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Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live Diet

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

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

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.

  • 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

Related Diets: Volumetrics, Quantum Wellness, Thrive in 30, Vegan Diet, Vegetarian Diet, The Soy Zone

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(Page 2 of 3, 54 total comments)


This healthy eating plan helped me lose more than 40 pounds in 4 months without ever feeling deprived.

posted Mar 4th, 2013 3:07 pm

Mj Evans

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way this plan makes me feel. Is hard at first, yes. Get your mind in the game and you'll succeed. Even if you slip up its still better than eating the typical American diet. This plan is a MUST for cancer patients!!!!!

posted Mar 4th, 2013 1:25 am


@ Patty.. sounds like you didn't bother to read the entire book.. first off you can have starches and you can have a small amount of meat. Sounds like you wernt following the plan. Millions of people including me have gotten great results using his book. Sounds like you may have some major intestional issues..

posted Feb 28th, 2013 6:12 pm


How do you go out for an evening with friends or are restaurants not allowed too? But HOW the sam hill does one even go to a restaurant. It's unreasonable to think that you are simply going to become unsociable. And please don't tell me to order a big salad. Most restaurants serve ice-berg lettuce (save me!) I like what I read so far, but I do not believe that anything that restricts something so severely is good. A glass of milk a day? THAT is going to give me disease? I'm not convinced. Even Dr. Oz uses olive oil, drinks skim milk and eats a steak once in a while.

posted Feb 12th, 2013 8:50 pm

trisha steiner

I have been eating re Fuhrman's "diet" for at least five years. I have not had a cold , flu (dont take shots), aches, pains, etc etc etc.
in years.
I am 75 and in super health, have enormous energy, can work all day, feel great. I am strong, lean lithe.
There are so many kinds of veggies, fruits, cannot possibly be bored.
Much cheaper eating than meats, cheese, pkg stuff.

posted Jan 24th, 2013 7:50 pm


If you've been on the E2L plan and had "explosive diarrhea" for months, then you're doing something wrong. Don't blame Dr. Fuhrman.

I've not been on the E2L plan long, but I can see (from this site) that many others have. I don't have a lengthy list of medications, illness, etc - I am simply overweight and need to eat better before I develop some illness.

Initially, this plan was expensive for me - $150 at Sam's and Kroger, but to maintain the plan, you won't need to buy that much food. I was under the assumption that I would be eating NON STOP - because (after all) how long could veggies/fruits stay in your system? I thought it would be like having Chinese - hungry all the time.

It isn't.

This from someone who would sit in front of the TV and snack on anything and everything I could get my hands on (donuts, chips, salsa, soda). I'm a salt-a-holic too.

My first week, I've had a couple of headaches .. but my other aches and pains (swollen legs, ankles, body aches in general at 49 years old) have lessened. Getting up in the mornings, my feet (heels) used to hurt. That is going away.

I'm not 100% cured of all pain, but I'm a realist - I don't expect to be during Week1 .. but for someone who was a junk food addict, saltaholic and sweet eater - to become someone who no longer CRAVES those toxins .. I'm doing pretty damn good, I think. And I've lost 8 lbs so far.

If it isn't for you, then fine. Don't give something a bad review because you can't follow simple directions.

posted Jan 4th, 2013 5:37 pm


My family and I started Dr. Furhman's Eat-to-Live program 10 weeks ago and not only have lost more than 20 lbs, the swelling in my legs has disappeared, the stiffness in my muscles is gone and my energy level has increased. I am a Nutritionist (BS in Nutrition Education) and like the scientific evidence that supports this lifestyle. I plan to continue my studies in nutrtion with Dr. Fuhrman and have made the choice to become a Nutritarian. As a bonus, my family loves this simple way of eating too!

posted Dec 7th, 2012 11:44 am

Nancy Robel

I like it. As I am on it longer, I love it even more. I no longer crave unhealthy foods. I have more energy. I just make sense.

posted Nov 29th, 2012 9:19 pm

john orr

This is a diet that works, produces results and is not hard to follow. I now look forward to every meal and will stay on this diet for my entire life. My brother, age 62, had angina and after four weeks on the Fuhrman diet is symptom free and his Dr. in Nashville called him the patient of the month when his bp and cholesterol numbers dropped significantly. Every living person who cherishes optimal health should be made aware of this diet and the science behind it.

posted Jul 17th, 2012 8:07 am


I really like this diet...It seems like i have more energy I feel so much better..Been on it 5 days... It is CRAZY!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

posted Jul 12th, 2012 12:20 pm


This is a HARD diet.. I mean, come on!! Fruits and veggies only with a little bit of seeds and nuts, and beans? That doesn't leave much, and it gets very boring after a couple of days. I think South Beach is a LOT more user friendly, and sane. This diet is way too restrictive....

posted Jun 30th, 2012 3:48 am


I started eating mostly veggies 5 or 6 years ago, and lost about 40 lbs -- I've plateaued at 155, which is an appropriate weight for my height. While I'd not heard of Dr. Fuhrman, my ideas were similar to his: eat as many servings of veggies as desired, but limit meats, fats, and concentrated carbohydrates. The site is useful for finding which foods have high nutrition-to-calorie ratios. If the exact dishes Dr. Fuhrman recommends are too expensive, one might experiment with cheaper fruits and vegetables -- my staples include red cabbage and sweet potatoes, both of which are relatively inexpensive. Nuts can sometimes be found on sale, and they freeze well so one can take advantage of bargain prices to stock up.

