Read an Excerpt
DO YOU HAVE FAKE FAT?
Many people who believe they have excess fat don’t actually have as much of it as they think they do. Lymphatic back-up looks and feels like fat (it is very soft, like a water balloon), but it fluctuates from morning to evening or throughout the menstrual cycle. If you are one of those people who can gain five pounds overnight (or lose five pounds in a week), you are probably plagued with Fake Fat.
Do you have Fake Fat? Let’s find out right now. Answer the questions below to determine if this is you.
Is Your Fat Real?
1. Does your weight often fluctuate more than 4 or 5 pounds over the course of 24 hours?
2. Do you have difficulty sweating, even when you are exercising?
3. Do your rings get stuck by the end of the day because your fingers get puffy?
4. Do you get lines around your ankles where your socks were, or marks from your shoes?
5. Do you have aching in your joints? Do you often feel stiff, especially if you have been sitting for awhile?
6. Do you have excessive cellulite? Everybody has some, but do you have large amounts and lots of lumps?
7. For women, do you gain more than 5 pounds around your menstrual cycle?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, then you are probably someone who has been dieting backwards (like most of us) and should hear about The Prime.
YOU’RE DOING IT BACKWARD
You’re doing it backwards.
If you are like the majority of people who have tried to lose weight, you’ve done it (or tried to do it) by going on a diet, or exercising more, or both. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you want to lose weight, isn’t it? It’s what doctors tell you to do. It’s what nutritionists tell you to do. It’s what most diet books tell you to do.
If you’ve tried to lose weight this way, maybe it worked. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe you lost some weight, but gained it back. No matter what happened, the one experience you probably have in common with most others who have tried is this: it was extremely difficult.
Losing weight is hard to do. Or, it’s hard to do the way people tend to do it. Even diets that claim to be easy often feel incredibly strenuous in practice. Sometimes the promise of a new diet is enough to keep you going for awhile. Maybe you are all fired up about your new plan at first and you are okay for a week or two, but eventually the novelty of it wears off, the routine gets tedious, and your body cries out against the deprivation and the exertion. Diets typically deprive you of things you want; and the more you tell yourself you can’t have those things, the more you want them. Whether the diet tells you not to eat sugar or fat or bread or meat or dessert or something else, it’s hard not to eat the things you want. And if it has you counting calories or fat grams or carb grams, you’re not only not eating what you want, but you also have to focus on constantly quantifying your consumption of everything you don’t really want to eat. It’s also hard to eat less than you are used to eating. You want more food! And it’s hard to exercise if you don’t have the energy, aren’t used to it and don’t enjoy it. Maybe you tried to exercise but it was just too unpleasant, too time-consuming, too exhausting or painful, maybe even injurious.
In most cases, the urge to eat the foods that you’re told got you in trouble becomes too strong. The temptation to skip one day of exercise, and then another, becomes overwhelming. Before the unwitting dieter knows what is happening, it’s back to old habits again. Not long after that, weight goes back up, energy goes back down, thinking gets fuzzier again.
Maybe you think you know the reason for this: You are weak. You lack will power. You aren’t motivated enough. You are genetically destined to be fat and lazy. No! I am here to tell you that none of these things are true. If you blame yourself for your failure to lose weight, you are pointing your finger in the wrong direction.
Nobody wants to drag around excess body weight. Nobody wishes for low energy. Nobody loves brain fog, and nobody hopes to have an increased risk of disease. Yet, here you are, despite what you want for yourself. How did it happen? It’s not because you are weak. Not because you are unmotivated. The reason is simple: It’s because you didn’t realize the power your initial, often casual lifestyle choices would have over your future ability to make better choices. You didn’t realize what the foods you chose were doing to your brain.
There is a very specific and scientific reason why diets and exercise plans feel so punitive and even impossible: You have been trapped. Despite your best intentions, you have been locked in a biochemical prison. You have inadvertently become addicted to the very things that put you in that prison, and now they are your prison guards. They keep you chained and they keep you behaving according to their wishes, not yours.
There is only one way to fight biochemistry: with biochemistry.
