Dr. Andrew Weil’s diet program is composed of nutrient dense and balanced food items. These food items will boost your immune system, will secure your way to optimum health and will melt away extra pounds from your body. Dr. Andrew Weil’s diet program is healthy and trustworthy because it is entirely based on scientific principles and facts.
Dr. Weil’s Diet: How Does It Work?
Dr. Andrew Weil’s diet emphasizes whole foods and overall healthy eating along with exercise. The basic balance of the diet is:
- 50 to 60 percent of calories from carbohydrates: Weil recommends complex carbohydrates that do not result in a speedy release of blood sugar; whole, unrefined, organically grown sources of carbohydrates are preferred.
- 30 percent of calories (or fewer) from fats: Sources of healthy fats are emphasized, particularly those that offer omega-3 fatty acids. Fish, nuts, and flax are encouraged.
- 10 to 20 percent of calories from protein: Vegetable protein sources are a better bet than animal sources, according to Weil, who does not ban meat entirely but rather encourages other sources.
Weil, who has a medical degree from Harvard, uses scientific principles and medical reasoning to support his diet advice. He does not recommend speedy weight loss, but instead advocates a reasonable rate of two pounds a week for those who want to lose weight. Exercise is recommended to help with both weight loss and weight control.
Dr. Weil’s Diet: Sample Diet
Here is a dinner that you might eat on Dr. Weil’s diet:
- Japanese mushrooms (such as shiitake) in a broth with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, scallions, and soba noodles.
- A slaw of chopped green and red cabbages and carrots mixed with a dressing of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.
Carbs make up 40% to 50% of your daily calories on this plan. They should come from whole grains (such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread), beans, and vegetables (such as winter squash and sweet potatoes).
Good-for-you fats take up another 30% of your daily calories. Stock your fridge and pantry with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like avocados; nuts and nut butters; fortified eggs; flaxseeds; hemp seeds; and fish such as salmon, sardines, black cod, and herring. Oils made from safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, and mixed vegetables are off-limits. Extra-virgin olive oil is the preferred oil.
Protein accounts for 20% to 30% of your daily calories. Animal protein is limited, except for fish, some cheeses, and yogurt. Load up on protein-rich vegetables such as beans, soybeans, and soy products instead.
Processed foods like chips and cookies, products made with high-fructose corn syrup, and any food made with partially hydrogenated oil are off the list.
Tea is preferred over coffee. Wine lovers, fear not: A glass or two a day of red wine is OK. You can also have plain dark chocolate in moderation, as long as its cocoa content is at least 70% (it should say so on the label).
Dr. Weil’s Diet: Pros
There are several benefits of the Dr. Andrew Weil diet:
- Variety. The Dr. Andrew Weil diet offers people the chance to eat a variety of foods and food combinations. Even foods that are not encouraged, such as red meat, are not completely off-limits. “It is not as restrictive as Atkins or South Beach,” says nutritionist Judy Penta, BS, CHHC, a certified holistic health counselor and personal trainer with Patients Medical in New York City.
- Healthy fats. Although not strictly a low-fat diet, the fats emphasized by the Weil diet are considered healthy.
- Nutritious fruits and vegetables. The diet promotes eating healthy whole foods and is “generally a healthy diet,” says Penta.
- Achievable weight loss. People can lose weight following this diet, although at a slower — and possibly more healthful — rate than promised by other popular diets.
- Lifelong potential. “This diet can be used as a lifelong program,” says Penta.
- Lacks simple “do this, don’t do that” formula that many other diets have.
- Some people may have trouble following a plan with so little protein.
- The diet is based on fresh foods, which require more cooking time and effort
Dr. Weil passes along the following tips about fats:
- For those who eat 2,000 calories a day, 600 should be from fat, about 67 grams, with no more than a fifth of that from saturated fats
- Sources of saturated fats include butter, cream, cheese, and full-fat dairy products, unskinned chicken, fatty meats and products made with coconut and palm-kernel oils
- Your main cooking oil should be extra-virgin olive oil; for neutral oil, go with expeller-pressed organic canola oil, or high-oleic versions of sunflower and safflower oil (avoid regular safflower and sunflower oils, corn oil, cottonseed oil and mixed vegetable oils)
- Never use margarine, vegetable shortening, or other partially hydrogenated fats (which contain trans fat); and read the labels of processed foods to avoid foods made with these products
- Remember that healthy fats are contained in avocados and nuts, especially walnuts, cashews, and almonds
- For omega-3 fatty acids, eat salmon, sardines, herring, black cod, hempseeds, flaxseeds and walnuts
Protein: Here’s what Dr. Weil has to say about protein:
- Within a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet eat 80–120 grams of protein a day, less if you suffer from liver, kidney, or autoimmune disease or have allergies
- Aim to get more of your protein from vegetable sources, especially from soybeans and other beans, and decrease consumption of protein from animal sources, except for fish and lowfat dairy products
Phytonutrients will protect against age-related diseases.
- Eat a wide variety of mushrooms, fruits, and organic vegetables, especially berries, tomatoes, orange and yellow fruits, and dark leafy greens
- Eat cabbage and related vegetables regularly.
- Include soy foods in your diet, like tofu, miso, and edamame (but take it easy on the soy sauce)
- Drink unsweetened white, green or oolong tea, and avoid coffee
- When drinking alcohol, choose red wine
- Occasionally enjoy dark chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 70%
Vitamins and minerals
You should be getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in your daily consumption of fresh foods and produce. But in addition, Dr. Weil recommends the following.
- The Dr. Weil “antioxidant cocktail”: 200 milligrams of Vitamin C plus 400 IUs of good quality vitamin E
- 200 micrograms of good quality selenium
- 10,000–15,000 IUs of mixed carotenoids
- A multivitamin-multimineral supplement which includes folic acid and vitamin D, but without iron or preformed vitamin A (retinol)
- Calcium citrate, 1,200–1,500 milligrams for women, up to 1,200 milligrams for men