Mark Widawer interviews weight loss specialist Dr. Raphael Rettner.
MARK: Dr. Rettner, you mentioned the phrase "stubborn weight loss". I think that most people would call their own weight loss issues "stubborn." After all, if the weight wasn't stubborn, they wouldn't have a problem. They'd just lose the weight.
So I think just about everybody has a stubborn weight loss problem.
But are you talking about something specific when you use the term "stubborn weight loss"???

DR RETTNER: Actually, yes I do, Mark.

When you’re younger, it's very easy to lose weight by cutting calories and exercising more. Young bodies will do that. But as you get older, your metabolism slows down and it gets harder and harder to lose weight.

But the question is WHY does age make it harder to lose weight. And also, how could your job, like nursing, make it nearly impossible to lose weight?
Well it turns out that as you get older, your body changes. And it changes in three specific ways that make you gain weight and make it harder to lose.

Here are the three ways your body changes:
First, your body's hormones change.
Second, the way your liver works changes.
And third, your body becomes intolerant -- actually allergic -- to different kinds of foods.
I’ll go into more detail about this later on in the call.

Let's start by talking about hormones. Two, in particular, starting with what your thyroid does.

The little energy factories in your cells are called Mitochondria, and your thyroid produces a hormone called Thyroxin which makes the mitochondria work effectively.

A sluggish thyroid can cause cravings of carbohydrates and sweets because it's preventing your mitochondria from doing its job, and as a result the food you eat is not converted into its full energy for your body. So the body craves more food in a desperate attempt to get more energy.

And simply put, that's why you over-eat. Make sense?

MARK: Yes.

DR RETTNER: There's another group of hormones we need to talk about, too, and they're made by your Adrenal gland.

If you have an adrenal problem, you may be having trouble getting deep delta wave sleep. And it turns out that your fat burning hormones are activated only during deep sleep. People with exhausted adrenal glands don’t lose weight even when they eat right and exercise. The adrenals produce cortisol which puts fat in the abdomen above and below the navel.

If you've got excess fat in your abdomen -- and it's a safe bet that you do -- it may be because of an adrenal problem.

Here's another bet I'll make: You probably don't know if you've got an adrenal or thyroid problem. But it's something that you can out, if you know what you’re looking for.

DR RETTNER: Now, let's move on to your liver.

Most people don't like to eat liver, much less talk about liver -- even their own liver. But you really should hear what I’m about to say.

That's because the chemicals in our foods, growth hormones in our meats and milk, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, artificial fat, past infections and toxins in our water can damage your liver and slow down your metabolism.

In many cases it's all that bad stuff in your liver which is actually preventing you from losing weight.

MARK: Why is that?

DR RETTNER: Well the liver produces all 6 fat burning hormones. So, if your liver can't do its job producing those hormones, you can't lose weight -- no matter how much you reduce your calorie intake.

Mark, does that all make sense so far? If you eat foods you’re allergic to, your body doesn’t know what to do with it, so it stores it as fat. It also puts a toxic overload on the liver as well.

MARK: Crystal clear, actually. This is really fascinating. I thought weight loss was all about calories, but it seems like the conventional wisdom about how to lose weight is all wrong.

DR RETTNER: Yes, most people aren’t aware about the simple mechanics of the body.

MARK: What's the third way the body changes?

DR RETTNER: Here's the third one.

Your body is becoming less tolerant of certain foods -- actually you could be allergic to what you eat. And here's what's fascinating.

Water retention, what Doctors call "edema", is particularly common among allergic individuals and is an important contributing factor to obesity.

The removal of an offending food will often result in a rapid water loss of five to ten pounds within a week’s time, all without the use of a diuretic.

Following the initial water loss, you can lose fat more easily, even without dieting. All you've got to do is figure out what you're allergic to, and stop eating it.

MARK: Wouldn't someone know if they were allergic to a food? I mean, wouldn't they sneeze, or break out in hives?

DR RETTNER: Actually, no. Not all allergies result in hives. Not all allergies cause a runny nose or sneezing either. The only reaction you might have is putting on weight and being more tired than usual. You might also feel angry, depressed, irritable or bloated. You might get a bad headache or have heartburn. There are actually more than 17 different symptoms that an allergic reaction can cause...hives and nasal problems are just 2 of many possible symptoms.

MARK: Okay, well then I guess it's possible for just about anyone to be allergic to one food or another -- or maybe several -- and never know that's why they're gaining weight, or can't lose weight.

