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LeBootcamp Diet: The Scientifically-Proven French Method to Eat Well, Lose Weight, and Keep it Off For Good Hardcover – April 14, 2015
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Ms. Orsoni comes to the rescue with yet another insightful book on healthy eating and living. She does so with her constant presence of charm, wit, and positive mental attitude.
Obesity and the general degradation of healthy lifestyle has been one of the greatest challenges in medicine over the last twenty-five years. As a society, we are getting heavier, and our busy lifestyles are exposing us to the unhealthy ingredients in meals prepared outside the home. The added weight we carry is increasing our risk of a host of medical problems, from liver disease to cancers.
I have read many diet books and tried many programs, as these proliferate like bunnies in a carrot patch. This book is different in several important ways. First, Ms. Orsoni understands the importance of gradual weight loss. Rapid weight loss can result in nutritional deficiencies and unexpected new medical problems such as gallstones and inflammation in the liver. The gradual and stair-step approach in this book minimizes these risks. This approach also allows for a program of sustainable weight; the changes readers will be making are healthy habits that will benefit them over a lifetime. The best part: We can achieve health and weight loss without deprivation, enjoying delicious food in a healthful way.
Unlike fad diets, LeBootCamp Diet, with its four phases—Detox, Attack, Booster, and Maintenance—offers many health benefits beyond weight loss. Ms. Orsoni’s eating plan shows us how to deliver antioxidants to our systems to help fight disease, particularly cancers. The use of antioxidants may help combat the constant DNA damage our bodies’ cells are subject to from inflammation. Ms. Orsoni shows the way to both reduce some of this inflammation in the first place and, secondly, how to fight the toxic effects when it is there. This book also delves into some of the problems with modern foods. We have genetically altered foods under the guise of improved farming and production. One result has been the use of wheat with dramatically increased gluten content. Medicine is just beginning to understand the problems associated with gluten, even in people who do not have celiac disease.
LeBootCamp Diet shows us the way to good health and a happier life with food that is delicious, satisfying, and good for us.
Let me introduce myself.
I am a woman just like you.
I have battled with weight issues and frustrating fad diets for years.
I do not believe in a life of deprivation and yo-yo dieting.
After trying more than forty diets (Cabbage Soup, Paleo, the Pineapple Diet, low-calorie, dissociated [food combining], fasting, high-protein, and more); counting points with group meetings; feeding myself from pre-packaged food; after losing and regaining weight that eventually burst the seams of my jeans; after feeling taunted by so many failures and demoralized when I looked at myself in the mirror, I woke up one morning and decided that I had simply had enough!
Tired of nonsensical approaches, ranging from terribly restrictive menus to dangerously protein-rich diets, I decided to educate myself in order to understand my excess weight better and attack it intelligently.
To do this, I joined forces with my father, who was also overweight at the time. Together, we committed to maintaining a gourmet approach no matter what (we loved eating too much to deprive ourselves continuously—we are French, after all).
It may seem like something from the Stone Age, but our research led us to the library—this was well before the Internet had made its appearance in our homes. There, we devoured books on nutrition, fitness, even psychology! Gradually, we began to gather together and put to the test those concepts that seemed logical and healthy. Along the way we came to terms with the fact that if it had taken us years to gain weight, it would be unreasonable to attempt to lose it all in two weeks via tasteless meals and mono diets.
The results? After one year of a patchwork approach, which brought together everything that worked from each diet we researched, we had achieved our ideal weight, losing a total of 150 pounds between us, without any suffering or deprivation.
And then? My friends began asking for my help to get healthy and slim. I was burning out in a fast-paced corporate job at the time, so I decided to give greater meaning to my life and share this knowledge with millions of women like myself who were on the verge of giving up. Thus was born LeBootCamp.com.
Not being a doctor myself, I was soon facing criticism from those medical professionals who promote diet pills and supplements. Despite giving airtight explanations for the concepts I had proven, the program’s blatant success appeared to mean very little when not dressed in medical jargon. Clearly, it was too late in life for me to go to medical school, so I surrounded myself with dozens of experts who knew more than me—physicians, dietitians, scientists, Olympic athletes, nutritionists, and psychologists—in order to test out my theories. These experts confirmed what my father and I had discovered, and together we set out to continuously improve and perfect our program.
