INTRODUCTION Do You Have a Sluggish Metabolism? Revive It by Resetting Metabolism-Regulating Hormones
Do you want to lose weight? Have you tried diet after diet and yet the stubborn pounds remain? Regardless of why you gained weight, once you’re wearing those extra pounds, your metabolism shifts gears, triggering multiple hormonal changes that perpetuate weight gain by making your body resistant to losing weight. The only way to lose weight is to rebalance your hormone systems, and the Protein Boost Diet is meticulously crafted to do just that.
As an endocrinologist with extensive experience in treating thyroid disorders, as well as other hormone and metabolic disorders, I’ve spent nearly thirty years caring for patients seeking to lose weight. Thyroid and weight issues go hand in hand, and my primary interest in thyroid disorders grew into a passion for designing the best weight-loss program for anyone with a weight challenge. The truth is, regardless of what made you start gaining weight, my program is effective because I designed it to speed up metabolism on a molecular level by reversing the multiple hormone problems that underlie any weight gain.
Several hormonal systems work in concert to regulate your eating behavior, energy balance, and body fat. But thyroid hormone is one of the most important key players. It is one of the master controllers of weight and the touchstone of metabolism. In fact, the other primary hormones that regulate your metabolism and weight—leptin and ghrelin—work through thyroid hormone. The Protein Boost Diet has been meticulously designed to make thyroid hormone and leptin more efficient at burning off fat. Over the years, the Protein Boost Diet has helped hundreds of my thyroid patients boost their stubborn metabolisms. Because if your metabolism is low, you will have trouble losing weight.
The Protein Boost Diet has shown equally impressive results for people with normal thyroids who haven’t been able to lose weight on other popular diets. For overweight people without thyroid problems, my diet rebalances the hormones that regulate metabolism and makes them more successful at burning off fat.
In other words, this book can help anyone trying to lose weight.
ARE YOUR HORMONES MAKING YOU FAT?
Ask yourself these questions: Are you always tired? Do you have dry skin and dry hair? Is your hair thinning? Are your hands and feet always cold? Do you have a lack of motivation or are you moody, anxious, irritable, or depressed? A thyroid imbalance could be causing any of these symptoms . . . and your weight gain, too. For decades, researchers knew that the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck, governed metabolism, mood, body fat, brain function, and even hearing and vision. But the details on how thyroid hormone controls appetite, energy, and weight weren’t clear until recently. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, or your doctor has told you your blood tests are normal, you might have a subclinical thyroid imbalance, meaning your blood tests are minimally abnormal or borderline. Many doctors ignore these small abnormalities, but losing weight with a borderline low thyroid condition is extremely difficult.
Other, different hormone imbalances, including growth hormone deficiency, can lower your energy and mood, decrease muscle, and increase fat. Does extra fat go right to your belly? Did your metabolism slow significantly as you transitioned into menopause or after you became menopausal? Do you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? If you have any of these conditions, you no doubt have a sluggish metabolism and can find help in this book. Balancing hormone levels with hormone medications will give you the ingredients to succeed in losing weight, but that’s not enough. You also need to follow a diet that will improve your hormone efficiency.
The Protein Boost Diet helps you rebalance hormone efficiency. It will help boost metabolism, tame cravings, energize your body, and improve mood naturally. You can lose weight and keep it off. You can outsmart aging, thyroid issues, menopause, and other hormone conditions that make you gain weight by embracing the Protein Boost Diet, the complete program for a happy mind and vigorous metabolism.
THE PROTEIN BOOST DIET WILL IMPROVE YOUR HORMONE EFFICIENCY FOR A SPEEDIER METABOLISM
When I started my career as a hormone and metabolism specialist, I quickly realized that one of the most challenging issues facing my patients was their struggle with weight gain and their inability to lose weight. Even those who lost weight by dieting often had a hard time keeping it off. Yet back then, I took a very narrow view of how to lose weight and I would give a generic response to my frustrated patients: “Eat less food; eat less fat and carbs; exercise more.” My thinking, like that of many other physicians at the time, was that weight control was a matter of simple math—eat less and you’ll lose weight; increase activity and you’ll lose even more. In recent years, though, with new discoveries about the process of storing fat and how metabolism is regulated, it’s become clear this advice was not the full answer.
Metabolism has to do with your body’s complex system for processing and distributing the nutrients in food for use by your organs. Nutrients are converted—metabolized—into energy molecules that are dispersed throughout the body for three purposes: for energy so you can move and function, for generating heat by burning calories, or for storage as fat. When your body can efficiently convert energy molecules into heat, you burn calories instead of holding on to them and converting them to fat. If your system loses its efficiency, the distribution of energy then shifts toward fat storage, indicating a slow metabolism. Conversely, you can achieve heightened calorie burn—a speedy metabolism—by making your body produce more heat.
My program is based on the science that underlies the hormonal interactions that slow down metabolism and contribute to increasing weight gain. These hormone interactions can keep you from reaching your ideal weight and keeping the weight off. Most diet books don’t even acknowledge the very real issues of metabolic slowdowns and the challenges people have in resetting their sluggish metabolisms. Nor do they guide you to eat foods that can energize your metabolism and abate food cravings, which I will do. I’ve perfected the Protein Boost Diet program over the past decade.
For years throughout my career I have been convinced that, besides balancing your hormones, addressing stress and accelerating metabolism are also crucial for successful weight loss. Extensive new research on metabolism and body fat, coupled with my experience in this field, prompted me to write this book. I’ve examined the effectiveness of the many diets available and found that the Mediterranean diet is the one that offers the most health and weight-loss benefits. But the generic Mediterranean diet, while effective, is not structured enough to completely reverse the multiple hormone imbalances that all overweight people have. So I’ve adapted the Mediterranean diet for the Protein Boost Diet eating plan so that it’s low-glycemic (meaning it doesn’t have a lot of carbohydrates that cause jumps in your blood sugar when digested), high-fiber, higher-protein, and low saturated fat. These properties make my unique diet the most efficient program for weight loss and optimal health.
