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on September 10, 2008
Warning: If you follow Dr. Berg's plan properly, you will need to cut out alcohol, coffee, tea, processed foods, sweets, pastries, breads, grains, potatoes (i.e., most carbs), and junk food of any kind, i.e., 90% of what makes up the average American supermarket, and average American diet. Can you handle it? This book might not be for you.

On the good side, you do not need to cut calories, you can eat fatty foods like avocados and olive oil, don't need to worry about the fats in meats (within reason), eat as many eggs as you want, you must not let yourself get hungry, don't necessarily have to exercise that strenuously or that often, and when you reach your goal, you can add back some of those foods you cut out originally (except the really bad stuff).

I learned about this book because my chiropractor uses it. The title emphasizes fat-burning, but early on he makes it clear that gaining weight is just one of many symptoms resulting from a body out of health, because one or more of your organs are unhealthy and poorly functioning. He focuses on adrenal glands, thyroid glands, the liver and ovaries. This state of poor health is due to the average American diet - high in refined carbohydrates and toxic chemicals added to the meats and vegetables we eat, and to our over-stressed life-styles and sleep deprivation.

Over the last few years from my mid 30s to mid 40s, I've had a number of annoying symptoms building up more and more that doctors have shrugged their shoulders about and sent me on my way: chronic sinus headaches, allergic rhinitis, ringing ears, gradual development of food sensitivities (can't eat bread or anything with wheat now), endometriosis and ovarian cysts, chronic fatigue, chronic anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and weight gain around the middle are a few. I tried following the reduce-calories-and-exercise-more doctrine for the weight gain, and after a year I was exactly the same weight as before. None of these things made any sense, based on all the stuff I was reading about how to lose weight. I couldn't figure out what to do about the other stuff either. So when I read Eric Berg's book, I could not put it down!! He explained every one of those symptoms - why they happen, and what you can do about it! I was so excited! Finally! Someone understands!! So I'm not going crazy! It was almost like he knew me!

The book is very clearly written and very easy to follow. The author does tend to be repetitive, though. Some people might be put off and think there is too much to wade through, but actually, a lot of it is just explaining the same thing over again in a different context.

You need to determine what body type you are at the beginning: adrenal/ovary or liver/thyroid. You do this by taking a questionnaire of your symptoms. Weight gain is one of the symptoms, and the shape of your body is indicative of which glands or organs are not functioning well. Then you follow the meal plans and exercise for that body type. What is interesting is that if you are an adrenal/ovary type (like me) you shouldn't do high impact exercise if you're trying to lose weight as that will stress the adrenals more, and is more likely to lead to more fat being deposited rather than fat burning. Instead you should do a low impact, aerobic workout. So that explains why I was never able to lose weight with exercise until now.

I have been following the diet for 3 weeks now, starting with the 14 day Liver Enhancement diet, which is supposed to be almost entirely raw vegetables and fruit. Reading all the reviews other people wrote, I think most people are not as bad as I am with their adrenal function, because after 3 weeks I only lost 3 lbs of water-retention, and no fat loss. He explains that adrenal types tend not to lose too much weight right at the beginning and explains why. However, my body's pH went from a 5 (way too acidic) to a 7 (perfect!). He explains why you need to have a more alkaline (pH 7) body for long-term health and weight loss. No long-term weight loss unless you take care of the pH problem, folks. And it is eating all that veg that does it (plus the cruciferous supplements if you want to speed the process along). I should add that the only reason I know about my adrenal fatigue and pH values is because my chiropractor and holistic MD did tests.

One further word of advice for anyone who tries this who is also suffering from adrenal fatigue. You might feel really exhausted, heavy-limbed and light-headed when you start the Liver Enhancement diet. Some people from the other reviews seem to have felt better straight away. You might not. For some people it might take a while. That's what happened to me. I had to add meat back in in order to make it from day to day, which is what he suggests for the adrenal/ovary types. However, I do now have much better sleep!!! and my sex drive is back, and I am amazed to say I am not craving chocolate and cookies with tea/coffee any more!! I couldn't go through a day without a chocolate and tea break. So just bear that in mind. You might think you could never stop drinking coffee or eating bread, but you might be surprised... Any way, the nice thing is, once you have reached the state of health and weight loss you want (could take a few months, don't expect instant results) you can start adding those things back into your diet again if you want - though he points out that most people are less interested in junk food once they are healthy as it is being unhealthy that makes you crave these things in the first place.