Unlike those “miracle diets” that have remained unchanged since the seventies, LeBootCamp Diet evolves constantly, embracing new medical and scientific discoveries and ensuring that its techniques remain effective over the long term. We are diligent in our work: Indeed, we require that any new concept absorbed into LeBootCamp Diet be supported by at least five double-blind medical studies on a representative sample (a sample of five people is not valid!), according to serious and verifiable protocols.
We conducted a study to monitor eight hundred women who followed LeBootCamp program over a period of 6 months. The sample was divided into two groups of four hundred: the first group for a cholesterol study and the second group for a glycemia control study. After one month on the LeBootCamp program, the average weight loss for both groups—besides improvements in glycemia control and cholesterol levels—was 13 pounds. And after 6 months, the average weight lost and never regained, rose to 28 pounds.
Although I initially started my program catering only to the needs of women, I soon realized that BootCampers’ male partners also liked the recipes, the stress-reduction exercises, and our fitness routines.
So, don’t hesitate to share this book with your boyfriend, a male friend, or your partner. Enroll them in your program. Make them taste your new dishes; invite them to cook with (and for!) you. Very soon, you will have a slimmer partner—and your most loyal supporter!
In fact, except on the Turbo Detox Days, your family can totally eat like you, as the vast majority of recipes will appeal to all palates. No need to cook separately then. This will save you time, which you can use instead to exercise or practice yoga to reduce stress levels.
You now know why I created my healthy lifestyle program, a diet that works and that will make you feel good about yourself, that will help you reclaim your body without deprivations. Even if you have tried dozens of diets before, trust me and come and try it for yourself. I am excited to share your journey to your dream body. Let’s get started!
To Cleanse Your Body
To Lose Weight
To Speed Up the Process!
To Ensure You Never Regain Lost Weight
The foundation of the program. A 2-week phase, where my top 10 detoxifying foods are incorporated into balanced menus designed to nourish your body with antioxidants, eliminate toxins, and give you more energy.
WHAT YOU ACHIEVE: The first pounds are shed quickly, energy is regained, skin is glowing.
KEY CONCEPT: Detoxification.
Now that your body has been cleansed and the first few pounds are gone, you are ready to attack the stubborn weight that remains and reduce cellulite. This second phase lasts as long as it takes to lose 75 percent of the weight you need to shed. With my guidance, you will establish healthy life habits and learn how to balance your daily meals.
A Turbo Detox Day (TD Day) is featured every week, to promote the elimination of toxins and enhance weight loss. You will gradually integrate new foods and flavors into your diet through delicious, light recipes. During ATTACK you will find weight loss effective and motivating, allowing you to reach your ideal weight with ease.
WHAT YOU ACHIEVE: Stubborn pounds are targeted, attacked, and eliminated; you lose 75 percent of the weight you want to shed; cellulite is greatly reduced; body is toned.
KEY CONCEPTS: Glycemic load and its impact on weight loss. Additionally, during this phase I will introduce you to the concept of benchmarking, a strategy that ensures you continue to lose weight as you go along. You’ll learn how to transform those dreaded “plateaus” into secure milestones, each one a personal victory.
This enhancing routine lasts 7 days and recurs several times throughout the program. You should repeat it every time you reach the end of a benchmark during the ATTACK phase or, once you are in the MAINTENANCE phase, whenever you feel the need to renew yourself; for example, after a girls’ weekend, after a holiday where the food was plentiful and irresistible, after a period of intense stress at work, or if you are keen to achieve a flatter stomach. This short phase will also help you gain a flat stomach thanks to the latest studies and discoveries in gut health. We will explore how certain foods can increase the level of our candida, thereby leading to bloating and pain. Conversely, we will help you identify which foods can help reduce this problem, thereby helping you get the flat tummy of your dreams.
Throughout these short intervals, we abstain from meat, dairy, yeast, gluten, and alcohol in order to truly support the detoxifying functions of our body.
WHAT YOU ACHIEVE: A cleansed body more able to lose pounds quickly, and a flat abdomen.
KEY CONCEPTS: Intense cleansing and the yeast connection.
This last phase is unlimited. With the help of this book, and also with our Facebook page (facebook.com/groups/lebootcampdiet) and its active community; our website (LeBootCamp.com); and our Twitter and Instagram feeds (twitter.com/valerieorsoni; @valerieorsoni), you will learn to create balanced menus for yourself as well as handle various life challenges: restaurants, parties, social engagements, traveling, and so on.
