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Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss

Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss

3.4 46
by Joel Fuhrman

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Dr. Joel Fuhrman's revolutionary diet is not about willpower, it is about knowledge. Eat to Live offers a healthy, effective, and scientifically proven Six-Week Plan for shedding a radical amount of weight quickly. The key to the program's success is simple: health = nutrients: calories When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high,


Dr. Joel Fuhrman's revolutionary diet is not about willpower, it is about knowledge. Eat to Live offers a healthy, effective, and scientifically proven Six-Week Plan for shedding a radical amount of weight quickly. The key to the program's success is simple: health = nutrients: calories When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high, fat melts away. The more nutrient-dense food you consume, the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories and the less you will crave fat and high-calorie foods. Eat to Live will help you live longer, reduce your need for medications, and improve your overall health dramatically. It is a book that will change the way you want to eat. Most of all, though, Eat to Live will enable you to lose more weight than you ever thought possible.

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Little, Brown and Company
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Eat to Live

The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
By Joel Fuhrman

Little Brown & Company

Copyright © 2003 Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0316829455

Chapter One


THE EFFECTS OF THE AMERICAN DIET, PART I Americans have been among the first people worldwide to have the luxury of bombarding themselves with nutrient-deficient, high-calorie food, often called empty-calorie or junk food. By "empty-calorie," I mean food that is deficient in nutrients and fiber. More Americans than ever before are eating these rich, high-calorie foods while remaining inactive - a dangerous combination.

The number one health problem in the United States is obesity, and if the current trend continues, by the year 2230 all adults in the United States will be obese. The National Institutes of Health estimate that obesity is associated with a twofold increase in mortality, costing society more than $100 billion per year. This is especially discouraging for the dieter because after spending so much money attempting to lose weight, 95 percent percent of them gain all the weight back and then add on even more pounds within three years. This incredibly high failure rate holds true for the vast majority of weight-loss schemes, programs, and diets.

Obesity and its sequelae pose a serious challenge to physicians. Bothprimary-care physicians and obesity-treatment specialists fail to make an impact on the long-term health of most of their patients. Studies show that initial weight loss is followed by weight regain.

Those who genetically store fat more efficiently may have had a survival advantage thousands of years ago when food was scarce, or in a famine, but in today's modern food pantry they are the ones with the survival disadvantage. People whose parents are obese have a tenfold increased risk of being obese. On the other hand, obese families tend to have obese pets, which is obviously not genetic. So it is the combination of food choices, inactivity, and genetics that determines obesity. More important, one can't change one's genes, so blaming them doesn't solve the problem. Rather than taking an honest look at what causes obesity, Americans are still looking for a miraculous cure - a magic diet or some other effortless gimmick. Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue - extra weight leads to an earlier death, as many studies confirm. Overweight individuals are more likely to die from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Two-thirds of those with weight problems also have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or another obesity-related condition. It is a major cause of early mortality in the United States. Since dieting almost never works and the health risks of obesity are so life-threatening, more and more people are desperately turning to drugs and surgical procedures to lose weight.

Health Complications of Obesity

• Increased overall premature mortality o Lipid disorders

• Adult onset diabetes o Obstructive sleep apnea

• Hypertension o Gallstones

• Degenerative arthritis o Fatty infiltration of liver

• Coronary artery disease o Restrictive lung disease

• Cancer o Gastrointestinal diseases

The results so many of my patients have achieved utilizing the Eat to Live guidelines over the past ten years rival what can be achieved with surgical weight-reduction techniques, without the associated morbidity and mortality.

Surgery for Weight Reduction and Its Risks

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), wound problems and complications from blood clots are common aftereffects of gastric bypass and gastroplasty surgery. The NIH has also reported that those undergoing surgical treatment for obesity have had substantial nutritional and metabolic complications, gastritis, esophagitis, outlet stenosis, and abdominal hernias. More than 10 percent required another operation to fix problems resulting from the first surgery.

Another tempting solution is liposuction. Studies show that liposuction begets a plethora of side effects, the main one being death! A recent survey of all 1,200 actively practicing North American board-certified plastic surgeons confirmed that there are about 20 deaths for every 100,000 liposuctions, whereas the generally acceptable mortality rate for elective surgery is 1 in 100,000.10 Compared with the 16.4 per 100,000 mortality rate of U.S. motor vehicle accidents, liposuction is not a benign procedure. Liposuction is dangerous.

