Dr Eric Berg is a Chiropractor who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods. His private practice is located in Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Eric Berg's clients include senior officials in U.S. Government and the Justice Department, Ambassadors, medical doctors, high-level executives of prominent corporations, scientists, engineers, professors, and others clients from all walks of life.
To date he has trained over 1,000 healthcare professionals. Dr Berg, www.DrBerg.com, has been an active member of the Endocrinology Society; on the Advisory Panel for the Health Science Institute; and has worked as a past part-time adjunct professor at Howard University. Dr. Berg’s non-profit foundation, called Health Technology Foundation, is currently being approved nationally for the purpose of providing research to substantiate alternative healthcare technologies, giving cost effective solutions and results oriented healthcare. As a leader in natural health and food coaching, Eric Berg, D.C. has appeared on many of radio and television shows including: ABC, CBS, and a monthly host on Channel 8’s Sports Talk. He has had his own health radio show on WOL in 2005.
He is the author of The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, which has been published by Action Publishing in January 2008. In addition, Dr. Berg is widely published, in trade magazines including Chiropractic Today and The American Chiropractor, to consumer publications such as First for Woman, Men’s Exercise, New Beauty, Upscale, and Let’s Live. Dr. Berg trains chiropractors, physicians and allied healthcare practitioners in his methods.
Questions and Answers
by Trung Nguyen
How did you become interested in the field of weight loss?
You can't be in the health field without addressing a person's weight. I personally got involved when over and over again, people would write on their consultation sheet, weight loss as their priority. I personally am very interested in solving health-related problems that are difficult to solve - weight being at the top of this list. So stubborn belly fat became something that I put a lot of my attention on. And as I looked into this more and more, it became evident that there were more arbitraries in this field than any other.
What are some common misconceptions that people have about losing weight?
We found that a person's weight is really just a symptom of poor health. As they get healthier, the lose weight. The drug companies are attempting to turn this around and make obesity THE disease, which is responsible for many of their health problems. It's amazing how many people have bought into this already - I ask people WHY they want the weight off and most answer, "to get healthy", so we have lots of work to do.
People also do not know the purpose of fat. They think its a cushion or an insulator. Fat, being the largest gland in the body has only one purpose - to help survival by storing energy. As a person's health decreases, the body will hold onto this potential energy very tightly.
The other misconception is that there are different weight problems relating to glands - Adrenal, Thyroid, Liver and Ovary. As a gland produces excess or deficiency, the body distorts. This is why a person needs to adjust the program to the gland problem rather than assume that everyone should be put on the same diet or exercise program.
The last huge confusion relates to the definition of FOOD.The derivation comes from nourishment or nutrients. There a few people really eating for nutrients, instead they eat for calories. To create health, an overweight person needs to eat for maximum nutrients.
I've read that "diet" colas and "low fat" snacks and foods actually make people fatter. Is there any truth to this?
Once a person understands that they must "get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy", then everything else will make sense. Diet sodas, which contain aspartame, being a neurotoxin, brings a person's health in the opposite direction. People that drink diet drinks are puffy, fluid retainers and unhealthy. I had 3 clients with permanent blood disorders after consuming excessive diet drinks.
Low fat snacks contain high refined sugars, which not only deplete nutrients but block fat burning. These foods also contain MSG in the hidden form of modified food starch, an addictive flavor enhancer. The food manufacturing companies have to put these chemicals in or people would not consume them.
Are there any health risks associated with artificial sweeteners such as SugarTwin , NutraSweet, Splenda, Sunett, and others?
Sunett (Acesulfame K) negatively affects insulin and creates serious side-effects in animal studies.
Nutra Sweet (Aspartame), being a neurotoxin turns into formaldehyde at 85 degrees.
I used to recommend Splenda, which is a sugar alcohol; however, my clients would notice large amounts of fluid retention.
I recommend people consume stevia, however, after the being on our program for 3-4 days, cravings will usually diminish to zero as more nutrients go into the body, especially potassium. A person will not burn fat if they are craving sugar. These cravings are imbalances, mainly of potassium. A person's normal minimal requirement per day is 4,700 mg. One cup of vegetables will give 500mg and 1 banana will give 450mg. One avocado will give you 800 mg. So you can see very quickly that we need lots of these foods to balance out our nutrients.
Does each person have an inherited metabolic rate that determines how fast and much they can lose weight? What are some ways a person can change their natural metabolic rate?
Each person does have a genetic component with regards to metabolism in general, however, this is not the main reason people get or stay fat. If your parents abused their livers or kidneys, you may have a weakness in that area. Right now, we are getting mutations, which is a sudden change of the genetic code. This has been created by endocrine disruptors in the environment - pesticides, herbicides, etc. There was a powerful estrogen given to 11 million women from 1935-1971 called DES (Diethylstilbesterol) to prevent miscarriages until they found this drug caused miscarriages in the offspring - 2nd and 3rd generation. If your mother took this, there is a chance that your thyroid will be disrupted.