Once you have shed your final pounds, your weight will naturally stabilize. Physical activity will become an integral part of your daily life as you tone those last few stubborn areas. By then you will know how to avoid nutritional pitfalls and the trap of fad diets. You will be ready to pursue your healthy journey independently and with confidence, and will never regain your lost weight!
WHAT YOU ACHIEVE: Your ideal weight is maintained and your energy levels are high. You love your body!
KEY CONCEPT: Alkaline-balancing to support a healthy life and keep the pounds off.
1. GOURMET NUTRITION
Some eat to live. I live to eat, and personally, I am convinced that there is nothing worse than a life governed by deprivation and tasteless meals. Yes, I promise you, we can live a healthy, long life AND enjoy delicious foods from all food groups.
Back when I was a child growing up in France, my dad was a chef and I had the privilege of being introduced to a cuisine rich in diversity that shaped my taste buds—though, I must admit, there are foods I cannot even imagine myself eating anymore (think snails or tripe). Let’s go back to our roots, when we truly enjoyed everything that nature has to offer. There are no forbidden foods in my program!
2. EASY FITNESS
Let’s face it, we all have hectic lives and rarely use our gym membership (that is, if we can afford one in the first place). We need to reclaim our birthright and rediscover what our bodies were designed to do when we were fit and trim without the gym. There is a direct correlation between the advent of gyms, food labels, new diets, and obesity, and it is not what we think. The obesity epidemic did not, in fact, give rise to these. Shockingly, it is the reverse. By infantilizing society, these familiar props of modern life have only worsened the problem.
In truth, in our most natural state, we shouldn’t have to suffer, military style, to get in shape, or force ourselves to sweat for hours at the gym. This is precisely what the fitness aspect of my program is about: getting your heart pumping and your muscles moving without too much effort—the “in-shape-no-sweat” approach. Follow my “25th-hour” exercises and you’ll see how easy it is to fit exercise into an already busy day.
Knowing what’s right is not enough. The proof? Hundreds of books have been published on health and dieting by doctors, gurus, nutritionists, nurses, dietitians, and coaches—yet still, nobody has succeeded in reducing the obesity epidemic.
On the other hand, learning what works one day at a time, while incorporating small but effective new techniques, is the surest path to a slimmer you. A study conducted at the University of California–Berkeley proved this fact beyond any doubt. Two groups of individuals were observed over the course of 18 months: the first one was given all the instructions to lose weight in one “sitting,” while the second was given one element per day for 90 days. After 18 months, the second group had lost twice as much weight and kept it off for longer than the first group.
This is why I can guarantee that, if you follow my program, you will win the fight against those stubborn pounds one day at a time, step by step, until you reach your perfect weight. For the days when you feel down, when “motivation” is a meaningless word to you, when diet saboteurs challenge your grit, I will arm you with proven techniques to help you stay on track, no matter what.
4. STRESS AND SLEEP MANAGEMENT
Despite multiple studies linking stress to obesity, the connection is commonly overlooked and causes many diets to fail. Since a happy dieter is a successful dieter, I offer you a guilt-free approach, based on proven strategies that will help you reclaim your inner peace and lessen your stress levels. This will, in turn, reduce your cortisol levels, improve the quality of your sleep, and trim down belly fat. Focused exercise, abdominal breathing, visualization techniques, and my own widely-respected motivational methodologies will bring your body and mind into closer harmony. Your energy will soar.
Because of my own negative experience with fad diets and simply because of the way I am wired, my approach is underpinned by the highest level of respect for you. You can trust that I abide by a strict code of ethics, in that everything I share with you is based on solid medical and scientific foundations. I’ve tried to present these principles in a fun way, to make them easier to understand and implement in your everyday life.
Everything we do in life should have a positive impact on our health and well-being. That’s why my most fundamental objective is to enhance your fitness and vitality. After risking my own health with dangerous diets, I am now totally committed to a healthy lifestyle. And this is what I share with you in my program, firm in the belief that a healthy body is one that sheds pounds faster (faster as in when your body is all in balance the pounds will melt off more easily than if your body is toxic) and does not regain lost weight.
I’ll be brief: Quality goes hand-in-hand with the highest standards of ethics and health; I will never compromise these standards. I am dedicated to making sure that the products and services I present to you are always of the highest degree of excellence. Enough said.