Dangerous Dieting

In addition to undergoing extremely risky surgeries, Americans have been bombarded with a battery of gimmicky diets that promise to combat obesity. Almost all diets are ineffective. They don't work, because no matter how much weight you lose when you are on a diet, you put it right back on when you go off. Measuring portions and trying to eat fewer calories, typically called "dieting," almost never results in permanent weight loss and actually worsens the problem over time. Such "dieting" temporarily slows down your metabolic rate, so often more weight comes back than you lost. You wind up heavier than you were before you started dieting. This leads many to claim, "I've tried everything, and nothing works. It must be genetic. Who wouldn't give up?"

You may already know that the conventional "solution" to being overweight - low-calorie dieting - doesn't work. But you may not know why. It is for this simple yet much overlooked reason: for the vast majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but by what they eat. The idea that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is a myth. Eating large amounts of the right food is your key to success and is what makes this plan workable for the rest of your life. What makes many people overweight is not that they eat so much more but that they get a higher percentage of their calories from fat and refined carbohydrates, or mostly low-nutrient foods. This low-nutrient diet establishes a favorable cellular environment for disease to flourish.

Regardless of your metabolism or genetics, you can achieve a normal weight once you start a high-nutrient diet style. Since the majority of all Americans are overweight, the problem is not primarily genetic. Though genes are an important ingredient, physical activity and food choices play a far more significant role. In studies on identical twins with the tendency to be overweight, scientists found that physical activity is the strongest environmental determinant of total body and central abdominal fat mass. Even those with a strong family history of obesity effectively lose weight with increased physical activity and appropriate dietary modifications.

Most of the time, the reason people are overweight is too little physical activity, in conjunction with a high-calorie, low-nutrient diet. Eating a diet with plenty of low-fiber, calorie-dense food, such as oil and refined carbohydrates, is the main culprit. As long as you are eating fatty foods and refined carbohydrates, it is impossible to lose weight healthfully. In fact, this vicious combination of a sedentary lifestyle and eating typical "American" food (high-fat, low-fiber) is the primary reason we have such an incredibly overweight population.

Killing the Next Generation

This book may not appeal to many Americans who are in denial about the dangers of their eating habits and those of their children. Many people will do anything to continue their love affair with rich, disease-causing foods and will sacrifice their health in the process. Many American consumers prefer not to know about the dangers of their diet because they don't want to have their pleasures interfered with. This book is not for them.

If you have to give up something you get pleasure from, your subconscious may prefer to ignore solid evidence or defend illogically held views. Many ferociously defend their unhealthy eating practices. Others just claim, "I already eat a healthy diet," when they do not. There is a general resistance to change. It would be much easier if healthful eating practices and the scientific importance of nutritional excellence were instilled in us as children. Unfortunately, children are eating more poorly today than ever before.

Most Americans are not aware that the diet they feed their children guarantees a high cancer probability down the road. They don't even contemplate that eating fast-food meals may be just as risky (or more so) than letting their children smoke cigarettes.

The 1992 Bogalusa Heart Study confirmed the existence of fatty plaques and streaks (the beginning of atherosclerosis) in most children and teenagers! You wouldn't let your children sit around the table smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, because it is not socially acceptable, but it is fine to let them consume cola, fries cooked in trans fat, and a cheeseburger regularly. Many children consume doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes, and candy on a daily basis. It is difficult for parents to understand the insidious, slow destruction of their child's genetic potential and the foundation for serious illness that is being built by the consumption of these foods.

It would be unrealistic to feel optimistic about the health and well-being of the next generation when there is an unprecedented increase in the average weight of children in this country and record levels of childhood obesity. Most ominous were the results reported by the 1992 Bogalusa Heart Study, which studied autopsies performed on children killed in accidental deaths. The study confirmed the existence of fatty plaques and streaks (the beginning of atherosclerosis) in most children and teenagers! These researchers concluded: "These results emphasize the need for preventive cardiology in early life." I guess "preventive cardiology" is a convoluted term that means eating healthfully.

Another recent autopsy study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than 85 percent of adults between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-nine already have atherosclerotic changes in their coronary arteries. Fatty streaks and fibrous plaques covered large areas of the coronary arteries. Everyone knows that junk foods are not healthy, but few understand their consequences - serious life-threatening illness. Clearly, the diets we consume as children have a powerful influence on our future health and eventual premature demise. There is considerable data to suggest that childhood diet has a greater impact on the later incidence of certain cancers than does a poor diet later in life.

