How Might This Work?
The plan is based on nutrigenomics. The author Mark Hyman, MD calls this “the science of how food talks to our genes.” He says that eating the
foods leads to weight loss and health. Eating the
foods leads to weight gain and health problems. Also, the ideal weight loss plan is not the same for each person and is based on how our genes and metabolism work together.
What Do You Need to Do?
In his "UltraMetabolism" book, Dr. Hyman lists what he thinks are the myths that make people gain weight and struggle to lose it. He also lists his 7 keys to weight loss success.
His weight-loss myths are:
- Eating less and working out more leads to weight loss
- All calories are the same
- Eating little to no carbohydrates (carbs) will make you thin
His 7 keys to weight loss success are:
- Curbing hunger and metabolism
- Learning how stress leads to weight gain
- Knowing how to control swelling in the body, which can lead to weight gain and health problems
- Putting off cellular “rust,” since it can get in the way of metabolism and result in swelling
- Knowing how to help your body turn calories into energy better
- Making sure your thyroid is working as it should
- Detoxifying your liver
This is an 8 week program that is designed to become part of your everyday life. It starts with a 1 week phase that removes sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, caffeine, and processed food.
Week 3 is for detox and cleansing. It is supposed to help you fix any metabolic problems. During this phase, you cannot have caffeine and alcohol. You also must not have food that could be allergenic, such as wheat, dairy, and eggs. Dr. Hyman says that most people lose 6 to 11 pounds during this phase.
The final phase is designed to reeducate your metabolism and boost your health. It should last at least 4 weeks, with a goal of lasting a lifetime. During this phase, many of the foods that you stopped eating can be eaten again. You can watch for any sensitivities or allergies that they may have been causing, such as a stuffy nose, lack of energy,
acne, or problems thinking. Dr. Hyman says that people often lose 1 to 3 pounds a week during this phase until they reach the weight they would like to stay at.
The final phase lasts for your entire life. Dr. Hyman says you should eat a mostly organic, hormone-free foods that are based on:
- Healthy fats
- Slowly released low-glycemic-load, high-fiber carbs
- Plant proteins and small amounts of lean animal products
- Antioxidants that fight disease and weight gain
He also says you should now limit alcohol to less than 3 glasses of wine each week and limit coffee to a half cup per day. You can have as much green tea as you would like. He also tells people to take a multivitamin,
vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. The plan also tells you to ease stress and workout. Working out boosts your metabolism. It is done with aerobic workouts and weight training.
The book also has recipes, shopping lists, and menus to help. There is also a website with more tips and support.
What Does the Research Say?
There are many things in the book that are not held up by evidence. Among them is the thought that we can detoxify our bodies to help them work better and the thought that we can reeducate our metabolism. But there are also many thoughts that deserve more thought. Nutrigenomics is a new field of research with new discoveries to be made.
The diet’s focus on whole grains, fruits, veggies, and working out is good for your health. Eating less refined grains, added sugars, and
fats have also been linked to better health.
Are There Any Concerns?
It can be hard to follow. Not all the thoughts behind it are backed by strong evidence. But phase 2 is based on healthful eating.
Talk to your doctor before you start any weight loss plan. The first phase of this plan is very restrictive. You might not get enough calories and nutrients. You should also talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.