Boredom and monotony are largely responsible when it comes to diet failures. Just take one look at how short-lived high-protein and mono diets turn out to be. I love exploring new foods, new concepts, or new fitness trends, which keep me on my toes and always on the lookout. Count on me for sharing new products and ideas with you that will make your weight-loss journey easier and more fun.
To stay informed of all my new products and concepts, check my blog regularly at www.valerieorsoni.com.
1. NO FORBIDDEN FOOD GROUPS
FACT: Banning certain foods leads to yo-yo dieting.
Because I have experienced firsthand what happens when you’re deprived of certain foods, I made a promise to myself never, ever to inflict such extreme measures on my body again. Besides being unhealthy, this deprivation leads to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, which, in turn, trigger “yo-yo” dieting (lose weight, regain more, lose more, regain more, and so on).
Hence, no food group is banned from my diet. Some foods are evidently healthier than others—I recommend you avoid unnecessary toxins by eating organic as much as possible—and we will focus on them.
FACT: A clean body is a lean body. A clean body supports rapid, healthy weight loss.
Our body certainly has the right equipment to rid itself of the toxins we produce, ingest, inhale, or absorb through our skin. However, in our fast-paced world with increased environmental pollution, the rise of pesticides and other chemicals in our food chain, and the extremely high levels of stress we face, our bodies are under too much strain for basic detoxification functions to be sufficient. Hence a DETOX phase, a Turbo Detox Day (TD Day), and a recurring BOOSTER phase to support the body’s cleansing ability.
FACT: An acidic body is a tired and vulnerable body. An alkaline body is an energetic and healthy body.
We measure the acidity level of our system using pH-grading, aiming for a perfect urine pH of 7 (that of pure water) to best support all our bodily functions. Most important, the rate of our weight loss improves when our body has the perfect alkaline-acid balance.
4. SUGAR MANAGEMENT
FACT: We all consume too much refined sugar.
A direct link has been established between the rise in obesity and the dramatic rise in sugar consumption (from 10 pounds per person per year in 1815, to 120 pounds in 2000). On top of pure sugar, we consume way too many high-glycemic foods, which turn our body into fat-storing machines. Together we will learn how to enjoy the sweetness in life without jeopardizing our weight-loss efforts.
DOES MY APPROACH WORK?
Don’t take my word for it! BootCampers from around the world have endorsed it. Check out their testimonials here: lebootcamp.com/testimonials.
Before letting you dive into the last diet of your life, let me also share with you the story of Patricia, my first-ever weight-loss client. It was exactly one week after Thanksgiving 2003 when I launched my online weight-loss coaching website. As much as I had mastered subjects like nutrition, fitness, and coaching, I was a total beginner when it came to business: I had no business plan, no business bank account, nor any idea of the price at which I would set my services. Let’s face it: I had launched my business without thinking at all about its structure—so full of joy and hope was I at the prospect of helping other women around the world reach their ideal weight!
I was riding the Caltrain, which links San Francisco to the suburbs. A rather plump woman next to me struck up conversation.
“Gosh, you’re lucky to be so skinny!” she said. “Mother Nature has been kind to you. You look amazing!” To which I replied, “Mother Nature is kind only if you help her. Trust me, I waged a battle against unwanted pounds for as long as I can remember, until I worked out a healthy strategy to get the results I’d wanted for so long. Now, I am actually launching my very own healthy program online.”
“What a great idea!” she exclaimed. “How much does it cost and when can I get started?” This marked the beginning of a great adventure during which Patricia lost 44 pounds, which she never regained.
So, are you ready? Great! To help you get started, here are 10 steps I recommend you follow before embarking on phase one of my program: namely, DETOX.
TOP 10 PRE-DETOX STEPS
• Decide on your weight-loss goal: Write it on a Post-it and place the note on the mirror in your bathroom as a constant reminder.
• Involve your friends: Sharing a goal means being accountable. Social networks make your life easier when it comes to finding support. Sign up your friends in your fight against those unwanted pounds.
• Decide on the start date: This is vital! By consciously choosing your first day, you will have taken the step that will guarantee that you get started.
• Grocery shopping: Stock up on everything you will need for the first week (go to the menu plans here to check out the menus and draw up your shopping list).
• Get rid of temptations: Give away everything you won’t be eating during the DETOX and BOOSTER phases.
