Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan [NOOK Book]


The unique body-typing program that teaches you how to:

Lose ...
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Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan

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The unique body-typing program that teaches you how to:

Lose weight
Achieve your ideal body shape
Target your trouble spots
Boost your energy
Eliminate food cravings forever
Feel better than you ever thought possible

Do you crave coffee and sweets--or a nice thick steak?
Do you get love handles--or jiggly pockets on your thighs?
Are you quick-tempered--or impatient and easily depressed?

Believe it or not, your answers to these and other questions posed in this breakthrough book will help you discover which of the four basic "Body Type" categories you fall into--the first step toward determining what you need to do to lose weight and look and feel better than ever.

More than just a diet, Dr. Abravanel's one-of-a-kind plan is a complete health, fitness, and nutrition program that first teaches you how to determine your body type and then custom-tailors a three-step weight-loss plan and exercise regimen just for you. Using the latest scientific research, Dr. Abravanel has revised and expanded this successful strategy to make it even more effective and easy to follow.

This revolutionary program includes:

A newly revised Body Type questionnaire you can do at home
A detailed list of foods you should avoid--and those you must eat
A four-week eating plan, complete with daily menus and recipes
A guide to supplements, herbal remedies, and exercise routines for each Body Type
A Long Weekend of Rejuvenation to purify your system and clear your mind

Now, to find out which Body Type you fall into, turn to the first page....

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Way back in 1983, during the nutritional dark ages, Dr. Elliot Abravanel issued the first version of this body-typing classic. At that time, his ideas about personalizing weight loss programs by body type seemed revolutionary; now, almost every weight reduction guide pays heed to individual variations in physique. Not one to rest on his laurels, however, Dr. Abravanel has updated and, in some cases, streamlined the book, fine-tuning his advice in response to new scientific studies and sixteen years of reader responses to his New York Times bestseller.
Michelle Faulkner
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307569431
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/2/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 167,773
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Elliot D. Abravanel, M.D., is known as a founder of holistic medicine. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1969. For many years he served Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as head of medical staff and as Professor of Medicine at Maharishi European Research University, where he pursued reseearch on the relationship between consciousness and ideal health. In 1975 he opened a private medical practice in Beverly Hills, California, where he developed the Body Type System. He is the author of three books: Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan, Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Program for Health, Fitness and Nutrition, and Dr. Abravanel's Anti-Craving Weight Loss Diet, as well as numerous medical publications. He now divides his time between writing, lecturing, and research. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Weiyi Xu.

Elizabeth King Morrison is a writer and educator who specializes in the creation of individual health and nutrition programs. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of two books on Transcendental Meditation in secondary education. She co-authored all three Body Type books with Dr. Abravanel, and has trained many health professionals in the Body Type System. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband, the writer Ralph Morrison.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Most people today believe that to be slim is necessarily to be healthy. They are mistaken: Most diets are so unhealthy as to be useless in the long run. In fact, most diets aren't even useful in the short run, even for weight loss, because the lost weight invariably comes right back.

Occasionally, a diet will work for some lucky dieter. But for every dieter who loses weight, there are hundreds more who fail. And no one ever explains why a diet works, when it does, or why it fails.

The Body Type Diet answers these questions. Body Type Dieting is not just another peel-away-the-pounds fad. Rather, it is a systematic medical program relating different types of diet to different types of body, in order to enable each individual to find the diet that will be effective, safe, and healthy for him or her.


I developed the concept of the Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan more than twenty years ago, when I was a young doctor with a busy general practice. Unlike medical specialists, who focus their attention on one system of the body or another, I was a generalist, accustomed to looking at my patients as whole people in whom all parts of the body have to work together for health. Naturally one of the problems often presented to me was the problem of overweight, and I was often asked for advice about diet. Since the importance of maintaining one's ideal weight is, from a health standpoint, beyond dispute, I determined to find a way to help my patients achieve this goal.

But I was not fully satisfied with any of the diets available at that time. What struck me was that while one or two patients would lose weight on one or the other of the many popular diets that exist in the marketplace, most of them either failed to lose, or lost weight and quickly gained it back.

I decided to take a closer look at those of my patients who did lose weight successfully, and to isolate those factors that were the keys to success.

Two patients who happened to come to my office on the same day, illustrated clearly what I discovered. The two were both women, good friends who had decided to diet together for mutual reinforcement. Both had managed to lose about nine pounds; one wanted to lose six more, the other sixteen more pounds. Both had been on a popular diet that was low in protein and fats and high in complex carbohydrates. But there the similarity ended.

The first patient, whom I will call Anna, was the one within six pounds of her weight goal, and she looked very well. She had lost her weight from the right places--her hips and thighs, rather than her face, which had never been fat. She told me that she felt healthy and vigorous even though she was dieting, and she looked that way, too.

The second patient, Joanne, was a contrast to Anna in almost every way. She retained "pockets" of fat on her outer thighs, which, she told me, she'd been unable to lose. Her face was gaunt and she had a pasty, unhealthy color. Moreover, she was having difficulty sticking to her diet, and was constantly suffering from an intense craving for sweets.

