Holistic Weight Loss Diet

The Enlightened Diet: Seven Weight-loss Solutions That Nourish Body, Mind, and Soul is a holistic weight loss program that includes concepts from Buddhism, Tibetan medicine and psychotherapy. It was created by nutrition specialist, Deborah Kesten, and research scientist, Larry Scherwitz.

The authors describe their plan as “your whole person weight loss program” based on their research revealing that weight gain is related not only to what you eat but also to emotional, spiritual, and social “nourishment”.

The Enlightened Diet teaches you to nourish these other aspects of yourself and provides practical strategies to help you eat in a way that supports your health and ability to lose weight.

Holistic Diet Basics

The authors encourage you to discover the true cause of your weight gain by looking at dysfunctional eating behaviors such as emotional eating. They explain how stress affects digestion and how some people overeat as a way to deal with negative emotions.

This holistic weight loss program does not include a diet plan in the traditional sense in that there are no lists of forbidden foods or restrictions on calorie intakes.

Instead the authors looked at traditional approaches to nutrition such as Ayurveda, Native American, Tibetan and Chinese medicine, along with the Western nutritional paradigm, to discover our optimal way of eating. This allows us to eat to maintain our health and ideal body weight without dieting.

You will be doing exercises that increase your awareness about the food you eat and how factors such as attitudes and thoughts affect your eating habits. Positive elements such as gratitude and compassion can influence your behavior, ultimately leading you to make decisions that support a healthy lifestyle.

The core of the holistic diet involves the identification of seven different eating styles related to excessive food intake, such as Food Fretters, Task Snackers, Emotional Eaters, etc.

You will undertake a quiz to help you discover your individual eating profile and then are provided with practical techniques to overcome the associated negative behaviors so that you can maintain a healthy weight.

Some of the ways you may achieve increased awareness and balance in your relationship with food include meditation, introspection, becoming involved in a cooking club and al fresco dining.

Recommended Foods

Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, lean meat.

Sample Meal Plan

This holistic weight loss diet does not include a meal plan.

Exercise Recommendations

The book includes a section called “Enlightened Exercise”, which helps you understand how movement influences your physical health and emotional wellness. You are also encouraged to regularly engage in meditation and other exercises to enhance your awareness.

Costs and Expenses

The Enlightened Diet: Seven Weight-loss Solutions That Nourish Body, Mind, and Soul retails at $15.95.

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  • Advocates the intake of a variety of fresh, whole foods.
  • Encourages a holistic approach to weight management.
  • Customized to suit the different types of dysfunctional eating behaviors.
  • Program has produced positive results, which were published a peer-reviewed medical journal.
  • Includes practical exercises to help dieters overcome mindless or emotional eating.
  • Appeals to dieters with a spiritual inclination.


  • Does not include a meal plan or recipes.
  • Some readers will not relate to the spiritual component of this plan.
  • May take some time for weight loss results to occur.

Body Mind and Spirit

The Enlightened Diet is a holistic weight loss diet that combines ancient wisdom regarding traditional diet with a modern understanding of patterns of dysfunctional eating.

This program will appeal to spiritually inclined dieters looking for practical tools to overcome emotional eating and create a long-term healthy lifestyle approach to losing weight.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Kesten, D. (2003). The enlightened diet: integrating biological, spiritual, social, and psychological nutrition. Spirituality Health, 5, 29-39.
  • Hetherington, M. M., & Rolls, B. J. (2001). Dysfunctional eating in the eating disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 24(2), 235-248. study link
  • Popkess-Vawter, S., Yoder, E., & Gajewski, B. (2005). The role of spirituality in holistic weight management. Clinical Nursing Research, 14(2), 158-174. study link


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Last Reviewed: July 13, 2017