RESET YOUR BODY
How to Lose Weight Permanently and Feel Better Than Ever Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Excerpted With Permission From the January 2006 Issue Of Women’s Health Wisdom, Dr. Northrup’s Monthly E-Letter
“Did you ever wish your body had a Reset button?” This is a phrase USANA Health Sciences uses to create interest in its 5-Day High- Fiber Cleanse, RESET. This new weight loss product is not a quick fix, but you will see results within five days. In fact, most people lose an average of 4.5 to 5.0 pounds while using their RESET kit, and continue to lose weight just by following the simple, hassle-free RESET protocol (which I will describe later).
But the purpose of this article is much deeper than a product sale. It’s about getting to the root cause of weight gain—glycemic stress and insulin resistance—and reversing the hold it has on your body. I’ve studied this subject extensively and written about it in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Mother-Daughter Wisdom, as well as in my newsletter and e-letter. And I know first hand that the RESET program works because it’s based on providing high-quality nutrients and balancing your blood sugar levels. This tells your body to release the fat it’s been storing, while helping you to kick your carb cravings.
So whether your goal is to lose weight or improve your health, following this program will make you feel great. And it also may help lower your cholesterol or blood pressure, while increasing your sensitivity to insulin.
Excess Blood Sugar Creates Fat
Because your body functions optimally when your blood sugar stays in a mid-range (neither too high nor too low), the body has a built-in system for regulating blood sugar. I’ve covered this subject in detail in my books, so I’ll just briefly remind you how these mechanisms work. As your liver processes your food, it regulates how much sugar (glucose) your brain receives. If too much sugar is sent to the brain, it can’t perform its executive functions properly. Thinking becomes fuzzy and, in extreme cases, you may even blackout. So when there is too much sugar in the blood, the liver will signal the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin then directs the excess sugar into the cells, where it’s stored in the form of fat for future use as energy. This process—a recycling concept, really—works beautifully if the stored sugar is secreted later in the blood stream when blood sugar drops naturally, like between meals. This frees up the cells so they can continue to take in excess sugar if needed.
If you continually eat high-glycemic meals (meals that cause blood sugar to rise excessively), you thwart this “perfect-world” example. The pancreas must pump out more insulin in response to the excess blood sugar, but because the cells are at full capacity, they can’t accommodate the insulin’s request to absorb more sugar. Blood sugar levels remain elevated, causing inflammation to occur in the lining of the blood vessels, particularly in the muscles, as well as elsewhere. This is called glycemic stress, and it is associated with heartburn, insomnia, swelling, sugar cravings, fatigue, and excess daytime sleepiness—all of which are associated with tissue inflammation that is the result of the complex interaction between insulin, blood sugar, essential fatty acids, etc. People with excess body fat, from years of eating high-glycemic meals, actually produce excess inflammatory chemicals (interluekin 6) from their body fat. They are prone to excessive amounts of aches and pains, estrogen dominance, PMS, and insomnia. Ultimately, glycemic stress leads to insulin resistance and, later, diabetes, and/or heart disease, and even an increased risk of cancer if left unchecked.
Exit the Sugar Rollercoaster and Feel Great
I encourage you to eat in ways that will promote long-term health benefits. If you start eating healthier today, it’s likely you’ll be rewarded with weight-loss in five to ten days. After that, all you have to do is modify your lifestyle to maintain steady blood sugar. Here’s the best part: You can lose fat effectively while feeling great in the process. Keep your blood sugar stable and you’ll experience:
- More energy
- Ability to sustain exercise
- Clearing of brain fog
- Ability to build muscle
- Less hunger—ability to control portion sizes and cravings
- Fewer PMS symptoms
• Fewer hot flashes
• Better looking skin
• Deeper, more restful sleep
• Stable moods and more optimism
• Clear eyes without puffiness or dark circles
Your success will be contingent on eating foods with a low-glycemic index. The glycemic index was created to measure how much the blood sugar rises after you eat a carbohydrate meal, using white bread as the benchmark. White bread has a glycemic index of 100, whereas the glycemic index of corn is 54, an apple is 38, and an avocado is 0. The rule of thumb is white and processed foods have a very high-glycemic index, whereas whole foods and those high in protein typically have a low-glycemic index. A full discussion of the glycemic index is outside the scope of this document. Refer to Dr. Ray Strand’s book Healthy for Life: Developing Healthy Lifestyles that Have a Side Effect of Permanent Fat Loss (Real Life Press, 2005) or go to www.usana.com/reset for more information. Dr. Strand developed the Healthy for Life Program, a fifteen-month program designed to help people create significant, lasting lifestyle changes and weight loss. To learn more about it go to www.releasingfat.com.
