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Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live Diet

Specializes in reducing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods.

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Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a well-known doctor who provides diet and nutrition advice to help patients lose weight and improve their health with a nutritional approach. Dr. Fuhrman has written several books on nutritional weight loss such as Eat to Live and Eat for Health, and has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and many other media outlets promoting the importance of sound nutrition to achieve optimal health.

Dr. Fuhrman specializes in reducing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods. For weight loss measures, the recommended plan from Dr. Fuhrman is his Eat to Live book. By following the plan in this book, you can lose weight naturally and permanently. You can also reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol and prevent heart disease without the use of medications.

The premise of Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat for Health program is that the more nutrient dense foods you eat, the quicker your health will improve. He proposes a largely plant-based diet void of refined products, meat and dairy.

Through the web site Dr. Fuhrman offers not only his books, but also online medical and nutritional advice.

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  • Natural and nutritional approach to weight loss
  • Emphasis on long-term results
  • Created by a medical doctor
  • Successful results by others
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Programs may be somewhat restrictive and difficult for those used to easing into a diet program
  • Food preparation time can be lengthy
  • Little to no meat is allowed

Dr. Joel Fuhrman promotes a plant-based diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and some whole grains. Avoided are sugar, refined flours, salt, and severely limiting all animal products include meat and dairy.

A sample day of meals may include:

  • Breakfast: Two cups cooked oatmeal with one tablespoon ground flax seed, one banana, one oz. raisins, 1/2 cup soy milk or skim milk.
  • Lunch: Green salad with balsamic vinegar and one teaspoon olive oil, one cup of chickpeas or vegetable soup and fresh fruit.
  • Dinner: Stir-fried vegetables with tofu or steamed string beans with onions and mushrooms.

The basic premise of Fuhrman's diets are consuming foods that are nutrient-rich but low in calories. These foods, like vegetables, fruits and legumes, will satiate the appetite because of their water and fiber content.


Because many of Dr. Fuhrman’s plans are designed for those with health issues, moderate exercise is recommended. Typical exercise might include 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity walking, five to six days per week.


Using Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations, you can easily lose weight, reduce your current diseases and prevent contracting future diseases. Although it seems that most of the plans are very restrictive, they do garner results.

If you are looking for a plan that will finally give you the health and weight loss benefits you are looking for, Dr. Fuhrman can provide that. Be prepared for dramatically reducing your meat intake, but on the flip side you don’t have to count calories. As long as you follow the plan, you can be on your way to your ideal weight and optimal health.

Common Misspellings

eat to life, eating to live, eat for health, eating for health, joel fuhrman diet, joel furhman diet

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(Page 1 of 3, 59 total comments)



We're only on day 4 but both my husband and I (we're 68) are amazed that we have no cravings of any sort between meals & we find it hard to eat all the food in the 7 day vegan meal plan, due to the quantity, and we're big eaters. We do find it is a very labor intensive diet though. Lots of shopping for fresh produce and lots of cooking. We hope as we get used to it there will be less of both as we will be able to plan ahead better. We check our blood pressure at home and both are down to nice numbers. It will be interesting to see what happens as we progress through the first 6 weeks.

posted Apr 21st, 2016 6:05 pm



I just started this diet over a week ago, and have already seen wonderful results. I thought I was going to go crazy buying fresh veggies and fruit, but I'm doing it and am not suffering from the cost. I'm learning to buy ahead and prepare most of my foods. I did Medifast and was successful, but as soon as I left that expensive diet, I regained almost every pound. Now I'm trying this and feel good. I'm loving the comments.

posted Apr 19th, 2016 8:42 am



Does anyone experience energy drain onthe Eat to Live Diet? My 85 year old Mom and I have been on Dr. Fuhrman's diet for 6 1/2 months. She has lost 34 # and I have lost 15#. Mom still needs to lose about 15 # and I would like to lose 5 - 8 more. I have been at a standstill for a couple of months and, in fact, have gained 2 pounds back. My mom has had amazing health results! She broke an ankle about 20 years ago and it has swollen and caused her pain since. She had arthritis, incontinence and GERD. All have resolved since and it happened in the first 2 weeks of her diet! She still has some arthritis, but much improved. I have recently, within the last month, experienced a drain in energy. I am taking B12, Algae Omegas, D3 and, as of last week, Zinc. I have been a vegan for about 10 years, so the lifestyle hasn't been too difficult. I do cave to popcorn with Earth Balance and the occasional vegan peanut butter cup. So, my question is - Has anyone else experienced this energy drain and did you find a reason?

