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Why Diets Don’t Work: PART I

Why Diets Don’t Work: PART I

FACT: There has been an upsurge in obesity in the last twenty-five years: 1 in 3 persons in our country is currently overweight to the point of obesity. The reasons for this fat plague are legion. I covered several of them in a recent post: Let’s step back and really think about what’s going on with our nation’s mounting obesity problem.

DUMB QUESTION: Why is that the more people diet the heavier our country gets?

I’ll try and answer that by focusing on an organ in our body that is getting none of the love it deserves. It’s an organ that, if you protect it, your quality of life will improve; your health with soar. The results of your diligence will show in your eyes and on your skin, even as your body becomes the high performance machine it was created to be.

I’m talking about the liver. That it’s often over overlooked in favor of other organs is unfortunate, given its extreme importance. It does nothing less than: filter the blood

  • detoxify the body
  •  regulates cholesterol
  • regulate blood sugar
  • break down protein
  • process our fat burning

Many weight loss programs are damaging your liver.  And if your liver’s not functioning properly, it’s nearly impossible to burn fat and therefore lose weight.

I’ll say it again:

If your liver’s not functioning properly it’s nearly impossible to burn fat and therefore lose weight.


Let’s start with the simple things: artificial sweeteners and trans fats. Appetite suppressants severely damage the liver and the adrenal glands (your energy storehouse), as do—Ahem!—weight  loss meds. The kind that is constantly coming on market and then getting yanked, just as a new one appears.

Oh yes, the liver killers also include so-called  ‘low fat foods.’ In fact the list of things that trash the liver is long and depressing.

Need more? There is the constellation of pesticides that gets smuggled into our food, day in and day out. Did you know that apples contain 42 pesticides, and celery has 65, all told? Don’t ask me why, just know that they are on there, and that standard power washing will not get rid of them. And if you are finding all this more than a little depressing, you’re on the correct track. Anger comes next.

Thing is, the poor, heroic liver is our only line of defense between toxins and our body. Because some of what the liver does is process toxins. And when it’s malfunctioning, due to overwork and overload, you simply cannot lose weight.

Adding injury to insult, one common consequence of toxins entering our system is pain, manifesting either as right shoulder pain, neck pain, or joint pain in the fingers.  Here’s where it gets funky. Because when people are in pain, what do they do? They reach for the Tylenol. This in turn damages the liver further, which of course leads to more pain…which then damages the liver, creating more pain and…you get the not-so-pretty picture.

Not surprisingly, this roller-coaster low liver function scenario tends to stress people out, leading to agitation and even depression. Bring on more liver damaging meds, please!

As an acupuncturist, one thing I see is that practically everyone in our culture–i.e. New York City–has got a stressed-out liver. As a result, even when I’m treating other imbalances, I address this problem.

The good news is that cleaning up the liver leads to a pretty nice emotional state. Think bliss.

I will continue this post in a future rant:)

Peace. Daniel Reinaldo at Blue Phoenix Wellness


Music: Johnny Orpheus by D.R. Bernstein

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