While working as a consultant to employers on their health benefits, Janice has observed one health insurance industry gimmick after another, including managed care, fail to control costs and keep people healthy. In her continuing work in the health insurance industry, she sees every day the devastation that obesity and illness brings to both individuals and companies struggling to stay in business and provide benefits. Janice has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Aging from University of California, San Francisco - one of the country's leading health sciences campuses. She is certified in plant-based nutrition through the T Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell. She also has an M.B.A from University of California, Berkeley.
Vegetarians in Paradise review of The Perfect Formula Diet appears at http://www.vegparadise.com/vegreading.html
How to Protect Your Body While You Lose Weight
By Janice Stanger, Ph.D..
As obesity levels skyrocket, weight loss is an elusive goal for the two thirds of Americans who are overweight or obese. The most commonly recommended approach to thinning down, which is portion control and lots of "lean protein," simply does not work. After a few days or few weeks of hunger and deprivation, the famished dieter typically gives up. The end results are yo-yo weight, despair, and worse health than ever.
Yet those stubborn pounds can easily vanish into history. The secret is a whole foods, plant-based diet. Choose a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, beans, potatoes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. Avoid animal foods and manufactured foods (including oils, margarine, and protein powders). Eat when you are hungry. Pay attention to your body, so that you stop eating when you are full.
On this eating plan you will likely lose a sustainable one to two pounds a week. Some dieters yearn to shed pounds faster. Misleading programs make silly promises such as "lose two dress sizes in the next week," or some similar exaggerated claim.
The truth is that it would be unhealthy to lose weight that fast, even if it were possible. First, you want to get rid of fat, but retain muscle. When you cut calories too drastically, your body can start disassembling your muscles for fuel and other raw materials to survive.
Too rapid weight loss can also permanently slow your metabolism. This means you will naturally burn fewer calories in a day in the course of your normal activities. So you will gain weight more easily once you start eating a reasonable amount of food.
Dr. Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggests the rule of ten for dieters. That is, at a minimum you should consume at least ten times your ideal weight daily in calories to keep your metabolism from getting sluggish. For example, a dieter who has an ideal weight of 120 pounds should eat at least 1,200 calories a day. On a whole foods, plant-based diet, following the innate hunger signals from your body, this should naturally happen.
A powerful reason to lose weight at the pound-or-two a week pace is that, as your fat shrinks, dangerous persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are dumped into your bloodstream. Persistent organic pollutants are deadly chemicals linked to thyroid and hormonal disruption, immune system suppression, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and more. A study in International Journal of Obesity included 1,099 adults. The researchers found that those who lost the most weight over one and ten years had the highest circulating levels of POPs.
POPs dissolve in fat. This means they usually remain on the surface of plants, but collect in the fat tissues of animals. This process, called "bioaccumulation," can magnify POP concentration up to 70,000 times more than the original amount in the environment.
Animal foods - including meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products - are the likely source of 89% to 99% of the POPs dissolved in your fat. While fish are generally the most chemically contaminated food, organic plant foods have the lowest POP levels. POPs get into the environment, and then animal foods, from pesticides, herbicides, building materials, plastics, flame retardants, personal care and household cleaning products, construction and electrical materials, and many other man-made products.
A study in British Journal of Nutrition found that vegans had lower levels of several POPs in their blood than omnivores did. The researchers concluded that vegans are less "contaminated."
Use these suggestions to protect your body against the devastating effects of the POPs which permeate our environment.
With a whole foods, plant-based diet you can enjoy all the benefits of getting to your ideal weight while protecting your body against the weight loss process itself.