From The New England Journal of Medicine: A diet rich in plant protein leads to 50 percent faster weight loss!
Of all the ways to lose weight, two approaches have stood out for their ability to deliver seriously speedy results: eating a high-protein diet and detoxing. Unfortunately, these methods have become synonymous with cravings, headaches, blue moods and frustrating weight regain.
The Protein Dilemma
Detoxes have been linked to such unpleasant side effects because they often eliminate protein, a nutrient that's essential for keeping hunger and cravings in check and energy levels high. But the solution isn't as simple as adding protein to your diet. For a cleanse to be truly effective, the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract must take a break from the task of processing food-especially protein from animal products. That's because animal protein is bound with other compounds such as saturated fats, keratin and elastin fibers that make it harder to digest. Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., author of FatFlush for Life (Da Capo Press, 2010), explains, "During digestion, protein produces acidic waste products that tax the body's natural cleansing mechanisms and deplete its stores of detoxifying minerals." This is also, in part, why most high-protein plans become such a struggle to maintain. The body's initial response to protein is to switch on weight-controlling genes inside belly fat cells. This can increase the production of metabolism-revving muscle and keep cravings in check. But continuing to increase protein intake will cause the body's systems to become sluggish as they try to process all that acidic waste. And that makes lasting weight loss nearly impossible.
The Genius Of Plant Protein
Fortunately, there's great news on the research front: Scientists have discovered that following a "mash up" diet that incorporates the best aspects of a high-protein plan with the benefits of a detox could deliver amazing weight loss-without the downsides. The key to success: protein derived from yellow peas and brown rice. "The beauty of these natural plant compounds is that they are easy to digest:' says Gittleman. "Plus, they're low on the food chain, which means they're not full of detox-sabotaging hormones and antibiotics." In addition to offering all the slimming perks of animal protein fighting belly fat, revving metabolism, speeding calorie burn-plant protein provides unusually high satiety. In fact, according to UCLA researchers, consumption of plant protein suppresses appetite for four hours, compared with the more common two hunger-free hours provided by animal-derived protein. Bonus: Plant protein's fiber further increases satiety and improves gut health. The bottom line: Research in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that dieters who fill up on plant protein can shed 50 percent more weight than those who don't. And related research published in the journal Nutrition Reviews suggests that a plant protein-detox diet helps women reduce body-fat levels by an additional 15 percent. In fact, when Gittleman put the plan to the test with her clients, she found that a plant-protein detox melted 20 pounds and 7 inches off each woman's belly in just two weeks. A plant-protein detox rejuvenates the liver, pancreas, thyroid and other weight-controlling organs to speed the metabolism of fat storing toxins-and does so without triggering intense hunger or bothersome side effects like headaches. Nutritionist Ann Louise
Drop 3 1/2 Inches Of Belly Fat Every Week!
Gittleman, Ph.D., points out that since this 14-day detox heals the body's weight-regulating systems, it enhances the liver's capacity to burn body fat for energy and improves blood sugar control long after the detox is over. Add in bonus perks like a doubling of energy, sharper focus and memory, better skin tone, improved digestion and stronger immunity, and it's easy to see why women are raving about this plan.
Two Weeks Is All It Takes
To zip off 20 pounds in two weeks, drink two plant-protein smoothies daily-one for breakfast and one for lunch. Then enjoy a generous dinner of lean protein paired with unlimited steamed green veggies and salad. And if you're still hungry on the plan, you can have a third smoothie. Or start adding 1Tbs. of a healthy oil (like flaxseed or walnut) to the two smoothies you're already enjoying: Studies show that the healthy fatty acids in these oils block hunger-triggering hormones called endocannabinoidsfrom binding to brain receptors. This prevents food cravings for up to four hours straight. To make the smoothies, blend 1 scoop of plant-protein powder, 1cup of juice or rice milk, 1cup of fresh or frozen fruit and some ice. (For higher fiber content, or to allay bloating or constipation, add 1Tbs. of ground flaxseed, chia or psyllium to each smoothie.)
Day 14 And Beyond
For Effortless Weight Loss: After two weeks, you can lock in your body's fat-blasting ability with a diet rich in lean protein (fish, chicken breast, eggs, tofu), whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice) and lots of fruit and veggies. Because you've rejuvenated your body's weight-control organs, you'll automatically keep slimming, though at a slower pace of about 2 pounds weekly.