This is one of the first and most important things I would like every single overweight person to understand: Being overweight is a biochemical issue, not a personality flaw. My patients have been chiding themselves and disliking themselves often for years, even decades, because they think they are too “weak” to lose weight. Yet, when I think of the patients who come in to my clinic, I can’t help but be impressed with how they have handled other areas of their lives. Many of them are extremely bright, talented, organized, and ambitious. Some have degrees in law, business, and medicine. They hold down difficult jobs, or have built successful businesses from the ground up. They have risen through the ranks in their chosen field. They work hard. They create things. They are multi-tasking wizards who are able to support entire families. They have succeeded at many challenging projects and they are motivated and self-directed. So why has losing weight been so hard for these people? It’s certainly not because they are lazy. They clearly don’t lack willpower in other areas of their lives. What they do lack is just one simple thing: an understanding of how their biochemistry is stacked against them.
This is actually wonderful news. No matter how long you have been overweight, if you have the right biochemical tools at your disposal, you can cure your weight problem. There is no mystery to it. It’s science, pure and simple. You don’t have to change your personality. You don’t have to acquire superhuman personal discipline. You don’t even have to force yourself to stop eating cookies.
All you have to do is start shifting your biochemistry, bit by bit, in a different direction.
Imagine that you want to become a lawyer. You wouldn’t just wake up one day and decide that if you just have enough willpower, you can go out and start practicing law. No, you need the right education and you need to earn the right degree. You need to go to college and then you need to go to law school. You go out and collect the tools that you need so you are prepared and qualified. Only then will you be successful.
Weight loss is exactly the same. You have to have the right tools to do it. You can’t just do it through willpower. Thinking that weight loss is a personal failure of willpower is like saying that you should be able to stop a bullet using your willpower. You can’t. A bullet is a physical phenomenon, and so is your weight. You don’t stop a bullet by thinking. You get out of the way. Food has essentially become your biochemical bullet, but with the right strategies, you can dodge that bullet…and still get to eat.
SHIFTING THE SCALE
So what is your escape route? How do you get out of this biochemical prison? I know an ancient and secret passageway, a trap door, and your jailers can’t do a thing about it. This secret passageway gives you the edge, biochemically and psychologically. This escape route works because it primes your body to succeed at making lifestyle changes by breaking the addiction cycle before you attempt to change one single thing—before you ever look at a meal plan or a calorie guide. If you prime your body for success by gently clearing the pathways in your body that eliminate waste, removing the accumulation of toxins, and slowly altering your gut bacteria in a direction that will call out for better choices, you will discover that lifestyle changes become easier. Weight loss, increased energy, and mental clarity began to happen to you, rather than you forcing them to happen. The way this works will feel pretty effortless, spontaneous. You won’t have to rely on an impossible amount of willpower to begin changing your life.
Before I ever suggest that you should eat this or should not eat that, you will prime your body to beat me to the good advice. You will start changing. You will start moving more. You will start preferring foods that are good for you and encourage a healthy weight. You won’t have to guilt yourself into skipping the cookie or the pizza. You won’t want them as much, and you won’t want as much of them. You will change because you want to, not because I told you to. This happens because as the toxins clear and the inflammation subsides, your body can slide gently into a newer, more stable equilibrium in which you will finally be able to feel for yourself what your body wants and what makes you feel great. You won’t just achieve a lower number on the scale. You will achieve a whole new you: vigorous and energetic, mentally sharp and clearheaded, quick-thinking and full of life.
This is the purpose of The Prime: to prime your body and brain to function at the peak of health and wellness. Living a healthy life will feel awesome, not excruciating, because your body is primed for it. All you have to do is make a few easy changes on a schedule that is commensurate with your current level of health and toxicity (you’ll take a test to determine how fast you should move when you get to Chapter 6). You won’t have to force yourself to comply with any dietary restrictions or give up one single thing you love—not dinner, not dessert, not any food group. Not even your sedentary lifestyle! In just a few weeks, your body will feel like a different one: Healthier. Sharper. Quicker. And thinner, too. No willpower required.