The Cellulite Solution by Dr. Howard Murad

29 Sep

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.

Inconsistencies in Dr. Murad’s Meal Plan

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.

The Hidden Source of Murad’s Anti-Cellulite Menu

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.

A Cellulite Investigator Update

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!

Comments

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herama says:
10/2/2010

Doesn’t Murad sell a whole line of supplements? if so, not surprising his book suggests a nutritionally deficient diet that depends on many expensive supplements to keep one “healthy.” The meal plan examples you provided above are ridiculous. It sounds more like a crash starvation diet that, if sustained, would lead to serious anorexia. I guess that WOULD be effective in getting rid of cellulite. however, I’d rather be living with some cellulite, than dead and cellulite-free! (though I may sometimes say otherwise…)

Reply

I like that he acknowledges the nutritional aspect of treating cellulite and it’s a natural progression for him to develop his own line of supplements. That’s fine. I just wish he made more of an effort to figure out why those nutrients are lacking in our diet and how we could get them through food instead of pills.

(ps -from what I’ve read, even anorexia does not cure cellulite. Crash diets are more likely to make it worse, too. Phew, isn’t that a relief…)

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Adriana Craciun says:
3/22/2012

Hello Melissa,your are doing such a good job and your are very inspiring.After my first pregnancy I got rid of cellulite with Montignac diet( mostly meat-grilled or boiled- with vegs, no fruits, no flours, no grains, no sugar etc).I remember taking some fish oil supplements.But the best supplement I used was working out, with body wraps, with a burning cellulite(similar to Guam but less expensive) cream on my skin.After that, my pants were soaking wet, the water was flowing down to the floor. We have here some sauna suits, plastic pants that you can easily wear under the regular pants.
This cardio combined with pilates, working out everyday and I got rid of cellulite within months. I know it wasnt just body fat, because I had cellulite before my pregnancy and I did some expensive uselles massages to break it down.
Now after my second child I tried to apply the same formula, unfortunately I couldnt do the cardio workout as I am always tired.Did some workout with weights and I cannot diet too much…I wake up at 6 a.m for workout, I am too sleepy for cardio…

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Hi, Adriana. This is exciting news! I’m hoping you can provide a few more details. Do you remember the name of the body wrap you used, or the ingrediants? What kind of workout did you do while the cream was on? What kind of pilates did you do, too? How long did you work out for each day? Did the cellulite come back after your second pregnancy? Thanks so much for sharing this info with us!

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Adriana says:
3/25/2012

Hello, Melissa, thank you so much for your interest.I am glad to join our world wide anticellulite fight! So, to reply your question: The cream ingredients are:guarana, seaweed, pepper.I dont think the ingredients are so important than the effect: burning sensation that leads to intense sweating during workout. I used to workout with Tae bo Billy Blanks( cardio) and winsor pilates (burn), at home with DVDs, that along with clean eating, mostly cabbage salads and fish, rye bread, I got rid of cellulite. After second pregnancy the cellulite came back, as toxin build up after eating a lot of junk.Now I am using also skin brushing, try to get rid of salt and coffee, clean eating, a lot of working out with bodywrap.Hope to get my tight skin again! I will keep posting.

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Yay, Adriana! I’m glad you’re joining us, too. You’re inspiring me to try these burning body wraps. How do you wear the wrap while you’re working out? Isn’t that messy?

Interesting that you noted cabbage salads, fish, and rye bread. Are the cabbage salads fermented (i.e. sauerkraut?) and is the rye bread made in the traditional manner, too (fermented with a starter culture)? Thanks again. Looking forward to chatting with you more. :)

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