First For Women

The new liver cure

Drop 10 pounds in 7 days


Thanks to high school biology—not to mention life experience!—we all know what a key role estrogen plays in our body, from prepping for reproducti­on to keeping bones strong, protecting the heart and maintainin­g healthy cholestero­l. And many of us also know the effects of dropping estrogen levels as the years go by: hot flashes, mood swings, thinning hair and weight gain.

“Estrogen controls everything from the smoothness of your skin to where your body stores fat,” explains weight-loss and nutrition expert Fred Pescatore, M.D., multi-NYT bestsellin­g author of The A-List Diet. “When estrogen drops, there’s no longer enough of it to steer where your fat goes—and so the fat goes where the body can most easily store it: the liver.” Indeed, researcher­s at the University of Vermont

“It’s never too late to turn the tide and eliminate liver fat” —Fred Pescatore,


found that decreasing estrogen levels are associated with an 82% increase in fat stored in the liver and other organs.

By the age of 40, up to 90% of women are battling a fat-clogged liver, and postmenopa­usal women are developing a harmful condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) 60% faster than men of the same age, according to a recent review of studies published in the journal Endocrinol­ogy. What’s more, experts explain that since the liver is responsibl­e for breaking down dietary fat and detoxifyin­g the body, a buildup of fat in the liver often leads to a pileup on pounds on our waist, hips and thighs.

The good news: Dr. Pescatore has uncovered a simple way to slash liver fat and help you drop pounds fast. His fix? A highprotei­n diet abundant in the amino acids that switch off the genes responsibl­e for storing fat in the liver. Science backs him up: Researcher­s reporting in the journal Liver Internatio­nal found that eating a high-protein diet cuts liver fat in half (a low-protein diet didn’t change liver fat). Another study found that the genes responsibl­e for liver-fat storage were less active in highprotei­n dieters. “Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins, and boosting your intake of amino acids has been shown to help speed metabolism and fat burning,” explains Dr. Pescatore. He notes that a specific type found mostly in animal-based proteins, called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are the most crucial to both weight loss and eliminatin­g liver fat. “The branched-chain amino acid leucine, for example, instructs the body to burn the deep visceral fat that collects in the liver, while valine helps remove toxins from the liver, lightening its load so it can focus on eliminatin­g fat buildup,” he says. “The research on amino acids—especially BCAAs— is so compelling that I’ve taken to thinking of them as the missing link between health and weight loss.”

“Plus, protein simply keeps you fuller longer,” Dr. Pescatore explains—and that makes slimming feel effortless. In fact, high-protein diets have been shown to trigger an 81% reduction in between-meal hunger.

Just ask 71-year-old Sandra Lilly, who dropped 45 pounds after switching to a protein-focused diet. “After the first week, my hunger went away. It was wonderful,” she recalls. “Plus, I could stay up late, get up early and not feel tired throughout the day. Now, I don’t feel my age. And I don’t look it!”

Weight loss is just the beginning: A high-protein diet can deliver a slew of beneficial side effects—from improved sleep to reduced brain fog, joint pain and bloat. “My patients rave about their suddenly clear complexion and thicker hair,” adds Dr. Pescatore. “When you eat what the body prefers, which is protein and veggies, you decrease inflammati­on, which is the root cause of almost everything that ails us, including heart disease and diabetes. If we can eat our way into these diseases, we can eat our way out of them.”

Ready to start your whole-body transforma­tion? Turn the page for the simple plan!

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