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Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan Paperback – Jul 6 1999


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Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan + The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet To:  Free Yourself from Food Cravings:  Achieve Your Ideal Weight;  Enjoy High Energy and Robust Health;  Prevent and Reverse Disease
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Revised edition edition (July 6 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553380419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553380415
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Elliot D. Abravanel, M.D., is known as a founder of holistic medicine. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1969. For many years he served Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as head of medical staff and as Professor of Medicine at Maharishi European Research University, where he pursued reseearch on the relationship between consciousness and ideal health. In 1975 he opened a private medical practice in Beverly Hills, California, where he developed the Body Type System. He is the author of three books: Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan, Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Program for Health, Fitness and Nutrition, and Dr. Abravanel's Anti-Craving Weight Loss Diet, as well as numerous medical publications. He now divides his time between writing, lecturing, and research. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Weiyi Xu.

Elizabeth King Morrison is a writer and educator who specializes in the creation of individual health and nutrition programs. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of two books on Transcendental Meditation in secondary education. She co-authored all three Body Type books with Dr. Abravanel, and has trained many health professionals in the Body Type System. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband, the writer Ralph Morrison.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Most people today believe that to be slim is necessarily to be healthy. They are mistaken: Most diets are so unhealthy as to be useless in the long run. In fact, most diets aren't even useful in the short run, even for weight loss, because the lost weight invariably comes right back.

Occasionally, a diet will work for some lucky dieter. But for every dieter who loses weight, there are hundreds more who fail. And no one ever explains why a diet works, when it does, or why it fails.

The Body Type Diet answers these questions. Body Type Dieting is not just another peel-away-the-pounds fad. Rather, it is a systematic medical program relating different types of diet to different types of body, in order to enable each individual to find the diet that will be effective, safe, and healthy for him or her.

HOW I DISCOVERED THE IMPORTANCE OF BODY TYPES

I developed the concept of the Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan more than twenty years ago, when I was a young doctor with a busy general practice. Unlike medical specialists, who focus their attention on one system of the body or another, I was a generalist, accustomed to looking at my patients as whole people in whom all parts of the body have to work together for health. Naturally one of the problems often presented to me was the problem of overweight, and I was often asked for advice about diet. Since the importance of maintaining one's ideal weight is, from a health standpoint, beyond dispute, I determined to find a way to help my patients achieve this goal.

But I was not fully satisfied with any of the diets available at that time. What struck me was that while one or two patients would lose weight on one or the other of the many popular diets that exist in the marketplace, most of them either failed to lose, or lost weight and quickly gained it back.

I decided to take a closer look at those of my patients who did lose weight successfully, and to isolate those factors that were the keys to success.

Two patients who happened to come to my office on the same day, illustrated clearly what I discovered. The two were both women, good friends who had decided to diet together for mutual reinforcement. Both had managed to lose about nine pounds; one wanted to lose six more, the other sixteen more pounds. Both had been on a popular diet that was low in protein and fats and high in complex carbohydrates. But there the similarity ended.

The first patient, whom I will call Anna, was the one within six pounds of her weight goal, and she looked very well. She had lost her weight from the right places--her hips and thighs, rather than her face, which had never been fat. She told me that she felt healthy and vigorous even though she was dieting, and she looked that way, too.

The second patient, Joanne, was a contrast to Anna in almost every way. She retained "pockets" of fat on her outer thighs, which, she told me, she'd been unable to lose. Her face was gaunt and she had a pasty, unhealthy color. Moreover, she was having difficulty sticking to her diet, and was constantly suffering from an intense craving for sweets.

What was particularly interesting to me was that both women had followed exactly the same diet. I knew them both, and was confident that Joanne had not been "cheating"; she was highly motivated to lose weight. Obviously, the difference was not in the diet but in the dieter, or rather in the interaction of dieter and diet. The way the diet worked for Anna was obviously not the way it worked for Joanne.

Examining the two women, I discovered that their bodies were indeed very different. Anna had a very steady, strong metabolism. She had excellent digestion, was active all day, and had relatively little variation in her energy level. Joanne was a very different type; she was livelier than Anna, but more given to ups and downs in energy. She had intense nervous energy, but tended to "crash" in the late afternoon if she wasn't careful. She drank a lot of coffee and diet cola to keep herself going. In short, she was more high-strung and more delicate than Anna.

