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How detox can help you jump-start your metabolic engine...

Posted Sep 17 2008 12:18am

How can you lose up 10 pounds in 7 days?

I'll show you exactly how a patient of mine did it without even asking me for help.

Remarkably, he then lost another 10 pounds over the next two weeks, revitalized his health, boosted his energy, improved his mood and cleared up his skin.

How did he do it?

It's simple:  he addressed two of the biggest causes of disease and obesity that are mostly ignored by conventional medicine.

It's something I'm reminded of every time I see patients.

Two of the biggest causes of disease and obesity are mostly ignored by conventional medicine.

But not in my practice!

You see, I've come to understand that without addressing these causes, I simply cannot help my patients heal from chronic illness or ongoing poor health or help them lose weight.

At The UltraWellness Center, I work with other doctors and nutritionists to help patients address the underlying causes of their problems.

When I was in conventional family practice, I just helped mask symptoms with medication while diseases smoldered on unchecked.

But now every day is a joy -- because my patients get better! 

When I wrote my last book, UltraMetabolism, my goal was to address all of the potential root causes of obesity and poor health. 

Two key causes I talked about were inflammation and toxicity.

Thinking about why these problems happen, and how to deal with them is just not something I was trained to do in medical school. 

But now, identifying these problems is the first place I start when I want to help people feel better and truly heal from chronic diseases -- like heart disease, asthma, and obesity, just to name a few.

After working with thousands of patients for more than 20 years, heading the medical department of the world's top health resort, Canyon Ranch, for 9 years, and as acting as the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, I have discovered what works and what doesn't to give people quick results for revitalizing their health and achieving weight loss.

What's my secret?

Well, the very same things that make people sick also make them fat!

And being fat creates even more sickness and disease -- including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, dementia, and diabetes.

So the answer to effective, long-term weight loss is to address the underlying causes of obesity and disease.

For most of you out there suffering with weight issues, there are two key causes: toxicity and inflammation.

But could losing weight really be as easy as correcting these causes?

The answer is "yes, but..."

My patients and readers often ask for something quick and easy to help them get started and lose weight. 

I've been very reluctant to provide something, because I don't believe in diets or the promise of quick weight loss just to drop a few pounds.  

But after much prodding and pushing, I agreed to create a program that anybody can use to get started on the path to health -- with weight loss as an automatic side effect. 

You see, I've realized that, indeed, in my practice, I DO help people deal quickly and directly with toxicity and inflammation. And they see astounding results very quickly. 

But my goal is never weight loss.

Instead, my goal is always to deal with the true causes of ill health or damaged metabolism.

I've also realized that what I ask people to do is truly simple -- in fact, it's ultrasimple! 

For just one week, I ask people to do an experiment, to give their body and soul a holiday, a change for renewal and regeneration and revival. 

It's so simple.

You just stop eating toxic and inflammatory foods and substances and replace them with detoxifying and anti-inflammatory foods. 

Try it for one week, notice what happens and how you feel and only THEN can you connect what you are doing with your body to how you feel.

What happens when you do this?

Besides increased energy, you may lose the puffiness in your face and around your eyes, and your skin may even glow.

Your senses may be heightened. You may sleep better, have fewer allergies, and have more mental clarity.

Your joint and muscle aches may disappear and all your digestive problems, like irritable bowel syndrome and reflux, may vanish.

How can this be?


First, take away the things that make you toxic and inflamed.

Second, provide your body with foods and activities that help you detoxify and cool inflammation.

Your body does the rest -- automatically!

It has a natural ability to find balance and heal once you stop doing things that throw it off kilter and provide things that put it back in balance.

By eliminating the major sources of toxins in your life -- addictive substances such as coffee, sugar, alcohol, processed food, fast food, junk food, trans fats, and high-fructose corn syrup -- and reducing toxic stress for only 7 days, your body can renew and rejuvenate itself.

By eliminating the major sources of inflammation in your diet -- food allergens, sugar and flour products, and bad fats -- your body can heal.

You have the power to transform your life forever by choosing to work with your body, rather than against it.

The body knows what to do if you simply get out of the way. If you give it a rest and a chance to repair and heal, it will.

You may even realize how bad you were feeling and how great you can really feel.

