Meat and Weight Gain

Can Meat Cause Weight Gain?

Is Meat Causing You Weight Gain?

Our last blog on chicken, The Dark Side to Chicken You Need to Know, prompted some good discussion. Since we’ve opened the door to obesity and meat, I thought I’d do a follow-up article…

The EPIC-PANACEA study was a HUGE study observing over 100,000 men and over 270,000 women, aged 25-70 that were followed between 1992 and 2000 in 10 European countries. No, this study was not conducted in the U.S., but the similarities in eating habits and disease risk is quite similar.

The researchers noted meat intake is positively associated with weight gain during adult life in European subjects. The association was true for red meat, poultry, and processed meat. Even adjusting for calories, it was the meat that put the weight on.

Researchers concluded they were in favor of formal public health recommendations to decrease meat consumption to manage weight and for overall health improvement. [Ref: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. “Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study”].

Was the meat industry happy with this study? Not so much…as you might expect. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association stated that perhaps the weight gain was due to increased muscle mass, not fat. The researchers kindly reran their numbers taking a sample of over 90,000 individuals, measuring their abdominal obesity, the most dangerous place to carry fat, as its associated with degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes – our top killers.

Their findings?

Even when calories were kept the same, the more meat the participants consumed, the more their belly fat increased, the larger their abdomens grew. [Ref:, Dr Greger]

Chicken, which we spoke about in our earlier blog, The Dark Side to Chicken You Need to Know, was found to be the worst. The strongest association with annual weight increase was tied to poultry consumption. Simply, the more chicken you ate, the more likely you were to gain weight.

Another U.S. study came to the same conclusion. Comparing those who ate no chicken to those who consumed a mere 20 grams of chicken. The chicken consumers had significantly greater increase in their BMI (body mass index – indication of overweight or obesity) as compared to those who ate no chicken. [Ref: Journal of Nutrition 142, 2012. “Longitudinal changes in BMI in older adults are associated with meat consumption deferentially, by type of meat consumption”]

Chicken is a high fat food. Why are our chickens so fat? They are confined, unable to exercise, they are fed growth promoters to get them to market faster (the fattest chickens win!), not to mention many who receive GMO feed, and antibiotics.

It used to be that chickens provided a nice amount of DHA, a fatty acid important for brain health. Today, you would have to eat 6 chickens (a mere 9,000 calories!) to get the same amount of DHA found in a single chicken from the 1970s.

Researchers from the Institute for Brain Chemistry postulated such changes in our food system may correlate to increased mental illness. They believe the accelerated growth rate of today’s chickens simply don’t allow them the time to develop the healthy DHA fatty acid, and instead today’s chickens have DPA, a fatty acid that cannot readily convert to healthy brain protecting DHA. Researchers don’t put the entire blame for mental illness upon chicken, however, they do feel the alterations in our food overall have moved away from health and more towards inflammation and disease.[Ref:, Dr Greger]

We support a move towards a whole food, plant-based diet. If you need recipe ideas, feel free to visit our website under recipes. There are videos of me cooking healthy meals, along with great recipe ideas, all plant-based, all uber healthy, all delicious.

We help the world’s busiest people regain, retain and reclaim their health, energy and resilience. We are here to help you!

Contact us for a FREE phone or in-person consultation, or call us at 408-733-0400.


To reclaiming your best health,

Dr. Vikki Petersen DC, CCN
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”

Essentials for Lasting Weight Loss

Overweight and obesity is a serious problem for Americans,  and it’s at the root of some our more serious degenerative disease. But has it become so pervasive we are beginning to ignore it? Has overweight become the new “normal”? Patient comment: “I know, I’m overweight – but who isn’t?” or “I need to lose weight; I try but nothing seems to work…”

Are we resigned to our overweight and obese status? If the only problem was the size of jeans to purchase, it wouldn’t really matter. What makes overweight and obesity a health care epidemic is its direct association with conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and impotency.

Why? When the body is overweight the very nature of our fat cells alter. They change from inert, rather harmless entities, to substances of downright destruction. When our fat cells grow larger, they release toxins and inflammatory substances. The fat cells themselves literally explode spewing out destructive chemicals. It sounds like a war, doesn’t it? It is! It’s an inflammatory cesspool and the longer it continues the more degenerative disease is created.