DR RETTNER: Yes, Exactly. And that's why most weight loss programs don’t work long term. They simply try to cut calories, but don't address the real problems that are causing people to gain weight and keep it on, and those reasons are usually Hormones, Liver problems, and Food Allergies.

If there's something wrong in your body, and before you can ever hope to lose an ounce, you'll need to figure out which problem or problems you have.

MARK: So how can someone find out which problems they have.

DR RETTNER: Well, I'll tell you not only how you can figure out which problems you have, but also how to solve them.

MARK: Great.

DR RETTNER: I've been working with weight loss patients for the past 20 years, and what I've discovered is if you eliminate food allergies and cleanse the liver first, the weight comes off much faster.

And if you help someone discover their genetically ideal diet -- a diet for optimal health -- the weight will stay off.

My program, which I call the Stubborn Weight Loss System, gets refined every year to make it better than the year before, and improve its rate of success.

MARK: Can you give a couple of examples?

DR RETTNER: Sure. Let me tell you a couple of stories about two people in particular:

(Raphael, are these real people? The names Tom and Mary seem a bit generic? Anything we do to make these legitimately more believable? Are there any details we can add? Last names? mom/dad? Occupation? where they lived? photos?)

When I met Mary, she was 71 years old and had given up trying to lose weight. She thought she was stuck at 200 lbs. forever. Mary went through my program, and as a result of avoiding the foods she was allergic to and eating healthier foods, she lost 35 lbs. and has continued losing 2-3 lbs. per month. She looks great, feels great, looks younger and has more energy.

I’d also like to tell you about Tom Brackett. Tom went through my 8 week program and reported the following results. He told me: In 8 short weeks my total cholesterol has dropped 19% from 201 to 163, my triglycerides dropped 26% from 251 to 185 and he lost a lot of weight too.
MARK: Got another one?
DR RETTNER: Sure. There’s Judie Fouchaux. She wrote me a letter at the end of her program and said “Although I came to you with a weight problem, you managed to help me with so much more. I learned about my food allergies and a whole array of foods which I like and are beneficial to me. I’ve lost over thirty pounds and I’m still easily losing two pounds per week. I feel better than I have in years. Thank you for all you do. Signed Judie Fouchaux
The Liver Enhancement Program
Have you put on a little weight this winter and feel a little sluggish? Maybe it’s time to do a cleanse. The easiest, most effective cleanse I know of is the liver enhancement diet. The liver produces all 6 fat burning hormones and is therefore a key factor in weight loss. If your metabolism is sluggish, your liver may be damaged. In some cases this will prevent you from losing weight. Once the liver is healthy, the weight can come off much more easily.
The chemicals in our foods, growth hormones in our meats and milk, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, artificial fat, past infections and toxins in our water supply may have altered your liver. Normally, the liver is supposed to break down and eliminate these chemicals but it can become overwhelmed to the point where your liver becomes dysfunctional.
If we give your liver a rest from these chemical insults and give it the nutritional support and detoxification it needs to return to normal function. You need to reverse the damage that has been done and the liver enhancement program does this in a short period of time.
The goal is to bring the liver back to its normal production rate to eliminate a great deal of difficulty in burning fat. This is done by eating only those foods that don’t stress the liver while allowing it to purge itself of toxins.
The program consists of fresh fruit, fruit and vegetable juice, salad, avocadoes, hummus, nuts, nut butter and if you like, raw fish.
A special cleansing drink is taken before each meal. It consists of 100% unsweetened cranberry, apple and lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and water.
Besides cleansing the colon, the kidneys and the liver, you will lose weight, look great, have more energy and even your hair and skin will look better.
Please call Dr. Rettner at 510-558-0164 if you would like more information about the liver enhancement program or if you need the supplements to do the cleanse. You can also e-mail me @

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Raphael Rettner is a Palmer College of Chiropractic West graduate and has been in practice since 1982. Dr. Rettner is one of the most highly skilled and respected chiropractors in the United States. He has made numerous radio and T.V. appearances, is the author of Vegetarian Cooking for People with Allergies and has produced several DVDs including: End P.M.S Now!, The Ultimate Diet, and Twelve Causes of an Unstable Spine. He has studied both force and non-force techniques such as Advanced Biostructural Correction, Applied Kinesiology, Biophysics, Gonstead, S.O.T. and over a dozen others. With a combination of creative thinking and an insatiable quest for knowledge, Dr. Rettner has developed several new and exciting chiropractic techniques. Since 1994 he has taught these in his Applied Trigger Points seminar to chiropractors all across the United States, Australia, Canada and England.
You can reach Raphael at