posted Apr 18th, 2016 3:52 pm

Lady Bauer


My aunt started this plan with amazing results. I bought the book and read it off and on for almost two years, not sure if I could stick to the restrictions. (Love dairy and meat.) The day after Thanksgiving this year I woke up and just started following the plan. I guess I was ready. After three weeks I had scheduled lab work to renew medications. My doctor was able to lower both my cholesterol medication and my thyroid medication. It has been three and a half months and I have lost 40 pounds. I feel good! The weight is coming off slower but still coming off. I have not felt deprived and no longer crave foods that are not on the plan.

posted Mar 25th, 2016 12:49 pm

Linda Moore


I love the concept of Dr. Fuhrman's diet. But I've tried to follow it several times, and it's so restrictive and has so few foods that I fail, over and over and over. All it does is make me feel like a complete failure for not being able to stick to the diet. It's extremely frustrating to see yet another diet that promises wonderful results, but blames the dieter if it doesn't work.

posted Mar 12th, 2016 6:12 pm



I've read another of Dr. Furhman's books; haven't read this one yet. What if you're within your normal weight I've read another of Dr. Furhman's books; haven't read this one yet. What if you're within your normal weight and not trying to lose any more weight, will this diet make you keep losing weight? If so, what do you eat more of?

posted Sep 26th, 2015 1:13 pm



My stomach hurts bad with the diet. What can I eat to continue on the diet but prevent stomach upset? I was on this diet mainly for my psoriasis.The diet is easy for me and plenty of food to eat. After a week, my skin starts to feel better, less itching, less skin build up and less redness. I was excited to continue. But on day 12, my stomach starts to hurt. It was worse next day, I break out with cold sweat. I break down to eat some porridge and stir fry rice noodle. I felt well afterwords. What can I do or modify to continue with the program.

posted Aug 27th, 2015 9:56 pm



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For those that complain that it is 1)tasteless, 2) has a long preparation time, 3) does not allow meat look at it this way:
1) eating what you think is tasty is what ruined your health. 2) real food is not necessarily supposed to be fast. 3) Not allowed meat = understand at what point meat starts being detrimental to your health and learn to prefer health over emotional self-comforting.

posted Jul 26th, 2015 8:33 pm

thelma baringer


Pleas, stop calling this a diet, its a lifstyle of eatinghealthy, I'm ordering the plan through PBS wfyi. I hope I can influence others to follow. Thanks Dr. Furhman

posted Jun 5th, 2015 9:05 am



I tried the fuhrman diet for a while and well I do not like it at all. I ran while doing the diet and while on it I also cut my protein like he suggested. Because of this I lost a lot of muscle mass but gained about 2-3 inches around my waist and went up some Jean sizes. I am not happy and I'm just going to go back to what I was eating before and start a new weight lifting routine to build back the muscle I lost. When you slash calories your body gets energy from every source it can, and it uses up the protein in your muscles rather than the fat in your body like we want. This in turns cuts the amount of muscle mass you have. I am just going to do everything in moderation and figure out what works best for me. I will never do this again though.

posted May 27th, 2015 3:02 am



Have been on diet only 10 days. My blood pressure has gone from 170/95 to an average of 125/80. Unbelievable. Although I have not checked my glucose yet, I assume and hope it has lowered as well. Diet is quite labor-intensive though, and many of the foods that I have tried taste alike. On the hunt for better variety.

