Since I lost so much weight so rapidly, people have been asking me about my â€œsecret.â€ Here is more about the Brentwood Diet and the doctor who created it.
Note: a longer version of this article, including the diet itself, attached documents, and online links, can be found at:
As of Aug 26, 2011, I lost more than 120 pounds, and was at 15% body fat — my goal is not set by weight, but by body fat percentage: the ideal â€œfitnessâ€ percentage for males being between 14% and 17%. After starting the diet January 21, 2011, I went from a size 46 waist to a size 32, and from XXL shirts barely fitting to Medium now fitting perfectly. I now weigh less than I did in high school. My blood pressure is normal (almost too low to give blood, actually). And I even bought a new wedding ring (went from a size 10 to size 7)!
I feel tremendous, have much better mental agility, sleep better, and have a much more positive outlook. I look great in my new wardrobe and feel confident all the time. My skin does not sag since I am not eating salt, and so it has tightened up. All of the medical issues from which I used to suffer are now gone, and I have stopped taking my daily regimen of Advil, Zantac and Tylenol PM. My wife is particularly happy that I no longer snore!
I had gained a lot of weight over the past few years, ever since my son, Dylan, was first diagnosed with cancer (see dylan.ericdavid.info for more). I over-ate for comfort, thinking it would relieve the intense stress. But it just made things worse. I was anything but â€œcomfortâ€ -able! I felt out of control, and didn’t think I would ever find a way to get my weight back where I wanted it. Above all, I wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible, with whatever time the four of us have left: yet I could not play with them for more than a few minutes at the park, what with the back and foot pain my excess weight was causing (lower back, sciatica and plantar fasciitis, plus fatigue from sleep apnea).
The â€œbeforeâ€ photograph was my heaviest ever — almost 300 pounds! (With my family at Versailles, taken November 1, 2010. See also my â€œduringâ€ and â€œafterâ€ photos). Whether it is hereditary or not (I’m adopted, so don’t know), I have struggled with obesity all my life, and have tried many different kinds of diets: from liquid diets to working with a weight loss clinic to walking 10 miles per day. While I have lost weight, and lots of it, before, and then just gained it back, I know this time I’ll keep it off. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
A friend referred me to a local doctor, Eric Mizrahi. He handed me one sheet of paper, printed on both sides, with the details of the diet on one side and Ten Commandments to Eat By on the flip side. The Brentwood Diet is simple, straightforward, easy to understand and can be posted on your fridge or, better yet, memorized. It is a strict version of the â€œPaleolithicâ€ or â€œCavemanâ€ diet. There are no energy bars, no prefabricated meals and no counting of points, grams or calories; no measuring portions, no logging exercise, no gyms, no pills and no surgery. It is almost all lean meat: high in protein and extremely low in carbs and salt: no fruit, no alcohol, no dairy, no artificial sweeteners, and no spices are allowed. I started the diet the next day, after a â€œlast supper.â€ I was a little upset I didn’t wait until after my birthday (Feb. 3) to begin the diet, but I made it through without eating any cake, a small victory over temptation that would be repeated many times.
Low-carb, high-protein diets are â€œketogenic,â€ which means it puts your body into ketosis: when your body switches from burning carbs to burning fat for energy. The first week or so of getting into ketosis are not easy: you have low-grade headaches, some dizziness, and grumpiness. But it’s not the end of the world: it’s just your brain rebelling at switching over to the new fuel source, and it desperately does not want to switch. After all, carb energy is all it has known for years. But best to bite the bullet and muddle through the â€œinduction flu,â€ as it’s called, as quickly as possible.
Exercise is not required on The Brentwood Diet, although of course it helps burn a few more calories, live longer, strengthen your heart and raise your fitness level. As you get lighter, it just feels good to move around, as the doctor said.
I have to stress that this diet must be medically supervised, so either look Dr. Mizrahi up if you’re in Los Angeles, or have your doctor contact him ([email protected] or 310-471-7714), and see your doctor every week. It will also help to have a professional who has a fat percentage scale which can accurately measure someone of larger girth.
I typically would boil a half dozen eggs and just eat one for breakfast as soon after waking as possible. For lunch, the tuna is ready to eat with some lemon juice and mustard. I would keep lemons, the no-salt mustard, and cans of tuna at work. Instead, I would usually throw two packages of the chicken and turkey on our George Foreman family-sized grill, so I have dinner meat on-hand for the next couple of days. Bison if you can find it is lean, the New York cut is leanest, and if you can get grass-fed, that is the best. Slow-cooked, you have a great alternative to fatty steak.
A longer version of this article can be found at: