No Grain Diet Hardcover – Apr 29 2003
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Obesity Epidemic
After more than three decades of consuming less fat and more carbohydrates, the average American is gaining weight at an alarming rate. We are eating sixty pounds more grain and thirty pounds more sweeteners than we did twenty-five years ago. The effects are clear: over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. With excess weight the single, most important factor in the onset of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, we now face an epidemic with health costs skyrocketing to $1.5 trillion. As medical experts desperately seek answers, I am thankful I can offer an effective and time-tested solution in The No-Grain Diet.
For over a decade, the No-Grain Diet has been the centerpiece of my medical practice, used by hundreds of thousands of patients who visit my wellness center and my website. While the medical debate has simmered below the surface of media attention, I've been quietly refining my dietary strategy with nearly miraculous results. And finally, both doctors and the general public are recognizing a growing body of scientific evidence that supports what I've advocated all along. Eating certain kinds of carbohydrates, not fats, causes escalating weight gain and wide-ranging health problems.
According to writer Gary Taubes, in his cover article in the July 7, 2002, New York Times Magazine, new research confirms that the USDA food pyramid, the low cholesterol heart disease diet, and the medical recommendations to eat less fat and more carbohydrates "are the cause of the rampaging epidemic of obesity in America."
The Culprits in Weight Gain
Fats aren't to blame for weight gain! In studying our endocrine system, new research I'll detail more fully in the next chapter finds that the real culprits are grains, starches, and sweets. These foods trigger a hormonal cycle of grain and sugar addiction, weight gain, and diabetes. That's why eliminating all grains, starches, and sugars for a limited period of time is the best way to reprogram your cells to burn fat. Erasing the signals that prompt you to eat will help you overcome cravings and addictive food urges. Combining these two approaches, the No-Grain Diet provides a comprehensive strategy that will help you rewire your physical and emotional hardware so you can lose weight and conquer carb cravings forever.
My program comes complete with:
The No-Grain Food Plan: A twenty-first-century diet in which you'll learn how to eat healthy foods amply while burning off poundage.
The No-Grain Recipe and Menu Directory: Gourmet dishes and meals that satisfy your taste buds and nourish your cells. In compiling these recipes, I've incorporated a wide range of meat and vegetable dishes from all ethnic and healing food sources.
The "Cravings Eraser": A mind-body toolbox (cited throughout as EFT) that will include instructions on how to:
Conquer grain and sugar cravings
Eliminate the emotional causes of overeating
Banish the post-diet "yo-yo" effect that puts the weight back on
But How Is This Different from Atkins?
Dr. Robert Atkins, whose diet was first introduced back in 1972, deserves the credit for his tremendous efforts in bringing the low-carb diet into the national spotlight. But just as the Atkins program built upon and improved previous dietary wisdom, the No-Grain Diet improves upon Atkins by overcoming certain built-in weaknesses in Atkins's plan, which impede your ability to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy sustainable fashion.
I provide a solution to the excess animal protein consumption featured on the Atkins's diet, which is cause for concern because:
Hormones given to meat and dairy cattle create a surplus of estrogens in humans-and my meat recommendations eliminate this concern.
Antibiotics in animal feed contribute to antibiotic resistance in people-and my emphasis on grass-fed and organic meat and dairy sources eliminates this concern.
Animal protein can over-acidify the body, causing bone demineralization and bone loss-while on my diet ample portions of raw and cooked vegetables will alkalinize bodily tissues.
My improved diet strategy addresses all these concerns while incorporating a wider range of healthier foods than Atkins or his successors. I include organic foods, more vegetables, and international spa cuisine recipes, as well as the most necessary supplements and proven mind-body tools to beat cravings for grains and sugars. Here you'll learn the way to optimize your diet, using the best recipes for raw salads, soups and juices, delicately seasoned vegetable and protein stir-fries and curries, savory breakfasts, gourmet meat dishes like grass-fed beef burgers, and grain-free desserts! In addition, I'll guide you in selecting the right proteins for you. Not all proteins are created equal, and customizing your protein sources is one key to successful weight loss long term.
Why Most Diets Fail
The vast majority of diets fail due to cravings for grains and sugars, which are symptomatic of grain addiction. Let's face it, no one's addicted to spinach, or other healthy greens, which contain complex carbs. But lots of people fall off their diets reaching for breads, pizza, or cookies. When Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution originally promoted a reduced carb diet, many people labeled all carbs as bad. The best-selling book The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet first drew national attention to the prevalence of carb addiction and its attendant health dangers. But despite their astute diagnosis, which rang true for millions of readers, Drs. Heller and Heller's food plan was ineffective. Why? Because they allowed dieters to eat ample quantities of grains, starchy foods, and sweets for a brief period every day.
It's as Easy as Erasing the Old Tapes
Diets fail because after the diet, you return to your old habits. It's not because you're weak-willed; it's because you do what your body tells you to do. Like sucking in your gut for a photo, you can stick to a strict deprivation diet for a short time. But you just can't do that forever.