I would suggest everyone should read this book. Whether you follow the plan or not is up to you, but you should be aware of how and in what way our diet and life-style can cause us ill health and weight gain, and know there is something you can do about it if you choose to.
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on April 19, 2008
I bought this book on referral from a friend who had lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks doing the Liver Enhancement phase. I like this program over Atkins because some fruits are allowed and even encouraged early on in the program. I've lost weight on The Atkin's diet before but lately I wasn't getting the weight to budge that way. This book explains in detail how much hormones and what we eat can trigger or stifle those hormones. Also, how different types of exercise can also help or hinder. I would recommend it to anyone who can't figure out why what they are doing isn't working. It may be one little thing that needs to change to switch over to fat burning. You'll find out what it is here in this book.
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on April 22, 2009
This book is a godsend! I have tried every popular weight loss program on the market and nothing has worked long term. Either my food cravings will break my will power or I will do everything perfectly, see little weight loss after the first 2 weeks and then I'll get depressed. I have never addressed my weight by making my hormone levels healthier. I have been following this program for less than one month (23 days) and I've lost 13 pounds. My coworker started a week afer me and she has lost 14 pounds. Even though we are different body types we are still seeing tremendous results. I will have to give-up my "favorite" foods for the rest of my life (cakes, ice cream, pretzels, pasta, etc.), the difference with this program is I don't care about those foods. Even if I don't lose another pound, no cravings alone, makes this book and program worth it! It's not a matter of will's a matter of hormones. Get this book and come out of the dark.
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on February 22, 2008
If you're tried every diet and exercise program known to man, then you're ready for this book and it all makes total sense. Your body is a fat-burning machine but if your fat-burning organs are not operating in peak condition, it becomes almost impossible to burn fat efficiently. The key to weight loss is to get healthy first and then you'll lose the fat. I've lost 18 pounds in about three months following this program and haven't done a lick of exercise. It's slow, gradual,healthy and permanent. This is "the thinking man's" guide to weight loss. Don't take my word for it. Read for yourself.
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on July 26, 2008
Unforgettable. Very well written, easy to read and understand. Finally a book that explains why we have multiple symptoms that all seem too insignificant by themselves to bother a doctor, but when lumped together under a body type that is not being nurished properly, become a major issue in our everyday lives. Since receiving this book three weeks ago, I have followed the Liver Enhancement plan, I have lost 3 kilos (about 6lbs), feel less hungry, feel more energetic, and have better control of my blood sugar levels as a type 2 diabetic. I have also stopped taking Lipitol and feel more positive and clear headed than I have for years.
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on August 5, 2009
I ordered the book and cruciferous supplements from the acutal Dr. Berg website. After reading the book, I realized that this diet is not for me. Don't get me wrong: The book points out some very crucial points about how the body works and why people cannot lose the weight, but the process is a little strict for me. For the first 14 days one must completely cut out sugar, processed foods, and caffeine. The fruits and vegetables that you can eat are extremely limited, and the idea of gulping down apple cider vinegar, cranberry juice (not the sugary kind) and lemon juice twice a day is harrowing. I do not have that much self restraint.

I am not saying that it isn't "do-able." I am just saying that if you can't fathom two weeks without a cookie, diet soda, or bread, or if you will need a drill sergeant to make sure you stay away from those things, this diet isn't for you. It won't work if you cheat.

One other thing I would like to advise you of: If you are a woman of African-American, European, or Hispanic ethnicity, I would definitely contact your doctor before doing this. The reason being because Dr. Berg talks about certain symptoms of body types that will be confusing to the ethnic backgrounds I listed above. I come from a family of "hairy" women: I have hair on my chin and upper lip, and have been that way since I was stick thin and knee high to a cricket. I also have never had normal menstrual cycles, but neither did my mother. This book tends to lean towards folks who have developed those symptoms along with weight gain.

One thing I did like were the "regular" meal plans that were listed. I enjoyed the fact that there was so much variety in the meals, and I was actually excited to try some of them out. I plan on adding more cruciferous vegetables to my diet!

All in all, I think it is a wonderful idea and that it will work for people who can stick to it. It just wasn't for me.
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on January 29, 2009
This is not a diet book. It's a book about how your metabolism really works...FINALLY! Don't waste time on diets,supplements or exercise programs that won't work with your individual metabolism or may even cause you to be more imbalanced. Dr. Berg really takes the complex issue of metabolism and streamlines the science into an easy to read and easy to follw system. I wish Oprah would read this book.
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on June 16, 2008
I've studied nutrition for years. The stable factors I know are 1) don't treat the symptoms, as you'll never get anywhere and 2) you must get the endocrine system (hormones) working well or you'll never get anywhere. So FINALLY there's a "diet" book that simply gets you, through the foods you eat and don't eat, to balance the endocrine system and actually get healthy. If you're healthy you will lose fat, gain lean muscle mass, sleep well, handle PMS etc etc etc -- all those symptoms. And, finally there's an author who actually defines the terms he uses so you can understand what he's saying thus be able to think with the information!

Thank you!!
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on July 25, 2008
Dr. Berg is a life saver! Upon entering my 40's I had slowly been putting on weight year after year, until now at 48 and with an underactive thyroid, I was almost ready to give up hope! I had read every "diet" book out there, and either the diet didn't seem healthy enough for me, or it was too hard to follow, or was just too painfully slow. I've been eating organically for the last 3 years, but it didn't seem to be working for me! Dr. Berg explains what you need to do to alter your diet to get the weight to come off! Even if you are over 40. His explanations, at least to this more cerebrial type, are what I've been looking for to get myself into the right frame of mind concerning my weight and my health. It's all in the attitude and how you view things, and his book has definitely changed my outlook on eating. I'm forever grateful.
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on August 25, 2009
I haven't finished this book, but it has been a quick read so far. I am pregnant, so I'm not able to go through the Liver Enhancement Plan (which everyone needs to do, according to Dr. Berg). Actually, I'm glad I can't do the Liver Enhancement Plan (diet) because it is very strict and would be very hard to follow - especially if you're a mom of more than one child (I have three and one more on the way).
Dr. Berg shares vital information for why our bodies store fat and how to trigger fat burning hormones. I have found this book to be very eye opening and would recommend it to anyone who has had that stubborn "age related" weight to lose. I've actually changed my body, while pregnant, to be leaner and more energetic! Giving up sugar isn't as hard as it may seem at first. I've been sugar-free for two months and I feel so healthy! I'd recommend reading this book if you're looking for a healthier way to live - and - if you're disciplined enough to go through the program and stick with it.
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