• Buy your equipment: To get the most out of my program you will need a juicer, a blender, a pedometer (or an app on your smartphone that counts steps and distance), and a pair of well-fitting walking shoes. If you don’t have everything right away, don’t fret! For instance, if you don’t have a juicer then you can mix your fruits/veggies in a blender and strain the juice with a piece of muslin or cheesecloth.
• Walk: Start walking for 30 minutes every single morning before your breakfast—but after your morning drinks: lemon water, green tea, and Sobacha. Get your heart pumping! (P.S. Studies show that this is most beneficial, but if you absolutely cannot walk in the mornings, do so on an empty stomach before lunch or dinner.)
• Pre-detox: Not quite ready to start today? No problem! Get set right now by doing a few things to make sure you don’t keep delaying the true start. Get going by eliminating red meat and dairy from your daily meals.
• Drink water: Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Keep in mind that hydration needs vary from person to person. The best way to determine if you should drink more is to look at the color of your urine; if it is dark yellow it means you aren’t drinking enough; if it’s clear, you are already doing a great job.
• Weigh yourself! Do this right now, and then once a week, if that works for you. Once you begin the DETOX phase, weigh yourself daily or at least every other day. After the DETOX phase, I suggest you stick to a time frame that works for you: If you find daily weigh-ins too stressful for you, then go for weekly weigh-ins, but never have more than 7 days in between weigh-ins to make sure you stay on track. (I personally like a daily weigh-in to stay on track.) Record your starting weight on “Your Weight-Loss Progress Page”.
WHAT IS MY IDEAL WEIGHT?
aLL WEIGHT-LOSS experts (me included) have tried to come up with a perfect formula. Even if it is important to know how to calculate one’s ideal weight (because this will be our target), you should remember that there is no perfect solution, no magic number.
Indeed, among all the formulas dreamed up by doctors, online calculators, and insurance companies (which very often add 4 to 22 pounds to what we consider our sexy, ideal weight), it is extremely difficult to know whom to trust, especially when we are also being bombarded with images of extremely skinny models in women’s magazines.
So how can we evaluate our ideal weight? Start by using the Creff formula, which calculates your ideal weight (in kilograms) purely from a health perspective. (There are many online conversion calculators you can use to convert your results; try www.onlineconversion.com.) This formula corrects the more famous Lorentz formula as it brings in two further considerations: age and morphology.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I can never be skinny because I have big bones”? Well, with the Creff formula, the size of your bones is taken into consideration. In terms of morphology, for an individual with a slight frame, 10 percent is subtracted from the weight calculated for an average person. Conversely, for someone with a large morphology, 10 percent is added to the average ideal weight.
To determine if you are small, average, or broad, place the middle finger and thumb of your right hand around your left wrist:
SMALL your thumb slightly overlaps your middle finger
AVERAGE your thumb and finger just touch
BROAD your thumb and finger don’t even touch
[(height in centimeters)—100 + (age in years/10)] x 0.9 x 0.9
[(height in centimeters)—100 + (age in years/10)] x 0.9
[(height in centimeters)—100 + (age in years/10)] x 0.9 x 1.1
NOTE: This formula is only one indication of your health. It is totally possible that your perceived ideal weight (the one at which you feel proud of yourself in your bikini) is under (rarely over) this number. For example, my ideal weight is 8 pounds under the weight determined by the Creff formula.
It is essential to keep in mind that your ideal weight is the one you can maintain without depriving yourself and without intense efforts. For instance, I am 5 feet 3 and have a small morphology. If I weigh 106 pounds, I look hot on TV and in a bikini, but it is extremely hard for me to maintain this weight, and I need to truly deprive myself to stay at that level. I get ill easily and my energy levels are low. Now, if I use the Creff formula my ideal weight is 121 pounds, but then I feel heavy and sluggish—far from the energetic bunny I have become famous for being. However, when I am 115 pounds, I am generally at the top of my game, energy-wise, and almost never sick.
Now it is your turn to determine your ideal weight, using the Creff formula to start with, before comparing it with where you feel your best. This will be your personal “cruising weight,” and the one we will be aiming to reach and maintain.
DETOX YOUR LIFESTYLE AND RESET YOUR BODY TO LOSE YOUR FIRST POUNDS RAPIDLY
FACT: Stress is fattening; the accumulation of toxins stemming from our lifestyle, environment, and food prevents us from losing weight.
