Stand in line at a local store and look 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 skyrocketing not only in adults, but also in children. Miracle pills, hormone therapy, special shakes and others have helped some people, but overall, we are a bigger and unhealthier country than we were a generation ago. Examining healthy detox diets, as well as brief lifestyle modifications, can help people classified as “obese” lose weight.
Obesity has various definitions, but a simple way to define it is that it is when your body weight is 20% higher than your ideal weight. Between 1980 and 2000, obesity rates doubled among adults. About 60 million adults, or 30% of the adult population, are obese today. 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 significant contributors to joint problems, diabetes, and the onset of 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 nearly 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 “The weather is bad 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 bad knees, try swimming or taking 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 will be deposited in a different part of the body. Therefore, the only way to truly achieve 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 instead of later in the day will help prevent weight loss. 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 daily. More and more people are eating processed, sugar-laden, convenient foods that lack essential vitamins and minerals for health. Throughout life, this can contribute to more serious health risks, such as arthritis, joint replacements, asthma, and other degenerative diseases.
Where should you start? Try to eliminate all soft drinks 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 malnutritive ingredients. Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Below is a Diet that I am recommending for you for three weeks and as always make sure you first consult your doctor, nutritionist or chiropractor before starting to see if it is right for you. It is meant to be temporary.
Allowed Foods: Poultry, shellfish, eggs, butter, whole nuts (except peanuts), all vegetables including asparagus, cucumber, celery, peas, onion, broccoli, lettuce, okra, carrots, etc., all salads, beans, root ginger and low-sugar fruits, including all kinds of berries, pears, green apples, green bananas and grapefruit. Only use small amounts of high-quality oils if needed, such as olive, sunflower, canola, fish, flax, and borage oil. The spices are fine; Ginger and turmeric are highly anti-inflammatory.
Restricted Foods: All grains, bread, pasta, cereals, rice, sweet fruits, juices, candy, pastries, corn, potatoes, starches, chips and crackers, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar. No alcohol. No carbs for three weeks.
Things to keep in mind: Be sure to drink plenty of water and prepare your meals. This can be done in conjunction with a healthy exercise program. When you’re done with the three weeks, it’s still very important to eat the processed starches and sugars, as these items in particular contribute to weight gain.
Again, this is a guideline and should be followed closely with your healthcare professional. 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, “prevention is better than cure.”
By: Dr. Chad Laurence