If you’re looking for a feel-good way to shrink your waist, then — surprise! — you might want to consider giving your liver some TLC.
“The liver is the unsung hero of metabolism and well-being,” insists nutritionist Haylie Pomroy, dubbed the “Metabolism Whisperer” by Dr. Oz and A-list clients like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, and Cher. “Everything we eat and absorb is processed by the liver. And in today’s world, it’s so easy to overburden the organ, causing it to slack on more than 600 metabolic functions.” The result is weight gain, fatigue, and health issues galore.
“The trouble gets chalked up to inevitable age-related changes, but really all we need is a liver boost,” Pomroy says. That’s why she created the simple plan she’s sharing here. “Women tell me their energy shoots up, their moods improve, and they lose up to 17 pounds — all in just 10 days”
Think wine and cocktails are the top threat to liver health? Not so. “Excessive alcohol is damaging, but most of us don’t drink enough for it to be a big factor,” notes Pomroy. The real culprit: refined carbohydrates.
Turns out, one of the liver’s most time-consuming jobs is turning excess carbs into fat for storage. Since the average person now downs 300 pounds of sugar and flour a year, modern livers pump out far more fat than they’re meant to handle. “Fat gets stuck inside the liver,” Dr. Oz recently explained.
As these fatty deposits build up, they make the organ increasingly sluggish over time. Luckily, the liver is able to clean itself out if you give it a break from refined carbs — so that’s exactly how Pomroy has you get started. Then she helps you take it to the next level.
Our livers aren’t just clogged, they’re swollen. “Fatty deposits cause inflammation, making it even harder for the liver to function. So anti-inflammatory foods are a great way to enhance results,” says Pomroy, who prescribes plenty of antioxidant-rich produce, herbs, and spices (especially turmeric) along with healing protein and soothing good fats. And she doesn’t stop there.
Pomroy makes tea, soups, and more using ingredients proven to enhance liver function. For example, there’s evidence that a compound in grapefruit called naringenin acts like lighter fluid in the liver, helping it burn fat faster.
So on this plan, you’ll eat grapefruit every day. Sulfur-rich garlic and eggs are also staples on her plan because they help the liver neutralize toxins, further easing its workload. Meanwhile, options like parsley, nuts, and dandelion “stimulate the production of enzymes that help your liver break down fat.” Cleveland Clinic experts using similar strategies say they’re so powerful, liver tests can normalize in fewer than two weeks.
The bottom line: You’ll be eating a lot of healthy food. “You’ve got to literally flood your body with nutrients. A body that’s struggling needs more, not less,” Pomroy says. “This is something you’ll be proud you’re doing, proud to share recipes with your daughter or to give your grandchild a bite of what you’re eating.”
And you don’t have to stop after 10 days. Folks who continue drop up to 45 pounds in a month and over 100 pounds in four months. “The weight loss is significant, and the health turnarounds are even more impressive,” she says. “The liver plays a big role in hormonal balance, so as it improves, everything gets better — skin, sleep, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar. You’ll be amazed!”
Eat more to burn more.
While using this approach from Pomroy, eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up and spread sittings evenly. For any meal, swap in a serving each of protein, fat and fruit, plus unlimited non-starchy veggies. Twice daily, snack on soup (recipe right). Still hungry? Have celery or more soup. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water (a 180-pound woman would sip 90 ounces). As always, get your doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Breakfast — Blend 3 cups greens, 1 peeled grapefruit or orange, 1⁄4 raw beet, 1 Tbsp. sunflower butter, 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, 1⁄2 cup water and 1⁄2 cup ice.
Lunch — Top a large leafy green salad with diced cooked chicken breast, diced hard-cooked egg and olive-oil vinaigrette; add a side of sliced mango or peaches.
Tea — Boil 7 milk thistle tea bags, 7 dandelion tea bags, 1 Tbs. turmeric, juice of 6 limes and 18 cups water; turn off heat and steep 1 hr. Sip 3 cups daily, hot or iced.
Dinner — Grill steak and veggies with olive oil. For sauce, blitz a handful of basil, 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1⁄4 cup cashews, 1 clove garlic and salt in blender.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.