A mere 10 extra pounds of belly fat creates a negative health impact. Butt and thigh weight is different from belly fat, at least from a health perspective. It is called “brown fat” and it’s considered stable fat because it doesn’t infiltrate into your organs creating disease the way belly fat does.

Health Tip: Are you carrying excess pounds in your belly? Measure your waist – women should be less than 30 inches and men should be under 35 inches.

Are you having trouble losing weight? Do you often feel hungry or unsatisfied after a meal?

It’s next to impossible to shed the pounds when your body feels hungry and is demanding more food.  Why might this occur? The body produces a hormone called leptin, it’s your satiety hormone, signaling your brain of a full stomach. It’s easy to not be tempted by more food when you’re feeling full and satisfied. However, there can come a point where the body no longer listens to leptin. In the presence of obesity, a resistance to leptin can occur whereby the body ignores leptin’s message and you continue to feel hungry despite a full tummy. This occurs when a high simple carbohydrate diet and/or excess calories has lead to a state of obesity. Excess fat in the body has created this nightmare scenario – hunger despite having eating adequate calories. Good news, however, there is a solution!

We’ve all had the experience when we’ve heard a car alarm go off. At first it gets our attention, but if it continues to go off, you begin to ignore it. The same thing is occurring with excess weight. The brain has simply come to ignore the leptin signals after a while.

Excess fat in the body can create all of the following:
• Inflammation – a precursor to most degenerative diseases
• Accelerates aging – the brain’s of obese individuals appeared 16 years older than healthy controls.
• Decreased brain and mental function with a potential of developing Alzheimer’s – called Type 3 Diabetes.
• Opposes the hormone insulin, resulting in weight gain and likelihood of diabetes
• Increases your stress hormone response, causing you to deal less well with stress
• Weakens your immune system, leading to a variety of potential disease states
• A resistance to leptin so you frequently feel hungry
• Shortening your lifespan

The above is a scary list, I know. But there truly is good news  – we can reverse these tendencies beginning with a healthy lifestyle and diet. Some targeted healthy changes in lifestyle that promote healthy eating, truly can result in an ideal weight and decreasing your risk for the above conditions.

Where should you start?

Cease and desist consuming highly processed or fast food. Food scientists are clever. They have “engineered” such foods to be highly addictive. The reward center of the brain is affected by sugar in a similar fashion as certain drugs such as cocaine, pot, nicotine and alcohol. It is their effect on the brain that results in our addiction. Sugar is so highly addictive that when rats who were already addicted to cocaine were given the option of choosing sugar, 94% of them chose the latter, meaning it was even better at “rewarding” their brain and supporting their addiction.

Have you ever been addicted to sugar? I have, and I’m here to tell you it can be reversed.

Don’t adopt a “cheat” day or eat unhealthy during the weekend. I’m sorry; I know this is popular, but unfortunately one day of poor eating alters the brain’s signaling. Did you know that type 2 diabetes can be cured in a matter of weeks solely through dietary change? How is that possible?

A truly healthy diet literally affects the expression of thousands of your genes, regulates the function of tens of thousands of protein networks, and enhances dozens of hormones, all with the potential outcome of preventing, curing and even reversing most chronic diseases. What can a bad diet do for you? Exactly the opposite. Can it be that simple? Yes, it truly can.

Above I referred to reversing diabetes within just a few weeks. Did you know an individual receiving a gastric bypass due to morbid obesity can reverse their diabetes within just a few days? Is it from weight loss? No, not within such a short time span, but what has occurred is a dramatic change in quality and quantity of food, and that alone is enough to result in the genetic and hormonal changes mentioned above. It’s difficult to believe food can be that powerful, but this has been proven in research. What you choose to put on the end of your fork truly moves you toward or away from disease; from shortening your life or extending it, that is the power of food.

Unfortunately, we cannot believe what we hear from the media regarding food and what’s healthy vs. not. A misinformation campaign was launched by Coca Cola to confuse consumers about sugar’s association with obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary, they promoted the message that as long as you exercised adequately the types of calories you consumed didn’t matter. The takeaway was Coke, meaning sugar, was a part of a healthy lifestyle… Please don’t believe it.

The “studies” they quote as supporting their statements turned out to be funded by Coca-Cola itself, in the guise of their front group, The Global Energy Balance. For more on such deceitful practices read my blog “Why Do Doctors Push Drugs?”. Coke not only funded the studies but donated to the universities leaders of The Global Energy Balance are employed, to the tune of millions.

