There are two especially important points to remember as you put Immune Power to work:You may have withdrawal symptoms during the first week or so of the diet. These are nothing to worry about—in fact, they are positive proof that the diet is working. If this is a problem for you, go back and re-read the advice in chapter 3.If you take some medication regularly or are under a doctor’s care for chronic illness, you may notice changes in the effectiveness of your medicine as your “immune tune” improves. As you lose weight and get healthier, you may find that less medicine works just as well. You should always inform your physician if you are on the Immune Power Diet program, so that you can be monitored for these kinds of changes.WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP?I won’t deny that the Immune Power Diet asks you to make some real changes in how you look at food, but I am not asking you to become a food Puritan. All you must do is identify and then eliminate the hidden toxins which are now damaging your health and energy. Once your body has recovered from the effect of those hidden food sensitivities, you can eat them again on a moderate schedule. You will find very few foods that have to be totally cut out of your life. Of course, there may be foods that you decide to avoid permanently because you decide they produce such strong unpleasant reactions.*71\242\2*

Enter oxygen. We’ve all heard of this, right? So what does oxygen have to do with free radicals and premature ageing and even getting fatter and getting thinner? I’m glad you asked that question. Because oxygen has an evil twin.
Picture the scene: an earth before time, a fiery ball hung in an inky sky. Almost 4 billion years ago when the earth was just a pot of space soup kepc bubbling hot by the sun the first free radicals were born as a result 0f ultraviolet radiation. In their excitement and agitation, these free radicals formed new molecules, genetic mutations, ever different patterns like some primitive kaleidoscope until evolution came up with us. Free radicals have been part of our every cell all the way up the staircase of human development from the very first step to the pinnacle where we stand today.
The camera pulls back and back. The scene switches to a lab at the University of Michigan in 1894 and focuses on a serious young doctoral student hunched over the counter, his legs wrapped around a wooden stool, his hands busy with an experiment. Moses Gomberg had escaped to America with only the clothes on his back, one sabre length ahead of the czar’s soldiers. Here was a true Horatio Alger story. He went on to educate himself, become head of the chemistry department at Michigan, and the first to discover free radicals. He watched them charge around, sending off sparks of destruction, before they burned themselves out. He gave these excitable elements their name.
Time passes. The camera moves on. The calendar pages turn faster and faster (like they always do in those black-and-white movies) and then stop. The year is now 1954. And look. What do we see? A woman in a lab coat. She is Rebecca Gersman, a scientist. Rebecca and her lab partner Daniel Gilbert are doing some research on a form of blindness called retrolental fibroplasia that affects premature infants. Little bitty babies were going blind and nobody knew why. The two medical sleuths investigated and found that the air in the incubators housing the premature babies had a higher concentration of oxygen than the regular air we breathe. Further experiments pointed to the culprit. It was oxygen that was making those babies blind. Rebecca went even further in her conclusions and stated that most of the damage done to living tissue was done by free radicals arising from oxygen. This was heavy stuff.

Most of the fad diets incorporate a strategy that has some potential merit in fat loss, or perpetuate a belief that has existed for many years. These diets pick and select amongst the techniques and package them as the new wonder diet. Almost all fad diets require strict adherence to a plan, which means that people are not learning how to cope with their own environment. Very few use the main principle espoused in this book which is that for a fat loss plan to be successful, it has to be something that can be done comfortably for life.

Some of the characteristic strategies employed by fad diets, which may be useful in a more ‘balanced’ food intake program, but which are ineffective when used alone are:

Fat restriction: (e.g. Fruit and vegetable diets, high-carbohydrate diets, juice fasts and macrobiotic diets). This method has become one of the keys to fat loss, however, many fad diets using this principle still pose a risk to consumers as they adopt many other unsuitable practices as well, including nutrient inadequacy. Examples include ‘fruit only diets’ and the ‘macrobiotic diet’.

Moderate sugar intake: (e.g. Solid-meal replacement diets, ice-cream diets, juice fasts). This method includes sugar for its satiety value, but may also include high levels of fat, particularly in some meal replacements. If the emphasis is on carbohydrate-rich foods then the basis would be in the right direction. Examples include the ‘Drinking Man’s Diet’.

