The pro’s and con’s of Andrew Weil’s Diet

What Is Dr. Andrew Weil’s Diet?

No quick weight-loss promises from Andrew Weil, MD.  He advocates his diet philosophy in four words: Eat less, exercise more. But we know, it is not that simple, check my 8 principles to get lean and healthy.

He urges, in his book  “Eating Well for Optimum Health, and also in his popular Web site ( to eat with a sensibility that is more Eastern than Western.

He points out that our diet has a huge  influence on our health.  According to doctor Andrew Weil, nutrition is only one aspect of our lifestyle, and lifestyle is only one variable in the mix of factors that determines whether we are blessed with well-being or not.

Andrew Weil claims that optimal nutrition can positively impact many health concerns, such as:
  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Irritable bowel
  • Arthritis
  • Sinusitis
  • Weight gain
  • Etc.

He warns many times that a quick weight loss will always come back.  Try to set realistic goals, like losing one to two pounds a week, and make sure that you are losing fat, not muscle. A weight-loss programs must be safe, sane, and reasonable. Some nutritionists and personal trainers are pushing too much on quick weight loss.

According to doctor Andrew Weil, successful weight-loss can be accomplished, by properly balancing the amount and type of food we eat. The key, is to eat  the good carbohydrates, the good  fats, and the good proteins.

What You Can Eat on Dr. Weil’s Diet

Weil’s approach to nutrition is very similar to mine. He emphasizes on Mediterranean Diet

  1. Spain
  2. Southern France
  3. Italy
  4. Greece
  5. Middle East

Mediteranean diet does includes red meat, but Andrew Weil is not a fan of meat, he only recommends grass-fed.  Andrew Weil also believes that    macro- nutrients should be accounted this way: 

  • Carbohydrates. They should account for 50-60% of your calories,  from unrefined grains and vegetables (low glycemic load). These release glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream more slowly, and therefore won’t as readily cause rapid spikes after meals. Good carbs include legumes, fruits, high fiber food,hemp bread.  We know that white rice is linked to diabetes, however doctor Andrew Weil recommends basmati and brown rice, because, they release less glucose that refined rice, also when eaten in small portion with other foods, it shows a medium glycemic load.
  • Fats. Up to 30% of calories must come from anti-inflammatoryfats. Monounsaturated oils such as olive oil, omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, flax seeds, chia seeds,some nuts. And of course the healthy saturated fat such as organic coconut oil.
  • Protein. Protein should be limited to 10-20% of your diet, and vegetable proteins (from beans and soybeans, for example) should be substituted for animal ones as often as possible. Of course, I totally disagree on this part, if you read my articles, you will see that I recommend low temperature whey protein, it promotes weight loss and have also anti-cancer benefits. I agree that some meat can be very carcinogenic.

Weil also recommends that we eat 40 grams of fiber a day, which isn’t hard to achieve if you eat fruits, vegetables, legumes and hemp bread. He tells us to avoid milk and consume limited amounts of cheese and other dairy products. He believes  that  asian and african descent have some difficulty digesting milk, and others may be allergic.

Like many experts in the world, Andrew Weil believes that we can keep up with our calcium needs without dairy in this diet.  According to him, ingesting too much protein leeches calcium out of the body, so if less protein is consumed then less calcium is required.  But remember that a weightlifter need more protein to feed the muscles.

Sardines ( the bones), leafy greens, broccoli, sea vegetables, tofu, sesame seeds, calcium-fortified orange juice, and fortified soy milk can be good calcium sources.

Weil explains that exercise is a critical component of his program, but has little to say about the subject and I truly believe that he is not an expert on this topic.  I recommend to you, the book written by Tony Ventuno ” Feed The Muscle And Burn The Fat

What I think About Dr. Weil’s Diet

I think that Weil’s diet has a good approach based on nutritional principles. It is a very healthy way to eat, because we know that people who eat this food tend to be healthier than those who eat processed foods. Many  scientific evidence showed that vegetarian diets with small amounts of animal products are healthier than typical american diets to reduce heart disease, obesity and cancer.

I like the way that he emphasizes on people responsibility for their own health.

Andrew Weil recommends a holistic approach. Like my “8 principles to get lean and healthy” Weil believes that people must not only eat healthier, but also consider the level of stress in their lives, the amount of exercise they do, and other factors.

As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I higly recommend this book, for more information, feel free to email me.

I work in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens area.

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