Trust me when I tell you there is no reason to ever include sodas, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners in your healthy diet plan. I’d recommend a zero tolerance policy.

Consider intermittent fasting during part of your day. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but calorie restriction during a 14 to 16 hour period each day has a long list of positive health benefits associated with it. Calorie restriction is not recommended for children, women trying to get pregnant or if you have unstable blood sugar. I personally follow an intermittent fasting regimen most days and feel great.

Research cites the following benefits associated with being slender:

• The brains of slender individuals appeared almost a decade younger than those of “normal” weight
• Ability to handle stress improves
• Many organs function better, including heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and immune system
• Stronger libido
• More fertile
• Slows the aging process
• Life extension
• Enjoy life more

Exercise is a must. Find a form of exercise(s) you enjoy, or can grow to enjoy, and involve yourself with it 5 days per week for at least 3 to 4 hours total. Human bodies require exercise to maintain health and a proper weight and there really is no substitute for getting out and moving.

Feed your 10 trillion friends!

Did you know the microbiome, otherwise known as the good bacteria in your gut, can affect your weight through changing your metabolism?

Did you know thinner individuals have different organisms in their gut as compared to those who are overweight?

The microbiome is incredible and when you consider their are ten times more organisms in your gut than there are cells in your body, you begin to appreciate there is much yet to be learned about it.

Something we do know for sure is that what you eat affects the health of your microbiome. Specifically consuming organic fruits, vegetables, beans and resistant starch (learn more about resistant starch in the blog “Starch You Don’t Have to Resist”) provides healthy fuel to feed your gut flora.

Have you heard of Splenda’s not so “splendid” side effect. Much like certain drugs and antibiotics, this artificial sweeteners destroys your gut flora. Is that why the associate has been made between artificial sweeteners and weight gain? Perhaps.

Many patients ask if they can simply do a detox a few times per year that will negate all the bad food they’ve eaten. Unfortunately your body and digestive tracts can not be treated like a clogged pipe to which you add “drano” to clean it out. The body is a complex and miraculous machine and it needs to be treated with respect on a daily basis in order to maintain good health and optimal weight. You may not like to hear that, but I do always promise to tell you the truth and that is the truth as we know it right now.

A healthy weight comes from a healthy lifestyle and there are no “tricks” or shortcuts. We are happy to sensibly discover the best program for your body, taking into account your genetic makeup, while avoiding dangerous weight loss drugs. The “quick fix” weight loss “solutions” sound too good to be true because they are – lose weight sensibly; it’s the only healthy way to do it.

Is you health not to the level you desire? Would you like some help in achieving your ideal weight or body function?

Consider contacting us for a FREE consultationcall 408-733-0400. We’re here to help!

Please share this article with a friend who would benefit from the information.

To your fabulous health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”

Can Fitness Prevent Cancer and Other Diseases?

Here’s a word: “Exercise.” When you read that word, what is your response? Is it a happy word that makes you think of having fun with friends or getting away from everything while you enjoy a long run? Or is it a word you dislike because it makes you think of being in pain, sweating, or simply doing something you don’t like?

If you like the word you’re probably engaging in exercise to one degree or another. We’ll get to what is the best type of exercise for you a little later, but let’s first address those who had a negative response to the word.

Let’s try a different word: “Fitness.” Maybe the connotation with that word isn’t as bad. For the purposes of this blog we’ll use “fitness” to mean a body that is easily able to perform all activities needed on a daily basis including lifting heavier items (not too heavy), while having a healthy muscle to fat ratio.

Even if you hate exercise, it doesn’t mean you can’t be physically fit. There are several important reasons to address fitness. Here are a few:

1. You’re less likely to get injured. You need enough muscle strength to make it through activities of daily living without being at risk of injury.

2. You’ll build muscle which is important from two perspectives:

–          Muscle burns more calories than fat, keeping you slimmer

–          Muscle creates more muscle, while fat creates more fat. Basically the body is either gaining more muscle or gaining more fat, it’s never stagnant.

Note: If you want to know your fat vs muscle percentage, we have a fast, painless test here at the clinic that is very inexpensive: it’s called a BIA test and it only takes a few minutes to perform.

3. Fitness is good for your heart. Exercise improves circulation of not only your blood, but the cells of your immune system. It also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

4. Fitness reduces cancer risk. A study revealed physically active men and women to have a 30-40% reduction in risk for developing colon cancer compared to inactive individuals.