I decided to put Joanne on a completely different diet from the high-carbohydrate one that had seemed to work for Anna. The diet I selected was high in protein, lower in carbohydrates, and eliminated all caffeine drinks. The idea of this diet was to provide a steadying balance for her delicate, high-strung system. Meanwhile, I told Anna to continue as she had been, until she had lost the rest of her excess weight.

To my delight, Joanne responded beautifully to her changed program. After just a week on the diet she began to look healthier. Her face, which had been so gaunt, filled out and her cheeks were rosy. But more important to her, she began to lose the pockets of fat on her thighs. Within four weeks she had lost the entire sixteen pounds. Five years after that memorable month, she was still at her ideal weight.

Anna, meanwhile, continued on her high-carbohydrate diet and by the end of the next week she had lost her remaining six pounds. Now both women had dieted successfully--but on diets that, like their metabolisms, were diametrically different.

The conclusion reached from Joanne, Anna, and thousands of other patients over the years was that success in dieting depends on the particular character of the dieter's metabolism. If this vital factor is not considered, the diet will inevitably fail. Without a system for determining what type of body a dieter has, dieters and their physicians alike are at the mercy of chance and guesswork.

THE FOUR BODY TYPES

Individuals process foods differently--this much is common knowledge. We have all observed that some people can eat much more than others without gaining weight. Also, some people need more of different kinds of food--more protein, more carbohydrates, or more fats. And some people are affected adversely by foods that other people tolerate well.

These facts are indications of a vitally important truth: Each person has his or her body type, based upon how food is metabolized in the body. There are a number of traditional systems for classifying individuals according to body type. Perhaps the best known is the classification into ectomorph (the slim, rangy person), endomorph (the rounder, plumper person), or mesomorph (the thicker, more muscular person), developed by Dr. William Sheldon in his book The Atlas of Man. The limitation of this system is that it is purely descriptive; it doesn't tell why a person is slim, round, or muscular.

Another system is that used in classical Chinese medicine, which classifies bodies according to which of the five "elements" (earth, water, fire, air, or ether) predominates. While this system has a good deal of value and is useful in certain courses of treatment, I wanted to find one that would be both highly accurate and easier to use. The same consideration applied to the Ayurvedic or classical Indian system, in which individuals are classified into types according to their balance of doshas, or elements: vata, pitta, and kapha.  Again, Ayurveda is a highly refined and developed system of medicine, but it requires years of study to use correctly. I wanted a system that would use recognizable Western terms, be in full agreement with my scientific and medical knowledge about the body, and be readily understandable by lay person and physician alike. In short, I wanted a system that would prescribe the right diet while accurately describing the body type.

I set about to develop such a system. I began to classify individuals according to which of their four major glands--the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, and the gonads or sex glands--was most active, or dominant, in their metabolism. According to this system, I could then classify a person as a "Pituitary Type," a "Thyroid Type," an "Adrenal Type," or a "Gonadal Type."