All this is possible if you address toxicity and inflammation.

The program I've created gives you a chance to discover just how good you can feel in one short week. 

I will gradually explain exactly what this 1-week program is over the next 3 weeks.

But first, I'd like to share a story with you. It illustrates how effective these changes can really be.

==>  A Not-So-Uncommon Story

One day, a man who looked familiar showed up in my office. I had seen him at one of my lectures. On his own, he had decided to start what I recommended in my talk.

He just changed his diet, and miracles happened. He lost 10 pounds the first week and 20 pounds over the entire 3 weeks.

This is his story.

He is a 32-year-old father of two who works in insurance. When he got married, he was a fit 185 pounds.

But over the last 11 years, he had gained 55 pounds and was up to 240 pounds when he attended my lecture.

He worked hard, didn't exercise, ate lunch as his desk, and felt horrible all the time.

His idea of the perfect meal was a cheeseburger, fries and Coke.

He was tired of not living life to the fullest -- and ready for a change.

After hearing my talk, he started the simple 1-week program on his own.

Before he started, he had a laundry list of symptoms that would have been bad for an 80-year-old, but was really scary for a 32-year-old. He was headed toward heart disease, diabetes, and stroke within just a few years.

He was exhausted, and addicted to sugar, carbs, and caffeine.

He had no stamina, suffered from headaches and , sweated constantly, and had lost his sex drive. .

He had acne, bumps all over his back, waist, and chest, bloating, bad gas, reflux, postnasal drip and congestion, muscle cramps, anal itching , and dry skin.

He also had sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath.


His blood tests showed a high level of inflammation with a high C-reactive protein test. And his liver was toxic and fatty.

Not surprisingly, he was a physical wreck and felt horrible.

But within days, his life changed dramatically.

He cleaned up his diet by giving up sugar, caffeine, and junk food and eating whole foods.

He simply changed the type of food he was eating, choosing anti-inflammatory and detoxifying foods instead of the junk food he was accustomed to consuming.

He got off dairy, gluten, eggs, sugar, and yeast -- the main food allergens.

He didn't even exercise or add supplements.

In short, he just fed his body the way that it was designed to be fed.

What happened was remarkable.

Not only did he lose 10 pounds effortlessly in 7 days (and 10 more pounds over the next two weeks), but his cravings disappeared and he stopped waking up every morning with a sneezing, runny nose.

His energy and his sex drive increased, his muscle cramps went away, and his skin cleared up. His irritable bowel syndrome and gas went away, and his reflux stopped.

All this -- in only 7 days!

When the program ended, he kept the good habits he had created, and was able to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

When he came in to see me, I encouraged him to start exercising and gave him a good multivitamin, fish oil, and herbs and nutrients to help heal his liver, such a milk thistle, lipoic acid, and n-acetylcysteine.

And he only got better.

After 4 months, he lost over 40 pounds, his liver healed, his inflammation went away, and his testosterone levels improved.

He was a different person!

Not only did he lose weight, but he got his health and his life back.

Now he most likely won't end up with heart disease, diabetes, and morbid obesity like the rest of his family.

==>  The Simple Keys to Good Health

First, let's review the first key concept in my approach -- toxins and detoxification.

Most obesity can be effectively treated using lifestyle interventions based on a whole-foods, low-glycemic-load, phytonutrient-rich diet combined with exercise and stress management.

But there are people who do not respond predictably to normally successful approaches.

New scientific research links environmental and internal toxins to disruptions of key mechanisms involved in weight control.

This may explain why some people continue to struggle to lose weight despite doing all the right things.

They may be toxic.

So what are toxins and how do they interfere with weight loss?

I refer to toxins in the broadest sense -- the sum total of our poor diet, chronic stress, and environmental pollutants that overload and poison our bodies and minds.

Let's face it -- We're living in a sea of toxins.

They include toxic foods such as sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, food additives and preservatives, pesticides, and hormones and antibiotics in our food and water supply, as well as mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.

But toxins aren't just found in the world around you.

They also include toxic thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs that keep you chronically stressed. These thoughts produce a flood of hormones, such as cortisol, that promote weight gain around the middle, increase your blood sugar and blood pressure, and even kill brain cells.

Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxins from your body and your life. It's a natural and critical part of your biology.