It is estimated that as many as 25 percent of schoolchildren today are obese. Early obesity sets the stage for adult obesity. An overweight child develops heart disease earlier in life. Mortality data suggests that being overweight during early adult life is more dangerous than a similar degree of heaviness later in adult life.

Drugs Are Not the Solution

New drugs are continually introduced that attempt to lessen the effects of our nation's self-destructive eating behavior. Most often, our society treats disease after the degenerative illness has appeared, an illness that is the result of from forty to sixty years of nutritional self-abuse. Drug companies and researchers attempt to develop and market medications to stem the obesity epidemic. This approach will always be doomed to fail. The body will always pay a price for consuming medicines, which usually have toxic effects. The "side" effects are not the only toxic effect of medications. Doctors learn in their introductory pharmacology course in medical school that all medications are toxic to varying degrees, whether side effects are experienced or not. Pharmacology professors stress never to forget that. You cannot escape the immutable biological laws of cause and effect through ingesting medicinal substances.

If we don't make significant changes in the foods we choose to consume, taking drugs prescribed by physicians will not improve our health or extend our lives. If we wish true health protection, we need to remove the cause. We must stop abusing ourselves with diseasecausing foods.

Surprise! Lean People Live Longer

In the Nurses Health Study, researchers examined the association between body mass index and overall mortality and mortality from specific causes in more than 100,000 women. After limiting the analysis to nonsmokers, it was very clear that the longest-lived women were the leanest. The researchers concluded that the increasingly permissive U.S. weight guidelines are unjustified and potentially harmful.

Dr. I-Min Lee, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said her twenty-seven-year study of 19,297 men found there was no such thing as being too thin. (Obviously, it is possible to be too thin; however, it is uncommon and usually called anorexia, but that is not the subject of this book.) Among men who never smoked, the lowest mortality occurred in the lightest fifth. Those who were in the thinnest 20 percent in the early 1960s were two and a half times less likely to have died of cardiovascular disease by 1988 than those in the heaviest fifth. Overall, the thinnest were two-thirds more likely to be alive in 1988 than the heaviest. Lee stated, "We observed a direct relationship between body weight and mortality. By that I mean that the thinnest fifth of men experienced the lowest mortality, and mortality increased progressively with heavier and heavier weight." The point is not to judge your ideal weight by traditional weight-loss tables, which are based on Americans' overweight averages. After carefully examining the twenty-five major studies available on the subject, I have found that the evidence indicates that optimal weight, as determined by who lives the longest, occurs at weights at least 10 percent below the average body-weight tables. Most weight-guideline charts still place the public at risk by reinforcing an unhealthy overweight standard. By my calculations, it is not merely 75 percent of Americans that are overweight, it is more like 85 percent. The Longer Your Waistline, the Shorter Your Lifeline As a good rule of thumb: for optimal health and longevity, a man should not have more than one-half inch of skin that he can pinch near his umbilicus (belly button) and a woman should not have more than one inch. Almost any fat on the body over this minimum is a health risk. If you have gained even as little as ten pounds since the age of eighteen or twenty, then you could be at significant increased risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The truth is that most people who think they are at the right weight still have too much fat on their body. A commonly used formula for determining ideal body weight follows:

Women: Approximately ninety-five pounds for the first five feet of height and then four pounds for every inch thereafter.


Excerpted from Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman Copyright © 2003 by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr. Fuhrman preaches a simple rule, everything you eat should have a high degree of nutrition compared to its calories. Based on this, meats, carbs, dairy, and processed foods dont make the cut when compared to greens, beans, fruits and even nuts. Therefore, you can get more nutrition eating less calories through veggies/fruits/beans.

When I first read the book, I found it unbelievable and a bit depressing - everything I grew up eating and loving was essentially bad for me. Nonetheless, I gave his advice a try, and he was right on all counts. I lost weight at an unprecedented rate(with and without exercise), I slept better, my cholesterol dropped, and felt better. It also helped my best friend control his diabetes without having to take medication.

Some other reviewers think this book is extreme or too vegan. They are right.. it is both extreme and vegan - COMPARED to what we have learned to eat. The problem is that what society deems as the norm, is not necessarily what is best for us. Watch TV commercials or read print magazines and count how many times they advertise meals with veggies or fruits vs how many times they advertise meat, dairy or carbs. The latter are just very dominant and available in our culture to our detriment.

