The Skinny on Dieting--UPDATED

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live.

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 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 refined fat and refined carbohydrates, or mostly low-nutrient foods. Plus, this low-nutrient diet establishes a favorable cellular environment for disease (like cancer, heart disease, and dementia) to flourish.

As long as you are eating so many low-nutrient foods, it is impossible to lose weight healthfully. In fact, this vicious combination of sedentary lifestyle and eating typical "American" food should make normal people overweight. It is perfectly normal to become a "food-addict," eating more calories when the body requires, when your intake of micronutrients is so low. This low nutrient intake leads to cellular toxicity creating an internal environment when cravings, and ill-feeling ensue if the body is not continually overfed. It is similar to the way a heroin or nicotine addict, who needs their regular fix, or withdrawal will begin and they will feel too uncomfortable. The standard (low phytonutient) diet leads to discomfort (headaches, weakness, abdominal spasm and fluttering, mental confusion and more) the minute your stomach empties for a few hours.

Eat To Live is the only dietary style that recognizes "toxic hunger" as the cause of obesity and that the nutrient-per-calorie density of foods must be considered when trying to fuel the body for health. Because eating more high-nutrient foods and recipes end toxic hunger, they put an end to dieting forever.

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Diana - December 9, 2005 9:02 PM

I started the Eat to Live program on Monday of this week and have been consistent with eathing no animal products and LOTS of fruits, vegetables and beans. Today is Friday and I am sluggish, have a monstrous headache and just plain exhausted. I have some important manuscripts to read for work and can't concentrate on them! When can I expect this to pass and start to feel better?
By the way I have lost 6 pounds since Monday. I know it is fluid but is is encouraging!

Joel Fuhrman - December 10, 2005 7:16 PM

Hi Diana,
Congratulations on the decision to take charge of your health. The detoxification/withdrawal process usually only lasts 6 - 10 days. I am sure you will feel much, much better each passing day ahead. In another week you will feel great. Each person is different.

stephen - December 10, 2005 8:15 PM

"Low calorie dieting doesn't work."

You need to define your terms and then supply sources for this claim. Certainly low calories do produce weight loss. Do you mean to say that a plan to lose weight by reducing calories is not effective in the sense that many people end up going back to their old ways?

Or are you referring to the "95%" urban legend? That's been dealt with by Snopes and the NY Times "Really?" column, to which I refer you.

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