Becoming Nutritarian: The “Eat to Live” 6 Week Plan

So, what is a “Nutritarian” anyway?

Created by Dr. Joel Furhman, author of the book “Eat to Live,” a Nutritarian is a person who bases their dietary decisions on those foods that have the most micro-nutrients per calorie.  Macro-nutrients are the things we all know (fat, protein and carbohydrates) that provide us with calories or the energy to live.  Micro-nutrients, on the other hand, are the vitamins, minerals, fibers and phytochemicals that can have a profound effect on our health, either for the better or for the worse.

You see our body’s cells actually require phytochemicals just as much as they require fat, proteins and carbs, it’s what our bodies drive us to eat.  The problem is that the SAD (or Standard American Diet) is deficient in phytochemicals and this causes us to overeat (our body is searching for those vitamins and minerals) and since fiber is lacking in diet of processed foods, there is nothing there to tell us that we are full!  So, the idea is easy: Flood your body with phytochemicals and fiber from veggies and fruits,and watch the fat fall off!

I love this new classification that Dr. Fuhrman bestows upon the dietary landscape!  I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve been a vegan, I’ve been a carnivore and an omnivore–heck! I’ve been all of them inside of a year!  But I’ve never stopped to think about food in this way before: Base my choices on which food will give me the most phytochemicals (or vitamins, minerals and fiber) instead of worrying about the carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

If you haven’t already, BUY THIS BOOK!  It will change forever the way you think about food!  With a forward written by the famous Dr. Mehmet Oz (not to mention he’s had Dr. Fuhrman on his show six times and counting), and 45 pages of notes on the scientific studies and data cited–this is the real dietary deal!

What is the 6 Week Plan?

Daily Guidelines:

Eat these as much as you want:

  • all raw vegetables (goal 1 lb.)
  • cooked green and non-green nutrient-rich vegetables (goal: 1 lb.)
  • beans, legumes, bean sprouts, and tofu (goal: 1 cup)
  • fresh fruit (min. 4 daily)


  • cooked starchy vegetables and whole grains (max. 1 cup)
  • raw nuts and seeds (max 1 oz.)
  • avocado (max 2 oz.)
  • dried fruit (max 2 tbsp.)
  • ground flaxseeds (max 1 tbsp.)

Do Not Eat:

  • dairy
  • meat / Animal products
  • between-meal snacks
  • fruit juice
  • oils
  • added salt

Why adopt the Eat to Live lifestyle?

If you adopt the 6 week plan, Dr. Fuhrman promises a self-healing process with “subtle changes in physical and emotional well being.”  He claims that most people get so excited with their results during the six-week “trail” that they are motivated to keep going until they reach their ideal weight.  And reaching your ideal weight is what this book is all about!

Our risk of disease, cancer and death are all correlated to our ideal weight.  The bigger your middle the shorter your life span.  Dr. Fuhrman advocates adopting the 6 week plan until you stop losing weight and therefore have reached your ideal weight.  (I haven’t been at mine since my last year of undergrad!)

This diet makes sense to me.  The fact that it is vegan is not a big surprise–I lost a ton of weight going vegan for my wedding and have always weighed the least when I was vegan.  What DID surprise me was that oil is banned.  Dr. Fuhrman reminds us that oil is just fat–yes, even my beloved olive oil!  The reasoning is that we should get our fat intake from avocado and raw nuts and seeds instead of oils.  Why?  Because the human body can store 100 calories of fat very efficiently–it only costs us 3 calories to do so.  Whereas our bodies have to first process the fibers (in the avocado and nuts and seeds) before it is able to be stored as fat.  (Check out pages 44 – 46 for more info on oils and fats).

The other surprise for me was the emphasis on raw foods.  But this is another example of getting the most bang for your caloric buck.  Raw foods actually have a negative caloric effect, which means that it costs our bodies so many calories to process them that it out weighs the number of calories in the raw veggies themselves!  (See p. 50)

Finally, I was amazed by the fact that you can have unlimited fresh fruits daily!  How many times have you heard that diet myth that bananas make you fat?!  Not any more!  Because fruits have so much fiber and micronutrients, their benefits outweigh the high-caloric cost–so eat up!  Plus, you have to have something to live for on this diet, right?!

Why am I going to do the 6 Week Plan?

After gaining more than my fair share of pregnancy weight, it’s been slow going getting the weight back off.  After I saw the amazing results my mother achieved by (partially) adopting Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live” lifestyle a few years ago, I decided, while I was still pregnant, that I would go on his 6 week plan when my daughter turned 6-months-old. 

Well, I would try and then there was Thanksgiving, and then I would try again and then there was Christmas (you get the idea).  So, now the time is upon me!  My daughter turns 1/2 a year old on January 28th (conveniently a Monday) and I will be adopting the “Eat to Live” high-nutrient aggressive weight loss plan invented by Dr. Joel Fuhrman!

Becoming Nutritarian A guide to Dr Fuhrman 6 Week Eat to Live program PBS special Eat to Live lifestyle Eat to Live dietI’m excited (and scared) to start this weight-loss (and health-gaining) journey!  I’ll be posting what I eat every Monday when I weigh in!  Let’s get healthy together! 

