Ask DJ Lyons Book Review: Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond

Somewhat of a Spoiler Book Review of Fit For Life

I have been hearing about the health benefits of Food Combining for years but
didn't know much about it. With the motivation of wishing to lose over 50 pounds
prior to getting reconstruction surgery, I felt the time had come to do some serious research. This book will be my start.

FYI - Double mastectomy on August 11, 2010

Reconstruction surgery will be scheduled approximately November of 2011. This is one year after I completed all breast cancer treatments other than the 5-year
chemo tablet for preventative purposes only. Gratefully, I have joined the ranks of being one of the thousands of breast cancer survivors.

Disclaimer: The book was published in 1985; therefore, I'm certain new research
has come out since that time that might nullify some of what I'm reading. Given that the original book that introduced me to the whole concept of Food Combining was written in 1925, I decided this book could still be really helpful.

Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond

Fit for Life
Fit for Life

It's the program that shatters all the myths: FIT FOR LIFE the international bestseller that explains how to change both your figure and your life. Nutritional specialist Harvey and Marilyn Diamond explain how you can eat more kinds of food than you ever ate before without counting calories...and still lose weight! The natural body cycles, permanent weight-loss plan that proves it's not only what you eat, but also when and how, FIT FOR LIFE is the perfect solution for those who want to look and feel their best. Join the millions of Americans who are FIT FOR LIFE and begin your transformation with:

* The vital principles that bring you permanent weight loss and high energy

* The FIT FOR LIFE secrets of timing and food combining that work with your natural body cycles

* A 4-week meal plan, menus, shopping tips, and exercise

* Delicious recipes and more.


Introduction Salient Points

Introduction Salient Points
Introduction Salient Points | Source

Introduction written by Kay S. Lawrence, M.D.

The introduction to the book certainly sounds promising. Kay S. Lawrence, M.D. states:

Page vi - "There are side effects to this diet: anyone who is overweight will lose weight. One will feel an increase in energy and well-being, and symptoms of disease often abate."

Kay S. Lawrence also proposes "you perform your own scientific study with your body as the laboratory."I like that idea. Depending on what I learn, I may do that very thing and share the results on HubPages.

Foreword Salient Points

Foreword Salient Points
Foreword Salient Points | Source

Foreword written by Edward A. Taub, M.D.

In the Foreword, Edward A. Taub, M.D. hints that this book "identifies our long-taught dogmas as merely unhealthy programming instilled by commercial interests representing milk, candy, meat, and restaurants."

This really makes me think: How much of our weight-loss theories and
philosophies is a matter of media and advertising programming rather than valid facts?

Part 1 Introduction Salient Points

Part 1 Introduction Salient Points
Part 1 Introduction Salient Points | Source

Part 1 Introduction Salient Points

Part 1 of the book was written by Harvey Diamond. It is called "The Principles."

Part 2 was written by his wife, Marilyn Diamond. It is called "The Program."

One of the biggest points I got from the Introduction is that we should always eat fruit on an empty stomach. It is best to eat only fruit before noon. This will help with weight-loss and good health. Canned fruit is not included as that has been pasteurized. Pasteurized juice is also not included in this list. They don't recommend dried fruit at first either as there are excessive calories in that. Fresh juice and any raw or fresh frozen fruit should be consumed prior to noon for optimum health.

After eating fruit, we should wait 20 to 30 minutes before eating any other type food. If it is a banana, we should wait 45 minutes to an hour.

The authors do not feel it is necessary to calorie-count when it comes to fruit. Don't overeat; however, eat enough to be satisfied.

So far, I have eaten apples, fresh frozen mixed berries and peaches, and bananas before noon. I space this through the morning. I like how this feels.

They also give lunch, snack, and dinner suggestions.

Among other points, on page 6, the author states, "What is completely new and different about this program is that it is not only what you eat that makes the difference, but also of extreme importance is WHEN you eat it, and in WHAT COMBINATIONS."

To insure success, the missing links are WHEN & HOW.

