The Cellulite Solution by Dr. Howard Murad was this month’s selection for our Cellulite Book-of-the-Month (BOTM) research group.
Over the past month, we’ve learned a lot about cellulite from this qualified expert. Dr. Murad’s cellular water principle explains why hydration is key to cellulite recovery, and why it’s not a simple matter of 8 glasses a day. We also learned the importance of glucosamine and related micronutrients that work to rebuild connective tissue. This critical piece of evidence laid the foundation for my shrimp stock theory –testing of which is still in progress.
Finally, we discussed Dr. Murad’s commonsense approach to cellulite treatments that really work. Clearly, our investigation is greatly enhanced by examining the information in The Cellulite Solution.
While Dr. Murad’s book makes a significant contribution to the study of cellulite, it exhibits one major weakness that prevents it from fully cracking the cellulite case on its own. Dr. Murad purports to treat cellulite with food. “I have always said, ‘Before there was medicine, there was food,” he states in the introduction. Yet many of the nutrients he recommends for treating cellulite are glaringly absent from the recommended meal plans.
At first, I was confused by Dr. Murad’s meal suggestions. He pinpoints glucosamine as the number one cellulite-fighting nutrient, but recommends vegetable broth in his meal plan. Bone broths are rich in glucosamine and related nutrients. Vegetable broths are not.
Similarly, Dr. Murad highlights egg yolk as a major source of lecithin, another potent anti-cellulite nutrient. Yet in his meal plan, he recommends eating only one or two eggs per week. (I prefer Ann Louise Gittleman’s suggestion in The Fat Flush Plan of 1-2 eggs every day.)
In addition, Dr. Murad acknowledges the benefits of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) in cellulite recovery, including their ability to rebuild cell membranes and attract water to the cells. In spite of this information, he advises against several foods that are rich in EFA’s, such as red meat, full-fat dairy, butter, lard, and most cheeses. Animal products contain certain EFA’s not commonly found in fish and nuts, the only sources Dr. Murad recommends. Conjugated linoleic acid, for example, is an EFA primarily found in the meat and dairy products of ruminants. It is also a common ingredient in many anti-cellulite treatments.
These inconsistencies continued to puzzle me throughout my reading of Dr. Murad’s book. He seems like has so much of the cellulite puzzle figured out. Why doesn’t he incorporate his theories into the recommended meal plan?
Instead, he suggests a sparse menu that’s certain to leave its victims hungry for more. Let me give you a sampling. Lunch on Day One: tossed greens, one cup soup, 2-4 crackers, and tea or water with lime. Dinner on Day One: vegetable salad, steamed vegetables, a baked potato, and tea or water with lime. It’s no wonder he offers a mid-morning snack (a cup of soymilk?) and a midafternoon snack (6 raw almonds). If that’s not enough, maybe the 1/2 cup of fat-free yogurt he suggest for dessert will fill you up? I didn’t think so.
As if he almost recognizes the fatal flaw in his program, Dr. Murad recommends nutritional supplements as “the most important step in elimination imperfections in your skin.” On page 121, he literally redraws the food pyramid with supplements at the apex.
The mystery was finally solved on the last page of Dr. Murad’s book: the acknowledgments section. Here, he thanks two people. First, he thanks his son for translating Dr. Murad’s work with cellulite patients into a comprehensive anti-cellulite book. Second, he thanks Dr. John Westerdahl “for his insight into the world of nutrition.” Dr. Westerdahl is a vocal advocate of vegetarian diets.
This little insight into how the book was created explains the inconsistencies in Dr. Murad’s program. Here’s how I think it happened. Dr. Murad sees positive results with his cellulite patients by prescribing certain nutritional supplements. His son writes a book documenting Dr. Murad’s program and consults Dr. Westerdahl for advice on nutrition. Since Dr. Murad, like most doctors, is not effective at influencing the dietary decisions of his patients, the meal plan section of the book is based primarily on Dr. Westerdahl’s input. It does not reflect Dr. Murad’s successful work with cellulite patients. It doesn’t even incorporate Dr. Murad’s groundbreaking research on cellulite and nutrition.
Even though Dr. Murad treats cellulite with “food”, his book does not provide the elusive anti-cellulite diet we’ve been seeking. So close and yet so far.
Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation. Things are a little quite around here at the moment. I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!