If you are like most people who’ve tried to lose weight, you’ve dieted, exercised or both. Maybe it worked for a while and maybe it didn’t—but no matter what the outcome, you probably noticed that it was extremely difficult. Before you knew it, you were back where you started.
Why the lack of success?
You were doing it backwards!
Most dieters fail in the long run, and there is a very specific reason for that: Their bodies are not primed to succeed.
If your body is not prepared for weight loss, you will fight a biochemical uphill battle, and the odds of winning or maintaining any weight loss are slim.
Wouldn’t it be easier to prime your body to lose weight, so that lifestyle and habit changes were easy instead of excruciating? That is exactly what happens in The Prime Method.
By gradually making a few easy changes over time, and not forcing yourself to give up one single thing that you love, you’ll gently prime your organs, gut and mind for success. The best part is that you’ll start losing weight spontaneously as your habits naturally veer towards healthier choices.
I came to this realization that people were trying to lose weight backwards in a backwards way myself.
As an integrative neurologist, the first thing I look at with a new patient is how to reduce inflammation and toxicity in the body and heal the brain-gut connection, because this has a profound effect on neurological symptoms.
Early on in my practice, however, I noticed something curious. After a few weeks of treatment for their neurological condition, many of my overweight patients casually mentioned to me, “Oh, by the way, I’m losing weight. Thanks!”
I made a mental note of this, but didn’t think anything of it…until it started to happen a lot.
Many of my patients felt more energetic, had less pain, suffered from fewer symptoms, had better blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels—and looked (and were) healthier.
How did this happen? The answer is surprisingly simple…
Why Priming Your Body Sets You Up for Success
Weight gain is a result of the body being in a toxic, inflammatory state. If you reduce the toxic load and inflammation and bolster the body’s natural detoxification systems (particularly digestion), the body’s own fat loss and weight maintenance systems kick in.
Your body is built to remove toxins naturally. But when you’re accumulating toxins faster than your body is able to remove them, the excess toxicity causes system-wide inflammation.
As this happens, organs stop functioning efficiently as they try to protect themselves from the poisons. Your system backs up and limps along, and then your body becomes less and less able to maintain its equilibrium.
This puts you at a disadvantage. You might not realize this complicated scenario that led to your weight gain. All you know is that you have extra pounds you don’t want and you don’t feel good.
So, what do you do? You go on a diet. You might succeed for a while, but eventually, the uphill battle becomes too difficult. That’s because the toxic, inflammatory state seeks ways to maintain what you’ve been previously doing:
- First, your gut bacteria have become tailored towards toxic foods, so they induce reactions in your brain to reward you to feed them the sugar, salt and fat they need to survive.
- Second, your brain has become addicted to junk food because that is exactly what junk food is engineered to do.
- Third, your body is unable to remove the excess toxic buildup which seeps into your organs, including your brain, resulting in brain fog, lack of energy and a leaky gut.
In other words, your body wants to eat and act in a way that best preserves its current, unhealthy, toxic state. Your body is now geared to respond to the signals you’ve been sending that come from the very foods and behaviors that have been causing the problem. The food industry knows this. They gear their products to take advantage of this exact situation.
If you try to make radical changes before your body is primed to succeed, you’re fighting against a powerful biochemistry that you might not even know is the enemy.
Diet in Reverse
To succeed, you need to upend the situation and throw your diet into reverse.
Before you start trying to make major behavioral changes, you first need to detoxify, recalibrate your gut bacteria, balance your brain chemistry and cool any inflammation. This sets the proper foundation for your behavioral changes to have the most impact.
Below are my favorite Ayurvedic herbal remedies that help prime the body for success, which is why they are an essential part of The Prime Method.
Triphala is made from three dried berries that work synergistically together: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki. Triphala has many health benefits, and functions as a mild laxative to promote regular bowel movements. Most importantly, it heals the mucosal lining and the nerves in the gut to promote normal digestion.
Unlike a laxative that you have to take forever, you can take triphala for a while, then stop for a bit because it has already done its work. I’ve taken 500 mg of triphala at bedtime 2–3 times a week for 15 years. I don’t take it for its laxative effects. I take it because modern life is stressful, and those stresses send a lot of signals that interfere with our gut-brain connection. Triphala helps to restore a healthy relationship between the gut and brain.
Ashwagandha is a popular medicinal herb that’s excellent for combatting stress, low energy and cravings, especially sugar.
Ashwagandha is one of a few known herbal adaptogens, which means it specifically helps the body adapt to stress in a healthy way. It also strengthens an exhausted nervous system and calms emotions. It counteracts anxiety, agitation, stress and PMS. As ashwagandha helps to decrease the stress response, it weakens the food addiction cycle.
Start with 500 mg twice a day, and if needed, work up to 2 grams per day. Higher doses can be used for specific conditions, but you should work with your healthcare practitioner to titrate up to those doses.
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is another herb that breaks the food addiction cycle. Brahmi helps normalize the release of dopamine and corrects the pleasure circuits that get overloaded and exhausted from food addictions.
In Ayurveda, Brahmi is used to help with addictions, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and a host of other neurological conditions. Many of my patients on The Prime were finally able to quit smoking and give up alcohol or recreational drugs. This is a happy side effect of the rebalancing of the brain’s neurochemistry that Brahmi supports.
It’s best to take Brahmi with ashwagandha since they act synergistically. They work on different aspects of the brain, balancing the stress response and reducing cravings, so you can feel less anxious and more focused as you heal. Start with 500 mg twice a day, and if needed, work up to 2 grams per day.
Guggul, a resin from the myrrh tree, is one of the most powerful detoxifiers. While you need triphala to support guggul’s actions, guggul is the real superstar. Triphala prepares your body for detoxification, and guggul is like an ama (toxin) bulldozer.
Specifically, guggul boosts the detoxification power of the liver by increasing the quantity of cytochrome P450 enzymes, a family of liver enzymes responsible for detoxification. Guggul also upregulates the secretion of bile salts that specifically help remove fat from the liver. This is one of the mechanisms behind the ancient claim that guggul lowers blood cholesterol, and fights obesity and heart disease.
Guggul is the reason why stage three of The Prime is the most powerful detox stage. Most people get good results on 500 mg twice a day. When taking guggul, it’s a good idea to get plenty of rest and make sure you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to fuel the detoxification process.
This ancient, mind-body coordinated system works because with detoxification, the reduction of inflammation, the reestablishment of a healthy gut-brain connection and improved digestion, the body gradually becomes alerted to the effects of poor lifestyle choices. The result is that you begin to make healthier choices spontaneously as the toxic burden on the body and mind is lessened.
I usually see about a 30% reduction in toxicity and inflammation after the first stage of The Prime. Thirty percent is somewhat of a magic number—it’s the point at which internal chemical effects and behavioral changes kick in, and the body responds by moving toward a healthier equilibrium spontaneously.
Imagine a glass of dark muddy water. If you put a drop of ink in it, you aren’t going to notice that ink because the water is too dirty. But clean up that dirt by 30%, and suddenly you can see that drop of ink.
During The Prime, your body will feel those bad habits like it couldn’t before. Suddenly, that 2-liter bottle of soda might not look so appealing anymore, even though I never told you not to drink it. Pay attention to what your body is doing as you ease the toxins out of your system. After completing the program, your body and mind will be ready to change in a whole new way.
Seeds of Wisdom
No one else understands your body as well as you do. You just have to wake up to its needs and break free of the biochemical chains that were dictating your actions.
The Prime Method helps you regain your body’s natural healing power by combining the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with modern science. I have seen it time and time again in my practice. The Prime Method can truly change your life.