Other studies note programmed cell death of cancer cells is triggered by exercise. That’s a good thing to think about when you’re pushing yourself to exercise!

Exercise lowers insulin and controlling insulin levels is a powerful way to reduce your cancer risk.

5. It strengthens your bones. We have a vibration platform here at HealthNOW Physical Therapy that helps to build bone strength while you exercise.

6. Fitness helps to burn calories faster. A number of studies have linked obesity to an increased risk for about a dozen different cancers, including cancer of the colon.

A 2014 study analyzed data from more than 5 million people over the age of 16. For every 11-pound increase in body weight there was an increased risk for 10 different types of cancer. If you’re overweight or obese, even small amounts of weight loss can lead to significant benefits for your health. In terms of cancer prevention, losing excess belly fat is particularly important, as belly fat is linked to an increased risk of not only cancer, but heart disease and diabetes, regardless of your body weight.

Hint: If you want to burn calories faster throughout the entire day, exercise in the morning, rather than later in the day. For fat burning, there is no better time to exercise than first thing in the morning.

7. Helps stabilize mood through elevating endorphins. Exercise lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression.

8. Fitness increases your energy level.

The list of benefits is pretty nice, huh? Are you still thinking “exercise = yuck”? You’re in good company. 37% of adults report they are not physically active and only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity.

More than 10% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight. In fact, 25% of U.S. children spend 4 hours or more watching television daily.

The percentage of students in high school who engaged in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more of the previous 7 days was only 25%.

Just because there are many adults and children who don’t get enough exercise is not a license to do so yourself. We want you healthy and healthy = fit.

We have a great solution for you!

Fitness evaluations and individualized custom-made fitness programs are offered here at HealthNOW. Our doctor of Physical Therapy will evaluate you to decide the best program and then our highly trained Physical Therapy staff will deliver your program.

We have had great success with this approach whether you are new to exercise and a little nervous about beginning or if you’re a veteran and very active. It’s tailored to you and directed by a doctor. You’ll be supported to reach your next level of fitness, and then your next and your next, until you can’t believe how great you feel!

Give us a call to schedule your Fitness Evaluation with Dr Rupa – call 408-733-0400.


To your fabulous health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”


Is Chicken Making You Fat and Sick?

The Dark Side to Chicken You Need to Know

Certain “truths” we have grown up with can be difficult to accept as false when we initially learn they are untrue, or in the case of chicken, have changed.

Did you grow up “knowing” that milk was good for you and built strong bones? I did. The only problem is the fact, yes fact, that the industrialized nations who consume the most milk have the weakest bones, or highest incidence of osteoporosis.

Similarly if someone asked you to order the meat with the lowest saturated fat and gave you the choice between beef, pork and chicken, would you choose chicken? You’d be right… decades ago, but not now.

Chicken is a high fat product.

Getting a “whiff” of how fat chicken has become, the beef industry commissioned a trial comparing beef, chicken and fish’ impact on raising cholesterol via its saturated fat content. Would you believe there was no difference? It’s true.

Chicken currently is 10 times “fattier” than it was a century ago this according to the USDA. A chicken serving a hundred years ago contained only 2 grams of fat per serving, but now it’s over 20 grams of animal fat per serving. That’s double the fat found in ice cream. Does that mean you should eat beef? No!!! Elevated, bad cholesterol contributes to the major degenerative diseases killing so many Americans – namely heart disease and diabetes. Since the animal products just mentioned all raise cholesterol doesn’t mean nothing can be done to lower cholesterol. The solution is below.

The American Heart Association (AHA) officially and strongly recommends reducing saturated fat intake to 5% of all calories. Where are saturated fats found and what might 5% equate to?

Meat and dairy products are the major sources of saturated fat, and a mere two pats of butter, one “fast food” chicken breast or two cubes of cheese would complete your daily allowance of saturated fat. As Dr Greger from puts it: “two meals per week can be packed with meat, dairy and junk, but the entire rest of the week would need to be unprocessed plant foods” to comply with the AHA recommendations.

It turns out it’s not only what you choose NOT to eat, but what you choose TO eat that makes a difference. To get the biggest dietary “bang for your grocery store buck”, choose unprocessed plant foods. Cutting down on meats and dairy products lowered bad cholesterol a modest 5-10%, but healthy plant-based diets full of vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes and zero animal products plummeted bad cholesterol by 35%. And it happened quickly.