RULES OF THE DETOX PHASE
• Detox your body with 5 detox foods per day. It is very important that even if you modify the menus, you stick to this magic number.
• Drink Sobacha every morning, plus 3 cups throughout the day. Sobacha is an infusion made with toasted buckwheat. The recipe is here.
• Drink lemon juice with water every morning.
• Avoid red meat; cow dairy; eggs; rich sauces like tartar or hollandaise sauce; sugar products; heavy foods like mayonnaise, pizzas, or enchiladas; gluten; and alcohol, all of which can overload our system in different ways.
• We do 5 “25th-hour” exercises per day.
• We manage our stress with abdominal breathing exercises.
These first 14 days of my program are critical to the success of my weight-loss strategy. That is why I urge you not to skip directly to the second phase (I know some might be tempted). Everything has been designed to put you on the right track to a slimmer you. Thousands of women have followed my program, and it’s thanks to their valuable feedback that I have been able to devise and adapt this first, vital phase.
I must warn you right away: These 2 weeks won’t be the easiest in my plan. But rest assured, they remain true to my philosophy of yummy nutrition and easy fitness. If you’re feeling apprehensive, just project yourself to the place, 2 weeks from now, when you’ll be feeling the full effects of this detox: Your first few pounds will have vanished, leaving you feeling lighter, more energetic, and highly motivated!
WHAT IS A DETOX?
In the strict sense of the word, detoxification means helping our body get rid of addictive or toxic substances.
The word detox appeared for the first time in an American women’s magazine in 1973—a time when our world had started spinning faster and our days were becoming more hectic: moms working but still keeping their full-time job as moms; technology that was supposed to help us be more efficient but instead blurred the lines between life and work; longer working hours; economic crises pushing individuals to work longer and harder to make ends meet; and the list goes on and on. Incidentally, that is when we also noticed a spike of overweight people in the Western world.
Forty years later, this term has broadened to cover a vast range of therapies, from the rehab of substance-abuse addicts to extreme fasts designed to flush toxins out of the system to simply abstaining from a variety of indulgences.
WHY DO TOXINS PREVENT ME FROM LOSING WEIGHT?
A toxin is a substance that our body does not need and which requires energy to be eliminated. Even some elements vital to our survival, such as certain nutrients, can become toxic in large quantities. As my grandmother used to say, “Too much of a good thing can be bad!”
Not only are we surrounded by toxins—bacteria, parasites, viruses, pesticides, pollution, and chemical products (including chemical-loaded beauty products)—but we also directly ingest a large portion of toxins via the food we eat. Thus, food becomes our number-one source of toxins! Remember that toxins can be carcinogenic, and “carcinogenic” means “can cause cancer.”
The beauty of the detox process is that food, our first source of toxicity, is also the best and easiest way to clean up our body. What’s more, weight loss will automatically begin as you start to detox!
How so? Our body handles toxic aggressions by encapsulating toxins in fat cells; hence, the more toxins we carry, the larger our fat cells become. The detoxification process helps reduce the area of fat mass where these fat-soluble toxins are stored.
Here’s the equation: When we reduce the toxin content in our body we reduce the quantity of fat that is stored. Then we enter a virtuous circle where we have fewer toxins to store and, therefore, less fat required to store them.
HOW DOES THE BODY ELIMINATE TOXINS NATURALLY?
The word detox, is, unfortunately, often misused by charlatans around the world touting miracle pills and potions to cleanse the body. And it greatly antagonizes some doctors, who refuse even to acknowledge that the concept exists. They argue that the body is naturally equipped to clean itself through its hepatic and kidney functions and that detox programs serve no purpose.
However, those old-school doctors might as well go back to . . . school! You need only to look at an alcoholic’s liver or the lungs of a heavy smoker to realize that even the perfectly programmed human body has its limits when it comes to getting rid of toxins. Yet there’s just no need for expensive (and, sometimes, dangerous) detox products or programs. My DETOX phase is simple, proven, affordable—and it will help you shed your unwanted pounds. Trust your coach!
THE BODY HAS DEVELOPED TWO WAYS OF ELIMINATING TOXINS
1. Internal: Our body has an extraordinarily complex system that modifies, attacks, and eliminates threats to our health. For hundreds of thousands of years, the human body has been reliant upon this system. Unfortunately for us, with the drastic increase in the number of toxic products we are now exposed to, and their poor quality, our liver, stomach, immune system, kidneys, and lungs can’t cope with the load anymore. So, we need to support our organs by way of a complete detox program.