** UPDATE: The Results Are In:

Check out Week #1 journal & results!

Check out Week #2 journal & results!

Check out Week #3 journal & results!

Check out Week #4 journal & results!

Check out Week #5 journal & results!

Check out Week #6 journal & results!  P.S.: I lost over 21 pounds!!!!

Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live 6 Week Program Clean Eating Fridge Tour BUTTON HIMake sure to take the Eat to Live fridge tour!  I’ll show you how to have a “fridge-tox,” the essentials you need in your fridge right now, and two free printables you’re going to love!

Eat to Live Food Prep Guide Dr Fuhrman 6 Week Plan Nutritarian Program Clean Eating No Oil recipe Vegan food prep BUTTONFind out the 8 essentials for Eat to Live food prepping using Dr. Fuhrman’s 6 week plan!  Get your free printable weekly food prep schedule too! 

My Momma Told Me Facebook LIKE US BUTTONLike the MMTM Facebook page and join a community of people who want to regain their health with nutritional excellence! 

Make sure to follow my popular Eat to Live Pinterest board:

31 thoughts on “Becoming Nutritarian: The “Eat to Live” 6 Week Plan

  1. Gabby R.

    Im feeling as fat as a heard of cows! I know thats part of being preggers, I know. I have three days left till my due date and my obgyn says Im not even a little bit dilated. I saw this doctor on Dr. oz once and it seemed like a doable thing. So you did this while you were breastfeeding, how was that?

    1. bella

      my sister tried to do a diet while breastfeeding and found it to be extremely difficult…apparently…I have no first hand experience in this department…you are quite hungry while breastfeeding…in time it will come off love!

  2. mveggie

    Wow! i just read through your 6 week journey and i am impressed! I love that you gave us an insight into the struggles and the triumphs. I am going to start this program next week and i am looking forward to reaching my own milestones. Honestly, I was iffy about this plan, but you my dear have just convinced me to dive right in!
    thank you!

    1. Kristen

      Hi!! So glad you found the site :) I am on day 15 of doing the plan again, I’m determined to reach my ideal weight! My advise is to be prepared for the psychological battle ahead. There are going to be so many days you are going to want to quit just keep following the plan! I’m here for support!!

      1. mveggie

        Well day 1 has started out well enough, but i am finding it difficult to NOT snack between meals…this first week will definitely be an adjustment period. But on the plus side, spritzing my salad with balsamic and a dusting of salt free herb seasoning was a lot tastier than i thought it would be!

        1. Kristen

          Hi again! So happy for you to start strong :) Yes, snacking in between meals is rough. When it was really bad and I would be making my lunch or dinner I would snack on carrot sticks or an raw veggies, I considered it a jump on my salad course (aka the main course)! Please keep me posted–can’t wait to hear about your journey!

  3. Alikat

    I was reading through your diet and it doesn’t seem like you eat any whole grains during the 6 weeks and it says you can eat 1 serving a day I was just wondering why?

    1. Kristen

      Hi! SO glad you found the site! I did eat the 1 serving of whole grains most days, and many days I would eat more than 1 serving. I usually would eat 1 cup of rolled oats in the morning or a whole wheat wrap for lunch or dinner. I also would eat quinoa with my “stir frys.” The first time I did the 6 week plan I was not working out at all, so I tried to keep my whole grain intake down as much as I could stand to. When I did the 6 week plan for the second time I was working out along with the diet so I added an extra serving and continued to lose weight. In his book, Eat to Live, Dr. Fuhrman says if you are doing high intensity workouts you can up your carb intake, as long as you are continuing to lose weight–so just monitor and adjust accordingly.

  4. Lindsey Larson

    I’m so glad to have come across your site! I followed the “Eat to Live” plan with great success a few years ago. However, grad school and a much less active lifestyle in general have cause those pounds to creep back on, so I’m starting again today! I’m still in grad school and student teaching all day, so I’m not going to have a chance to workout like last time. Here’s hoping I have similar results – sounds like you did! All I know is I can’t wait for that day that hits around week 3 when my head clears up, the veggies start to taste like magic, and the cravings stop!

    1. Kristen

      Hi Lindsey!! Wow, I hear you in every way! I’ve done the 6 week plan 3 times now–every time I lost a lot of weight. The 6 weeks I journaled about here was my very first time on the plan and I lost the most this time. My problem is the 90/10 maintenance plan. After I finish the 6 weeks I gradually go back to my old habits. So, this year I decided to give myself a year of 90/10 eating–90% of the time I eat like I’m on the plan and the other 10% of calories can be processed foods, oils, etc… I made myself a contract (I’ll be posting about all of this soon) and I just finished my first month yesterday, down 9 lbs.! By week 3, like you said, it got SO much easier! DO IT!! YOU GOT THIS!!

  5. Niccie

    Hey I’m just starting this diet! On day four so far. I am enjoying eating all the fruit and veggies, but I’m having a hard time eating it all. I am used to eating every couple hours so not eating in between meals has been hard. I am always hungry but after reading the book I don’t think it is true hunger. Are you supposed to eat until you’re stuffed? My dinner isn’t until 7-8 ish and I’m a little concerned about eating so many carbs that late at night. Do you think it will affect my progress any? Any advice would be great! I have enjoyed reading your blog and want to try some of your recipes!

