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8 Weeks to Optimum Health

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,004 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Now expanded and updated: The book in which one of America's most brilliant and respected doctors gives us his famous program for improving and maintaining health—already the program of choice for hundreds of thousands.

Eight Weeks to Optimum Health focuses all of Andrew Weil's expertise in both conventional and alternative medicine on a practical week-by-week, step-by-ste
Hardcover, Revised Edition, 320 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Knopf (first published March 4th 1997)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,004 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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T.J. Beitelman
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have learned firsthand how the body can change drastically depending on what it’s given for fuel, and this book is the primary source of that knowledge/experience. One December more than a decade ago, after a twelve-hour drive from Virginia to Alabama, and a steady diet of French fries and cheeseburgers and sodas along the way, I pulled off the highway and into one of Tuscaloosa’s sundry strip malls to buy a book at a mega-bookstore. (Books are — I think I may have mentioned this — a salve for ...more
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to personal health and wellness, I'm a supporter of integrating both Western and Eastern medicine into my lifestyle. Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard Medical trained physician, and advocate of alternative medicine is a good combination of the two (and forgive my saying this, not too crunchy birkenstock, which is often my worry with seeking alternate remedies for my health issues).

In this (not quite diet/ mostly lifestyle) manual for health, Dr. Weil explores the adoption of healthy habit
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: health, non-fiction
If you want a book to give you a diet and exercise plan, this in not that book. The author is in to whole foods, natural healing and supplements. He takes a holistic approach to being healthy. I liked the way he presented the information. It was laid out well. I listened to the audio and didn't care for the narrator. I think if the author had narrated his own book, I would have responded to this better in the very beginning. I hate to admit that so much of my mind is made up within the first 20 ...more
Bob Klein
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly stuff I knew already. Didn't actually do the whole 8 weeks thing (yet) but prefer to understand the recommendations as they fit into life already. I'm learning that I know most of what I need to know and that I do a fair amount of what I should already (while knowing what I need to do more of ...I'm looking at you, exercise shoes...).
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have long admired Dr. Andrew Weil for his honest, down-to-earth philosophy about staying healthy, strong and flexible into old age. He is a big proponent not only of the of the usual advice -nourishing food, exercise, moderation in all things--but also some spiritual and New Age-style approaches to keeping the health and quality in our aging lives. Some of his advice includes: enjoy flowers, art, parks, and music, take a 45-minute walk every day, go on a "news fast" once a week (or choose the ...more
Mina Lumiebre
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't get books like this because of their associations with New Age, Boomer-type literature that is all about connecting with the self and so forth, the type of diet plus pseudo-spirituality that really bothers me. Not that I am against spirituality, I just don't like all of this fake spirituality that is meant to comfort people without making them think! Anyhow, back to Weil's book. It really doesn't have any of this New Age propaganda, and I'm thankful for that. Now, I mostly skimme ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most of the advice in this book is standard stuff, eat whole and fresh foods, get enough sleep, find outlets to reduce stress, etc. A few of my favorites included avoiding news for one or more days per week, focus on walking as exercise, and taking naps. Dr. Weil has good suggestions for new habits to incorporate into life.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joanne Annabannabobanna
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
4.5 stars. Bias alert: I have loved Dr. Weil since 1999 and everything he says makes perfect sense. I continue to refer to his timeless books as I attempt my daily exercise and diet regimen. That's right. I said timeless.

No trending fads, lame gimmicks or conceited trickery here. Dr. Weil is considered the leading proponent of integrative medicine and he is so Not-Dr.Oz inspirational. He's been combining traditional medical practices with alternative and herbal remedies and writing about them f
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Weil may not be as cutesy as Rachael Ray or as studly as Richard Simmons, but the dude is right on the money for the most part. I've devoured several books by Weil with no indigestion so far, and I've savored every last morsel of his wisdom. Though the "New Age" fluff didn't sit well with me I still found 8 Weeks to be a meal fit for a king: he's realistic, holistic, & correct about what it takes to be what he simply calls "wellness". The program is about a holistic wellness: body, mind, spi ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, food
After hearing about this book for years, and getting more negative health news that I think I should get at this point in my life, I picked up Andrew Weil's book. I finished reading through it in two days, and am looking forward to integrating his recommendations into my lifestyle over the next two months. As a vegan with a regular yoga routine, the changes aren't really all that intimidating and mostly common sense. What I appreciate most in the book is that Dr. Weil has a flexible approach. He ...more
Andrea James
This is a detailed prescriptive book about what to do to potentially optimise your health. Some of the suggestions feel like they need more investigation. I say this not because the recommendations are necessarily dangerous or wrong (unlikely to be, though I can't say for certain) but more because they require quite a lot of effort especially for people with busy full-time jobs and a non-generous budget. Nevertheless, there are some reasonable sounding suggestions and it is a quick read.
The book
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
If you don't have a sauna or access to fresh, organic produce, you might find this book a bit presumptuous. If you're a health foodie already, you might scoff at the recommendations to buy soy products that imitate meat. But if you're just about anyone else, you will find something in this program that will improve your health. Some of the suggestions feel a bit dated, since the book was originally written in the 90s, but most of it still stands. Readers with insider knowledge about the biochemi ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Dr. Weil provides a lot of valuable health advice in this book and he breaks it to you gently in his 8 week program. I chose to do this a little slower, more of a 16 week program and made my own adaptations to suit my needs. Dr. Weil not only encourages this, but gives a lot of modifications for age, gender and other health circumstances. His own words best summarize the flexibility of the program: "I suggest that you look over all of this information to get a sense of how the program can be mod ...more
Rebecca Jelinski
I've read many diet and health books. This one exceeds them all. It focuses on what's most important in life. Your health by providing a sound ramp plan that addresses diet, exercise, supplements, mental health and optional additions for the very enthusiastic. Separate chapters after the core plan cover additional information by gender, age, if you live in a city, are a parent or if you're expecting.
Luca Pendu
The advice offered by dr. Weil made a lot of sense to me on the paper, but the changes to be made to one's current lifestyle seem too drastic. Moreover, not a lot of data are provided to support such advice, making me think that, once again, we have to just blindly trust the advice of another "guru".
Akhil Jain
My fav quotes (not a review):
-Page 20 |
"For a variety of cultural reasons—one being the unthinkability of dissecting a dead body—Chinese medicine also developed without detailed knowledge of the internal structure of the human body. Instead, it concentrated on identifying body functions and clarifying their relationships to one another."

