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How to Lose Weight on the Spectrum Diet

Learn how to lose weight on the Spectrum Diet from Carolyn Dean, M.D. in this Howcast video.


Hello, my name is Carolyn Dean, I'm a medical doctor and a naturopathic doctor and I live in beautiful Maui. I've finished my 22nd health book, I have a free newsletter and I also have an online wellness program that you can join. And today in this series I'll be talking about dieting.

The Spectrum diet, this book is written by Dr. Dean Ornish. I heard about Dr. Ornish years ago, in the late 80's. He was working with a vegetarian diet, stress management, and exercise on a group of individuals and he published a paper on his results showing that 87 percent of the individuals on the program reversed their cardiovascular disease to some extent.

This is on a 10 percent fat diet this is not a lot of fat in the diet, it's very restrictive. The people who were the control part of the diet ate 30 percent fat and their heart disease worsened. This was using Doppler tests and intravenous diet tests to check the artery. It was a very well done study. But it also included exercise, it had support groups, it had yoga for stress management. So it was a lifestyle, what Dr. Ornish has done with the spectrum diet, he's created a system they call it genomics, where you look at how the nutrition is affecting your genes and how you can individualize.

He's taking five stages of diet where he starts at stage five someone who's eating red meat and fried food etc. and he asks them try to go to step four where you drop the fried foods, and step three where you have low-fat dairy instead of full-fat dairy, and step two is even more restrictive getting more vegetarian, and step one is basically a strict vegetarian diet.

To me it can work for someone who is focused either on a vegetarian diet or animal protein diet, although he does focus on the vegetarian diet as being the best diet. The health industry unfortunately does focus on vegetarianism, and when only three percent of the population is vegetarian then it means the focus makes people feel inadequate if they can't practice a strict vegetarian diet. I think that sends the wrong message. I think a diet should be balanced and it should include exercise and stress release, and all the other things we know encompass a good healthy lifestyle.

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