Good luck to all -- I think Dr. Fuhrman's nutrition principles are sound, but one can follow the spirit of his plan (high nutrition-to-calories ratio) without having to follow it in every detail.

posted Jun 28th, 2012 10:33 am


I was on the raw food diet for 3 months lost over 50 lbs.all organic i was living on a commune where i got all organic produce at cost or grew it. it was expensive but i did not go to a clean raw food. first week soon as so called detox started i would eat a little debbies cake that day and stay clean diet another weed then i would go out to eat once a week and have a vegan burger or a hamburger depending on how i felt. it is true these diets work. but you have to find a balance. and when i left there i could not aford to stay on diet. i kept the 50lbs off for two years and went back when on regular diet i had my gallbladder all most explode form eating the typical american diet and had emergancy surgically removed now i live with the ibs form no gallbladder. mark furman is not the only one who has wrote books on this and he is just copying all the other clean diets. eat-more-wiegh less dr. dean ornish then the Fit for Life by lou diamond. i truly believe in clean eating but at same time we live life and detoxing is exhausting and tiring but worth it. it is possible to do these diets if you sprout a lot and grow your own greens in the kitchen. avocado's and olives and oils and blueberries ect. can get expensive but even in raw food, u can use dehydrated and frozen foods. and if have freezer you can buy in bulk on sale and cut cost. you don't have to use organic but it is better. i buy which one is on sale and looks best. the worst is there are no coupons for eating like this. you might find some for olive oil, or for fresh express salad greens. but thats it. most people who write these books and live on these diets do not understand those who have a 50 dollar a week food allowance for one to two people. this diet is good but as somesays he doesn't look younger i think he looks like he has anoriexia, one of my favorite friends and aurthors on raw food is david wolf the sun food diet. i have known him over ten years he is getting younger looking and healther the older he gets and he was only about 20 when i met him. both my husband and i have wieght problems and our income fluctates but we do need to quite eating all the garbage. our lives and souls depend on it.

posted Jun 8th, 2012 7:39 am


This plan is a HEALTH plan, not simply a diet. I have been on it for 3 weeks now and look and feel great.

posted Jun 2nd, 2012 10:21 pm


I bought into the hype of this diet, spent a small fortune on his books, website membership, and food (it's NOT cheap), but thought it would all be worth it because you can't put a price on health.

Well, let me tell you, I have never felt so sick in my entire life. And no, it wasn't the bullcrap "detox" they talk about. I had explosive - and I mean explosive - diarrhea numerous times a day. Some days I barely made it to the bathroom. I stayed on the diet for months, buying into the "your body is detoxing, and feeling sick means you're getting healthy" bull. Well, it never stopped. I lost so much weight (who wouldn't having diarrhea numerous times a day?) and felt deathly ill - no energy, my stomach was always upset, and I had to live VERY close to a bathroom at all times. On top of which, I never felt fulll. Probably because all those massive amounts of greens were flying right through me.

No thanks Dr. Fuhrman. I give your diet a PASS.

Anything in extreme isn't healthy and this diet is extreme in the amount of greens and other vegetables you have to eat. There's no balance.

I personally feel much better on a healthy BALANCED diet that includes some meat and the Dr Fuhrman forbidden starches.

This diet is making Dr. Fuhrman rich though, and his die-hard followers are like a cult. Just go check out his website and you'll see what I mean.

posted Jun 1st, 2012 1:04 pm


What About The "No Nuts or Seeds" Medical Advice For Those With Diverticulosis? Nothing here about how overcoming junk food addictions went when switching to this diet. Also, if one has diverticulosis the common medical advice is that they should not eat nuts or anything with seeds. What then? Risk a diverticulitis attack?

posted Mar 12th, 2012 9:44 pm

barbara jones

I notice many of the commentators here haven't been on the diet long and I suspect that they are exhibiting the placebo effect. Other statements like "toxins leaving the body" are anecdotal and as such subjective and without verification so they can be discounted as well.. I'd prefer hearing from people after a significant amount of time has passed on this diet. And why does Dr. Fuhrman look so old and haggard?

posted Mar 12th, 2012 9:39 pm


I have been eating vegertarian now for 5 days... I love it, I feel great and have a lot of energy !!! There are times I crave chocolate or pasta but I am sure that will pass with time... Thanks Dr Fuhrman

posted Feb 28th, 2012 10:48 am


This is the only diet that I believe works for people with Hypothyroidism.
I have had it for years and gained weight because of it, I found this diet, when done right will cause significant los of weight. I lost 24 lbs, and I feel and look great.
I have also had to restrict my calories lower to adjust for the thyroid problems. Since I am not overweight due to overeating it is easy because I do not mind eating less.

posted Jan 5th, 2012 5:13 pm


Great lifestyle. The weight loss is effortless and, more importantly, the health benefits are astounding.

posted Dec 28th, 2011 9:48 pm


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