The Protein Boost Diet is more than a simple meal plan to help you lose weight. It’s a comprehensive program designed to restore your sluggish metabolism to its proper pace and allow it to respond normally to what you eat and don’t eat. Following my plan can effectively break the vicious cycle of multiple hormone imbalances that are perpetuating your weight gain and weight-loss resistance. I’ll also help you appreciate why your body behaves as it does—in other words, your physiology (which endocrinologists like me find fascinating)—and give you a prescription for reversing all this weight gain. My goal is for you to understand that treating your weight problem is as serious as treating a life-threatening medical condition.
ACTIVATING WEIGHT-LOSS HORMONES
Our biological clocks have a real say in when we get hungry and how fast our metabolism functions. So I use this information as the basis for the eating schedule I lay out for you as well as the food I advise you to eat—and not to eat—at each meal. Adjusting your diet and eating schedule are important for increasing your metabolism, yes, but so are sleep, reducing stress, finding out your food sensitivities, and identifying any toxic environmental factors that are triggering your weight gain. Once you discover and correct these and begin the meal plans and workouts I’ve devised, your weight will drop and the pounds that creep back on after most diets will not return.
THE PROTEIN BOOST DIET: AN INNOVATIVE, HIGH-PROTEIN DIET
An important pillar of The Protein Boost Diet is eating specific combinations of protein-rich foods throughout the day to deliver a complete spectrum of the amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—that boost energy-burning in your cells. These foods also enhance the action of the weight-loss hormones leptin and thyroid hormone in your body. We now know from scientific research that certain amino acids have the ability to activate the fat-burning process. For this reason, I designed the Protein Boost Diet to include at least two different protein sources at each meal to provide you with the most complete and well-balanced amino acid profile. The selection of specific proteins at each meal also aims at providing you with the amino acids that improve hunger, cravings, anxiety, and mood. The Protein Boost Diet is more than just a high-protein diet. I structured it so that it fulfills other important fundamentals such as eating an optimal amount of fiber and eating good fats rather than bad. Another pillar of my diet is reducing the sugar in your system, especially at certain times of the day, so you regain control over insulin, another hormone that affects weight. That’s part of why I ask you to synchronize mealtimes with certain times of the day. For your weight-related hormones to function effectively, you must eat when your internal clock can best regulate your hormone levels and how you metabolize nutrients. No other diet program that I know of takes this meal timing seriously or helps you understand how you can do this.
Part of the Protein Boost Diet is an exercise program designed to supercharge the performance of thyroid hormone, growth hormone, insulin, and leptin, all of which help with weight loss. The exercise program, called “20/10,” is a combination of twenty minutes of aerobic activity, including high-intensity intermittent sprints, and ten minutes of daily resistance exercises for toning your whole body and maximizing your weight loss. You will be amazed at the powerful effects that just half an hour of daily exercise has on your waistline.
Here’s a sneak preview. On the Protein Boost Diet, you’ll . . .
• Enjoy satisfying multiprotein combinations for each of your meals and daily menus. These proteins contain exactly the right amino acid combinations for optimal efficiency of two powerhouse weight-loss hormones—leptin and thyroid hormone. Eating these selected proteins will also strengthen your production of growth hormone, a fat-burning, muscle-building all-star that gets recharged during dream sleep. When you increase leptin sensitivity, you lift thyroid activity—and your entire metabolism as a consequence.
• Enjoy whole fruits and higher-glycemic carbs earlier in the day, when you most need them to fuel activity. This timing also aligns with your body’s natural ability to use up carbs with the help of insulin.
• Clear your system of destructive sugar loads by eating fiber in every meal and snack, to improve insulin efficiency and make you feel fuller.
• Eat delicious, healthful fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and acquire the ability to burn fat. Forget “fat-free.” These fats can improve every aspect of your health from appetite, mood, and metabolism to cardiovascular vigor.
• Eat very-low-glycemic foods at dinner to keep insulin levels down while you sleep, so you aren’t storing fat while dreaming of a trim body.
• Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress with the abundant antioxidants in recommended fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and supplements.
• Detox by sidestepping foods to which you’re sensitive and by drinking my do-it-yourself Sensational Detox Smoothie (in Chapter 8).
My comprehensive plan should leave you looking better physically and feeling energetic. Let’s get started by getting your hormones into balance.
Improve Your Hormone Efficiency for a Fast Metabolism and Weight Loss
The Protein Boost Diet
Improve Your Hormone Efficiency for a Fast Metabolism and Weight Loss
When you have a problem with your weight, even if your thyroid gland is perfectly normal, your metabolism-boosting hormones, including thyroid hormone and leptin, will be inefficient at burning fat. For many, improving hormone efficiency is the key to lasting weight loss—and world-renowned endocrinologist Dr. Ridha Arem can show you how to do this. He has successfully treated thousands of patients for weight problems with his comprehensive plan, including a new version of the Mediterranean Diet that increases protein and fiber and lowers glycemic index for eye-popping weight loss results. Now, in The Protein Boost Diet, he makes this revolutionary program available to everyone for the first time.
An easy way to rev up your metabolism and increase thyroid hormone efficiency for long-term weight loss, Dr. Arem’s diet offers fifty simple, delicious recipes. Combine these with his exercise/detox program to rid your body of the metabolism-slowing chemicals that are keeping the pounds on. Whether you have a thyroid condition or not, whether you’re dieting for the first time or searching for a breakthrough health program, The Protein Boost Diet is the answer you’ve been looking for.