Fed up with age-related weight gain? Then you may want to consider a buzzed-about “spring cleaning” technique that promises to help you permanently burn fat like a kid again.
The secret: neutralizing hidden acid. Turns out, all the junk food, stress, and toxins in today’s world leave behind acidic waste in our systems, “and by age 45, 95 percent of us have a dangerous buildup,” insists bestselling Alkaline Reset Cleanse ($13.10, Amazon) author Ross Bridgeford, a health coach whose millions of devotees report losing up to 18 pounds a week. “Growing research suggests it’s often the main factor driving weight gain, fatigue, premature aging and countless health problems. Once the buildup is gone, you let go of fat easily and feel much better. Plus, you continue to transform for months, even if your diet isn’t perfect. The results are phenomenal!”
Why Acid is so Fattening
As acid-neutralizing nutrients are rapidly depleted from your body, “research shows that you no longer produce key weight-control hormones properly,” says Bridgeford. That includes the flat-belly hormone adiponectin and the “fountain of youth” hormone HGH (which keeps energy and metabolism high). Acidity has also been shown to cause chronic inflammation in our cells — a condition linked to obesity, low energy, skin aging, fuzzy thinking, joint pain, heart disease, and a laundry list of woes often blamed on getting older.
Making it worse, “To get acid out of the blood and away from vital organs, the body creates new fat cells to store it in,” says Bridgeford. And those cells stay locked, the contents “unburnable” until the acid can be handled. “For most, the problem gets worse and worse over time.”
The Quick Solution
To lower acidity to optimal levels, Bridgeford says all we have to do is spend one week limiting new acid that gets into our systems (skipping coffee, sugar, processed food, wheat, and meat) while loading up on alkalinizing foods that neutralize acidity. That means getting lots of veggies, lemon, avocado, beans, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, herbs, and spices.
Bridgeford also recommends daily servings of juice, smoothies, and purees, since studies show blending food makes nutrients easier to absorb so you get benefits faster. “As you reduce demand on your body’s acid-buffering system, it finally begins to tackle the backlog of acid waste building up for years. That’s the goal.”
Proof it works: University of Alberta scientists found reducing acidity significantly increases HGH in women over 50, which they say is key to boosting fat loss, increasing strength, sharpening memory, protecting the heart and improving overall quality of life. Meanwhile, a University of Texas study determined that folks with the least acid in their systems have BMIs 52 percent lower than those with the most.
“If you want to lose weight for the long term, you have to get your acid load down,” says Bridgeford. Europe’s leading alkaline expert Stephan Domenig, MD, agrees. He routinely prescribes alkaline regimens at his prestigious Center for Detoxing in Austria and says, “You’ll look like you had liposuction and a facelift!”
The Fix That Transforms Your Body
Based on Bridgeford’s signature alkaline cleanse, this plan is designed to be followed for seven days. Starting on day 8 (or at any point that the regimen feels too challenging), simply aim to eat alkaline foods 80% of the time. Best bets: veggies, herbs, low-sugar fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, brown rice, quinoa, tofu, and fish. As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Beverages: Sip alkalinizing options such as water with lemon; turmeric and ginger tea; and freshly squeezed green juice (with no sweet fruit).
Breakfast: Blend 3⁄4 cup soaked cashews, 1⁄2 avocado, 1 cup nut milk, 3 Tbs. coconut oil, 3 handfuls greens, 1 Tbs. sunflower seeds, and 1 Tbs. chia.
Lunch: In blender, puree 2 cups hot steamed broccoli, half an avocado, 1⁄2 cup veggie broth, 1 cucumber, 2 handfuls greens, a dash of garlic, ginger, and lemon.
Dinner: 1 large baked sweet potato topped with veggies (such as onion, garlic, bell pepper, spinach) sautéed in coconut oil.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.