The inspiration for my system of body types came from Henry Bieler, M.D., a great physician and nutritionist, and author of Food Is Your Best Medicine. Dr. Bieler shows in this book how it is possible to distinguish between individuals with a dominant thyroid and a dominant adrenal gland on the basis of fairly obvious physical characteristics. Dr. Bieler's "thyroid type" is slender, fine-boned, long-limbed--much like the classic ectomorph. His "adrenal type" is squarer in shape, thicker and more solid, and closely resembles the classic mesomorph. Dr. Bieler also suspected that there might be a third body type, the pituitary type, but he was not certain of this and did not fully define what this type would look like.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "aliciaqmx" on Oct. 12 2001
Format: Paperback
Hi my name is Alicia Vargas and I am 39 years old and a mother of 3 children and 1 granddaughter. I had never had an issue with weight. I quick smoking 3 1/2 years ago. Out of no where my weight started to increase I was 150 when I quit at about a size 9. I put weight on so fast I didn't know how to stop it. I have always been concience of what I eat but I could not stop the weight gain. I was so frustrated...I quit smoking to improve my health and the excess amount of weight I was carrying was causing me to be short of breath. 4 weeks ago my cousin gave me the book for my birthday. I said, to myself this is the last thing I am going to try. I have bought every weight loss pill, Atkins Diet, Drops in my water from plant extract, shakes and every exercise equipment that promised results in just 30 days. Only to get on the scale and still find myself at the same weight or more. Never did I feel satisfied and continued to crave carbs especially the week before my mentral cycle. I felt there was no hope I was dumed to be fat. I read the book, took the test, I am a Gonadal. I couldn't believe when I read the chapter pertaining to my body type. I felt like I was reading a horoscope. I read the plan for losing weight and begin the next day. I weighed in at 220 when I started and exactly 3 weeks after I went back to the my Chiropractor in absolute fear, as I did not want to stand on the scale. Closed my eyes to open them and find I had lost 17 1/2 pounds. I just stood there and cried in disbelief. Even better than losing the weight my energy level has sailed through the roof. I don't feel tired and sluggish anymore. My skin texture has changed. I had no cravings before or during my mentral cycle and my cramps were very light. I am on my 4th week now doing the last 5lb.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22 2003
Format: Paperback
Now I understand why I am the way I am. You take a checklist questionare to find out which of your glands is dominant. He explains why you crave the foods you like: You are looking for a quick fix to stimulate your designated glad. This would be okay, but your glands tire out. Tired out glands can no longer regulate the fat deposits on your body and you become overweight. The focus of this book is to go on a diet that will bring your glands back into balance. Once you are in balance your designated gland can control your weight once again. This is not a blueprint to loose a couple of pounds and then go back to your normal diet. This is a complete diet change. Buy this if you are looking for long term results. It tells you why some diets and exercises work for some people and don't work for others. Very motivating!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By prairiemomma on Aug. 24 2006
Format: Paperback
The metabolic principles the diet is based on seem to be sound because it works. I started at 198 pounds and within a week of being on the T-type diet I found my cravings dropped off drasticly which made sticking to this way of eating so much easier! The first week I lost 7 pounds, the second, third ,fourth and 5th I lost between 3 to 4 pounds weekly. I hit a plateau for almost a week at week 6 but by the end of the week I dropped 3 pounds all of a sudden. After the 6th week it wasn't hard to stick to at all because the T-type diet plan had become habit. I lost 1.5 pounds average every week for several weeks and hit plateaus 2x more which broke with a sudden loss again. Just by adding a regular brisk walk for 45 minutes a day I increased my weekly rate of loss by a half a pound and my energy increased so much it shocked me how low I had been before... I had no idea how much my high carb over processed diet was hurting me until Dr. A's book. The soup week wasn't my favorite part but it did what it was meant to and kept my loss on track. I can't tell you how good it felt to see my collar bones again or wear beautiful clothes in regular sizes. In 18 weeks I lost 45 pounds ending at 153 pounds.I kept the weight off for 2 years even with partying, drinking, eating in resteraunts frequently(single and in my 20's). I really abused my new metabolism before it caught up with me. It wasn't until after I met my husband and started a family that the weight came back. I'm sure it was the stress of the pregnancies that really pushed my body into metabolic imbalance again. I have been overweight, constantly tired and feeling low for so long now... reading these reviews has inspired me to pick up my old copy and get started toward wellness again with the guidlines Dr. Abravenel gave for my body type. If you are at all curious, try it. I hope it does for you what it has for me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bilubini on Nov. 20 2006
Format: Paperback
I always had a suspicion that diets could not not work for everyone. I was never a fan or weight loss diets but I needed to shed some pounds. Loosing weight on this plan is more of a side effect, the actual benefits are feeling great, gaining more energy, feeling like the body's functions are being optimized. I never thought I could do without coffee and thanks to this book I realized I was an addict! It is very true that this is not a diet, it's more of a lifetime guideline. My only comment is the variety of the foods is a bit limited. I love variety in food so I find the book is a bit outdated in that sense. But the program works and each individual can modify it to suit their needs. Dr. Abravanel does mention this over and over, we are the best judges for our own bodies, so it is our task to learn to listen to it!
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