Read an Excerpt
Why You Aren't Losing Weight
Sometimes--often, in fact--even in the best possible world, even with the best possible diet, weight loss stalls. The number on the scale stops before it gets to the place you want it to be. When you haven't lost the weight you need to lose, there is always a reason. Always. It is a scientific reason, and it has nothing to do with any personal failing on your part. It is not about willpower or weakness. It is about biochemistry. Stalled weight loss, especially under conditions where you are giving your body everything it needs to lose weight, is a sign that something has gone wrong in the system.
A tiny splinter in your big toe can cause a cascade of major problems throughout your entire body if you don't do something about it. But the solution isn't to cut off your foot. You have to pull out the splinter, but not carelessly, haphazardly, or in a way that does more harm than good. To pull out a splinter takes concentration, precision, and the right tool.
When weight loss stalls, when you hit a plateau, your body is sending you a message. You have the equivalent of a splinter in your metabolic system. To get weight loss started again, you need to take tweezers to that splinter, carefully and skillfully, so your body can get back down to business doing what it does best: burning fat for fuel.
But how did you get that splinter? The way the body handles food is pretty amazing. If point A is eating and point Z is living, metabolism is all the letters in between. Metabolism is the rate at which we convert food into life. Like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, metabolism spins food into you--into skin and hair and blood and bone and muscle and energy. It is the chemistry of life, and the magic that turns a meal on a plate into the life you live every moment of the day.
But this doesn't happen instantaneously. The transformation of food into life by the metabolism is a process. When you eat food, there are basically three things your body does with it:
1. Your body reacts to food.
2. Your body digests food.
3. Your body uses the micronutrients in food to create equilibrium between the production and biosynthesis of hormones.
At any point during this process--at the point of reaction to food, at the point of digestion of food, or at the point of hormone balancing--things can go wrong, and when that happens, the whole system breaks down. It's like that splinter in your toe--it seems like such a little problem, but if you don't deal with it, if you let it fester, then pretty soon, you might be in severe pain. You might not be able to walk or you might even get a systemwide infection. A small problem can quickly become a big problem, and in the case of the metabolism, a small problem at any point during the process can lead to swelling, bloating, acidity, inflammation, low energy, mood problems, weight gain, excessive fat accumulation, and even, eventually, chronic diseases such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer's. Metabolic problems are serious, and if you want to feel good and get rid of extra weight and fat, you need to deal with them.
The Burn is microrepair for the "splinter" in your metabolism. It focuses laserlike attention on the very specific source of your weight loss resistance so you can lose fat and weight rapidly. It is an intense intervention that can shatter your personal weight loss plateau. The Burn will incinerate the roadblocks that are holding you back from the body and health you desire. Use it strategically to reach your goal, whether that is to wow a crowd this weekend, zip your jeans by Friday, or resculpt your entire body into a more pleasing shape by next weekend. The core promise of The Burn is this: You can make a profound and dramatic change in your appearance, health, and energy in just a few days.
And we will do it with food. Food is medicine, and it can help or harm the body, depending on how you use it.
WHAT THE BURN CAN DO FOR YOU
Maybe you are preparing for something, like a public appearance or a class reunion. Maybe you are repairing after something, like holiday excess or a long weekend at an all-inclusive resort. Maybe you are finishing your weight loss journey or just kicking it off. Maybe you are answering an SOS call from your skinny jeans or you have an eye on swimsuit season.
Maybe your doctor has even warned you that you need to lose weight or you are at risk for a health issue, such as prediabetes or infertility or fatty liver disease. My clients often come to me focused on the physical appearance they want and how their bodies will look once weight loss has been achieved, but the real miracle and power of weight loss is physically being in weight loss mode. Even if you lose just three or five pounds, when your body is in the process of losing weight, it makes drastic changes. You will have a shift in your inflammation, in the way you process micronutrients, and in your hormones, as soon as you start the weight loss process. It's not just about looking amazing when you're done losing the weight (although that happens, too). It's about what you are promoting in your total health when you step out of the mode of weight gain or weight loss resistance and into weight loss.
This is what The Burn can do for you--launch you back into weight loss mode and back into the cascade of positive biochemical changes that affect your body. Whether you have a lot to lose or just a little, get ready for serious transformation.
One of the best things about The Burn is that it is something anyone can do. Whatever your food philosophy, dietary restrictions, habits, or inclinations, The Burn can work for you. Step out of what you are doing for a few days and hand yourself over to me. Let me give you a jump-start, and then you can drive on down the road, going back to what you were doing before. Maybe you live by The Fast Metabolism Diet. Excellent choice! Or maybe you are devoted to some other system--or no system at all. Maybe you fly by the seat of your pants. I hear that! There are many ways to live a healthy life.
That's another thing that makes this program different--The Burn is not a way of life. It is not something to do forever. It is an intense and prescriptive tool to use for the purpose of metabolic microrepair. Step in, shake things loose, and step back out again. It's your tool to use whenever you need it.
WHY AND HOW I USE FOOD AS MEDICINE
I didn't start out studying human nutrition. In fact, I didn't start out studying humans at all. I'm a die-hard aggie, which means I studied animal science. I believe that has always given me an edge. This area of study focuses intensively not just on nutrition but on how food can transform, in very specific ways, the ratio, distribution, and composition of muscle and fat in a mammal's body.
I had a special knack for this in school. One of the assignments we used to have to do was to manipulate that muscle-to-fat ratio by adjusting an animal's feed. This fascinated me, and I quickly learned that how an animal eats can increase the kind of internal fat that results in heavy marbling, or can shrink the subcutaneous fat for a tighter, leaner, more defined look. I learned not just how to maximize weight gain in a short period of time, but how to maximize weight loss.