2. External: Our skin can also help us eliminate a large quantity of toxins, thanks to the sweat glands. Supporting this function is very easy: You need to sweat! You can do this either by exercising, or—even more efficiently—by sitting in a steam room or sauna for a prescribed time.
NOTE: Never stay longer than 20 minutes in a sauna and never use the sauna as an alternative to exercise or a healthy diet.
In our daily life, we can point the finger at three major sources of toxins that are responsible for, among other things, our extra weight: food, stress, and external pollutants. Together, we shall take action against those three culprits.
eXTREME DIETS can actually be a source of toxins. If you have ever followed a high-protein diet, you have most likely regained all the weight you lost; you might also remember that during this diet your skin looked dull, your breath was terrible, your energy low, your mood swings extreme, and your headaches frequent. Nutritionist associations and some followers of high-protein diets have even reported kidney failure as a direct result of this diet.
Why? Because your body is not equipped to eliminate the excessive amount of protein residues (ketone bodies) generated when exposed to a radically high protein intake. These residues are toxins that have to be eliminated through our kidneys. This is why you have to drink a lot of water on a high-protein diet.
The same toxic punishment results if you follow a mono diet like the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Pineapple Diet, or the Lemon Juice/Cayenne Pepper Diet.
And if you think that fasting will solve the problem, you are totally mistaken! In fact, pushed outside its healthy comfort zone, our fasting body will get its energy from fat stores and from our muscle mass (not from our digestive tract or glycogen reserves as in a normal, balanced diet). This leads to a high production of waste, causing an increase of the toxin levels in the body.
Our refined modern diet is often characterized by excessive protein and a deficient fiber content, with too much saturated fat, too much sugar, and too much sodium (that’s your table salt).
More than 2,800 substances (preservatives, artificial colors, sweeteners) are used by the food industry to improve taste, texture, color, and the shelf life of products. The problem is that these additives often increase the toxin levels in our body. Add to these the pesticides used to grow your food and you have an explosive mix of toxins that the body struggles to excrete, leaving it exhausted (one of the reasons you’re feeling so tired!).
TOP FIVE TOXINS IN OUR FOOD
1. Mercury from Large, Carnivorous Fish
I love fish, as they are rich in healthy fats (those famous omega-3s, said to boost brain function) and lean protein. Fish possess precious nutritional qualities. The problem is that they are also contaminated by environmental pollutants like dioxins, methylmercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and so on. Mercury can mainly be found in fatty fish like tuna and the flesh of other wild predators in the fish family. Because they are so high up the food chain, larger fish accumulate more of those pollutants by eating smaller fish.
Chronic exposure to mercury has been proven to have terrible health consequences, notably for our nervous system, leading to tingling in the limbs, blurred vision, hearing problems, and cognitive deficiencies. Exposure to methylmercury while pregnant can also trigger neurological developmental delays and growth issues in the fetus. Furthermore, methylmercury can also have an adverse impact on our digestive system and kidneys.
For these reasons, I advise you to limit yourself to small fish such as anchovies and sardines, wild fish from protected places like Alaska (although they will still contain some environmental toxins, owing to water flowing freely around the globe), or organically farmed fish. I really insist on organic fish farming, as non-organic fish farms frequently use food with questionable ingredients, some of them very toxic. Don’t take my word for it, go and visit one!
2. Pesticides and Chemical Treatments Used in Agriculture
Some environmental toxins, like chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and other synthetic products used by the agriculture industry, can be found in the fruits and vegetables you buy at your favorite market. The problem with these toxic elements is that, once ingested, they can mimic our “body messengers,” or hormones. That is why pesticides are often called “endocrine disruptors.” Some pesticides are capable of mimicking the effects of estrogens—hormones produced naturally by our body—and can cause numerous illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Overexposure to estrogens has also been proven to increase the risk of breast cancer. Indeed, by affecting your endocrine system, those pesticides can affect the actions of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers, such as serotonin) and have a negative impact on your metabolism.
FACT: The average Golden Delicious apple receives 32 chemical treatments from the time of pollination until its arrival on your plate. Go organic!
