Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Diet Underground - Ritalin or Reset for Weight Management

In the March 5th edition of New York Magazine I spotted a disturbing article entitled The Diet Undergound which informed that the FDA is poised to approve a second "fat battling drug". The article also listed 5 other drugs that are being used in other ways than what they were intended for and are being used instead as weight loss aids. Yikes!  The drugs listed were Revia,Wellbutrin XL, Ritalin, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Phentermine, Topamax and the one set for approval, Qnexa. A mouthful indeed.
Intelligencer is the name of the column this appeared but is this really an intelligent approach to weight management? Let food be thy medicine. The irony is that in America the land of plenty we are surrounded by plenty of calorie rich and nutrient poor foods and in fact 72% of us are starving. To be exact we are starving our cells of the nutrients they need to maintain health and keep degenerative diseases at bay.  Now more than ever it is important to understand the relationship between good eating habits, exercise, an adequate sleep on our weight. I am not going to focus on every drug that appeared on this list now but I will focus on the controversial drug Ritalin that has been prescribed for ADHD to children. I'd like to draw your attention to the case of Matthew Smith who died at the age 14 from the ritalin prescription prescribed for ADHD . His parents have a website dedicated to Matthew's memory in an effort to prevent other children from dying and help parents who are ill informed and even bullied into prescribing this drug to their children through their schools. Matthew died from heart failure due to his ingestion of ritalin from the age of 7 to 14 years. A grown mans heart weighs 350 grams but Matthews weighed 402 grams at the time of his death. His death certificate read "Death caused from Long Term Use of Methylphenidate, Ritalin." This alone makes the idea of ritalin as a weight loss tool frightening. Addictive to the brain like cocaine, it doesn't take much to realize what could happen to an individual depending on this drug as a dietary suppressant which amounts to  swinging between addiction and starvation of the cells in the body. The list of side effects are so long I hope it will encourage anyone to look into healthier habits: Nervousness, insomnia, decreased appetite, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, dyskinesia, blurring of vision, convulsions, muscle cramps, tics, Tourette's syndrome, toxic psychosis (some with visual and tactile hallucinations), transient depressed mood, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, tachycardia, palpitations, arrhythmias, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, angina pectoris, rash, pruritus, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, alopecia, thrombocytopenia purpura, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme, leucopenia, anaemia and minor retardation of growth during prolonged therapy in children.

RESET - A Path to LifeLong Good Eating Habits
USANA Health Sciences has a program that is based on a sane and scientific approach to weight loss with the goal being to lay a foundation through a basic lifestyle change. One of the first things a person on the path to weight loss should do is to set themselves up for success by removing temptation. Getting rid of the junk food that you have in your cabinets will put you at an advantage at least while you are home. (There is always that vending machine at the office). Processed chips and candy need to be tossed and replaced with some good stuff like apples slices, celery, carrots, baby tomatoes, berries and even nuts a fave of Dr. Oz  - anything low glycemic. That way when you are in the mood for a snack you'll automatically be eating foods that contribute to your energy level making you feel good and helping you transition away from that carb and sugar roller coaster you have been on. The side effects of eating these kinds of foods are increased cardiovascular health, low blood pressure, a clean colon and increased energy levels to name a few!

Diets A short term solution to a long term problem
We need to address the underlying cause of weight gain which is insulin insensitivity.  What causes it? Eating processed foods does a great job of numbing us to our own insulin. Back in 1981 Dr. David Jenkins introduced the concept of a glycemic index which found that certain complex carbs spike blood sugar stimulating the release of insulin which is your storage hormone. The body begins storing additional fat and holding onto it like a sponge holds onto water. This leads to inflammation of the arteries which is known as glycemic stress. High spikes in blood sugar causes a tremendous release of free radicals into the blood. This in turn damages the arteries with particular wear and tear on the capillaries around the heart. Controlling carbohydrate cravings by supplying your body with optimal nutrition in the form of supplementation along with low glycemic meals in the forms of shakes, plenty of water and two servings a day of low glycemic fruits and vegetable work. The RESET program is a 5 day cleanse that resets your body.

Tips: A few things to keep in mind is that if you for some reason "fall off the wagon" don't beat yourself up. Just get back up dust yourself off and keep going. Secondly don't overdo the workouts. Light exercise like walking is just fine. It will get your blood circulating and get you some fresh air. Third keep a video log or journal and try and find a support system be it your best friend, your Mom or others that want to join in with you to get bikini ready for the summer!  This program should not be used by women who are pregnant or lactating. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to host a Rest Challenge!
You can order RESET here      
RESET Video with Dr. Ray Strand, Dr. Tim Wood and Jennifer Azzi with a comic ending....
Matthew Smith website created by his parents.

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