This is not an easy diet at first, but its benefits show themselves quickly and will keep you on the right track. And once you see the benefits.. you will want to share the advice with your loved ones to help them too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a potatoes, pasta and meat kina gal. That being said,it is pretty hard to do the first six weeks which is the only "vegan" part of this lifestyle change. I do not say "diet" because that is not what this is. It is an extrodinary way of life that improves your QUALITY of life. The first six weeks are the hardest as freely admitted in the book, but it is worth it. In the first 3 weeks I lost 13 lbs. I am down 25 lbs which is great, but the best part is I can breath. I have better posture. I can run with my children more and not suffer an asthma attack! It's only the begining.
TJGetz More than 1 year ago
"Eat to Live" is unequivocally the best single source I have come across after a more than a decade of avid reading on the topic of health and nutrition. It can be read and understood by the non-technical reader but also has the precise writing style of scientific literature and includes citations to support every statement. I subscribe to scientific journals on this subject and look up other articles at the medical library and can attest that Fuhrman's work is accurate in every aspect and will stand up to scientific scrutiny. During my first year following the Fuhrman advice I personally lost 30 lbs. and had striking improvements in other lipid markers, specifically 50% reduction in both triglycerides and PSA. I would like to suggest that Furhman does not put adequate emphasis on the need for additional dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the widespread problem vitamin D insufficiency. So add some flax seed meal to your oatmeal and either get more sunshine or add a Vitamin D supplement to the Eat to Live recipes and expect optimum health. By the way, I am Fuhrman's best customer, having given away at least 15 copies of "Eat to Live" to friends who have chronic health conditions.
dobieluvrs More than 1 year ago
We came from a meat and potatoes type of diet and were looking for something that would help us to cleanse ourselves so that we could feel better. We were feeling tired, lethargic and just not well. We decided to commit to a 6 week program of the Eat to Live eating plan and though sometimes I got frustrated that i couldn't think of another recipe to use, we did stick it out. My husband lost almost 40 pounds and I lost 20! We began to feel better and be more regular. It truly did help us on the road to a more active lifestyle that we had been wanting. Now we have modified it a bit to add in other types of protein, for me that was tofu, and for my husband occasional chicken, turkey or fish. We continue to feel well. Have gone from total couch potatoes to people who spend 5 days per week at the gym and so far my husband has lost 60 pounds and I have lost a bit over 25. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to cleanse and remove the waste and toxins from their system and who also wants a lot more energy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a vegetarian for a few years and overweight. I foud his book while doing some research on vegetarianism and weight loss. I read the book twice before I applied any of the dietary changes. He explains the why, the how of nutrition...everything is thoroughly explained in this book. It just made perfect sense. After six months of following his teachings I lost 45 pounds (I have 5 children) and nobody believes I had any kids! I am working on my last five pounds now and I know I will get the results I want following his plan. No powdersw or shakes, no itty bitty tiny portions of food, no starving and then bingeing. Its healthy weight loss. I especially recommend this to anyone who has heart disease or diabetes (type II). It will change your life just like it did mine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While some argue, very poignantly, that this book is un-realistic I personally believe that if you make a significant step forward following the advice of the book your life will change, for the better. After reading the book the nutritional information about how I was eating flabbergasted me but the diet seemed way too restrictive and impossible to do. However, I made significant changes. I increased the green vegetable consumption, fruit consumption and REDUCED my read meat consumption. Three months into the program eating meat only twice a week, fish only twice a week ¿ I decided to go seafood vegetarian and I thank myself for that final change. Regardless of your preference for meat it is ENTIRELY possible to make significant dietary changes after this diet. After eight months on my own version of the program which includes fat free cheeses, fat free yogurt and seafood I have lost 125 lbs. Part of that is also due to working out approximately 1 hour to 2 hours a day. I believe that the nutritional content alone make this book an important contribution to health and nutrition education in the United States and I would suggest, at least in what capacity someone can, that individuals adopt the habits in the book if not the entire diet. I also believe that if you are significantly overweight with a BMI of over 37 that you should follow this diet. It is a fast and safe way to take your life back over. You have to have the will power. The most important statement that connected with me is that the notion of ¿you have to die sometime¿ as the reason why you eat gluttonously is only a decent conceptualization of life if you choose when your life will be over. There is no need to cut short the time you have. The only criticism that I have for the book is that I wish there were a few more recipes and more description of what to look for in produce and how to cook it. The recipe descriptions are not very well constructed for younger audiences with less experience in the kitchen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent for those interested in maintaining a Vegetarian or Vegan diet. However, for the average omnivore, even those who eat limited amounts animal protein, this diet is way toooooooooooooooooooooooo restrictive and unrealistic. Also, I found his ideal weight chart and emphasis on exercise inadequate. I did however, after ready this book, drastically reduce my consumption of animal protein and began working out more regularly. Thus far I have lost a total of 10 pounds in about 3 weeks and have only 15 more to go . . . Overall, I would ONLY recommend this book to Vegetarians or Vegans interested in weight loss . . .
