A physician (Dr. John Torres) who fields health questions (“Ask Dr. John”) on Colorado news station 9NEWS has misrepresented the high-nutrient Eat to Live eating style to his viewers. When asked about my recommended eating style, this was his response (watch the video):
“Q: Dr Torres - Are you familiar with Dr. Joel Fuhrman and what do you think of his diet? Thanks, Shirley
A: This diet is known as the "Eat to Live" diet. It mostly focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of whole grain products. It avoids animal products. Like most diet plans, it can help you lose weight and in some cases the results have been dramatic. But this is a very strict diet plan that will prove hard to maintain for most of us. As humans we tend to crave variety and if we try to stick to a restrictive plan it doesn't work. This is part of what accounts for the "Yo-Yo" diet phenomenon people experience with most diet plans…. “
Please leave a comment on the video page, and email the morning news show. Let them know that Eat to Live is a lifestyle plan for superior health and longevity. Ask them to have me on the news show, so that I can have an opportunity to respond to Dr. John’s erroneous evaluation of my recommended eating style.
Dr. John calls Eat to Live “restrictive” and “hard to maintain” and states in the video “Even Dr. Fuhrman admits most people probably can’t follow this kind of diet.”
Restrictive and hard to maintain? Not for those who really read the entire book and implement it for 6 weeks. Once you do that and lose the addictive drives it gets easy. I think more people have lost more than 100 pounds doing Eat To Live than any other program and maintained those losses for years. Charlotte, Calogero, Scott, Bill, Sue, Theresa, Anthony, and Julia are a few examples.
Other diets cause weight “yo-yo” due because they don’t resolve food addiction, whereas addressing micronutrient needs and health makes Eat to Live the healthiest diet for life with the most permanent results. The “eat less and exercise more” advice does not work for most people. One will never be satisfied by eating smaller amounts of the same addictive foods.
High-calorie, low-nutrient foods (cheeseburgers, fries, processed foods, cake, ice cream, etc.) activate pleasure pathways in the brain, similar to addictive drugs1-5 and produce withdrawal symptoms often misinterpreted as hunger, leading to an addictive drive to eat more. If you crave this junk-food “variety” (as Dr. Torres suggests you will), you are destined to later-life misery with severe medical problems.Eat To Live is the answer for these cravings and to control excessive eating occasions.
The beauty of the Eat to Live diet-style is that eating more high-nutrient foods reduces the desire for low-nutrient foods. After a few months on the Eat to Live plan, people lose interest in the low-nutrient foods they initially thought they couldn’t live without. Eating to Live becomes their preferred way of eating. My colleagues and I have shown in a peer-reviewed scientific study6 that this style of eating diminishes uncomfortable hunger symptoms – people who eat this way feel more satisfied on fewer calories than they were eating before.
“It mostly focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of whole grain products. It avoids animal products”
Eat to Live does not require avoiding animal products completely, only limiting them to below 10% of total calories, since they are high-calorie, low nutrient foods and they cancer-promoting hormones increase to higher levels.
What about health, Dr. John?
Dr. Torres completely ignores the most important facet of Eating to Live: Health = Nutrients/Calories. Weight loss is not the only goal here. My book is called Eat to Live, not Eat to Lose Weight. My eating style focuses on the foods that are consistently associated in scientific studies with reduced risk of chronic diseases (GBOMBS – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds). Weight loss is merely a side effect of eating for excellent health – hundreds of my patients and readers have reversed diabetes, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases following this style of eating!
To Shirley, who submitted the question to Dr. John: Don’t rely on someone else’s opinion – read Eat to Live, understand the science of high-nutrient eating, and decide for yourself.
1. Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats. Nat Neurosci 2010;13:635-641.
2. Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, et al. Neural Correlates of Food Addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011.
3. Stice E, Yokum S, Blum K, et al. Weight gain is associated with reduced striatal response to palatable food. J Neurosci 2010;30:13105-13109.
4. Bohon C, Stice E. Reward abnormalities among women with full and subthreshold bulimia nervosa: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Int J Eat Disord 2011;44:585-595.
5. Stoeckel LE, Weller RE, Cook EW, 3rd, et al. Widespread reward-system activation in obese women in response to pictures of high-calorie foods. Neuroimage 2008;41:636-647.
6. Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Glaser D, et al. Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. Nutr J 2010;9:51.