If a person consumes a very small amount of calories (starvation diet), this can also create a slow adaptation in the metabolic rate. If estrogen is too high, the thyroid can get inhibited, creating a slow metabolism. If the liver is damaged, the thyroid can't work as well due to the inability of the thyroid hormones to be activated by the liver.
There are many ways a person CAN increase their metabolic rate.
1. Stop consuming growth hormone in your foods, especially foods that are higher in fat - organic, free-range, grass fed, grown without growth hormone types are the best.
2. Keep sugars to zero as just a small amount of sugar has the potential for nullifying all the good works you are doing.
3. Interval training, describe in my book at the correct exercise-rest can put a wave like change in the body, which assists in increasing growth hormone, the good one that helps fat burning.
4. Make sure you are consuming enough high nutrient dense cruciferous vegetables, since cruciferous has the potential to deactivate endocrine disruptors into harmless particles and helps restore the liver.
5. Never consume key gland destroyers - like MSG (monosodium glutamate, modified corn starch), high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, soy protein isolates and hydrogenated oils.
For some people, you don't recommend that they exercise to lose weight. Why is that?
Exercise for the adrenal type is bad since it adds stress to an already stressed out body. Adrenal gland counter stress and in these types the body is exhausted. In fact, if a person has an adrenal type, they will be at the gym for years and you will never see any change in the stomach area. The reason the stomach will not budge is because the adrenals, as a survival mechanism, is holding and storing energy around the vital organs.
What are your views on the following diets:
Atkins Diet: This is very bad for Liver body types as the liver is not functioning does not tolerate high proteins or fats, especially of the cooked nature. The people that do okay with this diet, have stronger livers. However the diet doesn't have enough vegetables to inject enough nutrients. This is why people gain the weight back.
South Beach Diet: This is a modification of the Atkins but allows more grains. It's good in that it reduces refined sugars but only in the short first phase, then the person can go back to eating their junk. It's nothing special, it's more of the same old same old.
Mediterranean Diet: This type is adding more olive oil and some fish which is good but allows for bread and grains. If you are dealing with stubborn metabolism, then this moderation diet won't work - just a little of the wrong foods will stop fat burning. Might be okay for a person who has a good metabolism, but not for the typical person coming into my clinic.
Caveman (Paleolithic) Diet: This is good; however it's a one-size-fits-all diet. It doesn't account for the different body types and the different requirements for amino acids. Some bodies need more or less protein and this diet might be good for certain types.
Low Carb Diet: This has one positive strategy, which reduces insulin, which is a fat making, however, does focus on what foods it takes to create a healthy body, only foods to avoid. You could end up losing some but then only losing some and not all that you need.
Low Fat Diet: We know this doesn't work as we have tried this for decades. Fat doesn't trigger insulin, which causes fat. This might be a good advice for the Liver body type, but not for the Adrenal since the adrenal needs some fat to build its hormones. This diet is operating under the assumption that fat has the most calories and therefore will turn to fat, however, what's missing is the hormone connection. This also allows for adding refined sugars and carbs (carbohydrates).
Do you supplement your diet with nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals?
The best way to do this is to get your nutrients from foods. I will soon be done with a program you could use off my web site so enter your foods, get an analysis and see what nutrients you are missing AND recommendations on which foods will give you these nutrients. I only recommend whole food supplements. The most popular in my office is the Organic Cruciferous Sprouts Food, which is a blend of 7 cruciferous sprouts all freeze dried. Very powerful and something people never consume. Just to give you an idea, one small tablet is equivalent phytonutrients to 10 cups of adult broccoli.
What is your view on organic food versus non-organic food?
Organic foods are cleaner and read the label closely since you don't know if they're organic for sure [USDA Organic does not mean it's 100% organic]. However, if a person can't afford organic, I still recommend they eat the food recommended from my book as the nutrients will outweigh the potential problems of chemicals, especially in the vegetable family. Do not consume commercial milk, butter or cheese as the growth hormones are very high - only organic.
Any parting words for our readers?
Change your goal FROM losing weight TO creating a healthy body - this way you can target the correct problem and avoid the many unhealthy short cuts to losing weight loss. The other point is that when a person is on the correct program for their body type, they get results. A person will comply and stick to something that works. So the pre-step that many omitted is finding out what your body type is. I have a free quiz on my site to find out your body type. Go to www.DrBerg.com
The 7 Principles of Fat Burning. Activate your fat-burning hormones with a tailor-made plan for your body type. Effective Strategies that Go Way Beyond Dieting and Exercise. In the 7 Principles of Fat Burning you will discover that the real cause of your difficulty losing weight and keeping it off is glanular weakness. Take the body type quiz to first find your weakness, then start your program to acheive stable healthy weight loss.