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are finally ready to quit dieting and get healthy, buy the book, read the book and make a six week commitment to follow it. It truly is a painless way to superlative health, weigh reduction and well-being. The information is laid out in a simple to follow format. No strange recipes to make, no powders or potions to take. Just eat fresh salads and other green vegetables and eat beans. How easy is that? In the past, I've read and tried many diets that promise quick weight loss, but there has always been a price to pay (dealing with hunger, feeling rotten, feeling deprived at mealtime) Not so here. You can get healthy, weigh your ideal weight and live. Just buy the book and tell yourself that you are worth saving and do it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
all roads have have come to this book. What perfect sence. feed your body the correct foods and the rest will follow. easy to read, it is now my bible for eating. I feel amazing with energy within week 2 of following the plan and sleep better at night. try it. what do you got to loose except getting off some meds and losing weight?
Guest More than 1 year ago
The is the best nutrtion book I have read and I will use it, teach from it and recommend it! Read this book if you are ready to get healthy and slim!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life in just 30 days! I've lost the weight that I didn't want, I feel better and I've never been hungry on this new way of eating! Get serious and loose unwanted weight!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have not only read the book but also had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Furhman speak at a seminar. I was a die hard chicken and steak eater and I had egg whites every morning and milk products all day long. I never saw myself as becoming Vegan, but as you read all the evidence in the book, it is hard not to want to change. So I have given 6 weeks now and I feel better than ever. I was a 140 lb. woman and now I have lost 15 lbs. so far. I also struggled with acne, alergies, and stomach problems, which have all vanished as a results of giving up animal products. My skin has not been this clear in the last 15 years!!! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to really become healthier. My roommate is hooked now too!! Thank you Dr. Furhman!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best way to lose weight and have health. I lost 17 pounds in 7 weeks and almost at my goal weight 10 pounds to go. I feel wonderful eating all of thes fruits, veggies, nuts. It is a lifestyle and I won't be going back to the other way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read and tried many diets just like everyone else. At last here is a book that explains the why's without putting you to sleep and in language everyone can understand. The fact that we are going back to foods that haven't been refined and are in their natural state makes so much sense. It makes me feel that I have control over what goes into my body...no extra chemicals of any type. Dr. Furhman gives us the basics to work with and then allows you to adjust it to your needs. I noticed a difference almost immediately. I had been following the diet for a couple of days when I was invited to a party and had little amounts of refined food. I felt like all the food was packed in my neck area instead of being digested. That was a real wake up call for me...not that I had to be convince. One other thing...I have never tasted such a wonderful refreshing salad as when I combined all the veggies I wanted and instead of dressing just squeezed lemon on it. It was great. Thank you Dr. Fuhrman for the education on how to listen to your body.
billy63 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book it helped me a lot and was very informative. I find out about books like these from a very cool fat burning newsletter that is free and filled with great tips. If you want to get the free newsletter just do a web search and type burn fat 8924561, you will see the newsletter web page come up....enjoy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was informative and helpful. I read the book through once, and began following the guidelines outlined right away. I saw results right away: I lost weight, increased my energy level, and craved less nutrient-deficient foods. I appreciate Dr. Fuhrman's thorough research that backs up his claims. The principles he puts forth are not unrealistic, and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their health.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just read and started the health plan given in this book by Dr. Furhrman and for the first time in many, many years, I feel better, have more energy and can actually feel and see the change in my health. Dr. Furhrman's writing is easy to read and understand and everything is explained to the fullest. Truly, if you are feeling badly, don't know what to do to feel better, this is the book you want to read...it will lead you to health!
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