Imagine if a drug worked within weeks, took cholesterol down that much and had zero side effects!

What happened to the poor chicken? Like so many of us, it got fat.

Today’s chickens are mostly fat, containing up to three times more fat than protein.Why? Like us it’s about what the chicken eats and how much exercise it gets. We may be tethered to our desks hindering our exercise efforts, but chickens are not allowed to exercise in the main. And like us, their bodies are over-fat and under-muscled. Does eating fat animals make us fat? Apparently it does. Add antibiotics, growth hormones and GMO feed, and you have one unhealthy chicken.

I know. There’s a part of you that doesn’t want to know this. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the truth is the truth. Please don’t come away from this thinking it doesn’t matter what you eat so you may as well eat whatever you want. The truth about chicken is sad, but there are plenty of delicious foods available to you that will make your tummy happy, your heart healthy and your waistline slimmer.

Visit our recipes on this site and make an effort to eat less animal products and more plants. You will be happier that you did, I promise.

If your health is not to the level you would like, consider contacting us for a FREE Consultationcall 408-733-0400. Whether you live local to us or at a distance, we’d be delighted to help. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally.

Root cause medicine works!

To your fabulous health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”


Public Health Nutrition, 2007, Wang et al. “Modern organic and broiler chickens sold for human consumption provide more energy from fat than protein.”

Eliminated 5 of my 7 medications and lost 23 pounds!

Prior to finding HealthNOW I was getting very discouraged with traditional medical practices. I was told over and over again that the trouble I had with walking was simply because I was too fat and have arthritis. I was beginning the think the next step for me was a wheel chair.

I attended one of Dr Petersen’s lectures and started treatment the next week. After going on the modified elimination diet and finding out that I am gluten intolerant everything has fallen into place. My allergy symptoms are almost gone and I have eliminated 5 of my 7 medications. I have lost 23 lbs in 3 months!

The clinic has helped me so much with the chiropractic treatments and the physical therapy has helped tremendously. My energy level continues to improve daily. Thank you to each and every one of the staff at HealthNOW for the wonderful care.

— K.G.

I lost 22 pounds and my sugar cravings!

I was having trouble losing weight. I would eat unconsciously anything and everything, especially sugar. I would crave sugar products as well. I suspected I may have food allergies of some sort but there were no outward physical manifestations to confirm this.

I attended a health seminar at work given by Dr. Petersen. As he talked about optimum health he was hitting on some of the things that I was thinking about, like trouble losing weight. 

I scheduled an appointment with his clinic and the staff performed an assessment of where I was at.

First was to determine whether I had any food allergies. The test came back and I found out what I was allergic to. The nutrition staff took me step by step on how to eliminate that food from my diet successfully. 

It has been enlightening and has changed my whole approach on how I eat, sleep and exercise! 

I have lost 22 lbs and feel a whole lot better. I will soon be shopping for a new wardrobe!

— C.C

I’ve discovered the secret to life!

I wanted to thank HealthNOW and Dr. Preeti for helping me achieve outstanding results under your weight loss program.

 I first came to HealthNow over two years ago. My main reason for coming was chronic fatigue. I was sleeping up to 12 hours per night and unable to make it through the day without a nap. I was also getting nasty skin rashes, headaches, and other problems that regular medical doctors were not able to cure.

 After being diagnosed as gluten intolerant at HealthNow and strictly avoiding gluten since then, my health fully recovered. My fatigue and other medical problems completely disappeared! I haven’t needed more than 7 hours sleep per night and have super amounts of energy. But even after adapting to my new gluten free diet I was still very overweight. I had tried every weight loss program ever devised- especially high protein, low carb programs. They never seemed to work for me. Then Dr. Preeti suggested I try a plant based program. I was concerned at first.

At my age of 51, I don’t remember ever having a meal that didn’t include meat. But I figured I might as well try it since I’d tried everything else unsuccessfully.In the first 7 weeks of my program I lost 33 pounds and my body mass index category dropped from “obese” to merely “overweight”.

This weight loss caused my pant size to drop from a 46 waist to a 38 waist and even my neck size dropped an inch and a half. I’m beyond thrilled with these results; it feels like I’ve discovered the secret to life. Women are looking at me again and all my friends tell me I look more than ten years younger. My energy is off the charts now and I’ve never felt better in my entire life! At my current rate of progress. I’m on track to be the same weight in the next 7 weeks as when I got out of the Army thirty years ago.

