This is our first web page newsletter and it got a bit long since there aren't the space constraints that a mailed newsletter has. If you got the postcard, you know that I will be out of the office a few extra days this summer for some quality time with my kids. I hope you will be doing the same with your loved ones!
This is the time of year when most of us scrutinize our bodies to see if we are ready for bathing suits and shorts. For some of us our bodies are never ready, for others it is a time to flaunt it. In the past I have talked about stops to weight loss from problems like weak thyroid, adrenals systemic yeast, parasite infections, etc. So what is the best diet for losing weight? The simple answer is the one that works! But in reality the list of different diet approaches is so long and diverse, it makes it nearly impossible for most people to sort out.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Once Dr. Atkins of the "high protein, low carb" camp and Dr. Ornish of the "low protein, high carb" philosophy were on a panel discussion together. The only thing they both agreed on was that their own ways of eating made them feel great. Consequently, everyone should eat that way. People who felt good eating a certain way or have a specific philosophy about food wrote most diet books. Authors and "diet experts" are promoting everything from juice fasting and vegetarianism to a meat and cheese diet. What's a poor endomorph to do?!! Since there are a gazillion different diet books on the market, each one has to have its own gimmick or slant to make it appear different from the others. One thing that most of them advocate is eating less food or overall calories because that helps everyone lose at least a little weight.
Over the past several months I have been reading and testing several diet books and programs. The Paleo Diet and the Fat Flush Plan are both good programs that are pretty easy to follow. The Paleo Diet is based on the premise (gimmick) that we should eat like our caveman ancestors who apparently were pretty healthy before they were eaten by some wild beast. Their diet, based on the author's research, consisted of meat, veggies, fruits, nuts and an occasional egg here and there. No refined sugar, dairy or grains were consumed in this hunter-gatherer existence. This diet is very similar to the yeast diet and can help a lot of people lose weight. Since it can get so boring eating like this, the author allows 1-3 "cheat" meals per week to consume the forbidden carbs. This also seems to help minimize the dieting plateau that everyone eventually hits. The diet menus are also pretty low in calories, which the author stresses as important.
Fat Flush Plan
The Fat Flush Plan, by Ann Louise Gittleman is similar in the beginning to the Paleo Diet in that you avoid the sugar, grains and dairy products. But the Fat Flush plan makes you drink hot water and lemon juice, cranberry water and a Long Life Cocktail several times a day. The premise is that these help flush out fat and toxins from your liver and lymphatic system so you lose weight faster. Phase two of the diet brings back in some grains and starchy vegetables. Phase 3 brings back in dairy and other grains and veggies. Low calorie intake is also stressed with this plan. The author suggests you journal daily about everything you eat, do and feel during this process. I think food diaries are good to help keep you on track with any diet. If you have to write down everything that you stuff in your face, it eliminates "closet" or hidden eating and unconscious eating. While I agree that most people have toxic livers and lymphatic systems, I don't think that the small amount of lemon-water and cranberry water is really flushing out fat and toxins. But it does get people to drink more water which I'm all for.
She does make a good point in the book about how over-worked adrenals can stop your progress and even make you gain weight. This is why most of the caffeine and ephedra diet pill programs don't work in the long run. But then she contradicts this and allows you to have a cup of coffee each day. My guess is that she wanted to make it easier for more people to follow.
Both books are easy to read and have programs that are well laid out. But what about the people who follow the programs and don't lose weight or even gain weight? We are right back to our original dilemma. I think the answer to that problem is described in Dr. Haas' book, The False Fat Diet. He blames individual food sensitivities as being the hidden variable that sidetracks most diet plans. If you are highly sensitive to grains then the Paleo diet would work great and the Ornish diet would make you fatter. If your body reacts to meats but loves grains then the situation would be reversed. I think Dr. Haas' book answers the question of which diet program is best. It is the one that avoids the foods you are reactive to and allows you to eat the ones your body does well with. In other words your best diet program is specific to you and can't be found in a program written for the masses.
His book clears up why two diet programs can be diametrically opposed yet still be successful for many people. You either have to keep trying different programs until you stumble on the right combination that works for you or you have to figure out your own food sensitivities and create your personal eating program.
I've been stating for years how Dysbiosis (systemic yeast and/or parasites) can cause you to be reactive to the foods you eat the most. He agrees with this and goes a step further to state that eating a lot of foods you are reactive to can inhibit your immune system and make you more susceptible to systemic infections like yeast and parasites. Sounds like a chicken verses the egg problem!