What was particularly interesting to me was that both women had followed exactly the same diet. I knew them both, and was confident that Joanne had not been "cheating"; she was highly motivated to lose weight. Obviously, the difference was not in the diet but in the dieter, or rather in the interaction of dieter and diet. The way the diet worked for Anna was obviously not the way it worked for Joanne.

Examining the two women, I discovered that their bodies were indeed very different. Anna had a very steady, strong metabolism. She had excellent digestion, was active all day, and had relatively little variation in her energy level. Joanne was a very different type; she was livelier than Anna, but more given to ups and downs in energy. She had intense nervous energy, but tended to "crash" in the late afternoon if she wasn't careful. She drank a lot of coffee and diet cola to keep herself going. In short, she was more high-strung and more delicate than Anna.

I decided to put Joanne on a completely different diet from the high-carbohydrate one that had seemed to work for Anna. The diet I selected was high in protein, lower in carbohydrates, and eliminated all caffeine drinks. The idea of this diet was to provide a steadying balance for her delicate, high-strung system. Meanwhile, I told Anna to continue as she had been, until she had lost the rest of her excess weight.

To my delight, Joanne responded beautifully to her changed program. After just a week on the diet she began to look healthier. Her face, which had been so gaunt, filled out and her cheeks were rosy. But more important to her, she began to lose the pockets of fat on her thighs. Within four weeks she had lost the entire sixteen pounds. Five years after that memorable month, she was still at her ideal weight.

Anna, meanwhile, continued on her high-carbohydrate diet and by the end of the next week she had lost her remaining six pounds. Now both women had dieted successfully--but on diets that, like their metabolisms, were diametrically different.

The conclusion reached from Joanne, Anna, and thousands of other patients over the years was that success in dieting depends on the particular character of the dieter's metabolism. If this vital factor is not considered, the diet will inevitably fail. Without a system for determining what type of body a dieter has, dieters and their physicians alike are at the mercy of chance and guesswork.


Individuals process foods differently--this much is common knowledge. We have all observed that some people can eat much more than others without gaining weight. Also, some people need more of different kinds of food--more protein, more carbohydrates, or more fats. And some people are affected adversely by foods that other people tolerate well.

These facts are indications of a vitally important truth: Each person has his or her body type, based upon how food is metabolized in the body. There are a number of traditional systems for classifying individuals according to body type. Perhaps the best known is the classification into ectomorph (the slim, rangy person), endomorph (the rounder, plumper person), or mesomorph (the thicker, more muscular person), developed by Dr. William Sheldon in his book The Atlas of Man. The limitation of this system is that it is purely descriptive; it doesn't tell why a person is slim, round, or muscular.

Another system is that used in classical Chinese medicine, which classifies bodies according to which of the five "elements" (earth, water, fire, air, or ether) predominates. While this system has a good deal of value and is useful in certain courses of treatment, I wanted to find one that would be both highly accurate and easier to use. The same consideration applied to the Ayurvedic or classical Indian system, in which individuals are classified into types according to their balance of doshas, or elements: vata, pitta, and kapha.  Again, Ayurveda is a highly refined and developed system of medicine, but it requires years of study to use correctly. I wanted a system that would use recognizable Western terms, be in full agreement with my scientific and medical knowledge about the body, and be readily understandable by lay person and physician alike. In short, I wanted a system that would prescribe the right diet while accurately describing the body type.

I set about to develop such a system. I began to classify individuals according to which of their four major glands--the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, and the gonads or sex glands--was most active, or dominant, in their metabolism. According to this system, I could then classify a person as a "Pituitary Type," a "Thyroid Type," an "Adrenal Type," or a "Gonadal Type."

The inspiration for my system of body types came from Henry Bieler, M.D., a great physician and nutritionist, and author of Food Is Your Best Medicine. Dr. Bieler shows in this book how it is possible to distinguish between individuals with a dominant thyroid and a dominant adrenal gland on the basis of fairly obvious physical characteristics. Dr. Bieler's "thyroid type" is slender, fine-boned, long-limbed--much like the classic ectomorph. His "adrenal type" is squarer in shape, thicker and more solid, and closely resembles the classic mesomorph. Dr. Bieler also suspected that there might be a third body type, the pituitary type, but he was not certain of this and did not fully define what this type would look like.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2008

    This 'No Frills' Diet Really Works!

