How to Achieve Optimal Health and Your Ideal Weight

Every Diet is Doomed to Fail

There is a lot of weight loss advice out there. You have probably tried - or at least heard - them all. There are the plans: portion control, food restrictions, a complicated system of points, counting calories, shopping for canned protein shakes and diet bars, and delivery of frozen, pre-packaged meals. And then there are the theories. Eat like the cavemen. No wait! Eat like you live along the Mediterranean. Cut out carbs! Cut out dairy! Eat more protein! These weight-loss schemes are expensive and unsustainable over the long haul. No one can eat like that for long. They contribute to repeated weight loss and gain, and they increase the risks of diabetes and heart disease.

All About the Positives, Not the Negative

As a family physician and a nutritional researcher, I have helped thousands of patients lose weight, regain their health and increase their energy through a simple program of eating nutrient-rich foods. And I can help you, too. Through this series of posts, I will help you understand the concept of the Nutritarian diet and offer you strategies for healthful living. This is a plan that focuses on what you should eat, not what you shouldn’t.

Just Eat

The bottom line is you don’t need to adopt any extreme fad diets. Instead, eat lots of natural plant foods. Forget about fat. Forget about counting carbs. Don’t look to frozen, pre-packaged meals or points to help you. Eat for health.

Eat large quantities of nutrient-rich foods and fewer foods with minimal nutritional value. As I outlined in my book The End of Dieting, high-nutrient, low-calorie foods contain a great deal of high volume fiber and take up a lot of room in the stomach. As you consume a larger quantity of food with a smaller number of calories, it simultaneously satisfies your hunger and blunts your appetite.

Don’t starve yourself. You don’t have to limit nutrient-rich foods. Nutritarian eating is a style rich in vegetables, beans, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Meat and fish are okay, too, but in much smaller quantities than are typically consumed. So, throw away the measuring cups. There is no need to measure out precise quantities of the foods that are most favorable to weight loss. Eat until you are satisfied. It is the world’s easiest plan.

Cravings will be a thing of the past. As you begin to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods into your diet you will find you lose your desire for less nutritious, higher-calorie processed foods. Meeting the body’s micronutrient needs help suppress food cravings. Once you begin to learn which foods to eat, you will be on your way to lifelong weight control and improved health.

Click here to read inspiring stories of people who have transformed their lives on the Nutritarian diet.

Eat this, Not that

Every food can be evaluated to determine its nutritious value. I use a basic formula I created to rank the nutrient density of common foods on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver for each calorie consumed. I call this the ANDI, which stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. I set the highest ANDI score at 1,000. While food labels only list a few nutrients, the ANDI is based on 35 important nutritional parameters.

At a glance, this index will tell you what foods you should consume and which foods you would be wise to limit. Getting generous amounts of micronutrients per calorie with unprocessed, natural food is the goal of the Nutritarian lifestyle. The higher the ANDI score of the foods in your diet, the better your health will be.

You may be surprised by some of the scores for the most common foods. View the ANDI scale here.

Want to get started?

If the Nutritarian style of eating sounds simple, it is! This is not a gimmick. And there are not a lot of complicated rules to follow. Learning to naturally prefer the most nutritious foods is not a fad diet. It’s a proven plan for health and vitality.

Here are three simple tips to start you on your way to better health!

  1. Consume a large green salad every day. Add some shredded cruciferous veggies and raw onion.
  2. Eat at least a ½ cup of beans or lentils each day in a soup, stew, or as a salad topper.
  3. Eat at least one ounce of raw seeds or nuts daily, and include chia seeds, flax seeds or walnuts.
  4. To keep yourself on track, print out this helpful Nutritarian checklist.
4/26/2018 7:00:00 AM
Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a family physician, New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio a...
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There is no link to the checklist you reference in #4.
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