I donít believe in weight loss diets. I donít believe in daily weighing, measuring your grams and ounces of food, or in the words ďdietĒ or ďcalories.Ē But, after years of being badgered, I have slowly evolved a program for weight control that does not involve any of my pet peeves. These peeves include:
∑ Low calorie diets and fasting. They rarely work, and even if they do, the results are temporary--the weight is generally regained when the normal diet is resumed. Low-calorie diets and fasting will not decrease your setpoint, a factor similar to a thermostat which determines your natural weight and controls the storage of body fat. The setpoint is one reason why weight is regained after a diet or fasting. To decrease your setpoint, you must increase your metabolism.
∑ Counting calories. I wouldn't ask anybody to do anything that I can't do. No way will I keep track of my calories, count my raisins, or weigh my foods. What I will concentrate on is how nourishing, organic, whole and tasty the food is. I defy anyone to get fat on an organic, whole-food diet. Have you ever seen fat people who have never had access to processed foods? Obesity is not natural. It was created by the acceptance of processed, refined, enzyme-deficient foods--that is, the standard American diet, consisting mainly of refined, processed, junk foods, lots of sugar, and fake foods plus unhealthy oils.
∑ Synthetic sweeteners: Synthetic sweeteners have toxic side effects. One of the worst is NutraSweet (aspartame), which can cause seizures, vision problems including double vision, joint pain, and neuropsychiatric disturbances severe enough to require drug therapy. Not to mention the fact that it's actually been shown to cause weight gain. Researcher H.J. Roberts, M.D., recommends a therapeutic trial of NutraSweet avoidance before initiating expensive studies, consultations, and potent drugs. More recently, Splenda was added and despite the hype, Splenda is not natural, itís chlorinated sucrose and has pesticidal properties and many toxic effects, including mental/emotional problems.
∑ Protein powders and diet drinks: (soy, whey or rice protein or isolated amino acids). All of these are simply unhealthy but for different reasons. In addition, these protein powders are often laced with processed sugars or artificial sweeteners and may contain synthetic vitamins and minerals. Plus, some of these drinks contain herbal forms of adrenalin, such as ma huang or ephedra. Anyone can lose weight by reducing caloric intake and hyping themselves up with stimulants. But does it last, and is it healthy? The only protein powder I recommend is Great Lakes Gelatin, a pharmaceutical grade of gelatin (cooked collagen). It contains prothyroid amino acids that balance the antithyroid amino acids in muscle meats. But it is not a substitute for a protein meal. See: Great Lake Gelatin
∑ Over-the-counter diet pills: Diet pills work by tricking the brain into thinking you aren't hungry. What happens when you stop taking them? Many return to normal--and generally unhealthy--eating patterns, including overeating and binge eating. It's better to eat whole, organic foods, and digest them properly with the help of digestive enzymes. I have never seen an overweight person with good digestion who ate a totally natural diet that includes prothyroid foods.
Here are common sense tips about weight control. First, rule out dietary and physiological causes of weight problems such as the following:
∑ A diet excessive in unhealthy starches: Contrary to what most people believe, the most fattening food is starch and people who eat excess unhealthy starches can sometimes gain weight. Avoid high starch, gluten-containing foods such as seeds, nuts, beans (except green) and grains, especially wheat, rye and barley. The safest grains are rice, oats and corn but not everyone can tolerate all of these. Heirloom grains are also safer: spelt, quinoa, kamut and amaranth. Healthy carbs include carrots, potatoes, fruits and fruit juices.
∑ A healthy diet should include foods that support optimum thyroid function, such as adequate animal protein, white sea salt, fruit, fruit juices and coconut oil, in addition to organic vegetables, especially raw carrots.
∑ Poor digestion: Taking food enzymes to predigest food in the stomach tends to normalize weight, providing that people eat consciously and not out of habit. Thus, fat people tend to lose weight and thin people tend to gain weight. The fat person tends to eat less because he or she is satisfied with less food. The thin person tends to gain weight because being able to digest food increases nourishment to the body, makes them feel better, and increases their appetite.