But what happens if your body doesn't detoxify as it should?

Well, your metabolism might not work properly, for one thing -- and that can lead to weight gain.

Let me explain.

Toxins interfere with metabolism, overload your liver and kidneys' detoxification systems, disrupt the brain's weight-control systems, promote insulin resistance, alter circadian rhythms, activate the stress response, interfere with thyroid function, increase inflammation, damage mitochondria (your body's calorie- and fat-burning furnaces), and lead to obesity.


No wonder your metabolism could be out of whack!

Although the effects of environmental chemicals on metabolism have been largely ignored, a few researchers have started connecting the dots linking toxins with the obesity epidemic.

Toxins affect your metabolism in several ways.

First, thyroid hormone function is altered by toxins.

The liver excretes more of your active hormones so your thyroid and metabolism slow down. And the thyroid receptors (the docking stations for thyroid hormone) are damaged.

Second, toxins interfere with appetite control mechanisms in the brain.

Third, toxins promote inflammation, which increases insulin resistance. This promotes fat storage and leptin (the "feeling full hormone") resistance, which in turn prevents your brain from recognizing that you are full.

Fourth, toxins damage the energy production in your mitochondria, the little factories that turn food and oxygen into energy. There are thousands of these inside your cells and when they are damaged, your metabolism grinds to a halt.

And lastly, oxidative stress and free radicals created by toxins activate signals inside your cells to slow metabolism and increase insulin resistance.

For more scientific background and references on this subject, see the scientific paper I wrote called "Biotransformation, Detoxification and Weight Loss: Systems Biology, Toxins, Obesity and Functional Medicine."

I recently presented this paper on how toxins affect weight at a medical conference, and you can read it at

This link includes all the articles at the conference, if you are interested.    It is a bit technical, but I want you to know the clear scientific evidence of the link between toxins, obesity, and disease.

So now you know that you are probably toxic.

What can you do about it?

You can do a lot!

First, you need to avoid toxins. Second, you must boost your own detoxification systems.

Here's how.

==>  Eat High Quality Protein to Boost Detoxification

Your detoxification system relies on the right balance of protein, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to be effective. All these play a role in helping rid your body of toxins.

For example, adequate protein is required to supply the amino acids (which are the building blocks of protein) used by the liver to help create glutathione.

Glutathione is the body's most critical antioxidant and detoxifying molecule --and one that is easily depleted in the face of chronic exposure to toxins.

Protein also provides the amino acids critical for many of your body's detoxification pathways.

So getting enough protein and the right types of it -- such as eggs, whey protein (if you are not allergic to eggs or dairy), beans, nuts, whole grains, and lean organic animal products -- can help your body handle the poisons it is exposed to every day and help you lose weight.

==>  Be Colorful

Many phytochemicals (colorful plant chemicals) enhance detoxification pathways.

These include dark-colored plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), green tea, watercress, dandelion greens, cilantro, artichokes, garlic, ginger, rosemary, turmeric, citrus peels, and even cocoa.

The phytochemicals called polyphenols found in berries, green tea, and cocoa turn on genes that help boost glutathione, which is the most critical agent your body has for removing toxins.

So eating a colorful diet full of these detoxifying molecules can protect you, and help you lose weight!

==>  Sweating Out Toxins

Heat therapy is an underutilized treatment in medicine, but one that has big benefits.

It helps balance the nervous system, reduces stress, lowers blood sugar, burns calories, and boosts the excretion of pesticides and heavy metals through the skin. Sauna therapy is an established treatment for chemical poisoning.

So get sweaty and take a sauna regularly.

Hopefully, I now have you thinking about how toxins affect your health and have given you some ways to address this problem.

In next week's blog, I will show you the second critical key to losing weight and regaining your health in this expedited, 1-week program:  inflammation. 

I'll show you how inflammation is one of those root causes of disease and obesity, why you get inflamed, and how to cool off -- all in less than a week.

Stay tuned!

Now I'd like to hear from you...

Which of these toxins are you exposed to?

Have you noticed how your diet affects your health?

What steps have you taken to detoxify your body? What were the results?

Have you had any challenges getting rid of these toxins?

Please click on the Add a Comment button below to share your thoughts.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

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