Feb 10, 2011

Eat To Live - A Book Review

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. The funny thing is that I know how I should eat and the health consequences for not. I recently read the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. at the suggestion of a local midwife I had met. The book touts on the cover that you can lose 20 lbs. or more in 6 weeks and hosts numerous endorsements by other medical doctors and diet experts.

Honestly, I found the book a tedious read. The first seven or so chapters speak to the state of the American diet and the consequences of it with titles such as “Digging Our Graves with Forks and Knives: The Effects of the American Diet, Part I”. The book gives background and data supporting the nutritional benefits of his proposed diet and is smattered with real life success stories of his patients. I am sure there are some people that really do need to read all of the effects and the reasons to eat healthy foods, but I am not one of them and felt that I was being whined at for most of the book. I agree with everything he had to say about nutrition based eating and he does support his work with scientific data (which the chemist in me loved!) The rub comes when you put his plan into action. I managed to stick to his “plan” for 2 weeks and it was tough. The basics are to eat a vegetarian diet consisting of unlimited vegetables, fruits, beans & legumes. He does want you to limit cooked starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and avocado. If you are on the most aggressive six week plan you also eliminate all dairy, meat, snacks, fruit juice and dried fruit. Seems easy enough, but it was nearly impossible for me to stay within the plan anywhere away from my house!

I did have success on the plan and lost 12 pounds in the course of two weeks (7 of which I have kept off after going back to my semi-normal diet) and I do hope to go back on the less aggressive plan. My biggest hindrance at this point is my kids. They will not (and did not) touch the meals I ate while on the plan and had to make something for myself and for them at every meal. That gets old real quick!
Overall, I think the book is very informative and boasts a plan that will work if you can manage to stick to it.

*Note - I have not in any way, shape, or form been compensated for writing this and have no ties to Dr. Fuhrman or his publisher.*

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