3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
The term fructose syrup makes us think of ordinary white sugar, in its liquid form. However, high-fructose corn syrup is actually far from natural and is becoming increasingly common in our food. You may well be consuming it without even knowing. Check the labels on your sweets, breads, and ready-made meals. Even innocent-looking crackers may contain it. So, what is it?
This syrup, invented in 1957, is made primarily from cornstarch. Its low cost—three times less expensive than sugar—together with its superior sweetening and taste-enhancement properties, make it a perfect candidate for the manufacturing of low-priced sweets and baked goods. It’s now ubiquitous on supermarket shelves and is slowly but surely replacing the traditional sucrose (ordinary white sugar) in processed foods.
Replacing sucrose with high-fructose corn syrup has little or no impact on taste. However, the effect of HFCS on our hormonal functions is an invisible menace.
But why, you might wonder, is fructose a “good” sugar when present in fruit, but not when it is found in HFCS? Fructose in fruits is okay because it is combined with fiber, water, and other ingredients. Isolated from fiber (which slows down the digestion of sugar) and consumed in large quantities, HFCS will increase our triglyceride (fat) and cholesterol levels, leading to an over-storage of fat and excess weight.
I’m sure you get the picture: In order to remain slim or to lose weight, you must become an educated shopper and always read food labels. If you see HFCS, fructose/glucose sugar, fructose/glucose syrup, corn sugar, or corn syrup on the label, don’t buy it!
4. Artificial Sweeteners
I am deeply convinced that the black sheep of the dieting world is artificial sweetener. Official studies and meta-studies prove that it is largely responsible for the obesity epidemic and for the fact that the vast majority of overweight individuals find it hard to lose weight.
These sweeteners have been invading our food for decades. With a sweetening power equal or superior to that of regular white sugar, artificial sweeteners don’t contain any calories. What a miracle! Finally to be able to consume sweet foods without putting on weight—who hasn’t dreamed of it? So, what’s the catch?
Researchers have found that if we trick our brain into thinking that we are eating something sweet without the intake of calories our body is expecting, the sweet craving is exacerbated. A study by Irish researchers looking at the impact of diet drinks on the eating habits of ordinary people (not athletes) proved this beyond doubt. They concluded that diet drinks and foods blur our ability to sense hunger.
FACT: Diet foods can be a trap. They are expensive and can never replace a balanced diet.
Let’s look at the most often used sweeteners on the market and you’ll see that some represent a far healthier choice than others:
• Acesulfame-K: This synthetic sweetener has a sweetening power 200 times stronger than that of regular sugar but contains zero calories. It is highly resistant to heat, so can be used for baking. However, it is literally too good to be true, as it can’t be metabolized by the body. To be avoided.
• Aspartame: This artificial sweetener, also called E951, was created in 1965 and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Since its launch on the U.S. market in 1974, it has caused a great deal of controversy but, owing to a very powerful lobby, it has succeeded in remaining in our food. It can now be found in almost all “diet” or “light” yogurts, baked goods, sweets, chewing gums, and ice cream.
Even though aspartame is calorie-free, it still affects your blood sugar levels just like white sugar would, by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. This reaction causes the body to store more of the “real” food you’ve eaten, in the form of fat.
That’s why even low-calorie carbonated drinks (very likely to be sweetened with aspartame), transform you into a fat-storing machine. What’s more, if the fizzy drink is served freezing cold, as is commonly the case, your appetite will be further intensified and you will most likely order more food. In terms of drinks, you are always better off with water or green tea (which has a low caffeine content).
NOTE: In December 2013, the European Food Safety Authority published a report claiming that aspartame is safe and poses no threat to our health. It is interesting to note that in the United States this sweetener is not recommended for pregnant women or diabetics—but this is not the case in France, Italy, or the UK.
Top Customer Reviews
PS: she looks much much slimmer in person!
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
Valerie's method is guiding you in this transformation journey. You change your energy level by eating healthier and being more active. You're getting addicted to the exercise. The beauty is you do not need to hit the gym for hours everyday or running miles and miles: you choose your activity but simple walking will make it. Who can't walk? You also learn being patient because the faster you loose, the quicker you will take these pounds back. Each phase comes with its suggested menus, all so simple and delicious. The goal to reach a permanent "New You" is more than achievable! Her guidance will make you succeed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The recipes alone are worth the price of the book. My husband and daughter unknowingly have gone on the diet with me. Their comments - "have you been taking a cooking class? Read morePublished 6 months ago by PJV