What You Should Know
Fit For Life is a book which takes a unique approach towards healthy eating written by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond and released in 1985. The premise of Fit For Life is that you can only lose weight and maintain a healthy body if you make long-term changes to your diet and that short-term dieting accomplishes nothing. Fit For Life became a best-seller and was followed up with Fit For Life II (1989), Fit For Life: A New Beginning (2001) and Living Without Pain: Fit For Life (2007). According to the Diamonds’ website and all books in the series have sold over 12 million copies altogether. The recommendations in the book were unusual and although wildly popular on the talk show circuit were generally panned by professionals. But in the past twenty years many of Fit For Life’s recommendations are being backed up by science and are in vogue.
Fit For Life contained some unusual dietary recommendations including eating nothing but fruit before noon and not combining proteins with complex carbohydrates. In fact, food combining was a large part of the Fit For Life mantra; it isn’t always what we eat, it’s how we eat it. Fit For Life was also an early proponent of the raw food diet, postulating that we gain more nutrients from food that has not been cooked or processed. Fit For Life was also very militant in its view that hydrogenated fat was unhealthy. This philosophy has since proven as the medical industry now recommends natural oils and fats over hydrogenated oils. Anyone thinking of following the Fit For Life dietary lifestyle should check with their doctor or nutritionist to ensure that there is nothing in it that has since been scientifically proven to be harmful.
- Promotes whole foods and healthy dietary lifestyle.
- Recommends exercise.
- Doesn’t require purchase of expensive pre-packaged foods.
- Not developed by trained medical or dietary professionals.
- Some principles conflict with current belief about the causes of excess weight.
- Has the potential to lead readers to believe that any ailment can be cured with diet and this may prevent some from seeking medical treatment.
The Fit For Life phenomenon has died down significantly from its hey day in the mid-’80’s. However, the book still sells over 100,000 copies per year so many are still following its principles. There does not appear to be anything inherently unhealthy or dangerous about following the Fit For Life guidelines but we recommend that you consult your doctor or dietitian before starting.