought the fat free balsamic vinagrette at Trader Joe's ate that with all of my salads (only 25 calories per serving). I probably had a pinch more salad and fat because of it but it was worth it to me to have food that tasted normal. I ended up getting a lot of my recipes online through google searches for "eat to live recipes".
Can you go out to eat?
Basically no. I did a few times and it was always depressing as the options were basically crappy salads with no dressing. I can get that at home. Some Ethiopian and Indian places had barely passable options but that was mainly with my eyes closed pretending that there was only a bit of oil in them. Stay home if you can manage. He mentions that some people live on this strict diet the rest of their life. Personally, that seems insane and I could NOT do that. I really miss going out to eat.
What was the hardest part?
Going out with friends. Life is based around food and alcohol. I figured I could plow through 6 weeks of it, and I did, but it was NOT easy. Not eating wasn't a big deal, and not eating most of the food was OK too, but not doing both was basically torture.
Well, I move into the "rest of my life" diet. That means eating basically what I've been eating the last 6 weeks for the majority of my meals (especially easy for breakfast and lunch by myself at my desk at work). The rest of my meals I can eat a healthy non-vegan meal or splurge and get what I want. My weight should drop a little more, just more slowly, and then level off. You can also drink at this point. That will be a welcome relief. I'm also really glad I learned how to cook really healthy food. I actually learned to love to cook which was a lot of fun.
Why do you recommend this diet?
1) it works.
2) the books is really good and educational. I would recommend it even if you don't go on the diet. It really breaks down why it works and the science behind it. It also takes a really objective look at other diets which, in the end, made me not want to try them.
3) I was never hungry
4) It gave me a lot of tools I can use the rest of my life to make better and more informed decisions.
So, that's it. I know this whole things sounds ridiculous and corny, but I've really never felt so damn awesome and enthusiastic before. It was hard in some ways, as people really do want to find reasons to get you off a diet. The temptation to cheat can be intense, but I stuck to it, and feel great. Mind you, I'm dying for a martini, but in the end six weeks wasn't the worst thing in the world.