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, special shakes, and others have helped some people, but overall, we’re a bigger, 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 several 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 currently obese. Since 1980, rates of overweight 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 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 engage in 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 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 by exercising and changing your eating habits.

A healthy diet is essential to lose weight. This doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. Eating bigger meals earlier in the day instead of later will help keep you from losing weight. While you sleep, your metabolism slows down. Eating a big 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 a day. More and more people are eating processed, sugar-laden, convenient foods that are lacking in 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 sodas 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 three weeks and, as always, first be sure to consult your doctor, nutritionist or chiropractor before starting, to see if it is right for you. It is meant to be temporary.

detox diet

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 necessary, such as olive, sunflower, canola, fish, flax, and borage oil. Spices are fine; Ginger and turmeric are highly anti-inflammatory.

Restricted Foods: All grains, bread, pasta, cereals, rice, sweet fruits, juices, candy, cakes, 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 your processed starches and sugars, as these particular items 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