Eat to Live :: A Great Way to Lose Weight

Our family loves Colorado vacations and hiking. A trip to Colorado provides excellent incentive to get in better shape. Last year Steve wasn’t able to climb a 14er because of some issues with his feet and legs. He really wants to be able to make that hike this August. There are many factors that have to be dealt with, and extra weight is one of them.

Through the years we have tried diets, but only one has been successful for Steve and me. We discovered this diet 15 years ago, when Steve had cholesterol issues.

In Eat to Live, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, encouraged us to try his diet for 6 weeks and then evaluate the results in several areas of health including cholesterol and weight (the link above was our Amazon Affiliate link, see our privacy policy here). Sure enough. Steve’s cholesterol plummeted, and we both lost weight. We stayed on the diet from January to July that year, and Steve lost 50 pounds.

While Dr. Fuhrman suggests making his diet a life-long way of eating, it wasn’t palatable enough for us to do thatat least not yet. We use it as our way of eating when we are serious about weight loss.

We refer to Eat to Live as our healthy greens and stomach-filling beans diet. Most vegetables are allowed in unlimited quantities, and we are to eat large portions of them. One whole grain, 1 cup of beans, four fruits, and 1 ounce of nuts or seeds are allowed each day. We choose to keep using salt to make our food taste better, and we weren’t as strict with the types of salad dressing as Dr. Fuhrman recommends.

With plans set for Colorado again this year, we are in the midst of a month of healthy greens and stomach-filling beans. If you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight, consider Eat to Live.

What about you? What diets are successful for you?

Trusting in Jesus,

“And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy
the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13).

42 thoughts on “Eat to Live :: A Great Way to Lose Weight”

  1. A great suggestion as always. It is available in german so I read it real quick as an ebook.
    It looks like a manageable way to eat healthier and loose weight.
    I will try and come back here for the results.
    Susi, starting with exercise 1:-)

    1. That’s great that Eat to Live is in German. Yes, if you try it, let us know how it goes and what you think of it. Glad you are incorporating exercise into your lifestyle. So many health benefits from exercise.

  2. We use Trim Healthy Mama. It’s not a diet, only a lifestyle change. A lot of it is based on biblical principles for eating, and no deprivation involved. So many delicious recipes! I encourage you to look into it. It is relatively new and booming as a result of so many fad diets not working for people.

      1. My whole family does trim healthy mama and we have never been so healthy and so many health problems have disappeared! There podcast has been real helpful along with their cook book.

        1. We have had several others mention Trim Healthy Mama. It sounds like for you not only has it helped with weight loss but other health problems.

  3. Hi, May I ask a few questions? So, if Steve lost the weight through this diet, when he didn’t do it strictly after then was he still incorporating the principles some? How much weight came back? Do your kids follow this at all? They all seem very trim and healthy. I did have a friend who did this diet as well and did lose all her unwanted weight and was able to maintain it without continuing the strictness of this diet but I’m not sure how. Losing it and maintaining it-even harder. Thanks for anything you could share on that.
    Steve has been able to keep 15 pounds completely off since the first Eat to Live diet. It took quite a few years for the weight to creep back up. During that time we have tried other healthy-eating diets to get his weight back down to where it was with Eat to Live, but he wasn’t successful with them. So Eat to Live remains our go-to diet for weight loss.

    When we initially went on Eat to Live, some of the diet was incorporated for the whole family, but the others still had meat and more grains in their diet. That is the way it is now unless someone wants to do what Steve and I are doing.

    Eat to Live moved our family to much healthier eating, but you can tell from our blog posts that we still have treats in our diet that are made from white sugar and white flour.

  4. We like Dr. Fuhrman too. Similar to him we also follow Dr. McDougall’s Starch Diet and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s recommendations. We currently have animal products only one meal a week in our home and no dairy products. We also try not to use too much oil. We are not strict when eating elsewhere. It has helped me keep my weight lower too. My father has adopted this way of eating and has been off his cholesterol medication for a few years now. Thank you for your blog!

    1. I haven’t read Eat to Live all the way through for several years, but I think he does allow a little meat each week – perhaps like your one meal a week or maybe he gave a number of ounces. Your father’s testimony of being off statin drugs for cholesterol because of his diet is great.

