Stand in line in a local store and glance at the person in front of you, then the person directly behind you. Statistically speaking, one of you is obese. A growing epidemic in the US, obesity rates are soaring not only in adults, but in children as well. Miracle pills, hormone therapy, special shakes, and others have helped some people, but overall, we are a larger unhealthier country than we were a generation ago. Examining healthy detoxification diets as well as brief modifications in lifestyle can help aid weight loss for people who are categorized as “obese.”
Obesity has various definitions, but a simple way to define it is that it is when your body weight is 20% more than your ideal weight. Between 1980 and 2000, obesity rates doubled amongst adults. About 60 million adults, or 30% of the adult population, are now obese. Since 1980, overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents. This is largely due to poor diets and lack of exercise, which are contributing significantly to joint problems, diabetes, and the onset of various other health issues. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year. This is the equivalent of almost three jumbo jets filled with people crashing every day!
More than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits. I hear it all the time: “Dr. Laurence, I don’t have time to exercise”, or, “I don’t like to exercise”, or “The weather is bad outside.” You can start by simply walking. Walk every day; outside, inside, in the local department store or mall (Just don’t bring your wallet!). Walking can gradually turn into jogging. If you have bad knees, then try swimming or a water aerobics class. Weight loss occurs when fat cells shrink. During Liposuction, fat cells are removed in one part of the body, only to find that fat will deposit in a different part of the body. Therefore, the only way to truly achieve weight loss is to exercise and modify your eating habits.
A healthy diet is essential to losing weight. This doesn’t mean that you have to starve yourself. Eating larger meals earlier in the day instead of later in the day will help keep pounds off. While asleep, your metabolism lowers. Eating a large meal late in the day will only cause weight to gain. Try eating smaller meals. Research shows that only 25% of US adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. More people are eating convenient, sugar-laden, processed foods that lack vitamins and minerals essential for health. Over a life time, this can contribute to other more serious health risks, such as arthritis, joint replacements, asthma, and other degenerative diseases.
Where should you start? Try removing all sodas and sugary drinks from your diet. Replace them with organic juices and water. Start reading labels for hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and other malnutritious ingredients. Eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Below is a Diet that I am recommending to you for three weeks, and, as always, first be sure that you consult your doctor, nutritionist, or chiropractor before beginning, to see if it is right for you. It is meant to be temporary.
Foods Allowed: poultry, seafood, eggs, butter, whole nuts (except peanuts), all vegetables, including asparagus, cucumber, celery, green peas, onion, broccoli, lettuce, okra, carrots, etc., all salads, beans, ginger root, and low sugar fruits including all type of berries, pears, green apples, unripe bananas, and grapefruit. Only use small quantities of high quality oils if necessary, such as olive, sunflower, canola, fish oils, flax oil, and borage oils. Spices are ok; ginger and turmeric are highly anti-inflammatory.
Restricted Foods: all grains, bread, pasta, cereals, rice, sweet fruits, juices, sweets, candy, cake, corn, potatoes, starches, chips, and crackers, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar. No alcohol. No Carbohydrates for three weeks.
Things to be Mindful of: Make sure that you drink plenty of water, and prepare your meals. This can be done in conjunction with a healthy exercise program. When you are finished with the three weeks, it is still very important to eat less starch and processed sugars, as these items in particular contribute to weight gain.
Again, this is a guide, and should be followed closely with your health care practitioner. It can be quite challenging, but you will see results. By being proactive now, you are insuring your most valuable asset: YOU! As the famous saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
By: Dr. Chad Laurence