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The Life-Transforming Diet

The Life-Transforming Diet

Health and nutritional principles of Maimonides.


More than half of the United States population is overweight or obese, and many suffer from resultant health complications. Eating disorders abound, and we are flooded with conflicting advice and false promises to attain our dream of health. Confusion seems to be the norm.

One of the greatest ancient physicians and philosophers in history tackled these issues. He gives us the means to make this dream a reality. I am referring to Rambam, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1135/1138 to 1204).

In no uncertain terms, Rambam writes the following mind-boggling guarantee to someone who follows his main principles of nutrition:

"Whoever conducts himself in the ways we have set forth, I will guarantee that he will not get sick throughout his life…. He will not need a doctor and his body will be in perfect shape and remain healthy all his life." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot 4:20.)

One may wonder if we can rely upon information that was written about over 800 years ago, regardless of the stature of the author. Here are some reasons why we can rest assured that the foundation of this system is perfectly up to date and reliable:

  • Rabbis, doctors and nutritionists have read through this book and verified its principles.
  • The commentaries on Rambam's works maintain that his advice about health and the prevention of disease remains relevant today.
  • A large part of the Yemenite Jewish population, which followed Rambam's main principles and teachings, had an average life span of one hundred years!
  • Real life results that many people have experienced following the principles of the Life Transforming Diet.
  • Excerpts from Rambam's writings display that while many health and nutritional concepts have only become popular in the last decade or so, Rambam already wrote about these concepts almost a thousand years ago. Some examples include many amazing excerpts from his medical works on exercise, fiber foods and fats.

In the Life Transforming Diet, there are three main aims:

  1. Knowledge of health and nutritional principles
  2. Knowledge of behavior modification
  3. The internalization of this knowledge through a precise plan of action

Often we really want to change; but we don't because we are creatures of habit. Rambam writes:

"One of the most powerful forces of human nature is habit, irrespective of whether these are actions or preconceived perceptions…. For instance, a person might choose bad foods to which he is accustomed over good foods to which he is not accustomed¹ [even though it is the less correct choice]." (Treatise on Asthma 13:51. See also Guide to the Perplexed 1:31)

But even the most entrenched habits, addictions and cravings can be overcome by new accumulated motivations, although initially they are much weaker. By implementing a new habit at the right pace, old entrenched desires start to fade. Old habits are slowly replaced by new ones. Eventually, a real change can and will take place.


In accordance with Rambam's caution, ours is a system of behavior modification and habit formation. We introduce one positive habit each week. It is important to make only the one change of the new week. The rest of your schedule should stay exactly the same. The program will guide you step by step, and will tell you exactly what to do.


Phase 1 is called the 'foundation' phase because we are setting firm foundations in place. We are changing one thing at a time so that our changes will remain permanent. In the first week, you will most likely choose to change your breakfast meal. In the second week, we add a five- to ten-minute exercise workout. If you are already following a balanced exercise program, you can continue with what you are doing. In the third week, we will introduce changes to your snacking habits between meals. In the fourth and fifth week, we will apply the principles of Rambam to the remaining main meals. This ends Phase 1.


Phase 2 is called the 'accumulation' phase because you will experience a significant part of your Subconscious Accumulation Process. Weight loss accelerates and feelings of energy and health abound. In fact, most people lose five to ten pounds during Phase 2.

Phase 2 is simply a continuation of Phase 1. The only thing that will change is your exercise program. Otherwise you will simply continue with the guidelines of Phase 1 for at least three weeks. Many people lose five to ten pounds in this Phase alone.


Phase 3 is called the 'integration' phase because you can eat any type of meal and you will have more desert options. In Phase 3, we introduce the Mixed Meal and low calorie dessert options. You will continue in this Phase until you are at your goal weight.

At goal weight, you will be allowed more snack options between meals as well as dessert options called Smart Exceptions.

The Life-Transforming Diet is a program that can be realistically sustained. We restrict neither food quantities nor any type of nutritious foods. We propose 'eating principles'. You can choose which nutritious foods to eat when implementing these positive eating habits. If you follow the principles then you do not have to weigh, count or restrict your food.

In addition, the Life-Transforming Diet develops an awareness of habit formation and implements behavior modification, which increases self-awareness on a motivational and behavioral level. This is fundamental to the success of the program and clearly distinguishes it from other systems. We offer you a realistic system that allows you to go on living your own particular lifestyle while you transform your life.

If you need to lose weight, your body fat will melt away, transforming your outer appearance. You will feel and actually be much healthier and more energized. And you will even see an improvement in your emotional and spiritual outlook. For all these reasons, I have called my program The Life-Transforming Diet. This system of gaining health and losing weight will become a gateway to fulfilling your multi-faceted potential.

Excerpted from The Life-Transforming Diet, Feldheim Publishers

February 23, 2008

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Visitor Comments: 12

(11) Chaya Michels, April 16, 2018 6:21 PM

Diet for energy

I wish I could see a version of this diet without the weight loss part! What if I'm interested in Rambams diet to feel good and have energy but can't afford to loose weight?

(10) Elliot, October 17, 2017 6:03 PM


You mention there are many mefarshim who say Rambams dietary/health advice is still relevant, could you give specific sources? Also, do you know of any mefarshim that disagree?

(9) Anonymous, September 27, 2013 6:19 AM

Can I do this for my 12 year old son?

Can I do this for my 12 year old son?

(8) Linda, June 7, 2009 12:59 AM

It really works!

When I was overweight, I also placated myself with the idea the overweight is not necessarily unhealthy. My blood pressure has always been low, cholesterol low, no sign of all accounts "HEALTHY". BUT since being on this brilliant program, I can see that I never had the energy to lug myself around. I certainly couldn't do exercise, I felt stoggy, lethargic and aesthetically most unattractive (evidence in the photos). I dont get headaches, my feet aren't sore and I feel energized, positive and "full of life". My doctor tells me that although he seemed to be "healthy", I was like a timebomb waiting to explode!!!!!!!!!! Of course being overweight is unhealthy. To answer Daniel and the comment he made, Mr Zulberg is not "Smarter than Chazal".....Chazal were not confronted with the low-grade Nosh and food that we eat in our sedentary lives. Daniel.....try the system and then see how you feel. I've lost 50 pounds and I've lost my unhealthy, unsightly weight.

(7) Doniel, March 1, 2008 10:00 PM

Do you think you're smarter than Chazal?

This is a terrible thing to insinuate that all overweight people are automatically unhealthy. Many overweight people have healthy levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, and have a healthy working heart. There is nothing wrong or unhealthy about being overweight. But don't take my word for it, Chazal tells us so. In the בב×NSM_BADCHAR=<0x90> מציע×NSM_BADCHAR=<0x90> Gemorah writes about overweight Rebbim specifically to show that some people are like that, naturally. And Gemorah does not follow up with any health advice, obviously it was no problem for chachomim. I really wonder why the author of the article thinks he knows better.

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