Eat to Live -Weight Loss and Improved Health
Eat to Live the Right Diet for Me
I found a diet that I used to meet my weight loss goals and improve my health. As all diets it was difficult to get started, but the rewards were worthwhile. I have been on numerous diets in my life, primarily due to being on Prednisone medication for lupus, which makes you gain weight. I stay within a 10-15 pound number, but that means going up or down by a clothes size, so it is frustrating.
There are many more available diets in the world than any one person could possibly write about, let alone explain all the intricacies for each particular one. They all boil down to one thing, input versus output or number of calories versus activitity.
If you burn more calories than you eat, then you will lose weight, and if you eat more calories than you burn you will gain. Simple math, but it’s not so simple when you crave chocolate or some special meal. We all want the silver bullet to lose weight.
Appetizers - Vegetables
Vegetables and Fruits
Eat To Live
I have been successful with weight loss in the past year because of a book I bought called Eat to Live, by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. The book starts out giving a lot of information about the American diet and how people can be overfed yet malnourished.
There is a lot of very good other general information. The book focuses on the quality of food we eat and the healthy diet to help prevent disease but allow weight loss. The diet is aimed at weight and disease prevention
The chapter discussing weight loss begins with listing some typical diet problems.
- We’re eating foods with too few nutrients.
- A large amount of animal products in your diet correlates with a vast amount of diseases.
- Unrefined plant food offers the best protection against disease
There is a six week plan to follow, then, you incorporate the same new principles for the rest of your life in a practical and sensible way. The second phase, called the Life Plan, allows you flexibility in your diet choices. There is both a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian plan.
Dr. Fuhrman claims that the 6 week diet if followed precisely will make your body undergo a remarkable transformation, and you will lose weight plus have a miraculous self-healing ability. As your weight drops, so will your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. It is not unusual for someone to lose a pound a day over the first 10-14 days. Initially much of this will be water weight.
You may eat raw vegetables in unlimited quantities, which includes salads. Raw foods have a faster transit time through the digestive tract and result in a lower glucose response encouraging more weight loss. The goal is to eat a pound of raw vegetables a day, such as lettuce, snow peas, sweet red peppers, raw peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts. The entire pound is less than 100 calories
Your New Daily Diet
You can eat as much as you want of steamed or cooked green vegetables. Again eating 1 pound is the goal. You are to eat as much as you can, as the more you eat, the more you lose.
The vegetables include string beans, broccoli, artichokes, kale, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, okra, swiss chard, turnip greens, escarole, beet greens, spinach, dandelion greens, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers and water chestnuts. Onions add nice flavor to food also.
Legumes are among the world’s most perfect foods. They stabilize blood sugar and blunt your desire for sweets. Eat one cup daily at lunch and you can flavor and spice them in different ways. Among the choices are chickpeas, back-eyed peas, black beans, cowpeas, beans cannelloni beans, pigeon peas and white beans. You can eat more if you choose.
Eat at least 4 fruits a day, but no fruit juice except a very small quantity for salad dressing. You can shred or cut up apples or oranges and add them to your salads. Dried fruits are off limits. All other fruits may be eaten.
Limit high starch grains and vegetables to one cup a day. The vegetables being referred to are: a small ear of corn, a small white or sweet potato, brown rice or sweet potatoes. Instead use butternut or acorn squash, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, cooked carrots, all rather than starch grains. Refined starchy grains should mostly be avoided. If you want bread a thin whole wheat pita would be a good choice.
Eliminate animal and dairy products for the six week plan. You can use lean fish up to twice a week or an egg white, like Egg Beaters.
Have a tablespoon of flax seed a day so you will receive omega-3 fat, especially if you don’t use fish. Another source you can eat is Edamame, frozen green soybeans.
Consume up to an ounce of nuts or seeds a day. Pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts and others may be high in fat but they offer protection against disease.
Eat lots of mushrooms all the time. Mushrooms make a great chewy replacement for meat, and there is a big variety from which to choose. Mushrooms contain powerful phytochemicals and have been linked to decreased risk of chronic disease and cancer.
Keep it simple. A sample day might look like this:
- Breakfast: strawberries (fresh or frozen), orange, grapefruit or maybe an ounce of nuts.
- Lunch: Salad-stuffed pita with tasty hummus Spread, a fruit.
- Dinner: Salad with lemon and shredded pear, steamed Swiss chard and zucchini cooked with onions, mushrooms and stewed tomatoes, acorn squash surprise and 1 or 2 fresh fruits
Keep Your Sense of Humor & Exercise
What the Diet Did for Me
You don’t have to prepare anything special. It can be a whole grain pita stuffed with vegetables, lettuce and tomato with fruit. For this Life Plan diet to be successful 90% of what you eat should be unrefined food.
You can have 100 calories of low-nutrient food per day.
- 2.5 teaspoons of olive oil
- Half a bagel
- Half a cup of pasta
- One small cookie
- 2 ounces of broiled chicken or turkey breast
- 1.5 ounces of red meat
- One thin slice of cheese
- One cup of 1% or skim milk
If you fall off the wagon, you just get up and start again. There are several soup recipes in this book, which make a decent dinner. You can eat Tofu also. Remember to exercise even if it is just a good walk.
I started a walking program, as I knew exercise had to be part of the equation for good health. Burning calories is important in any day.
I found the craving for sweets left after in 2 or 3 days. I lost about 3 pounds a week, and then went onto the maintenance plan. Then, I ate more fish and chicken but stuck to the vegetables and fruits.
The great part about it was even though it is a tough diet change, I easily reached my goal weight. My lupus arthritis went into remission, and I was able to stop taking Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug.
The Eat to Live Diet was right for me, and I was able to stick to the diet, and I also learned to cook differently instead of just falling back into old habits.
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.