The Body Restoration Plan: Ridding Your Body of Chemical Calories

by Dr. Paula Baille-Hamilton

The only way to lose weight permanently is to detox fattening chemicals out of the body and avoid foods that are highly toxic. Take a look at any calorie chart and you will discover that strawberries are extremely low in conventional calories while avocados are very high. Even to suggest the reverse is true seems to go against everything we know. Strawberries have far more “Chemical Calories” than avocados because they are sprayed repeatedly with "fattening" pesticides and preservatives to keep them looking fresh and mold-free on the shelf. Avocados are a much more robust crop which requires less pesticide spraying.

So what are Chemical Calories and how could they be making us fatter? That’s a term I’ve created to estimate the fattening effect that many chemicals appear to possess. The stronger the fattening effect demonstrated by a particular chemical, the greater the level of Chemical Calories it will possess.

Chemicals bring about their fattening effect by damaging our bodies' natural weight control mechanisms, or “Slimming Systems” which have worked relatively well for hundreds of thousands of years. Synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, plastics, solvents, etc. are known to damage critical parts of our fat-burning hormones. This damage results in an increased appetite, reduced fat-burning metabolism, and a fall in the basic desire to exercise. This fattening effect can be so powerful that some chemicals not only cause weight gain in humans and animals but have actually been used for this very purpose, for example to reduce the time it takes for animals to grow to a size at which they can be sold for meat.

The end result appears to be that modern synthetic chemicals are "dumbing down" our Slimming Systems, and we are getting fatter and fatter as a result. So what can we do about it? For the majority of us who do not come into contact with large amounts of chemicals at work, food is the main source of chemical exposure. Today, our food is laced with chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, growth hormones and other drugs used at every stage of food production.

To help discover which conventionally grown foods contain the highest levels of Chemical Calories, the following “dirty dozen” list has been prepared from FDA published data:

1. Butter, regular & salted.
2. Salmon steaks or fillets, fresh or frozen, baked.
3. Spinach, fresh or frozen, boiled.
4. Strawberries, raw.
5. Cream cheese.
6. Raisins.
7. Apple, raw & unpeeled.
8. Dill cucumber pickles.
9. Summer squash, fresh or frozen, boiled.
10. Green peppers.
11. Collards, fresh or frozen, boiled.
12. Processed cheese.

Before you become too depressed and head to your icebox in search of nutritional comfort, read on as it seems that there is now a positive and easy way out of this fix which can be done without any form of food deprivation or restriction at all! It involves reducing your exposure to the highest sources of Chemical Calories in not only your foods but also in your environment. By knowing where the highest sources of Chemical Calories are found, it’s possible to dramatically reduce your exposure to them. As a result, your body can also start to process its existing load.

There are many ways of lowering your Chemical Calorie intake from food. The easiest, but most expensive, is by eating more organic foods, which are foods produced without the routine use of artificial chemicals. However, substantial reductions can be made by using simple food preparation methods, such as peeling and washing your fruit and vegetables.

Nutritional supplements also play a vital role in boosting the body's ability to kick many of these fattening chemicals out the body and revitalize the body's natural fat-burning metabolism. The supplements which help you achieve this include a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, omega 3 and 6 fatty oils, soluble fiber and certain detoxing amino-acids.

Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamilton's Top 10 Detoxing Tips are:

1. Eat more organic foods.
2. If you don't have access to organic foods, use methods such as peeling or washing to lower chemical contamination.
3. Stop using artificial pesticides and herbicides around the house and garden.
4. Don't microwave foods in plastic, as chemicals leach from the plastic into the foods.
5. Store foods, particularly fatty ones, in natural material containers such as glass or ceramic.
6. Filter your water and drink lots of it.
7. Use organic skin care products as the body absorbs approximately 60% of what is put on the skin.
8. Reduce animal fats in the diet.
9. Ventilate your home, as levels of airborne toxins are usually far greater inside the home than out.
10. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton MD PhD is author of the book The Body Restoration Plan: Eliminate Chemical Calories and Repair Your Natural Slimming System (Avery, Penguin; 2003; $24.95). She is a specialist in Environmental Medicine and consults for the Health and Weight Management Industry. For more info please visit: or