∑ Hypothyroidism: According to Broda Barnes, M.D., and Ray Peat, Ph.D., itís possible to have a subclinical hypothyroid condition--that is, one not detected by the standard blood chemistry thyroid panel--which can cause weight problems. To test your thyroid function, measure your oral temperature with a digital thermometer in the morning after arising and during daylight hours plus take your resting pulse during the day. Fertile women should do this during menses or when they know they are not ovulating. The average oral morning temperature after arising should be 98 degrees F. This should rise to 98.6-99 degrees F best after lunch or between 11 am and 2 pm. The resting pulse at that time should be around 85 beats per minute. See my article on hypothyroidism for more details. Hypothyroidism is a common cause of weight problems, especially being overweight, but I have seen many underweight people who are also hypothyroid. Thyroid glandular has a weight modulating effect. It causes the overweight person to lose weight and the underweight person to gain weight.
∑ The obesity-enzyme connection: Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is an enzyme produced by the body. Its function is to transport fat from the blood into storage in fat cells. The higher the LPL level, the more predisposed you are to store fat. Dieting will worsen this situation because a low calorie diet makes LPL more efficient at storing fat, and, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, this enzyme also causes dieters to regain the weight they lost during the diet. Even going for hours without food can trigger LPL and, the longer you fast, the more active LPL becomes. This activity level remains high even after you return to your original eating habits. The best way to outsmart LPL is to snack on raw foods - fruits, fruit juices, cheese, carrots, etc., and to eat when you are hungry rather than pigging out when you are super hungry. Eating helps keep the blood sugar up and prevents the body from shifting into the fasting mode, which activates LPL (Loomis).
∑ Allergies: Edema resulting from poor digestion or from environmental sensitivity can cause weight gain. For example, a young man lost weight just by eliminating wheat, to which he was allergic--nothing else in his diet was altered. In another example, one woman gained ten pounds when she bought a down jacket to which she was allergic. When she gave away the jacket, the weight disappeared without dieting.
∑ Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): If you can't digest protein you are likely to crave sugar because 56 percent of the protein you eat is converted to glucose upon demand. If you can't digest sugar, you are also likely to crave sugar, because people always crave what they need and can't digest. People in this category can be either fat or thin, depending on how much of what they eat is digested. In addition, hypothyroidism also causes low blood, brain and muscle sugar which is why hypothyroid people are tired, canít focus and get stiff, sore muscles. See: Hypothyroidism.
∑ Candidiasis: Yeast infections and other parasitic conditions can cause bloating and weight gain in many people. Fortunately, there are non-toxic ways to eliminate this problem. Thera-zyme SmI which contains a special form of cellulase that digests pathogenic yeast plus probiotics to provide friendly bacteria to the colon. Thera-zyme TRMA is an enzyme specially formulated for a weak immune system which is always present in a person with candidiasis. Combined with a whole foods diet low in refined sugars, this is the best program I have seen for many chronic candidiasis sufferers--including those who have been taking Nystatin for years and who still have the problem plus a damaged liver. Note: many people mis-diagnose themselves as having yeast infections when, in fact, they have very poor digestion. The symptoms are very similar. See: Candidiasis and Other Parasites
∑ Enzyme poisons (inhibitors): Most poisons work by inhibiting enzymes. These include prescription drugs, heavy metals (lead, cadmium, and mercury), pesticides and many common chemicals used by industry and agriculture. Fluoride (in your drinking water, toothpaste and reconstituted beverages) poisons over 100 enzymes in your body and inhibits thyroid function. PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids or omega-3 and -6 oils) are potent thyroid and immune system inhibitors. They poison the enzymes required buy your body to make omega-9 fatty acids. The best advice I can give is to eat whole organic foods as unprocessed as possible and minimize your exposure to environmental poisons. See: Fluoride and Pesticides
Suggestions for Weight Control
∑ Moderate aerobic exercise may help you lose weight and may decrease your set point, that weight to which your body in balance will normally maintain. This means that it's possible to lose weight just by increasing your exercise, without necessarily modifying your diet. However, excessive (endurance or breathless) exercise becomes anaerobic and will suppress thyroid function, so work out in moderation. Walk instead of running 10 miles daily and bike for five miles not 100 miles. If you walk briskly 30 minutes a day (or do some other kind of aerobic exercise), you could lose 25 pounds in a year even without dieting.