Food combinations: (e.g. Not eating protein and starch together). This method perpetuates myths that foods rot in the stomach because of effects of bad food combinations on gastric emptying rates and this then contributes to accelerated fat gain. This premise is incorrect on many grounds; first, the foods are generally mixtures of all macronutrients and second, the information on digestive physiology and fat storage is incorrect. Examples are the ‘Fit for Life diet’ and ‘Rotation Diet’.

Fasting and very low energy diets: These diets are based on the premise that they rid the body of ‘toxins’ that stop an individual losing fat and also that all the energy is supplied from the body’s tissues, guaranteeing weight loss. An understanding of physiology and of research in fat loss, shows that these are unsound methods that may actually work to increase the fat content of the body.



When an anorexic is highly anxious, anti-anxiety medicines can be more helpful than the antipsychotics. Anxiety can take many forms: fear of fatness; concern about living up to “other people’s expectations” about thinness; worry about criticism from family and friends. Anorexics have deep fears about body size and shape, and may feel traumatized by bodily changes during puberty.

Anxiety only feeds these fears and makes them worse. For example, a girl may feel that eating anything at all will make her fat. She thus relieves her anxiety by cutting out virtually all foods from her diet. What’s more, an anorexic is often perfectionistic by nature. She may grow anxious if something is amiss or out of place in her otherwise tightly structured life.

Anti-anxiety medications are sometimes used for the small minority of anorexic patients who have such extreme anxiety about eating that they are unable to function even in a supportive environment. Anti-anxiety medications that are “short acting,” such as lorazepam or oxazepam, seem to be tolerated better than the “long-acting” medications such as diazepam (Valium). Side effects can include sedation and dizziness; anorexics are often highly sensitive to such feelings. As we saw earlier, there is also a serious risk of addiction.

I find that anxiety-ridden patients tend to tolerate these medications better and experience fewer side effects than they do with antidepressants. If a patient has extreme anxiety at mealtime, I may consider offering her a short-acting medicine such as lorazepam or oxazepam.



Joyce Perata distinctly remembers her first eating binge. An ice cream truck was passing through her neighborhood, and she ran out to buy a supply of her favorite treat: ice cream bars. She ran back home, sat on the kitchen floor, and devoured the 3 or 4 bars one after another.

At the time, she was all of 9 years old.

Joyce had been living with her grandmother until that summer, when she moved in with her parents. “Because both of them worked during the day, I found myself home alone, missing my grandmother,” she recalls. “Eating was my way of comforting myself.

“I learned at an early age to use food to deal with my emotions, whether I was feeling lonely, anxious, or sad,” says the 56-year-old

Fremont, California, resident. “Eating was an antidote to my negative feelings and my lack of self-worth. It numbed me.” ^

It also precipitated Joyce’s nearly half-century struggle with her weight, which careened between a high of 170 pounds and a low of 98 pounds on her 5-foot-2-inch frame. In college, Joyce smoked to stay thin. In her thirties, she sucked down diet pills. In her mid-forties, she began eating healthfully, walking, and doing aerobics. But when her marriage fell apart, she once again turned to food for comfort.

Finally, at age 54, Joyce had had enough. “I had been getting help from a psychiatrist in working through my occasional bouts of bulimia and anorexia,” she says. “My psychiatrist suggested that I join Honesty, Openness, and Willingness, an offshoot organization of Overeaters Anonymous” (OA-HOW). The program taught Joyce how to control her bingeing and gave her tools to deal with the emotions that drove her to food in the first place. Through OA-HOW, Joyce says, she discovered an inner clarity and peace that she had never before experienced. For the first time in her life, she felt good about herself, without the aid of food. “I learned to accept my body as it is without trying to be skinny,” she says. “I could look in the mirror and feel okay about myself.”

Empowered, Joyce consulted a nutritionist to learn how to eat better. She also resumed her exercise program. As a result of her healthier lifestyle, she has lost 42 pounds.

For Joyce, even more valuable than her weight loss is her newfound self-confidence and self-esteem. “Now, I recognize my feelings,” she says, “and I feel joy and freedom.”


Feed emotional hunger without food. Like Joyce, you may have a strong emotional attachment to food and bingeing

that’s so complex that you need professional guidance to work through it. Don’t be embarrassed, and don’t let feelings of shame or pride (“I should be able to beat this alone”) keep you from seeking help. That’s what the pros are there for—to help people like you and me unravel the years of habit that have made food our emotional salve for hurt and low self-worth. Find a counselor whom you trust, and start feeling better today. If you need incentive to take that first step, think about how it helped Joyce.



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