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Dean Ornish Program: Eat More Weigh Less Diet

Dean Ornish Program
dr dean ornish Are you looking for yet another great diet program to help you lose weight? Well, don’t look any further as I will give you an in-depth information of one of today’s famous eating regimen – Ornish Program. This type of diet was developed by Dean Ornish, MD. and was the only diet and lifestyle research programmed to help reverse various heart diseases. Through the course of his study, Dean Ornish Program doesn’t only achieved positive results for cardiovascular health, but also for other health concerns such as weight loss.

Dr. Ornish wrote the highly successful book, “Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease” which aims to reverse blockages to the heart without surgery procedures and medicinal drugs. His work was easily adored by the masses because of his “alternative” health claims which are not totally based on theories, but are well supported by scientific studies.

The Ornish Diet have simple principles just like other kinds of diet programs but involves complete lifestyle changes. This includes a high-fiber diet (whole grains), low-fat vegetarian meals, aerobic exercises, eliminating stress factors, family support, ceasing bad habits (smoking and alcohol drinking) and nutritional supplements, while restricting the consumption of animal meat products, dietary fats, refined carbs and processed or commercial foods (bacons, hotdogs, canned goods, etc.).

So based on that theory, a combination of good lifestyle plus a healthy diet equals a superb fat-burning weight loss strategy. Not only that, it can effectively lower your blood cholesterol, sugar levels, bloor pressure levels and of course, can help treat or reverse the effects of heart diseases. However, Ornish Program can very well lack some important nutrients because it restricts other food groups. This includes calories, fatty acids, calcium and B vitamins which can be a disadvantage for children, pregnant and lactating women.

How Dean Ornish Program started?

Back in 1975 at Baylor College of Medicine, then student Dean Ornish became interested in finding the best way to battle heart disease. Part of his medical training, he became a part for cardiovascular studies playing the role of an assistant to doctors who performed coronary artery bypass surgery. Because of his experiences in cardiovascular treatments, he looked for other alternative ways on how to reverse or aid heart diseases without depending on surgeries or medications. Dr. Ornish began to look at dietary and lifestyle trends that are causing this diseases and worked various clinical researches to offer or prove that diet and lifestyle change can be the primary treatment for heart diseases.

His first clinical trial – “Lifestyle Heart Trial“, was published in 1990 wherein several heart patients undergone strict dietary and good lifestyle habits. The result was stunning as all patients got healthier and the program became widely popular ever since. For once, it was believed that the progression of heart diseases cannot be stopped, not until that point. Both heart patients and physicians gave praise to Dr. Ornish successful clinical trials which not only gave hopes for cardiovascular-stricken patients, but for overweight and obese individuals. This pave the way for Dr. Ornish’s best selling weight loss book “Ear More, Weigh Less“.

Types and Principles of Dean Ornish Program

There are two types of diet in the Ornish Program – reversal diet and prevention diet. The Reversal Diet is for people who already suffering from heart diseases whose goals are to reduce their risks of an heart attack and its other symptoms such as chest pain. The Prevention Diet is for people who don’t have any heart problems but have high cholesterol levels which makes them prone to heart problems. The Ornish Program recommends that following dietary requirements for its patients.
  • Only 10% of calories as fat can be consumed.
  • Approximately 70 to 75% of calories of carbs and up to 20% calories of protein
  • Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Restrict any caffeinated products from your diet.
  • Moderate consumption of sugar and salt.
  • Never eat meat and dairy products. Non-fat yogart and non-fat milk consumption should be moderated.
Aside from these strict dietary rules, Ornish Program also requires a very thorough lifestyle changes that includes light to intense exercises like aerobics, stretching, stress reduction strategies (meditation, yoga, etc.), dietary supplements and many others.

The principle however is pretty simple. Dr. Ornish based his studies on a epidemiological research that shows that diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats can cause to a sudden increase in blood pressure levels and blood cholesterol, thus increasing the risk of heart diseases. In contrast, there have been different studies which demonstrates that diets low in fat and cholesterol results to a reduce risks of the said diseases.

Eat More, Weigh Less diet

So what are the ideal foods that are not restricted in the program and at the same time, promotes weight loss? Dr. Ornish simplified this issue by recommending the following food groups into your diet.
Foods that can be eaten all the time:
  1. whole grains
  2. vegetables
  3. fruits
  4. soybeans and legumes
Foods that should be eaten in moderation:
  1. non-fat dairy products
  2. other non-fat products
Foods that should be avoided:
  1. Animal meats (red and white meat including fish)
  2. Avocados (because of fat content)
  3. Olives
  4. Nuts and seeds
  5. Sugary foods
  6. Alcohol and caffeine products

Dairy products

So if there is so much food restriction, how can you eat more and weigh less? Well, Ornish Program suggests eating a lot from the allowed food groups above and if it says a lot, then you have to eat a lot of those foods in order to avoid hunger. And that is one more reason why this diet helps aid weight loss, because it promotes hunger and eating the right foods which can make you feel fuller faster, without increasing your calorie intake. That’s it! Eat more of the suggested food and you will definitely weigh less than your average pounds.

Ornish Program seriously promotes eat-all-you-want behavior as long as the foods you are eating are the healthy ones. Also, Dr. Ornish clarifies that the program can also increase the individual’s metabolism rate while helps in slowing down the absorption of foods in the digestive system thru high-fiber diet. So this helps you to feel full longer even though you are eating small portions of foods. This also helps avoid mindless munching of junk foods which is one of the main cause of weight gain.

Together with the mentioned workout routines, you will definitely win against weight gain. It encourages physical activities which uses body fat as its main energy source. Again, consistent workout can increase your metabolism and this can work well with the Ornish Program. Once you are accustomed to this principles, your body’s rate for burning calories can decrease once you consume fewer calories which will not drastically fasten your weight loss so don’t expect too much. Like any other diet program, it would take at least two weeks to see results.

Final notes on Dean Ornish Program

As I have said earlier, Ornish Program received tons of praise in both the medical field and the public. It’s system are based entirely on science which is often unusual for a diet regimen. It highly incorporates self-awareness on foods and lifestyles including stress management. However, Ornich Program lacks other nutrients due to food restrictions which is the reason why you need supplements if you want to apply this diet. Also, it is not ideal for children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women due to the lack of nutrients that was stated above.

Over all, I give this diet a high recommendation for overweight and obese people. This program can help reduce health complications such as heart diseases and diabetes as it restricts saturated fats and sugary foods. It is also one of the best diet regimen that you can practice if you want to lose weight in a much natural and safer way. Alternatively, I recommend a personalized diet program that I am highly promoting in this site – Amanda Hamilton’s Diet Secret. Click the link to know more how you can have your own personalized diet for effective weight loss.


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