    2. I have following Dr. McDougalls approach for a while now and never felt better. I am not 100% but most meals. I’ve had so many health issues resolve. Energy, all kinds of digestion problems, auto-immune related pains and stiffness. I have tried others (weight watchers, Trim, Healthy Mama, Clean eating, but never felt well. These plans do all offer some real good points but just didnt work for me. Dr. Fuhrman was one of the first whole food, plant based doctors who actually caused me to find this lifestyle. I think everyone’s different though so each need to find what gives them the best health and is good for their family.

      1. That’s the key, isn’t it? Finding the eating plan that works for you, particularly that helps you feel good. It sounds like you have had quite the trek to get there, but praise the Lord, you have!

  5. This sounds like an interesting plan…out of curiosity, did you notice any negative changes once you went off the plan?

    1. We don’t have any negative changes when we go off the Eat to Live eating plan, except we gain weight.

  6. 1. My first concern food-wise is that I observe the low oxalate diet. This is not weight-related, but it makes a huge difference in my quality of life. This is a good diet for kidney stone formers, but it also helps me avoid certain pain issues. (People whose bodies aren’t efficient at getting rid of oxalates can end up storing them, which causes pain and other symptoms.) Everything else I do has to fit with this rule.

    2. For weight-loss and better health, the one that works for me is Diane Sanfilipo’s “21 Day Sugar Detox”. You mentioned not finding “Eat to Live” to be palatable enough at first, and that is exactly how it’s been for me. I first discovered this book in fall of 2014, and at first only committed to following the plan for 21 days. Nearly three years later, I find myself eating this way more and more, and preferring the compliant foods more than the unhealthy foods. (I still love the unhealthy, but there is absolutely a change taking place in my preferences.)

    3. I’m also striving towards being gluten-free, which helps with pain and overall health issues, but doesn’t necessarily affect weight.

    4. You asked about food, but I have to also give credit to exercise. I’m not as athletic as the Maxwells, but I have worked up to an hour-long walk, 6 days a week. I feel great, and wish I had gotten serious and ignored my excuses years ago.

    1. Thank you for sharing those points. I have heard of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, and it is a great testimony that you are learning to enjoy and choose foods that are healthy for you over the unhealthy ones. Interesting notes on how you feel eating the low oxalate diet plus gluten free. Yes, exercise is crucial for our health. It sounds to me like between your healthier eating and exercise, you must feel much better than you did in the past.

      1. Yes, I do! And I give God all the glory – He has taught me wonderful things through my trials, but He has also opened my eyes to the solutions that were right for me. He has also put people in my life who could help me.

        1. Lisa, That’s a wonderful testimony for the Lord and for your openness to receive what He is showing you.

  7. A friend of mine has lost 30 lbs. in 2 months following Dr. Fuhrman’s plan. She has cheated a couple of times which made her body feel very sluggish, so she knows her body benefits the most by not cheating. She said the hardest part of the plan is all the food prep which can be very time-consuming, but she suffers from PCOS and reports that the symptoms of that have really improved. I’m thinking about trying it. Thanks for the review!

    1. That’s quite a testimony of your friend’s success with Eat to Live. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. Thank you for sharing! I need to look into that. I’m always looking for ways to stay healthy. What is your exercise regime while on this diet? Does it change when you practice this way of eating?

    I try to only eat lean white meat and a bunch of veggies. Very low carb. I keep it interesting with different spices. 🙂

    1. Our exercise stays the same. Maybe we can do a blog post on that sometime – what Steve and I are doing. Sounds like you have some good healthy eating practices in place to help keep your weight maintained.

      1. I would love to hear about what your family does for exercise – apart from all your hard work around the house!

        1. The girls have blogged about their exercise in the past. Maybe I can get a blog post put together about what Steve and I do.