∑ Improve your thyroid function. Low thyroid people canít burn glucose. Adequate thyroid function is required to prevent fat formation and maintain adequate muscles. See: Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Myths and Thyroid Resistance.
∑ Become more conscious of what you eat, why you eat, and when you eat. Do you eat to live or do you live to eat? Lots of people eat out of habit, not hunger. Some people eat late at night when they don't use the calories. Others eat when they're stressed-out. Did your mother or nanny stuff food into your mouth every time you cried to take your mind off the stress? Are you filling your cup with food because there is no love in it? Think about it.
∑ Eat slowly. It takes time--about 30 minutes for the body to know that it's satisfied. Have you ever noticed that when a friend calls you during dinner and you talk for awhile, when you hang up, you are no longer hungry?
∑ Eat whole foods instead of counting calories. Processed foods don't eliminate hunger. Eating smaller portions happens naturally when you substitute whole foods for their processed counterparts. Whole foods produce less body fat than junk foods because of their effect on insulin release. Processed foods are all calories and no nutrition.
∑ Avoid polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA, omega-3 and -6 oils). They have many adverse health effects, including thyroid and immune suppression. See: Unsaturated Fats and To Your Health, July 2005
∑ Avoid soy products (except for tamari or soy sauce). Soy has many adverse health effects plus contains three estrogens (called isoflavones). All estrogenic substances (natural, synthetic, herbal, and estrogen mimics such as PUFA and fluoride) inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3. See: Soy Toxicity
The Pro-Thyroid Diet
There are foods and supplements that support weight control. This is not a magic bullet. There is no "will-pill". You can't take all this stuff and go out for a hot-fudge sundae and expect to lose weight. But, if you eat a pro-thyroid diet, digest your food, do aerobic exercise, and are aware of emotional triggers to eating and have a positive focus on what you want to achieve, you can control your weight.
∑ The pro-thyroid diet means emphasizing foods that support good thyroid function: organic animal protein Ė at least 4 oz 3x/d, fruits (3 pieces daily), fruit juices (3 cups daily), adequate (to taste) white sea salt on all foods and in the fruit juices and coconut oil, the healthiest oil available. Olive oil and butter are healthy too, but coconut oil supports good thyroid function and can normalize weight when combined with the pro-thyroid diet. People have reported that eating 2.5 Ė 3 tbsp of coconut oil daily has enabled them to lose weight plus coconut oil has many other health benefits. See To Your Health, April 2005; To Your Health, October 2005; and Coconut Oil.
∑ Thyroid glandular: Most people who are over (or under) weight have a sluggish thyroid function. If you do need thyroid, you need to take a whole thyroid glandular, a whole food, not the synthetic kind (e.g. Synthroid or T4).
∑ Great Lakes Gelatin (cooked collagen) is the only protein powder I recommend. It is a pro-thyroid food because it contains amino acids that balance the anti-thyroid amino acids in muscle meats. There are several expensive collagen products available but Great Lakes Gelatin is the purest form and is inexpensive. One tablespoon = 6 grams of protein. It can be added to juice, water, soups, etc., or, you can make your own delicious jello salads. See To Your Health, January 2005
∑ Colostrum: Many people who take this report not only better health and less infections but decreased fat and weight loss. Try adding Colostrum powder to your morning drink or take the capsules if they are more convenient. See: Colostrum
Abraham-Hicks: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/videos.php. See the video clip on weight loss. You can order the CD or the DVD.
Lee, Lita, Ph.D., The Enzyme Cure, published by Ten Speed Press
Loomis, Howard, D.C., Enzyme Replacement Therapy, published by 21st Century Nutrition, 6421 Enterprise Lane, Madison, WI 53719
Peat, Ray, Ph.D., www.RayPeat.com Excellent website with many articles and books.
Disclaimer: I am a chemist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I do not provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The FTC requires that we tell you that the results in case notes and testimonials published here are not typical; however, they do show what some people have been able to achieve. Individuals vary, which is why we must always consider the whole person when recommending a course of action. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general information purposes. The listing of specific disease terms is based upon medical literature and is not a substitute for competent medical advice. If you suspect a medical condition, you should consult a physician.
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Lita Lee, Ph.D.