Animal science is a lot different from human medicine because you can't say to a sheep, "Do you feel better? Were you satisfied with the results of this medication? How are you feeling emotionally?" You can't get the same kind of feedback from an animal that you can from a human, so animal science and veterinary medicine have to measure results like no other industry. Another thing about aggies, or animal people, including farmers and horse people, is that they are supremely open-minded. We will try many different roads to get the results we want, and much of the work with animals today is preventive. We pull our strategies from all kinds of arenas and we try all kinds of therapies--acupuncture, massage, supplements, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, different ways of preparing foods from cooked to raw to processed--it's all about keeping the vet out of the barn! The goal is to have a stable full of animals that are at peak performance, able to reproduce easily, maintain an ideal body weight, and have healthy coats and strong hooves.
If you see an animal with its ribs showing in the animal industry, we would consider that abuse. In the human world, however, we have the strange idea that this is beautiful. As a woman and a mom of daughters, I think this is sick. In the animal industry, it is obvious that nurturing, love, care, attention, and good food beget a healthy animal. And we have no trouble treating our pets this way. But ourselves? No. Many will get up in the morning and feed their pets, and then walk out of the house without breakfast. All your dog or cat has to do is lie around and lick themselves, and you run out the door with huge expectations for the day--and no breakfast. This is so crazy to me! In the human world, we consistently deprive ourselves and each other of what we need for glowing health, and then continue to abuse ourselves when we aren't healthy enough, beautiful enough, thin enough. Where is the disconnect? Why can't we treat ourselves the way we treat our beloved animals? We can, and The Burn is how you move in that direction.
When I decided not to become a veterinarian, it was partially due to curiosity. I came out of college knowing a whole lot about how to sculpt animal bodies, yet I couldn't help wondering whether what I learned in animal science would work on people. I didn't see why it wouldn't, so I began to study human nutrition, and I did so with a vastly open mind, like any good aggie. I've studied the Western system of health extensively, as well as with masters of many other systems. I have studied the Chinese philosophy of medicine, which looks at what foods affect certain organs, tissues, glands, and systems. I consider the Ayurvedic perspective, which matches foods to certain body and energy types. I have studied the German philosophy of homotoxicology, which focuses on how bodies toxify and detoxify. I've even studied the Farmer's Almanac because I've seen in my practice how the seasons affect the way our bodies process food. What time of year will you best benefit from raw foods, or cooked foods? When do you need more fat, and when do you need more vegetables? I ask myself questions like this all the time. I am on a never-ending quest for knowledge about how food affects the body.
For all these reasons, when I have a client with a weight loss issue, I am not likely to ask, "Is the problem insulin resistance?" or "Is this person just overeating?" Instead, I am more likely to ask, "Why is insulin resistance manifesting in this person's body?" or "Why is this person eating more than his body needs?" and "What systems can we nurture and repair to perfect the body's natural process, so the body can become functional again?"
My whole practice is based on this philosophy of open-mindedness, with the stringent expectation of results. I have relentlessly searched for the techniques that work, and wherever I find them, I pluck out the parts that make a difference in the human body, and I leave the parts that don't. I have no preconceptions about the validity of a health program. I will try anything to heal, repair, and transform the body. I'll scour the latest clinical trials published in medical journals and at the same time tie chicken bones around my neck and dance down the hallways of my clinic if it will get someone the results they need. I have only one requirement before I apply a technique, strategy, or philosophy to my own practice: It has to work.
It has to work. I have clinics in some rough areas. My clients threaten me with knives--as in, "If this doesn't work, I'm going under the knife!" Okay, this is mainly an issue in my Beverly Hills clinic, but the last thing I want is for someone to undergo plastic surgery when I know I can do "surgery" on them purely by manipulating their diet. The doctors who send their patients to me will stop sending them if I don't get their bodies and their numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar, hormone levels) under control. For many of my clients, weight loss is a matter of life and death. If I don't deliver, they don't heal. If I don't deliver, my celebrity clients will look elsewhere, too.
I expect major results from my clients' bodies. When those results stop happening, when they get stuck, I'm always looking at the why. When I figure out the why, then I go to my toolbox (consisting primarily of food), and I pull out what's going to get them unstuck. I pull out what will evoke real, clinical, tangible, visual results. It's always about the results.
People say I have a knack for knowing how to sculpt a body to exact specifications. They say I have secrets, and they're right. My secrets come from every corner of the globe and from every era in history. They become the secrets of my clients, and the longer you stay with me, the more of them you will learn. Soon you will know what I know, and it will transform you.
The Spot Loss Myth: Busted!
People in the diet industry often say there is no such thing as "spot loss," as if it's some mythical creature, like a unicorn. I say nonsense. You can gain weight in one particular area. We all know what that's like. You might look down and wonder, "What's up with my stomach?" or "Whoa, thick calf alert!" If you can gain weight in one area, you can lose weight in one area. I make a living by precision-sculpting bodies. Recently, I had a client who needed to lose weight off her waist and hips. I was able to get 3½ inches off her waist and 2 inches off her hips without taking even a fraction of an inch off either her breasts or her calves, where she didn't want to lose any weight. She looked absolutely amazing, and her trainer couldn't believe it. "How did you do that? It's not possible!" he said to me. It's not only possible, it's easy with the right tools and foods. So don't tell me there's no such thing as spot loss.