On page 7, the author states, "This diet boils down to safe and permanent weight reduction is directly related to the amount of vital energy you have at your disposal and to the efficient use of this energy to eliminate waste (excess weight) from your body."

Chapter 1 Salient Points

Chapter 1 Salient Points
Chapter 1 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 1 - Diets Don't Work

As we all know, many people feel that diets feel like deprivation and punishment (my word). We diet for a certain length of time and lose some weight. Once that diet has ended, we likely start binging as we have felt so deprived. Then many people end up gaining back all the pounds they lost plus more.

Chapter 2 Salient Points

Chapter 2 Salient Points
Chapter 2 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 2 - Natural Hygiene

Page 16 - "Eat to live, not live to eat."

Pages 18-19 - "The basic foundation of natural hygiene is that the body is always striving for health and that it achieves this by continuously cleansing itself of deleterious waste material."

Page 22 - "Health is your birthright, and being overweight is not health."

Chapter 3 Salient Points

Chapter 3 Salient Points
Chapter 3 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 3 - The Natural Body Cycles

This is their explanation of how our natural body cycles work the best:

  • Noon to 8 p.m. - Appropriation (eating and digestion)
  • 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. - Assimilation (Absorption and use)
  • 4 a.m. to noon - Elimination (of body wastes and food debris)

p. 28 - "To lose weight, the secret of success is getting ride of the toxic wastes and excesses we carry around."

Chapter 4 Salient Points

Chapter 4 Salient Points
Chapter 4 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 4 - The Theory of Metabolic Imbalance

Make certain you do "what is necessary to remove the toxic waste that already exists in one's body and see that it is not accumulated at a more rapid pace than it is eliminated."

Chapter 5 Salient Points

Chapter 5 Salient Points
Chapter 5 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 5 - The Principle of High-Water-Content Food

The author talks about foods that have a high water content. He suggests that we take a common-sense approach. Since the Earth is 70% water and our bodies are 70% water, he asks the question, "Shouldn't our diet be 70% water as well?"

He explains that the two foods that have high water content are fruits and vegetables. He calls all other foods concentrated food.

He stresses that 70% of the food we eat should be high-water-content food like fruits and vegetables. "The other 30 percent will consist of the concentrated foods: breads, grains, meat, dairy products, legumes and so on."

Prior to eating, he said you should ask yourself, "Am I eating food right now that's going to cleanse me (detoxify me), or is it going to clog me?"

I was reading this chapter while getting my car fixed at a car dealership. While I was there, the television in the waiting room was airing a Dr. Oz show. Dr. Oz suggested that the meat should be our side item and the veggies and fruits should be the entree. That is right in line with this book. The only exception is that this book would not have you combine fruit with any other food whatsoever. Only eat fruit on an empty stomach.

The author also explains why many of us fail in our diet attempts. On page 38, he states, "We're prisoners of our taste buds." I must admit, I fall right in line with that.

Chapter 6 Salient Points

Chapter 6 Salient Points
Chapter 6 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 6 - The Principle of Proper Food Combining

Page 48 - "Food Combining teaches this: The human body is not designed to digest more than one concentrated food in the stomach at the same time."

Concentrated Foods                                       High-Water-Content Food
* Meat                                                                 * Vegetables & Salad
* Baked Potato with butter                                  * Vegetables & Salad
* Bread                                                               * Vegetables & Salad
* Pasta with garlic butter                                     * Vegetables & Salad

As I understand it, we can have meat combined with a large quantity of vegetables and salad; however, do not have potato, bread, or pasta with that meat.

The same goes with the other 3 concentrated foods listed above. We can have a baked potato with butter combined with a large quantity of vegetables and salad; however, do not have meat, bread, or pasta with that baked potato.

We can have bread with a large quantity of vegetables and salad; however, do not have meat, a baked potato, or pasta with that bread.

Lastly, we can have pasta with garlic butter with a large quantity of vegetables and salad; however, do not have meat, a baked potato, or bread with that pasta.