Donna Kohl
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It offers simple solutions, added in small increments that add up to great benefits overall. I was really impressed by Dr. Weil's insights and knowledge and have implemented nearly all of his suggestions in my every day life.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading. I took notes.
Kristin Roach
Took me forever to get through it. A bit outdated now, but still some good advice.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good except out of date in terms of some of the nutritional advice (in my opinion).
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
I love how this book starts out with baby steps before it goes to a full-on change. Even if someone were to only make a few small changes, it would be better than nothing. Every little bit helps us to be healthier.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
A must read for all, especially those over 40. This is really a book about self-empowerment and leveraging the natural positive effects of the body, mind, spirit, and organic foods (although there are references for supplements that are at least "assisted" by science and man). I read Dr. Weil's Healthy Aging a few weeks ago and loved it. As I looked more into Dr. Weil, his previous books and his website I decided I needed to read this book next. The book is intended to allow anyone to transform ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
"Read" this originally in 1999 on audio tape, and again about a week ago (2014). As one reviewer noted, it's full of stuff most of us already know: hydrogenated oils are bad, run tap water for a while before drinking (lead in the pipes), omega fatty acids are super good, etc, etc. I guess for me the difference is that he was, in 1997 when the book came out, one of the first and most convincing voices saying this stuff. The gradual and easy to implement plan this book proposes was super easy for ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Mixed Bag

I got this book from the library to see if I could get some ideas to help with some dietary and lifestyle changes my husband and I were planning. I did get some good ideas here.
The book lays out an eight week plan with projects, dietary changes, exercise suggestions, supplements to take, and spiritual/mental assignments. That's followed up by specific instructions for various age levels and health concerns.
The information ranges from the expected (eat broccoli and salmon, use olive
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I didn't like this book as much as I loved Spontaneous Healing. To be fair, this book is more of an 8-week program than it is an educational book about health.

I thought there was some great information in the book, but at the same time, I felt like some of the info and research might be a little outdated. It seemed like there might have been some new research I've read recently that is contrary to some of his advice, but I can't be sure. It would be a great idea to do your own research if you a
I appreciate some of the suggestions, such as visiting the sauna twice a week and make gradual life changes in steps to create lasting habits. This book is a nice introduction to healthy choices, but doesn't go into depth like other books. I already had many of the recommendations in place, but it is a quick read and I had never understood the point of saunas before.

I disagree with his controversial recommendation for full vaccination and not only adding fluoride to your diet, but to make sure y
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this when it was first published in 1997, and I still eat based on many of the aspects I learned from this book. Dr. Weil was talking about the importance of needing to remove hydrogenated oils from our diet, a good 10-years before it became mainstream for food companies to actually have to label food products. Other than the vitamin aspects of the book ( I don't personally believe in the safety and efficacy of vitamins) it's all very common sense, healthy eating. He changed my eating habit ...more
Madeline Ellis
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
i actually have a couple of copies of this book ( i pick my favorites up at garage sales etc so i can give them away and spread good reads ha ha) anyway i read this and did the 8 week program when i was in costa rica and then once again a year ago. it was my first real experience with dr. weil and holistic anything for that matter. as you can see from my reviews i was impressed with him (could say i had a little holistic crush ;) and went on to read many many more of his books. this book in part ...more
Jul 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the information, but I do not like the formatting of this book. The book goes week by week of the 8 week plan and each week has projects to do like stop using electric blankets or go to a sauna, dietary advice like eat broccoli or soy products, a list of supplements to take, exercise suggestions, mental/spiritual suggestions, commentary, recipes and a healing story. I would have found it easier to navigate if there was a separate list of the supplements and if the recipes were all in one ...more
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Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is the author of many scientific and popular articles and of 14 books: The Natural Mind, The Marriage of the Sun and Moon From Chocolate to Morphine (with Winifred Rosen) Health and Healing, Natural Health, Natural Me ...more