Over 175 million Americans are classified as overweight (with a staggering 80 million of these classified as obese). Why? Because these folks did what their cells told them to do-they kept eating grains. Yet, with a new diet and new wiring, anyone can erase the old tapes and create a biological response that works in their favor.
As director of Illinois's Optimal Wellness Center, and founder and host of one of the world's most visited health websites, I have cared for over fifteen thousand patients at the Center and provide cutting edge health guidance and information to several million site visitors annually. Over a dozen years ago, I watched helplessly as one patient after another went through the frustrating cycle of diet followed by weight gain. Then with one patient, something clicked. Instead of urging her to try harder, or concluding that she had an obesity gene, or was otherwise doomed to dietary failure, I sought-and found-a way to change the messages that her body was sending. The grains and sugars that she was eating were actually programming her to crave and eat more fattening foods. As her self-esteem plummeted, mental messages reinforced this unhealthy eating pattern.
By reprogramming her body and mind with a new diet and new messages, she was able to lose weight and keep it off permanently. I continued to use, refine, and modify this plan and found that it worked for over 85 percent of the people who tried it.
One Giant Step to Losing Weight
The cornerstone of the No-Grain Diet is one simple secret to effortless weight loss. Eliminating from your diet:
Cutting down on these foods, which most diets recommend, doesn't work because even the tiniest bite of a grain or sweet will trigger your body to crave more. On the No-Grain Diet, you're going to get serious about weight loss and take a giant step forward. For a certain time period, you will totally avoid eating grains and sugars in order to change the messages your body sends you.
The three components of my weight loss strategy constitute a total reprogramming of your system for permanent weight loss. Total systemic reprogramming on the No-Grain Diet will transform you from an overweight person who struggles unsuccessfully to lose weight to a slim person in control of food addictions and cravings-forever.
Here's how it works:
First: Once you start eating the recommended foods, your cells get this new message: release fat and burn it. The end result: you lose weight. (See Chapter Two to learn the biochemistry this program is built upon.)
Second: With the diet, you'll also learn to use EFT (a psychological acupressure technique) to curb any remaining grain and sugar cravings. Instead of telegraphing the urge to eat fattening foods, your cells will send you the message to eat nutrient-rich foods. The end result: you'll permanently conquer food cravings and overcome grain and sugar addiction. (See Chapters Three and Four to find out if you're a grain addict and how EFT can help you overcome it. In Chapters Nine and Ten, you'll learn how to use EFT for every kind of obstacle you'll face in weight loss.)
Third: Using EFT, you'll change your self-image. Instead of telling you that you'll always be fat and there's nothing you can do about it, your cells will tell you that you're slim and have the right to be. The end result: you'll easily maintain your new, slimmer self. (Chapter Eleven will help you reprogram yourself for successful weight loss, heightened self-confidence, and abundant energy.)
Debunking the Fad Diet Myths
Eliminating all grains, starches, and sweets (in the initial phase) is the first step in reorienting your body's signals to transform you from perennially overweight to slim-and-trim. You'll find it's easy to be amply nourished and enjoy delicious meals without these foods. "But aren't grains healthy?" most people ask. "The Food Pyramid says I should eat more servings of grains than any other category."
Let me address this two-part question.
Yes, if you are at your ideal weight, whole grains can be healthy. But if you're overweight, it's likely that they aren't healthy for you. What's more, you're probably eating processed breads, pastas, and cookies-rather than healthy grains like quinoa, teff, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth.
Further, the Food Pyramid guidelines are ineffective for weight loss. They are based on theories already disavowed by such prominent nutritional scientists as Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard. Among these discredited theories are:
All fats are bad
All complex carbohydrates are good
All protein sources offer the same nutrition
High quantities of dairy foods should be consumed
Further, the guidelines fail to distinguish between healthy fats, like omega-3 fats, and trans-fats, shown by many studies to cause disease. Nor do the guidelines address the interaction between grain consumption and insulin balance. Why are the guidelines at variance with the best current nutritional and medical science? It may perhaps be connected to the serious conflicts of interest found by recent U.S. Court rulings to effect six out of the eleven members of the advisory committee that composed the USDA Pyramid guidelines.