And the best thing about this new diet is that it is sustainable.

Unlike previous diets, I can eat like this for the rest of my life. I don’t have to eat just broccoli or all salads; I get to eat potatoes, rice, fish, and other foods I love every day. I have really adapted to this new diet and should have no problem eating this way in the future.

— E.G.

They brought me to a level where I was comfortable doing the diet and exercise!

When I came to HealthNOW it was because of the lack of guidance from my regular doctor. I found the doctors here to be very helpful in guiding me about my diet. Being close to 200 lbs and not feeling as well as I could, they brought me to a level where I was comfortable doing the diet and exercise.

 This last visit has shown marked improvement in my diet; I’m down to 179 lbs. 

The staff is kind and considerate. They are very concerned about your health and progress.

I enjoy the time I spend here and I’ll continue to come to improve my health.

 The original purpose of my visit was to take care of a painful right elbow. I had jammed the joint while gardening (stubborn weeds) and the doctors here gave me therapy that eventually cured the elbow pain completely.


— P.M.

I sleep without medication and I’m not depressed. I feel great!

2 years ago I suffered an allergic reaction to a Sulfa drug causing serum sickness. After a month and a half of Prednisone I developed Shingles. Since then I have had a non-stop episode of Fibromyalgia. 

I was unable to sleep without awakening multiple times a night due to hip pain. My ankle was stiff and instead of walking, I “stomped”. My hands hurt to bend them and I had swelling in my hands, legs and feet. Everything hurt. I was depressed, irritable and always exhausted. And, to top it all off, no matter what diet I tried, I only gained weight.

One Saturday I saw an ad in the paper for Dr Petersen’s lecture.
 What could I lose? All my doctors ever did was increase my dose so I would sleep deeper and not feel the pain. I did sleep better but nothing else changed.

 Since I started the program here I’ve lost 32 pounds. I have no hip, hand or generalized pain. My ankles bend and I don’t “stomp” when I walk. I can get up and out of a chair easily without hesitation or pain. I sleep without medication and I’m not depressed. I feel great!


— A.O.

Overweight? It’s Increasing your Risk of Cancer

In the field of Clinical Nutrition we know and I have experienced at our clinic in our Weight Loss Clinic San Jose/ Silicon Valley that excess pounds can lead to increased rates of diabetes and heart disease, but new research adds cancer to that list as well. Is this a surprising finding? Not really.

For several years now we have discussed the fact that inflammation is at the root of most degenerative diseases and cancer certainly fits into that category. In fact, if you’ve ever heard me lecture on heart disease or diabetes you would have heard me comment that the similarity amongst the leading killers of Americans, namely heart disease, diabetes and cancer is quite striking. And what is the similarity or common root cause? Inflammation.

How does inflammation relate to obesity? Quite directly. Excess pounds, particularly when carried in the torso—the area between your shoulder blades and hips – are dangerous. The fat cells literally explode creating damage in nearby organs.

Fat Cells Explode, Causing Serious Organ Damage

If you imagine any explosion, you would think of flame and destruction. It turns out that our fat cells actually do that kind of damage, creating inflammation in the wake of their explosion. A recent study out of The Lancet on May 29th of this year found that one third of all cancers are directly related to obesity. Further, 3.5 million deaths occur from excess body fat each year in this country.

In analyzing trends of obesity from 1980 to 2013, the authors discovered a 28% increase in adults’ obesity levels during that 33 year period, while children’s obesity levels rose a frightening 47% during that same time period. It is estimated the obesity leads to more doctor visits than smoking…

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk?

The truth of the matter is that the solution is pretty easy and inexpensive – no drugs or surgery required for the REAL solution to weight loss. But sadly, if you polled most Americans they would much rather choose the drug and perhaps even surgery rather than know what really works. How can that be? How is it that we’d rather take a dangerous drug or receive life-threatening surgery costing tens of thousands of dollars instead of changing our diet and lifestyle?

obesity-500 It’s because we perceive a change of diet to be so difficult. Is that because it actually is? No. But it ‘seems’ that way because we are brain washed by fast food companies to think that it is. We are brain washed by major food manufacturers to believe that if we can’t have their ‘crappy’ product we’ll be missing out in some pleasure in our lives. Is that true? Does fast food, junk food and highly processed food make you happier? Well…. In a dangerous way it may ‘seem’ that way. But only in the same way that an alcoholic or drug addict thinks they’re substance makes them happier.