So what is a reactive food and how do you find yours? A true food allergy causes hives, swelling; difficulty breathing and a quick trip to the hospital before you die type of reaction. This is caused by the IgE antibodies of your immune system responding to an allergen in the food. Most people know if they have a true allergy to some food and go out of their way to avoid them. Reactive or sensitive foods cause the IgG antibodies to respond and they create a subtler list of symptoms. Gas, bloating, indigestion, tiredness, hyperactivity, sweating, runny nose, flushing, diarrhea, fatigue, water retention, brain fog, PMS, headaches, joint pains, sinus congestion, hormonal imbalances, food cravings, mood swings, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, hypoglycemia, ADD/ADHD, Fibromyalgia, hay fever, skin conditions, chronic pain, eating disorders, Candidasis, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, allergies and asthma. That's quite a list! The most significant reaction is that it tends to make us bloat and expand. That quickly reverses when those foods are avoided and you can lose several inches and 5-10 pounds in a week.
The Sensitive Seven
Dr. Haas has been using this program of eliminating reactive foods from people's diets for over 20 years with great success. It is individualized to each person and not to some list of foods that are "good" or "bad". The Sensitive Seven are the foods that are the most common reactive foods. They are dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, soy, peanuts and sugar.
With this new information, there goes the whole notion of "health foods". That yogurt and granola breakfast might be making you sick instead of healthy. Women are being told to eat lots of soy products because of the phyto-estrogens yet soy is reactive in a lot of women and can cause the same bloating, weight gain and other PMS/Menopause symptoms that it has been touted to relieve. Eggs are a great source of protein but not if your body reacts to them. "Got Milk"? Hope you don't in most cases.
The Other Usual Suspects
Dr Haas lists foods that many people have reactions to like grains containing gluten, tomatoes, shellfish, citrus, chocolate, potatoes, coffee, aspartame, MSG and other food additives. Whole wheat and other grains seem to be commonly reactive in people who have to battle their weight. Consequently, the high carb/low protein diet dogma of the past 15-20 years has made us fatter as a nation, not slimmer. Also, men are being told that tomatoes are great for reducing prostate problems but they are reactive in some men. So if you have felt frustrated and confused by all the dietary do's and don't that you hear each day, you are in good company! The old proverb "One man's meat is another man's poison" certainly seems to apply.
Finding Your Reactive Foods
There are a few ways to find out what you are reacting to. One is to get a blood test that measures your IgG reaction to about 100 common foods. This test is usually around $200 and can give you a good starting point. It is not 100% accurate but it gets you in the ballpark. We can order the test kits for you and have the test results back in about 1-2 weeks. The next way he recommends is to eliminate a few or a lot of foods from your diet and see how you feel. Then slowly add some back in to figure out your reaction to them. Lastly, we can test you for food allergies with Applied Kinesiology or muscle testing. Though Dr. Haas is not too keen on it, as he mentions in the book, he does admit that it sometimes works. We find it works more than sometimes but, like all tests, it is not 100% accurate either. The best is a combination of all three.
To find your sensitive
foods via diet, Dr. Haas gives you a range of choices as to how you do it. From
the strictest to the easiest they are:
The Juice Fast Elimination Diet
The Total Elimination Diet
The Sensitive Seven Elimination Diet
The Limited Elimination Diet
The Juice fast elimination diet is the strictest but gives the best results. If you have a lot of physical problems or more than a few pounds to lose, this would be the best place to start. If you only have a few pounds to lose then you could start with one of the easier programs.
Everything is clearly outlined in his book along with food substitutes for the Sensitive Seven, sample menus for each of the programs and lists of food families. Did you know that almonds are in the plum family? I suggest you read and start the programs in Part Two of the book first, then go to the beginning and read the whole book. That way you are already benefiting from the program while you learn about why it works.
Get 'Em While Their Hot!
Getting the book is a must for everyone trying to do this program. Some of our patients had trouble finding a copy of The False Fat book so we ordered a few boxes of them to make it easier for you to get one. We'll knock a dollar off the cover price of the book for you until our supply runs out. We think the information in this book is that important to your health.
The good news is that after avoiding these foods for awhile, getting your immune system stronger by clearing up infections and other physical imbalances, you can eat many of these foods again. Eating a large variety of foods on a weekly basis helps to prevent these sensitivities from coming back. Also, I can desensitize you to many of the foods you are allergic to via Acupressure tapping on the Master Set points.
Food Allergy Testing
Call Emi, at the front desk, if you are interested in getting food allergy testing in the office. Be sure to specify food allergy testing so she can block enough time for the appointment. It takes awhile to go through the testing and to figure out your reactive foods. If you want to get the blood test tell her that also and we will get the test kit for you. Anyone who has been frustrated in his or her previous attempts to lose weight should definitely give this program a try.