Some people don’t realized that lack of Vitamin D could also be one reason for obesity and perhaps the hindrance to losing weight. Let us find more about how essential Vitamin D is as we have the opportunity to interview Alisa Bowman, a health journalist and author of The 7 Day Slim Down.
1. Why do you name the book ” The 7-Day Slim Down” and what is the motivation behind writing this book?
The motivation emerged from articles I’d written for three different magazines, two for Women’s Health and another for Men’s Health. For all, the topic was vitamin D. In each case, an editor came to me and said, “I think there is something to this.” In each case (especially for the first story) I was a doubter. I knew that few Americans were deficient in anything. We are, after all, a well fed nation. But I quickly learned from interviewing top experts and looking at the research that there was solid evidence in favor of D, both for overall health and for weight loss. There were years of studies, and thousands of them. Perhaps most startling: the experts were largely in agreement. That’s rare in nutrition science, a field that is often quite controversial. The experts made me a believer.
So I began taking D supplements and working more D rich foods into my life. That’s when I noticed an improvement in my mood and a reduction in my cravings, especially in the winter. And I was able to slim down, too.
I’m a big believer in writing books that I want to read and consult, so the 7 Day Slim Down was an easy fit for me. I basically designed a diet for myself, and then I tested it out on Women’s Health readers to make sure it worked for them, too.
I called it the 7 day Slim Down because the test dieters experienced dramatic results during week one, results that pretty much blew me away. They dropped weight quickly, and this motivated them to stay true to the diet in weeks to come.
2. In your book you mentioned that 70 percent of Americans are deficient with Vitamin D, could you explain why?
Sure, it comes down to sunlight. Those of us who worry about skin cancer and wrinkles (me!) wear sunscreen religiously, and sunscreen blocks the skin’s ability to make D from sunlight. Many of us are also working longer hours, and many of our leisure activities take place indoors. We’re just not getting as much sunlight as we used to, which is causing D deficiency to rise.
3. Your book mentioned that almost 70 per cent of Americans are overweight or obese, what do you think are the main factors?
Obesity is a complex disorder, one that has many causes and contributing factors. D deficiency is just one of them, but it’s perhaps the easiest one to reverse. As people gain wait, their fat traps D, not allowing it to be used for important functions. Basically they have plenty of D in their bodies, but it’s not where they need it to do them any good. It would be like having a year’s worth of food buried in your back yard, but then starving to death because you don’t have a shovel and can’t get to the food. As body weight goes up, people become more and more D deficient, and this starts off a vicious cycle. As they become D deficient, a whole host of symptoms set in making it harder for them to control their weight. One, for instance, causes their bones and muscles to ache, so exercise feels like torture. Another causes mood to plummet, triggering emotional eating and cravings. Appetite increases but calorie burning decreases.
4. The book discusses that Vitamin D plays the crucial role of all in controlling appetite and our natural ability to either store or burn fat, how exactly does Vitamin D helps in lose weight?
We have D receptors on most– and perhaps all–cells in the body. That means that most of our body cells need D to function properly. In the intestines, D is needed to allow calcium to be absorbed into the blood stream. If you are deficient in D, you could take calcium supplement after calcium supplement and still end up with weak and brittle bones because the calcium isn’t getting into the bloodstream. Calcium in itself is an extremely important mineral when it comes to weight loss, but you need D for it to work its magic.
There are D receptors on brain cells, and studies indicate that D seems to be important when it comes to mood, especially in the winter months. I’ve personally noticed a huge difference in my mood since I started taking more D. A better mood = less emotional eating.
Getting enough D can also reduce muscle aches that have prevented you from exercising in the past.
And D seems to be important in fat burning and appetite regulation, too.
5. What are the basic premise of this diet plan?
The 7 day Slim Down features 8 slimming foods that help speed weight loss. These foods are all rich in D, along with other important fat burners. They include: Fatty fish (such as wild salmon), D fortified dairy products, eggs, mushrooms, whole grain bread, tofu, OJ, and breakfast cereal. All of these foods are rich in nutrients that enable weight loss. For instance fatty fish is not just right in D. It’s also a low calorie protein that fills dieters up on fewer calories, and it’s rich in omega 3s, which speed metabolism. Milk is rich in both D and calcium, another important fat burner. Breakfast cereal and whole grain foods are rich in fiber, which turns down appetite. And mushrooms are a great way to extend many foods like burgers, allowing you to fill up on fewer calories.
6. What are the unique features that make ” The 7-Day Slim Down” different from other diets and what are the main features that account for your successful results?
This is, to date, the only diet that features D. I went to great lengths to make sure the diet was also realistic. I knew people wouldn’t want to eat fish every single day. So I worked tirelessly with a nutrition expert to create menus and recipes that allow dieters to eat a wide variety of dishes. We also include several formulas that put dieters in the driver’s seat, allowing them to make their own salads, smoothies, soups, and sandwiches based on simple formulas.
7. Besides losing weight, what other benefits should a person expect to derive following ” The 7-Day Slim Down”? Is it for everyone?
Perhaps more important, at least for me, is this: the diet is healthy. D isn’t just important for body weight. It’s important for overall health. This isn’t one of those diets that you will go on only to go off later. You can stay on it for life. It’s good for your waistline, it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your energy level, and it’s good for your mood.
8. How do you address the nay-sayers who assert that most people will have a difficult time sticking to a dietary program that seems restrictive?
That’s why I’ve included so many formulas, cheats, and tips to allow dieters to create their own menus and recipes. I went to great lengths to make this diet anti-restrictive. I want dieters to succeed.
9. What are the difficult aspects for a person to switch from their normal diet to ” The 7-Day Slim Down”? Could you share some of the experiences that your clients have gone through with the diet? (if it’s not confidential)
Some people don’t like certain foods–especially fish and mushrooms. That can be a challenge, but I offer advice for that in the book. As with any diet, any change requires an adjustment. It takes time and energy to shop for new foods and follow new recipes. But most dieters are motivated in the beginning–the very part of dieting that is most time consuming. And when they experience a dramatic weight loss during the first week, this motivation continues.
10. As there are readers and subscribers who are struggling to lose weight to help them shed the fats, do you have anything specific or advice that you want to say for them?
Mushrooms are perhaps one of the wonder foods of this century. If you chop them up and use them to extend the following foods, you’ll cut calories and lose some weight without trying: burgers, meat loaf, casseroles, etc. And by sneaking them into dishes like this, you can reap the benefits of mushrooms even if you don’t like them. It’s one of those sneaky cooking tricks that helps you slim down somewhat effortlessly. Just make sure to purchase the right types of mushrooms, as not all of them are high in D. The ones that are high in D will contain a label on the package and the nutrition facts will say that they supply 100 percent of the DV for D.
If you want to connect with the author, you can go to her Professional site: http://alisabowman.com/