17 Day Diet: Weight Loss Plan from Dr. Michael Moreno's Book

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After 12 weeks: Many significant health numbers—cholesterol, triglycerides (fat in the blood), blood pressure, glucose and insulin—should begin to, if not completely, normalize.

After 6 months: You'll feel healthier because your body will be retaining more vitamins and minerals. Because you reduced your sugar intake significantly over this period, insulin production will have normalized. So your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is reduced, as this can be linked to a larger intake of sugar. Your energy levels have improved dramatically because your body has gone through a detoxing process. You've probably reached your goal. The hardest work is over, and now it's time to learn how to eat to maintain your newly slender silhouette.

Pretty amazing what a good diet can do, right? Don't you want all of this? Be brutally honest here: if you really want something you'll find a way to get it. So if you find yourself saying, "I didn't have time to prepare healthy food," let me ask you this: would you have found time if your life depended on it? Well, it does.

GET SKINNY SHORTCUT Posture Stand up straight. Not only does slouching make your belly protrude, but it gives your core muscles an undeserved break. Standing erect, with the stomach held in, encourages the abs to work and can make you look slimmer naturally—and in an instant.

Get Sexy

When you're fit and in shape, you're much more datable. In one survey of 554 undergrads, researchers found that overweight women were less likely to date than their peers. What's more, you're marriage material if you're thin. Research shows that overweight women are significantly less likely to marry than are women of average weight, particularly if they were overweight as young adults.

Losing weight can do wonders for your sex life, too. Duke University researchers did a study of 187 extremely obese adults, who were asked about their sex lives before and after they lost weight. It turned out the proportion of women who did not feel sexually attractive fell from 68 percent before they began a weight loss program to 26 percent a year later.

There were similar decreases in the percentages of women who didn't want to be seen naked, had little sexual drive, avoided sexual encounters, had difficulty with sexual performance or didn't enjoy sex. Among men, sex improved in most of the categories, but the improvements were less dramatic, probably because there are a lot more appearance-related pressures on women.

The romantic world revolves around physical appearances. If you want a love life with great sex, lose the weight.

Get Richer

Get in shape and you can improve your financial shape too. It's considerably more expensive to be unfit than it is to be fit, mainly because you're sicker more often and you pay higher medical bills. People who are overweight, and particularly those who are obese, are significantly more likely to have expensive-to-treat diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

And while I'm at it, did you know your employment prospects will improve after you lose weight? It's true! People with weight problems sometimes don't get hired. In the job market, appearance counts for a lot. Employers think fat people are lazy, incompetent, slow-moving and might have poor attendance. Studies have shown that fat people are paid less than employees of average weight.

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