Chapter 7 Salient Points

Chapter 7 Salient Points
Chapter 7 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 7 - The Principle of Correct Fruit Consumption

Page 64- "Fruit requires less energy to be digested than ny other food."

Page 65 - "Fruit should never be eaten with or immediately following anything. It is essentail that when you eat fruit, it is eaten on an empty stomach."

The author stresses that it is best to eat raw fruit that has no heat applied to it.

After most fruit, wait 20 to 30 minutes before eating any other type food. After eating bananas, dates, or dried fruit, wait 45 to 60 minutes before eating any other type food.

He also stresses the importance of waiting at least 3 hours before again eating fruit. For example, let's say you wanted a late-night snack. If three hours have passed since your last concumption of any other type food, then you could be pretty safe to have fruit again. He does explain that some foods take even longer than 3 hours to digest. Some foods might take 8 hours or more to digest.

Page 73 - "When eaten on an empty stomach, fresh fruit can have only a positive effect; it accelerates weight loss."

Chapter 8 Salient Points

Chapter 8 Salient Points
Chapter 8 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 8 - The Theory of Detoxification

Page 81 - "View any temporary discomfort as the cleansing process taking place and health returning."

Chapter 9 Salient Points

Chapter 9 Salient Points
Chapter 9 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 9 - Protein

p. 100 - "Protein does not produce energy, it uses it!"

Chapter 10 Salient Points

Chapter 10 Salient Points
Chapter 10 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 10 - Diary Products

p. 111 - "The best sources of calcium are raw sesame seeds, all raw nuts, kelp, dulse, all leafy greens, and concentrated fruits such as figs, dates, and prunes."

FYI - This author is not a big fan of us drinking milk after about the age of 3. My mother would beg to disagree.

Chapter 11 Salient Points

Chapter 11 Salient Points
Chapter 11 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 11 - Exercise

pp. 114-115 - "This program will not work as well without exercise!"

Sigh! That sigh is coming from me. I guess we just cannot get away from the fact that there are no magic bullets. Exercise is probably going to be part of any diet program. Oh, well! Smile!

Chapter 12 Salient Points

Chapter 12 Salient Points
Chapter 12 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 12 - You Are What You Think You Are

Page 120 - "Your cells will automatically obey your last instructions."

Therefore, he stresses we should think, "I am losing weight! Your body will reflect those positive suggestions, which will supersede the negative ones. You will in effect be giving your body permission to lose weight!"

Chapter 13 Salient Points

Chapter 13 Salient Points
Chapter 13 Salient Points | Source

Chapter 13 - The Most Frequently Asked Questions

The author fully answers the following questions:

* Where does drinking coffee or tea fit into this approach to eating?

* What about sodas?

* Is a little chocolate now and again all that bad?

* I've heard that a little wine with a meal helps to digest the food. Is that true?

* It seems that on this type of diet I wouldn't need to take any vitamins and mineral supplements. Is that true?

* Just how harmful is table salt?

* Why does it seem as if so many people today either have hypoglycemia or think they do? And doesn't eating fruit aggravate a hypoglycemic condition?

* Is it all right for a woman to go on the program during her pregnancy?

Part II Introduction

Part II Introduction
Part II Introduction | Source

The Program by Marilyn Diamond

 Page 145 - " ... for the 'detoxification and permanent slenderizing of America,' a very wide variety of meals would have to be developed so that the experience could be enjoyable rather than clinical."

Part II has the following chapter titles:

Chapter 1 - Breakfast

Chapter 2 - Fruit Juices

Chapter 3 - The Energy Ladder

Chapter 4 - The FIT FOR LIFE Shopping List

Chapter 5 - The Main-Course Salad

Chapter 6 - Life-Style Guidelines

A Four-Week Example of the Fitness Life-style



FYI - Dozens of recipes are included with this book.