From Publishers Weekly
"Don't be surprised if you never again want to eat starches, sweets, and grains!" Osteopathic physician Mercola stands on the shoulders of Atkins (and gives a nod to Gary Taubes, author of the New York Times Magazine cover article many believe blew the lid off high-carb, low-fat diets forever) to make big claims in this guide for overweight readers. Mercola's diet, which he's honed for over a decade at his Illinois wellness center, offers "near miraculous results," and will allow its followers to "permanently conquer food cravings," he says. The secret to lasting weight loss, according to Mercola, is to cut out starches, sweets and grains entirely. (Dieters on the maintenance program are allowed "healthy" grains-buckwheat, quinoa, etc.) But though Mercola offers three different eating plans (The Booster, The Core and The Advanced Food plan) and plenty of no-grain recipes, his program goes beyond mere dieting: Mercola is a proponent of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a kind of "psychological acupressure" that he says is "the equivalent of AA for grain addiction." Developed by Gary Craig, EFT involves tapping on pressure points in the face and upper body while repeating a healing, key phrase, such as "Even though I want to have pizza, I deeply and completely accept myself." Mercola's course for weight loss is an intensive one, with rigorous rules and plenty of additional components-lifestyle changes, supplements and self-affirmations-that take a lot more energy than calorie counting. But that's the whole point, Mercola says, because cutting back on calories or carbs alone leads to temporary weight loss at best. For those willing to dedicate themselves to such a program, Mercola's guide may offer real results, and the case studies he includes should certainly help with motivation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a more difficult path in some ways than buying boxes of low-carb sweets and bread mixes, and eating salads from the cellophane packages. Dr. Mercola encourages green vegetable juicing (no carrots or apple) with the pulp of the vegetables stirred back in, raw organic eggs, whey protein and chlorella algae to make a green breakfast shake to start your day. This is rugged stuff. After buying a dozen fresh eggs from the farmer down the road (living in a rural area has some advantages) I dug out the juicer and hand blender and whipped up one of these pea-green smoothies. I drank it down, humming the theme from "Rocky" to get up the nerve. It wasn't delish--but I did get a burst of energy that lasted well past what would have been lunchtime.
Mercola doesn't like soy (toxic to thyroids? has female hormone-like effects on men? Is this true?) and he really limits even favorite vegetables like carrots (too sugary) and beets (same deal.) However, he recommends you eat organic beef, ostrich, buffalo, organic chicken, fish, lamb. No pork. And plenty of good vegetables like dark leafy greens, cucumbers, fennel, spinach, celery, mushrooms and such. And organic eggs. This is not all bad. As you reduce weight, you can add in some fruit and mild sweets like barley syrup and maple. De.Read more ›
In Mercola's defense, neither the writer, Levy, nor Dutton editors did much to clarify and communicate his vision. The writing is stilted and humorless, the organization an afterthought. Readers will balk at the confusion between Phases and Food Plans. Inconsistencies abound: Foods allowed on one page are nowhere to be found on another. For example, oranges are allowed on the 8-meal Booster Start-up plan on page 68; yet, inexplicably, the same list (lots of duplication in this book) eliminates oranges on page 106. Without explanation, the plan itself is reduced to six meals on page 136.
With better editing and organization, and fewer contradictory menus, the entire tome could have been reduced to half its size, with twice the clarity. It's a prime example of how too much information -- right down to how to cut one's bacon! -- can spoil a vital health education.
If you can find a way to get past the book's choking design flaws, please do: The good doctor's prescription for real health is both impassioned and well-documented, eclipsing all other "diets" out there, past or present.
This highly exceptional doctor and team of therapists have helped me save my life, and at last he has written a dynamic book to reach the rest of the world! The tone is crisp, bright, and all inclusive (he doesn't miss not one fact that you will need to successfully execute this plan). I know this for sure, because for 12 months I have lived and practiced the 'No Grain Diet', as well as the other techniques mentioned in the book. As a result, I have regained my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I am no longer insulin-dependent after 25 years, have lost 70 pounds as a bonus, and experiencing what I call the 'windows of joy and passion' for life once again. I will live this plan the rest of my life!
This is truly the LAST diet book you will ever need to buy.
Dr. Mercola's plan is much more strict than Dr. Atkins' approach and it can be very difficult for people in certain areas to obtain the organic and/or grass-fed food sources Mercola recommends (although you can now find much of what you need through his web site store). So, starting a weight loss journey with Atkins and working up to Dr. Mercola's plan like I did may be an easier option for some. Just never lose sight of the true goal... optimal health. That is where Dr. Mercola's plan will take you.
Dr. Mercola is an extraordinary man who proves he really cares about helping others through education - not high priced pills. I highly recommend his book and his newsletter. There is no health newsletter out there that gives you more information for the bargain basement price of $0. Thanks Dr. Mercola!
Most recent customer reviews
Written by J. Mercola in 2000, still one of the most shocking truths ever written about nutrition and health. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Lyn Kemp
Too many people don't know the truth behind weight gain and the effects of grain in their diet! This author is a medical doctor and extremely knowledgable. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2012 by Patricia A O'Keefe
As a previous patient of Dr. Mercola, I experienced being put on a program which basically drained me financially. Read morePublished on July 16 2004
I found this book in the library and checked it out because I was curious about the accupressure techniques. Read morePublished on May 27 2004
THE NO-GRAIN DIET IS DYNAMITE!!! I've been hearing so much about low carb diets that I couldn't resist trying to find out what they're all about, and that led me to Joseph Mercola... Read morePublished on April 23 2004 by B. h Grey
I'm a fan of Dr. Mercola. I've had a myriad of different problems from my lungs and sinuses to acid reflux and joint problems. Read morePublished on April 19 2004
I have read several of Dr Mercola's unscientific remarks on diets and he has paid no attention to the global consequences of his advice. Read morePublished on March 10 2004
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