    Bottom line up front: For those who seek healthy, reasonably rapid, measured weight loss via lifestyle change, and are tired of chasing around the high profile, costly, fad diets --this is the diet and nutrition plan if for you. I intuitively knew there had to be a no frills, back-to-basics plan out there that wasn't a 'one-size-fits-all' 'magic pill' `silver bullet¿ 'you-must-buy-my-$400/mo-food product,' and Dr. Abravanel's plan is IT! I have systematically lost 50 pounds in 6 months by simply applying the basic tenants of the diet and while allowing for some wiggle room in what I ate. Within one month of beginning the plan, my 'bad' cravings diminished, and ultimately disappeared, my metabolism began changing/adapting, and my eating habits/food types began affecting my body in a positive way. Had I strictly applied the diet as written I would have undoubtedly lost weight faster. I initially set my target `weight loss bar' very low based on previous diet experiences, and literally had to keep revising down my target weight due to the rapid, continuous weight loss. Second order effect of the going on the plan: The more weight I loss, the easier it was to exercise, the easier it was to exercise the more I liked exercising, the more I liked exercising the more I did it, the more I did it the faster the weight came off -- no magic there! End result of this diet for me ¿ I¿m back to my `fighting weight¿ and look and feel better than I have in years. I've lost 50 lbs and have kept it off without any perturbation to my quality of life, and my body¿s metabolism and eating patterns have completely adapted to the 'Lifetime Nutrition' element of the plan. I've recommended this diet/plan to a few friends and those who have implemented it with the required discipline have had the same results as I have -- permanent, healthy weight loss resulting in an `executable¿ lifestyle change.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2005


    The book is very easy to follow and understand. I've tried other diets and failed, but this is the way to go. Every body type is different, therefore, I do believe you need to chose the correct one for your individual needs. I wish I would have found this book years ago. So far, I've lost 25 pounds in 3 months and I love the results. It's also nice to know that there is a toll-free number to call if you need to speak with a counselor. Help is right at your finger-tips. I would recommend the book to everyone. It's the 'right' way to lose weight and stay healthy at the same time.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    This is a great Meat and Potatoes kind of book (No pun intended!)

    This is by far one of the best books about healthy living that I have ever read. It's practical, clear and once you get to know your body type, it cuts right to the chase without a lot of filler information. The first few chapters prepare you for what's coming and the anticipation of that may initially leave some readers bored. The quiz/pictures used to help determine your body type is decent. There are 25 questions and if you straddle between 2 types, it may be a little hard to decipher through the questions to have a clear cut determination at the end. I found that I answered roughly 9 questions geared toward 1 type and 7 toward another and at any given Sunday, it could have gone the other way. That's why it's important to read the first few chapters leading to that so your answer is definitive when you get there IF you have that issue. For me, it was blatant-I just had to go back to answer questions based on my usual and not how I was feeling that week (i.e-I crave dairy this week, but usually it's chips). Once you know your type, it's smooth sailing. The Dr. lays out info about your type (I would have also liked to see more medical/scientific info just for my own deeper knowledge) that gets right to the point. It includes what you should and shouldn't eat, meal plans, what exercises you should and should not do, stressors and releases for them and recipes. I love the examples he gives and the short, lay person rationale. It helps you to parallel the behaviors of your body type to yourself and that gives you that AHA! moment to read deeper and work to apply the changes. I have read the book and am starting with the fresh start on this coming Monday to apply what I read, so to say this actually works is premature; However, the inside knowledge given is invaluable and I can't see how one could not achieve some level of success with this information provided they adhere to it. I am expecting good things! I definitely recommend this book if you have read several books that hadn't seemed to give you a more personalized look into all the aspects of healthy living based on your specific body makeup. It's one thing to tell me generically that as a 30-something yr old woman that I need to lift weights and cardio 4-6X/wk but in contrast from this book that as an Adrenal type person that lifting weights isn't necessarily my best plan and that cardio should be #1 based on how I build muscles and metabolize food and where fat falls on me, etc. That tidbit of more specific information helps me gear my workouts differently to be more effective in my gym time and hopefully achieve better results. I think readers will appreciate the more specific information without the expense of a paid consultation-that would be great to have that 1-on-1, but this will definitely get you on the right track for a lot cheaper!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003

    A winning book

    I love this book, it has helped me lose over 30 pounds in 3-4 months & it's stayed off. It's very fascinating to learn about body types & then watch those around you & you can see what type they are by what they are always stuffing their faces with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    dr. abravanels body type diet have been of much help to me as a

    dr. abravanels body type diet have been of much help to me as a guide in losing weight and turning me into a sensible person in knowing what to put in our body i.e. do not make your gut a garbage pit!!!!with his book i can prepare my own food fast and easy.during my 2 weeks diet on the basic weight-loss diet my co-workers noticed that i shed those unwanted pounds left in such a short time.believe me, i already even stopped going to the gym when i started to try on the diet.in addition to that, i was able to loss weight feeling energetic and of good stature as compared to other fad diets that will make a person weak and unhealthy looking.i definitely recommend dr. abravanels book so have a copy now and start changing your perspective in having a healthy lifestyle!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    I really like the book and the knowledge I gained from it has he

    I really like the book and the knowledge I gained from it has helped me understand my body’s needs. A few of my friends have bought it and love it as well. My fiancé’ and I found that doing the quiz together was extremely helpful for both of us and made the questions a lot easier to answer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    typical diet book

    following the diet plan in this book will have you starving in no time and packing the weight back on as soon as you allow yourself anything outside of the strict regiment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 10, 2010

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