One night I was flipping through the TV channels when I came across a channel where a gentleman was standing on a stage in front of a room full of people.
The speaker was telling them how they could lose 20 pounds in a month (or less).
Now, you only have to open your email or a web browser and it is not hard to find advertisements boasting about what their miracle weight loss product can do for you.
And late-night infomercials have more of the same.
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The man on the stage was telling people they need to “eat to live” and not the other way around.
Now, pretty much, this guy had me at “lose 20 pounds in 30 days”, but I was also curious how he planned to do that.
After all, there are thousands of supplement manufacturers that will tell you their product can do the same thing.
I will let you in on a little secret…most of it isn’t true and most of the supplements have unpleasant side effects.
It seems every few years a new weight loss supplement appears with the same claims and a fancy new name to go with it.
Okay…back to the guy on the stage. It turned out I was watching a show on PBS.
If you don’t know about PBS, it is an educational channel and they do not carry the typical junk programming.
They are also commercial-free. The guy on the stage turned out to be Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a medical doctor that treats overweight patients using a mostly plant-based diet that allows fast healthy weight loss.
The huge benefit of following this diet, besides losing weight, is the possibility of no longer needing medication used to treat obesity-related medical conditions.
Clean Eating on Steroids
The Eat to Live way of eating focuses more on eating foods that are high in nutrients.
Second, a large amount of animal products in your diet correlates with a vast number of diseases.
While the Furman diet does not eliminate animal products, it does limit it. Last, unrefined plant foods offer the best protection against disease.
Simply put, replace the crap foods with healthy foods, limit animal products and eat lots of plants.
The first six weeks of the plan lays the foundation and the plan for the time following the first six weeks lays out a life plan.
How to Lose 20 Pounds in a Month
If you are looking for a weight-loss food plan that has a “cheat day” or includes high fat or sugar, you are going to be disappointed.
But what were you expecting for a plan that allows you to lose 20 pounds in 30 days?
Get ready for a life-changing six weeks that will allow you maximum weight loss and increased energy with improved mental clarity.
Doesn’t that sound exciting?
The First Six Weeks
How would you like to have a clear nose, no allergies and no constipation?
This is what the Fuhrman diet promises. Dr. Fuhrman asks that you follow his plan without deviation for the first six weeks.
You may think it is too restrictive, but if you want the results why wouldn’t you follow a proven plan.
If a smoker wants to be a nonsmoker, at some point in time he is going to have to go through the challenge of withdrawing from the nicotine.
If you want to lose 20 pounds in 30 days, you may have to do a few things that are not fun (or abstain from things you would like to have).
The challenge is to stick to the plan for six weeks and then check your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight and see far down they have gone.
Furthermore, see how many symptoms such as headache, gastritis, indigestion, and nasal congestion can be reduced or eliminated over the first six week period.
So, here it is…your daily diet plan:
Raw vegetables (1 pound)
Cooked green vegetables (1 pound)
Beans, legumes, bean sprouts, tofu (1 cup)
Fresh fruit (at least 4 daily)
That’s it…simple, right? The whole plan can be written in less than 20 words. If you are trying to look great for that special event, here is your plan.
If you only have a week, you are most likely going to get rid of 10 pounds if you follow this plan.
Easy Does It
It is recommended that you limit the following to the quantities listed:
Cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains butternut or acorn squash, corn, potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, breads, cereals (not more than one serving (1 cup) per day)
Raw nuts and seeds (1 oz. max. per day)
Avocado (2 oz. max. per day)
Dried fruit (2 tablespoons per day)
Ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon per day)
The following are off-limits for the first six weeks:
Starchy Vegetables and Whole Grains
You look at the above list and wonder why some of these foods would be off-limits, but it is only for the first 6 weeks.
The Life Plan
The six weeks is over…now what? Nothing says you cannot continue with the six week way of eating.
However, you can afford yourself a little bit more flexibility after the first 6 weeks have passed.
The problem that sometimes comes with flexibility is that we can often become a little be too flexible and can find ourselves returning to old and unhealthy habits.
It will be important for you to figure out how or if you will change the way eat after 6 weeks to keep from negating all the progress you have made in the last 6 weeks.
Fuhrman recommends the 90 percent rule. So, what is that? Well, it is an eating plan that is made up of at least 90 percent unrefined plant food.
The people that see the best success at this stage of the plan treat processed foods and animal foods as condiments, allowing these foods as no more than 10 percent of their total caloric intake.
Using the 90 percent rule, you are allowed to eat almost any kind of food, even a small cookie or candy bar, as long as all your other calories that day are from nutrient-dense vegetation.
Think about it. Following this plan may be strict, but you never going to have carb cravings (or comas for that matter) and you will always have even blood sugar levels.
You will forgo conditions that result from chemical or sugar-filled foods. There is a lot to be gained by eating following this plan.
Tips for Being Successful on the Fuhrman Diet
1. Consider the salad the meal – even if you plan on having things besides the salad, start with the salad.
If you get full before you get to the fruit or protein, you will have eaten the most nutrient-dense part of the meal first.
Individuals who are most successful at keeping the weight off eat greens at every meal (even breakfast).
2. Eat as much fruit as you want (eat at least 4 daily) – fruit can be the food item that helps you avoid sugar.
If you have cravings for something sweet, have a serving of fruit. Fruits are great natural desserts.
3. Mix it Up – There is no shortages of vegetables and ways to prepare them.
Take the time to learn about and experiment with both raw and cooked vegetables.
4. Beware of starchy vegetables – not all vegetables are created equal. A cup of high starch vegetables is allowed daily during the first six weeks.
This would be one earn of corn on the cob, one medium potato or one cup of brown rice or sweet potato.
Whole bread, pasta and rice should be given careful consideration before using them in your diet, especially in the first 6 weeks.
5. Eat beans or legumes daily – Beans are digested slowly which has a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar.
Beans can easily be added to salads and soup. They fill you up with a low-calorie count.
6. Eliminate animal and dairy products – the six-week plan does not allow these foods.
If you feel you cannot follow the plan without them, add a serving of lean fish once or twice a week and an egg omelet.
7. Have a tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day – it provides omega-3 fats that the body needs.
These would normally come from fish. Edamame, is also a rich source of omega-3.
8. Consume nuts and seeds in limited amounts – not more than one ounce per day.
These foods are said to offer protection against heart attacks, stroke, and cancer as well as being able to help lower cholesterol levels.
One ounce of nuts is allowed daily in the first 6 weeks and more can be eaten after the first 6 week period has passed.
9. Eat lots of mushrooms – Because mushrooms are chewy, they can make a good meat replacement.
Experiment with varieties of mushrooms and mix them with different foods to create unique pairings of foods.
Mushrooms have been linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer.
10. Keep it simple – You are less likely to grab fast for or some other unhealthy convenience food if you keep your meal prep plans simple.
Nothing is easier than a salad with fresh vegetables with a handful of beans or nuts.
Finish it off with a bowl of fresh fruit and you have just had a healthy and nutritious meal.
Final Thoughts – Losing 20 Pounds in a Month
The Fuhrman diet plan is simple in practice, but it is strict. Just remember, it is only six weeks and the cravings should be gone within a week.
But if you have weight-related medical issues or problems with inflammation, this is something you can start today.
This can be an inexpensive and simple solution to your problems. Some may argue that eating healthy is not expensive.
While following this plan is more expensive than Ramen noodles, it is definitely less expensive than doctors’ visits and medication not to mention what it costs you in quality of life and time with your family.