To Blast Off Another Quick 20: You can keep melting fat at a rapid pace by staying on the smoothie plan for an additional two weeks. "But it can reduce your body's calorie-burning potential if you stay on it for months at a time without a rest:" warns Gittleman. "After four weeks, it's imperative to take a break and switch to a heartier plan for at least two weeks. It makes your whole system work more efficiently:'
3 Super Plant Proteins That Target Belly Fat
MUSHROOMS: Women who enjoyed a mushroom-based lunch ate 400 fewer calories throughout the day compared with those who ate a meat dish, according to a study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Follow-up research confirms that a daily 1 cup serving of mushrooms instead of an equal portion on animal protein can help women shed 10 pounds of belly fat in two months.
EDAMAME:Consuming two daily servings of soy foods such as edamame or tofu helps target abdominal fat at the cellular level, note researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their studies show that soy activates fat burn inside cells, stimulating weight loss within 72 hours, without calorie restriction. Plus, it cuts the production of new abdominal fat by 57 percent.
BEANS:Eating 1 cup of protein- and fiber- rich beans daily cuts the risk of an expanding waistline by 23 percent, say scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additional research shows the same daily dose can help dieters more than double abdominal- fat reduction. Plus, preliminary studies suggest that bean fiber binds to fat- storing toxins in the intestinal tract, speeding their elimination from the body.
It Worked For Me!
"I finally dropped the baby weight!" Heavy, uncomfortable, depressed ... that's how Nikki Timmins felt day in and day out as her body slowly healed from a C-section. When the time came for her to stop breast-feeding and return to work, she vowed, This is the moment to do something for me. Nikki knew where to turn to regain her health. A couple years earlier, doctors had told her she'd need to lose weight if she wanted to get pregnant. That's when she'd tried Ann Louise Gittleman's Fat Flush plan, which enabled Nikki to shed pounds and conceive her son. To lose the weight this time, Nikki decided to try Gittleman's new Fat Flush for Life plan. She loved the idea of whipping up creamy smoothies made with farm-stand peaches and nectarines. "I looked forward to having my smoothie," shares Nikki, who also loved the convenience of carrying the slimming drink while she ran errands. "It made life easier." Today, 75 pounds lighter, Nikki feels at peace knowing the excess weight won't return to slow her down. "I thank God I have this tool in my pocket," she says. "I have so much more energy and motivation. That's what everybody wants-to look and do their best!"
It Worked For Me!
"I lost 7 inches from my belly in two weeks!" Stepping onto the stage, comedian Christine O'Leary thought, Just give 'em what they're expecting, and launched into a joke about being bigger than a house. The crowd laughed, but Christine felt empty. "The constant self-loathing was terrible," Christine admits. She'd been trying to slim down since age 17, but nothing ever worked. So she wasn't optimistic when a colleague recommended a plant-protein detox plan. But Christine wound up pleasantly surprised. "The weight was just melting off," she says. "When the second number on the scale changed in the space of a week, I knew I was doing something right." That was just the jump start Christine needed-she ended up shedding 139 pounds. Now people mistake her for a 22-year-old. "And I'm off my diabetes and thyroid meds," Christine reveals. "1 don't have insurance, so this was a way for me to take care of myself." Now when Christine steps onto the stage, the crowd senses her confidence and is treated to kinder jokes. "My theme song is no longer 'She's a brick house,'" the entertainer shares. "1 like to say, '1 lost over 100 pounds-and 15 minutes of material, too!"
It Worked For Me!
"This diet helped when my doc said nothing would!" "There isn't anything you can do." The doctor's words echoed in Alicia Makjavich's ears, the burden of her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis on her mind. When Alicia was in her twenties, she had battled mysterious weight gain, packing on 60 pounds in six months. A string of diet disappointments convinced her that what she'd read about PCOS-that it makes it impossible for women to lose weight-was true. That changed when Alicia tried the plant-protein plan. "I'd used other protein powders before, and they didn't work," she says. "This controlled my blood sugar and my cravings." Alicia gradually lost nearly 12 inches from her waist. Plus, an even better transformation occurred: During an annual exam, Alicia was told that there was no sign of PCOS-it's completely gone! She raves, "That was unbelievable to me."