Another part of your success will be determined by whether you get enough protein. Women need 45–75 grams of protein a day, yet most get much less. Eating enough protein will help keep your carb cravings under control. It also stabilizes blood sugar by stimulating the liver to release glucagon, which mobilizes stored fat so that it can be used for fuel by the cell. So protein has the opposite affect of insulin. It’s far less likely for fat to get locked into place when you eat enough protein throughout the day.
The RESET Program
Fortunately, there is an easy way to get your body back on track. Let me tell you a little more about RESET. It’s a five-day program scientifically designed to help you get off the sugar rollercoaster, decrease tissue inflammation, and reset your metabolism. RESET by USANA is a five-day high fiber cleanse. For those of you who’ve been with me a while and remember the success I had with USANA’s cleanse, I’d like you to know that this product is the “next generation.” They’ve updated the formulas to be more nutritious, delicious, higher in fiber, and infinitely simpler to use! Each convenient kit contains:
- Single-serving low-glycemic (gluten free) meal-replacement shakes and nutrition bars for five days. These provide the perfect balance of high-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates your body needs.
- A five-day supply of USANA’s Healthpak, vitamin/mineral packets for morning and evening that provide superior support for your body as you begin to get your blood sugar levels under control and clear your body of toxins. (This is my daily vitamin regimen.)
- A DVD that explains the RESET program fully and provides additional information, including medical research, on reversing glycemic stress. The DVD also includes a 30-minute exercise video hosted by two U.S. Olympic athletes. This is appropriate for people of all fitness levels, but may be particularly helpful to someone who’s been sedentary for a while and is looking to start exercising safely.
- Written instructions for the first five days, plus directions for continuing a safe weight loss program.
The five-day RESET program works like this: You drink three shakes a day at mealtime, eat a nutrition bar for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, plus one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables anytime during the day. While on RESET, you also drink eight to ten glasses of water and exercise moderately. USANA recommends walking for 20–30 minutes. Most people don’t feel hungry (although some experience tolerable hunger) or crave carbs. And they are surprised at how satisfying the foods are. This is because blood sugar levels remain stable. And many people I know who have done RESET find they have more energy than usual while on the cleanse. This is very encouraging, because often people feel fatigued when they diet. Equally heartening is the weight loss that occurs over the five-day period—as I said earlier, people lose five pounds on average! And the good news is that the weight loss tends to be in the abdominal area where fat associated with glycemic stress is stored! (This makes RESET perfect if you want to fit into an outfit that’s become a little too tight and you’d like to accomplish this safely and quickly.)
Once you have completed the first five days, you assess whether you’d like to continue to lose weight. If so, you continue using the meal-replacement shakes and bars for two meals and two snacks a day, adding a low-glycemic meal and snack. Once you reach your weight-loss goal, you can substitute one meal and one snack with USANA products. Another low-glycemic food that I recommend and use regularly as part of my lifestyle is Revival Soy. The Revival Soy shakes and bars are also low glycemic and delicious, and would fit in nicely with a long-term weight maintenance program. Numerous studies have shown that soy helps promote weight loss. And Revival’s products have been clinically proven to improve the quality of life of women going through menopause.
Many women report better sleep, fewer hot flashes, less breast tenderness, and better skin and nails. Soy is a complete protein, providing all the amino acids the body requires. So when you add soy to a weight loss program, you add the nourishment your body needs. To learn more about incorporating soy into your diet, see Revival’s Weight 101 pamphlet. It’s excellent.
In conclusion, please know that permanent weight loss is entirely possible for you in 2006. Keeping your blood sugar stable and avoiding deprivation are absolutely essential to success. There are many, many ways to do this. But as a physician, I’ve rarely seen a program as easy and effective as RESET. I urge you to give it a try!
© 2001–2006 Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.