  9. I weigh/measure everything I eat and log the calories. I also log calories burned from exercise and add those to my maintenance caloric needs, which if I don’t exercise is only about 1400 calories/day. That way all I can eat whatever I want as long as I burn off more calories than I consume. It’s not at all restrictive, so it’s sustainable. Of course it helps if you’re already inclined to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and not many starchy or fried foods. There are lots of apps that make this program easy. I use

  10. I follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan. It is wonderful! So doable too! There have been thousands of testimonies from people who have lost weight, reduced high blood sugar, blood cholesterol, became pregnant after years of infertility and PCOS, and so on. Maybe look into it. It’s great for families on a budget as well. If you have an questions, please email me and I will gladly explain more. In Christ, Bethany

  11. My mom feeds us very healthy. She also takes us outside to run and exercise every morning. I’m glad she’s the teaching us to be healthy while we’re young! 🙂

  12. My husband and I are traveling to Glacier National Park next week for hiking and canoeing. Just ordered the book you recommended. Thank You!

  13. We started with the free My Fitness Pal app January 1st. It is straight calories in, calories out. The app gives you a calorie amount to stay under every day based on your activity level, how many lbs. you want to lose, etc.

    I really like it because I don’t have to change everything I eat. I can still go to potlucks, have people over, live life, I just watch the calories. And if you exercise, you ger more calories! 😉

    I also like that we don’t have to buy any weird ingredients or substitutes. We wound up eating healthier of course because 1200 calories a day is not very many, but I like that it is just like a budget, if you have the calories you can eat them, it is just up to you to choose the foods that most appeal to you.

    1. We have really liked the information that myfitnesspal gives us. Steve has tried the paid version. I have the free one.

  14. I lost a lot of weight years ago through diet and exercise. But, after we adopted the girls, I just had no energy to devote so much time to working out and meal prepping. They both have special needs and major issues and I found myself emotionally eating again as we poured ourselves out to help them heal. Sadly, I gained back all my weight and for several years I felt helpless as to what to do. Tried a few different things, including trim healthy mama, but I just could not find a good rhythm.

    This past February I was introduced to Take Shape for Life from a friend who had had great success on it. After some research, I decided to go for it. I have lost 30lbs so far and feel amazing. I love the simplicity for this season of my life. I am dealing with my food addiction, and am learning all new SUSTAINABLE healthy habits!!

    This has been such an answer to prayer! A way to pour out for my family in this season and yet still take care of myself!

    I know so many personally who have done this program and successfully kept it off! Let me know if you want more info.

    Blessings to you as you take care of your health!

  15. We live the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle as well. It includes all food groups and eliminates processed foods. It is easy to do on a budget. I have a sweet tooth and there are wonderful desserts you can make with a few special ingredients (you can buy most of them at the grocery store). The ladies who created THM really looked to the Scriptues as part of their research.

    1. Roseanna, I think you make the third person who has been successful with Trim Healthy Mama. It sounds like is has great potential.

  16. My sister does this diet and thrives. I have tried it and have found that the more greens and veggies I eat the faster I lose weight, but if I eat too much fruit, weight loss slows down. My energy levels go way up too, I think from all the raw vegetation! I just find it super hard to stick to in winter, since I live in Wisconsin where it gets very cold!

    1. It makes sense. Eating more fruit means more calories. We try to stay with the four fruits a day as our fruit guideline. When we are losing weight, our energy levels aren’t as high as they normally are either.

  17. I was on weight watchers and biking up to 10 miles per day after my last child 2005. Then it seemed to stop working, I gained weight, lost energy and started enduring chronic pain. I assumed it was from carrying extra weight which I had never done except when expecting. I had a full blood work up including allergies in 2009 and was told I was allergic to corn. Now how could that be. I wasn’t itching so I didn’t give it anymore thought. Here I am many years later realizing the allergic reaction was actually internal rather than external and was waging war on my entire body SO, no more corn. That means no more beloved Tex-Mex. I’m about to embark on a detox. I have switched to homemade coconut milk and goat cheese. Nut oil instead of vegetable oil. Lots of essential oils and water. First goal is to rid the joint pain and most likely the weight will go with it. Very difficult to follow while traveling so much but I do my best and should be settled down soon!

    I too have the THM book and may start using it later. Have friends who love it!!

    1. It would be hard to give up corn products if you especially love Tex-Mex. Hopefully feeling better will make it all worth while. It sounds like you have found some great information for pursuing good health again.

Comments are closed.