In other words it’s not true happiness and it’s anything but healthy. But you should understand that food engineers do put chemicals in our unnatural, over processed “food” products that cause our brains to crave those bad foods. And when we’re not getting them in our system, we perceive that we need them. We perceive that we’ll be happier when we eat them. That’s not real ‘happiness’, that’s addiction and it’s downright dangerous. This is not my opinion. There are many studies that support my statements. And, of course, these addictive junk foods not only cause cravings but their very composition causes weight gain – dangerous weight gain that we now know is moving us towards increased risk of cancer, amongst other diseases. So, back to the big question—what do we do to change this mess? HealthNOW Weight Loss Clinic San Jose has the answer.

7 Key Steps to Start on the Road to Better Health

1. Avoid junk food. I’m sorry but you’ve got to break the habit of eating fast food and junk food. I know that’s a big ask, but if you don’t you just can’t possibly be healthy. And if you’re young and living on fast food and you feel fine, I’ve got to tell you that you won’t continue feeling fine. That type of diet is going to catch up to you. If you’ve been eating that way for a while and think it’s too late to change, you’re wrong. The good news is that it’s never too late to change.

The human body is a very generous and tough machine. It will heal when you start doing the right things for it. And if the mere thought of changing your diet makes you nervous, literally, just realize you’re addicted. The addiction can be out of your system in a matter of a few days. It’s really not that hard. If you can make it through 3 or 4 days, you’ve likely conquered the addiction. That’s not a long period of time, right? I’m happy to help you with tips on how to get through it—I’ve been working with patients for over two decades doing just that.

2. Start eating 5 to 7 servings of fruits and veggies every day. No GMO versions, if you please. GMO negates everything that’s good about the fruit or vegetable. Whether you hide your greens in a smoothie so that you can’t taste them, or cut up kale so fine in your tomato sauce that you don’t even know that it’s there, just eat it! I’m happy to help you with some strategies of how to get fruits and veggies into your diet (and your kids’ diet). The importance of these foods lies in their ability to reduce inflammation and literally detoxify the body.

3. Drink clean water. How much? Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Spread the water out throughout the day and you will start to lose weight, decrease inflammation and detoxify.

4. Exercise. What type of exercise is best? The one that you’ll do! Figure out what you’ll actually do—and just start with that. Once you’re exercising about 100 minutes per week, then we’ll refine it to get the most from your routine. You know how I mentioned that fast food was addictive? Well so is exercise—except it’s a healthy addiction! You’ll find that when you really make it a habit to exercise, you’ll miss it when you don’t. This is a good habit to get into.

5. For protein—consider lean, clean options as well as plant-based ones. Consider organic, pastured eggs, chicken and fish that you know has not been fed GMO, antibiotics or hormones, and nuts, beans and green vegetables—all which provide good protein.

6. Eat good fats and oils. Good fats (in the form of extra virgin olive oil, coconut, avocado, almond, tea seed and hazelnut oils) are excellent for preparing food. Avocados, olives and flax seeds are also great to eat. Why are these fats so good? They are anti-inflammatory and therefore not only healthy, but in the case of the fats high in omega-3 fatty acids, they actually help you to lose weight.

7. Avoid food sensitivities.
This may be last on the list, but certainly not because it isn’t vitally important. Having a food sensitivity means that you are eating a food that’s creating a toxic-like response in your body. Such a reaction can affect any and all systems and organs of the human body—and it will also create inflammation and cause weight gain for many.

The two most common food sensitivities? gluten and dairy. You’ll need help figuring out what foods you may be sensitive to. If you need assistance, let me know. Could this list be longer? Certainly, but let’s begin with these 7 items and see how you do. Tailor-made programs are what we specialize in, but there are certain basics that are great to start with and I’ve listed these basics above.

Cancer, heart disease and diabetes can be pretty scary. Isn’t it nice to know that you have some control? And it’s as simple as what you put into your mouth? See? Not so hard after all!

Do You Want To Reduce Your Risks?

If you want to reduce your risks of cancer—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. HealthNOW Weight Loss Clinic San Jose is located in CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!

To your health,

Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”