Wrap-Up Thoughts about this book

Wrap-Up Thoughts about this book
Wrap-Up Thoughts about this book | Source

My Wrap-Up Thoughts & Conclusions

I highly recommend reading this book. Their explanations make a lot of sense.

I think, for me, following all their suggestions will be a work-in-progress. So far, I have fully adopted the idea of having only fruit until noon. I'm still processing and working my way up to many of their other suggestions.

I know I want to learn more; therefore, I have ordered several of the books listed below. I look forward to getting an even stronger grasp on the whole food-combining theories.

I will post my weight-loss results in the comment section as time goes on.

Post Script written a few days after this was posted. Following just a few of the precepts so far like only eating fruit in the morning and trying to let a significant time go by between meals plus a little bit, as I understand it so far, of the food combining, I lost 1/2 pound one day and another 1 1/2 pounds 2 days later. That's 2 pounds total I've lost so far in a 3-day period. That is a rather promising start! Smile!

Other books & tapes by Harvey and/or Marilyn Diamond

Fit For Life: The Permanent Weight Loss Plan that proves it's not what you eat, but when and how! (Based on the Book by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond) [VHS]
Fit For Life: The Permanent Weight Loss Plan that proves it's not what you eat, but when and how! (Based on the Book by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond) [VHS]

This video is The Permanent Weight Loss Plan that proves it's not what you eat, but when and how! (Based on the Book by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond)

Fit for Life II
Fit for Life II

The Diamonds expand Fit for Life and offer a complete health program that includes all areas of life, including sleep, stress reduction and relationships.

Fit for Life 3
Fit for Life 3

From Adam Clark: This is a great book with Harvey at times unleashing his full venom at the medical profession, food industry and fellow dieticians. He is speaking up for the truth and I happen to believe him. Why? Because I have tested and followed the Fit for Life principles myself and they work.

However before reading this book, I would advise buying and following the principles laid out in the first two books i.e. Fit for Life and Fit for Life II. They are easier to read, gentler (probably because they were written in partnership with Marilyn!) and cover the essential dietary/lifestyle principles you need to follow.

This book contains virtually the same text as Fit for Life: A New Beginning, so if you want to save yourself some money I would buy that one instead. I would have rated the book 5 stars, if it was not for this point.

Fit for Life: A New Beginning
Fit for Life: A New Beginning

Denying orthodox medical thought about the basic four food groups, and debunking myths about protein and milk requirements, this eating programme shows how to exploit the body's natural instincts and eat in accordance with a natural digestive cycle.

Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life
Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life

There is only one concept to grasp and only one action to take: Eat more living food than dead food. The simplicity of this message has eluded people up to now. In fact, it may seem oversimplified. Because of past frustrations and disappointments, people have come to believe that losing weight is complicated, difficult and expensive. Truth be told, all that is required to reap the myriad benefits of Harvey Diamond's program is to return to the fundamentals of life.

The human body is intelligent and capable beyond anyone's comprehension, but in order to unleash this extraordinary intelligence-including that which normalizes body weight-the proper fuel is required. That fuel is living food. But for some inexplicable reason, people have allowed themselves to believe that they can give their bodies the wrong fuel and then have it operate at optimum efficiency. And that is why most people become overweight.

This book offers not a diet, but a lifelong way of eating that allows the eating experience to remain a joyous one, rather than a clinical endeavor of measuring portions, counting calories, calculating grams of fat, carbohydrates and protein, or ingesting meal replacements. It teaches readers how to eat any food in the most healthful way so there is no feeling of deprivation. As readers embark on this life-changing journey, they will experience the surge of energy and well-being that only comes as the automatic result of properly fueling their bodies. Providing deliberate, gentle and forgiving guidance every step of the way, this book will become readers' trusted source and companion as they create a new way of eating and living, which will lead to both overweight and poor health becoming conditions of the past.

