The Secret to Losing Weight - The 10 Pritikin Essentials

There are 10 levels in total, and they’re all spelled out in this book. You’ll learn much more in Part Two about the specifics of the 10 essentials of the Pritikin Program, but here is a quick glance:

1. Healthy, satisfying eating starts with super salads, soups, whole grains, and fruit.

Start every lunch and dinner with a large, delicious salad or soup. Super-sizing actually makes good sense when applied to salads. People joke that the salad bowls at Pritikin are so big they have a diving board on one end.

2. Eliminate high-calorie beverages.

One in every five calories we consume comes from a beverage—and those calories don’t do much to quell hunger. Soft drinks and frappuccinos are calorie-rich, but so are fruit juices. One glass of orange juice has twice the calories (100 to 110) of a whole orange (50) – or about the same as in a regular soft drink.

3. Trim portions of calorie-dense foods.

The Pritikin Edge shows that you never need to go hungry. Every day you’re enjoying large portions of water-rich, fiber-rich foods so that you’re satisfied and have less room for calorie-dense foods.

By switching your morning bowl of corn flakes for a bowl of hot oatmeal and fruit, you’d take in approximately 250 fewer calories each day. That one simple change to your daily diet could help you drop about 25 pounds in one year.
4. Snack smarter.

Every snack counts—and choosing healthier options like yogurt and fruit will keep you satiated and energized without packing on the pounds. Eating just one less 100-calorie cookie a day can cause you to shed 10 pounds in a year. The Pritikin Edge has dozens of suggestions for healthy, satisfying, and non-fattening snacks.

5. Forget fast food; dine unrefined.

Fast food restaurants are part feed lots and part salt licks. Two large orders of fries and two regular soft drinks provide enough calories to sustain a 135-pound person for an entire day without eating anything else. Of course, no one exists on just two orders of fries and two soft drinks in a typical day, which is exactly why 135-pound Americans are an endangered species.

6. Watch less, walk more.

We were meant to chase lunch, not order it. If you walk an extra mile a day, you’ll lose ten pounds in a year.
7. Go lean on meat, but catch a fish.

The absolute best fats for your heart are omega-3s, found in fish and flaxseed oil. But no oil, even so-called “good" ones, should be considered a weight-loss food. Coating your salad with olive oil can tally up as many calories as two scoops of premium ice cream.

8. Shake your salt habit.

Excess salt intake is a major contributor to high blood pressure, yet most Americans ingest 4,000 to 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day—far more than the recommended 1,500 milligrams. Salt has snuck into all kinds of foods. Many breads contain more salt, ounce for ounce, than potato chips. The Pritikin Edge shows how to cook and order tasty, low-salt foods.

9. Don’t smoke your life away.

Every minute spent smoking shortens your life by a minute, not to mention the wrinkles and erectile dysfunction it causes. The good news is that you will gain back years of your life if you quit.

10. Step around stress.

The link between our emotions and health can’t be overstated. One study found that people who didn’t take annual vacations were 32 percent more likely to die of heart disease. Managing stress by getting enough sleep, making time for friends and loved ones, and trying techniques like meditation will help keep your heart and waistline in shape.

Adopting one or two of these essential lifestyle practices is okay, but optimal health and success at losing weight requires that you follow the whole program.

Why? Because obesity, inactivity, heart disease, and emotions are intricately connected. Couch potatoes tend to be depressed; depressed people eat more; people who eat more gain weight; those who gain weight tend to sack out on the couch rather than exercise; lack of exercise contributes to heart disease and obesity; both can trigger depression... you get the picture.

Embracing all 10 essentials of the Pritikin Program is the secret to losing weight, feeling healthier, and, best of all, more fully enjoying your life right here and now. In The Pritikin Edge, you’ll learn that all 10 are easier to adopt than you might think.

From THE PRITIKIN EDGE by Robert A. Vogel. Copyright (c) 2008 by Dr. Robert Vogel and The Pritikin Organization, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.




Traditional medicines and the ancient wisdom traditions that utilized them have always been based upon observations about the laws of nature.

For a broad and in-depth description of natural remedies addressing at least 160 health problems, may I recommend the book Alternative Cures, by an expert in the field of natural healing, Bill Gottlieb.

In the meantime, the following list provides a foundation for understanding the extent to which modern scientific methods have already demonstrated the effectiveness of ancient remedies.

Cancer: Ginseng has played many healing roles in ancient Chinese herbal
medicine; in 2004 the journal of the American Heart Association, Circulation,
reported a study from MIT revealing that ginseng can promote the
growth of blood vessels (a key to wound healing), while another form of
ginseng with a preponderance of two key ingredients can halt the formation
of blood vessels, which can help to kill cancerous tumors.

Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
reported in the October 2005 issue of Clinical Cancer Research how curcumin,
the main ingredient of tumeric, repels the spread of cancer to lung
tissue and shuts down a protein active in the spread of breast cancer. Curcumin,
a member of the ginger family, has been a mainstay in both traditional
Indian and Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Carcinogens: Practitioners of traditional medicine from India and
China have long contended that synthetic vitamins are much less effective
than plant-based vitamins in removing toxins from the body and keeping
the immune system healthy; in 1994 the Tufts University Health and Nutrition
Letter reported that researchers have compared synthetic vitamin C
to naturally occurring food-derived vitamins and found that synthetics
failed to reduce carcinogenic nitrosamines, while food-derived sources “reduced
to significantly lower levels” these toxins.

The explanation given:
“Vitamins as they appear in nature are in complex interrelationships with
hundreds, even thousands of other biochemicals within the complex
natural food matrix.”

Depression: Many cultures have traditionally used Saint-John’s-wort as a
treatment for depression and mood disorders, especially in women; in 2005
the British Medical Journal reported that Saint-John’s-wort has been found
effective against moderate depression and it also exhibits fewer side effects
than paroxetine, one of the more common synthetic antidepressants.

A root extract called golden root or Rhodiola rosea, has been used for
centuries in Russia to cope with the cold Siberian winters and stress; pharmacology
studies in the twentieth century discovered that the root stimulates
brain chemicals that elevate mood and fight stress and depression.

Gastrointestinal Disorders Green tea has a long history in traditional
Chinese medicine as a promoter of gastrointestinal health; during 2004 The
European Journal of Pharmacology reported that green tea has numerous
pharmacological properties that promote health, including antioxidant,
antiinflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, and anti-arterisoclerotic

Heart Disease: The ancient Aztec Indians used a species of magnolia fruit as a treatment for heart problems; clinical studies in the twentieth century determined that the fruit contains chemical compounds effective for a variety of heart conditions.

Allergic inflammatory diseases were historically treated in Korea using
an herbal compound called allergina; a 2004 clinical study published in
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine by a team of pharmacologists
at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences found convincing evidence that allergina works synergistically to enhance cardiac health and overall health.

Alzheimer’s: A spice used for many centuries in the Indian ayurvedic tradition,
called curcumin, was reputed to increase mental clarity and boost overall immune system health; a study appearing in 2005 in Journal of Biological Chemistry found that curcumin was effective in breaking up Alzheimer’s disease-causing plaques. It is also under study as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.