Stand in line at a local store and look at the person in front of you, then at the person directly behind you. Statistically speaking, one of you is obese. A growing epidemic in the US, obesity rates are skyrocketing not just in adults, but in children as well. Miracle pills, hormone therapy, specialty shakes, and more have helped some people, but overall, we are a larger and less healthy country than a generation ago. Examining healthy detox diets, as well as brief lifestyle modifications, may help people classified as “obese” lose weight.
Obesity has several definitions, but a simple way to define it is when your body weight is 20% more than your ideal weight. Between 1980 and 2000, obesity rates doubled among adults. Approximately 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 significantly contributing to joint problems, diabetes, and the onset of various other health problems. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), poor diet and lack of exercise are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths each year. This is the equivalent of almost three jumbo jets full of 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 “It’s bad weather outside.” You can start by simply walking. Walk every day; outside, inside, at the local department store or mall (just don’t bring your wallet!). Walking can gradually turn into jogging. If you have knee problems, 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 the fat is deposited in another part of the body. Therefore, the only way to achieve true weight loss is to exercise and change your eating habits.
A healthy diet is essential to lose weight. This does not mean that you have to starve yourself. Eating larger meals earlier in the day rather than later will help keep the extra pounds off. While you sleep, your metabolism slows down. Eating a large meal at the end of the day will only make you gain weight. Try to eat smaller meals. Research shows that only 25% of American adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. More and more people are consuming processed, sugar-laden and convenient foods that lack essential vitamins and minerals for health. Throughout life, this can contribute to other more serious health risks, such as arthritis, joint replacements, asthma, and other degenerative diseases.
Where should you start? Try to eliminate all soda and sugary drinks from your diet. Replace them with organic juices and water. Start reading the labels on hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and other malnourished ingredients. Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Below is a diet that I recommend for three weeks, and as always be sure to check with your doctor, nutritionist, or chiropractor first, to see if it’s right for you. It is meant to be temporary.
Allowed foods: poultry, shellfish, eggs, butter, whole nuts (except peanuts), all vegetables, including asparagus, cucumbers, celery, peas, onion, broccoli, lettuce, okra, carrots, etc., all salads, beans, ginger root and low sugar fruits that include all kinds of berries, pears, green apples, green bananas, and grapefruit. Use only small amounts of high-quality oils if necessary, such as olive, sunflower, canola, fish oil, flax oil, and borage oil. The spices are fine; ginger and turmeric are very anti-inflammatory.
Restricted foods: all grains, bread, pasta, cereals, rice, sweet fruits, juices, candy, candy, cakes, corn, potatoes, starches, potato chips and crackers, high fructose corn syrup and sugar. No alcohol. No carbohydrates for three weeks.
Things to keep in mind: Make sure you drink plenty of water and prepare your meals. This can be done in conjunction with a healthy exercise program. When you are done with the three weeks, it is still very important to eat less starch and processed sugars, as these particular elements contribute to weight gain.
Again, this is a guide and should be followed closely with your doctor. It can be quite challenging, but you will see results. By being proactive now, you are securing your most valuable asset – YOU! As the famous saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
By: Dr. Chad Laurence