Fitonics for Life
Fitonics for Life

Take Charge of Your Life... For Health and Happiness

From the co-author of FIT FOR LIFE, the most popular diet and health book of all time, comes FITONICS FOR LIFE-- a dynamic new prescription for total wellness. After ten years of research, Marilyn Diamond and Dr. Donald Burton Schnell expand the FIT FOR LIFE message, stressing the all-important mind/body/spirit balance and incorporating the latest scientific findings on nutritious food, effective exercise, and healthy thinking.

Introducing the breakthrough concept of High Energy Eating, a revolutionary approach to easy and comfortable weight loss that dramatically increases energy and brings about radiant good health, FITONICS FOR LIFE completes the mind/body/spirit program with BODYTONICS, a hassle-free 12-minute daily routine of natural movements which tone, condition and reshape your body, and MINDTONICS, a thinking process that is the indispensable key to health, weight loss, and happiness.



A New Way of Eating from the Fit for Life Kitchen
A New Way of Eating from the Fit for Life Kitchen

Timed to coincide with the long-awaited mass market publication of the #1 national bestselling diet book Fit for Life, this is an ideal companion volume that shows how everyone can devise a Fit for Life diet and overall health plan. Illustrated.

The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen
The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen

Over 500 mouth watering recipes designed to keep you and your family satisfied and enthusiastic.

Recipes for Life: From the Fitonics Kitchen
Recipes for Life: From the Fitonics Kitchen

Recipes for Life makes your commitment to healthy eating easier than ever. After over two decades of collaboration in the search for the most pleasurable, yet wholesome, eating lifestyle, Marilyn and Lisa understand that it's not just healthy food you're after, but taste-explosive, big-flavored, state-of-the-art eating that's contemporary, gourmet, practical and affordable. These "recipes for life" will become lifelong favorites because they bring about physical health as well as mental and emotional balance...a regeneration of all of you. You'll be lighter, more energetic and radiant, without ever feeling deprived by a diet.

Recipes for Life presents recipes for all occasions. Stoke your morning energy with imaginative, slenderizing tonics, super-nutritious prescriptions for meals-in-a-glass, such as refreshing Island Tonic. Enjoy a variety of energizing high protein midday Power Lunches, from Pan-seared Salmon with Wilted Greens and Cucumber Relish to New York Steak Super Salad Goat Cheese and Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette. Vegetarians and non vegetarians alike will delight in the cleansing Soothing Supper concept of heart-healthy New World Lasagna or Winter Vegetable Stew in Hearty Brown Gravy. You'll find wholesome soups and super salads for speedy weight loss, and a delightful selection of sweets for every taste, including muffins, cookies, cakes, pies and tarts that will make you healthier than ever!

Living Without Pain
Living Without Pain

THE HIDDEN EPIDEMIC There are legions, literally millions upon millions of people, living in pain and suffering in silence and is the number one reason for doctor visits in the U.S. and nothing else even comes close. The number of people is staggering: 200 million who suffer pain on some regular basis, at least once a month, and 92 million people in unrelenting, chronic pain every day without letup seven days a week. Everything to be found regarding dealing with pain revolves around managing, coping with, or in some way learning how to live with pain. There is not a word to be found as regards how one might go about removing the cause of the pain because it has been accepted as fact that the cause is unknown. At present there are many books on the topic of pain in general, as well as numerous books on specific conditions, but not a single one of them reveals the underlying cause of the pain and how to remove it, eliminating the need for drugs. Until now. Harvey Diamond is the bestselling author of the enormously successful series of FIT FOR LIFE books. Harvey has one of the most compelling and moving human interest stories you will ever hear. While serving his country in Vietnam, as a 21 year old in 1966, he was exposed to Agent Orange which brought on a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Along with extreme, unrelenting pain, this condition also slowly deteriorates muscles until individuals are confined to a wheelchair unable to move. Most cases are fatal. In his landmark new book, LIVING WITHOUT PAIN, Harvey reveals to those 200 million people who are in pain and looking for answers, how they too can live life free of pain without having to rely on dangerous drugs. Harvey's engaging and light-hearted, reader-friendly writing style highlights this book which is brimming over with common sense information that changes people's lives.


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