Better Health in Just Three Weeks

Better Health in Just Three Weeks

Julian Whitaker, MD

How long do your diet and exercise regimens usually last? If you’re like most people, good intentions and sheer determination will carry you through a month or so. After that, it seems to get harder and harder to stick with the program.

So why does our will power wane within weeks? The number one reason people abandon their diets is because they see little or no change in their weight. Unfortunately, instant gratification cannot be achieved with a sensible diet. But don’t be discouraged! As you will see, quick, dramatic health improvements are possible—you just can’t measure them on your bathroom scale.

Exercise and a Sensible Diet

A team of researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles made an extraordinary discovery: Overweight people who are headed for heart disease can dramatically lower their risk with a crash course in dieting and exercise.

The UCLA team placed 11 obese men on a high-fiber, low-fat diet with daily exercise for three weeks. The study volunteers were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, as long as they consumed only 10 percent of their calories from fat, 15 to 20 percent from protein, and about 75 percent from fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Each volunteer walked on a treadmill for 45 to 60 minutes each day.

Stunning Improvements in 21 Days

At the end of the study, the volunteers had lost only a small amount of weight and were still clinically obese. However, they showed stunning improvements in several important heart disease risk factors.

Of the seven men who had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study, none were hypertensive at the end. Total cholesterol fell by almost 20 percent among all the volunteers. Blood sugar and insulin levels (risk factors for type 2 diabetes) dropped by 7 percent and 46 percent, respectively. Oxidative stress, which refers to levels of damaging free radicals in the blood, dropped by an average of 28 percent. Conversely, blood levels of nitric oxide, a potent antioxidant that also prevents platelets from sticking together and relaxes the arteries, rose by 28 percent.

All this happened in just three weeks, with diet and exercise alone. There is not a drug in the world that can produce such dramatic results!


  • Diet and exercise are integral elements of the Whitaker Wellness Back to Health Program. To learn how our personalized diet and exercise programs can help you, call (866) 944-8253.


  • Roberts CK et al. Effect of diet and exercise intervention on blood pressure, insulin, oxidative stress, and nitric oxide availability. Circulation. 2002;106:2530-2.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2008. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.

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