  6. Niccie

    Hey I’m just starting this diet! On day four so far. I am enjoying eating all the fruit and veggies, but I’m having a hard time eating it all. I am used to eating every couple hours so not eating in between meals has been hard. I am always hungry but after reading the book I don’t think it is true hunger. Are you supposed to eat until you’re stuffed? My dinner isn’t until 7-8 ish and I’m a little concerned about eating so many carbs that late at night. Do you think it will affect my progress any? Any advice would be great! I have enjoyed reading your blog and want to try some of your recipes!

    1. Kristen

      Hi Niccie!! So happy to hear you have decided to give Dr. Fuhrman’s method a go and congrats on making it to day 4!!! Snacking, as I’ve mentioned before is a hard one! Sometimes while I’de be preparing lunch or dinner, I would have some carrots or celery with hummus as a jumpstart on my salad course. I’ve been a serial over-eater most of my life so eating large portions was what I really loved most about this method. What I did find, for me, was after I hit week #4 I couldn’t eat as much. Dr. Fuhrman talks about this in “Eat to Live” and he says for many the portion sizes will seem giant. Just remember your 2 large salads a day actually have a negative caloric impact (talking about the lettuces, onions, peppers, and veggies), so your body burns more calories digesting them than it retains. These raw veggies are the miracle workers that actually help to melt the fat off of you! I always try to finish my salad first, before rewarding myself with the bean stew or tofu stir fry–this would help me ensure that I eat the most nutrient-dense foods first–cause that’s what your body needs most. As far as the time of day, Fuhrman never really talks about that, what you’re doing here in flooding your body with the nutrients it needs, don’t think about it like just “carbs,” these fruits and veggies are what will make you lose! You will be amazed how your body will change during this 6 weeks! Please keep me posted and congrats again!

  7. Lindsay

    I read “Eat to Live” last year and gave the diet a try.I was on it for about 2 weeks before I fell off the wagon.However, it has been a constant nagging in my head ever since. I know how great the plan is and how great I felt while on it.I believe in the science and I wish everyone in America follwed the plan! I started the diet again this week after re-reading the book and to my surprise my two roommates are doing it with me! I think i’ve read your entire blog 5 times for inspiration and I hope with the group effort I can stay on the diet and lose a few pounds before an upcoming bachelorette party! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    1. Kristen

      Hi Lindsay!! So happy to know that the blog is helping you on your mission to get healthier!! Nutritional excellence is HARD WORK, I does get easier, I promise, stick with it and even if you mess up start again! Any meal you eat on the plan is a victory because it is promoting your health!

      Could you please let me know how you found the site? I’m trying to figure out if it’s Pinterest, Google searches or some other method! Thanks so much and please keep me updated–I’ll be cheering you on!!!

      1. Lindsay

        Hi Kristen,

        I believe I searched “Nutritarian” on Pinterest and found your site! I found it some time last year, but when I just searched it again yours is one of the most appealing pins to click!

        Day 5 and no cheating yet, but how did you sleep when you first started? I feel like I have been wired and keep waking up during the night…even after I worked out twice yesterday.

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  9. Jacqui

    Hi Kristen- Love this blog!! I have been eating mainly salads for the past two weeks, but am ready to switch it up a bit! I saw a few of your other recipes and was wondering if it was OK to have a whole wheat pita? Does that fall under the approved grains? Thanks so much!

    1. Kristen

      Hi Jacqui!

      I’m SO happy you are finding the blog helpful!

      It is absolutely okay to eat a whole wheat pita–it is counted as your 1 cup of whole grains under Dr. Fuhrman’s plan!

      xo, Kristen

  10. Elsie

    Hi Kristen,

    My name is Elsie- and I’m really excited about all the comments that people are making regarding this diet. Can’t wait to start. Came across your postings while looking into the Nutritarian diet. Not exactly sure how soon I will start but will keep u posted.

  11. Rachael

    I found the site on pinterest. What’s the name of the book?? I’m going to buy but I want to make sure it’s the exact one. Is there a recipe book as well?

    1. Kristen

      Hi Wendy!

      Definitely not too good to be true! It is going to take a lot of commitment but as long as you follow the 6 week protocol you will lose the weight!

      Wishing you the best on your health journey!

      xo, Kristen

  12. Amanda

    I am obsessed with the Tahini Date Spread with a pita stuffed with roasted veggies. Does the whole pita count as one cup? or just half. I have been eating the whole thing, and I ‘m loosing… but I don’t want to accidentally sabotage my efforts! Thanks for your great advice.

    1. Kristen

      Hi Amanda!

      Yay!! I’m so happy you’re rocking out the nutritarian lifestyle!!

      I always consider 1 pita to be 1/2 of your daily whole grains allotment–so I think you’re good! The biggest thing to pay attention to is your weight loss to determin how much whole grains you should have. And that’s what you’re doing!

      So happy for you!

      xo, Kristen

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