posted May 23rd, 2015 11:06 pm


I started this diet 3 days ago, or was it 2? I can't remember because I am preoccupied with staying on the diet. The diet IS DIFFICULT! The diet is specifically designed to help people who have medical issues that may have arisen because of food addiction. That's an eating disorder. How all these disordered people who have eaten their way to life threatening diseases just *POOF* no longer have eating disorders starting day1 is beyond me! Actually, I'm pretty sure it's all just lies.
Real talk time, eating disorders deal with complex emotional issues that intertwine with complex physical issues. Part of what drew me to Dr. Furhman's plan was that he feels eating large amounts of nutritious foods will quell the cravings for "junk" foods. This is immediately true!! I've been on the diet 3 days and I MASSIVELY crave salty and greasy foods!!!!!!!!! In fact, it's so much so that, I can't stick to his VERY restrictive plan. But, the book, Eat To Live is super informative and useful as a guide on the road toward healthy eating. I think it is much easier to give up one junky no-no at a time. Sugar then salt and then oil. Or maybe just lower oil. You can pry olive oil out of my cold, dead, hands is all I'm saying. Did I mention I've been on this diet for 3 days? Or, has it been million years? I can't remember, I'm too hungry!

posted Apr 12th, 2015 1:22 am

Susan Zhang

I found this diet after doing much research, and I have concluded that this is the HEALTHIEST way to eat in existance.

Love it. Already lost 10 pounds, and my friend lost 50.

posted Mar 24th, 2015 5:41 pm

Louise V2000


I love the concept of healthy eating. I have practiced most of these plans but always need to learn more.

posted Jan 2nd, 2015 3:19 pm



i like it!!!

posted Dec 12th, 2014 12:45 am



I have been eating Dr. Fuhrman's diet for about a year and a half. When I believe in something I give it my all. I lowered my cholesterol from 210 to 155. It all sounds so good on paper BUT.....
I feel awful. I go to the bathroom 5-10 times a day and my rear end is always sore from going so much. I have constant flatulence and bloating from this entire high fiber diet which my doctor says is the problem. I tested myself one day and cut out all the beans, broccoli /caulif family, and lowered my fruit to one a day. I was so excited when I had one visit to the bathroom. If a healthy diet makes you feel so awful then it's not a healthy diet for you. I am not allergic to any food, just the excessive fiber in this diet along with the difficult to digest beans is tearing up my stomach. It doesn't matter if I soak beans or sprout or puree or cook with kombu...just doesn't work. Oatmeal in the morning never felt good. I am not gluten intolerant at all either. So now I eat my eggs for breakfast, fish and chicken instead of beans and average portions of veggies with small amounts of fruits, not the ridiculously amounts Dr. Furhman wants you to eat. Remember, there is no one diet that works for everyone. Dr. Fuhrman has turned into a Dr. Mercola site with selling all his products online. Such a shame. It compromises his integrity. Supplements are NOT needed except b12 if long time vegan. Take a d3 if not getting it from the sun. If you are eating enough calories from the plant based world you will be getting all the nutrients your body needs. Take the plant based nutrttion course online at Cornell University and you will learn a lot. Dr. Furhman is just making money. You won't see Drs Neal Barnard, Mcdougall, Esselystyn, Jeff Novick or Dr Campbell doing this. They all eat a plant based diet and are not selling you their products. Find what makes you feel good among the healthy foods and what amounts and avoid the healthy foods that don't work. In my case there were many.

posted Mar 25th, 2014 6:44 pm



Great information. I love all the posts, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, because it is very nice, Thanks for sharing I like the site best.

posted Mar 24th, 2014 2:52 pm



the more you eat of high nutrition food with low in calories
the more weight you loose.
preventions and cure deceases explained sufficient terms for everybody

posted Feb 23rd, 2014 7:10 am



I absolutely love this program!!! I started it in July 2013 and have lost almost 80 lbs. I was on medication for high blood pressure, was pre-diabetic, and had high cholesterol (270). I quit taking meds by August and had my check-up in January and everything is now normal and I feel great.

Some people may feel that this program is too restrictive, but it really isn't. You don't have to count calories and after the first few weeks of eating this week, you'll find that the cravings for processed foods, sweets, etc. will be gone. Things taste totally different eating the nutritarian way. I totally recommend this program for anyone who is wanting to lose weight, or just live a healthy lifestye. It's NOT a diet...it's a new way of living. Thanks to Dr. Fuhrman!!!

posted Feb 22nd, 2014 7:36 am



This diet is awful. It takes forever to prepare the food and the food is tasteless. The first few days you had better stay home because it cleans you out and you need a bathroom nearby. You may live longer on this diet but you will not enjoy living longer. This diet needs meat and a stage that eases you in.

posted Feb 19th, 2014 1:32 am


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