Weight Loss: The Good and the Very, Very, Very Bad

Here are two stories out of today’s news that clearly illustrate the right way to lose weight and the wrong way.


Joel Marsh and his wife, Dorothy, pose for a photo in Randolph, Maine.
AP/Kennebec Journal, July 18, 2008: Joel Marsh and his wife, Dorothy, pose for a photo in Randolph, Maine.
Associated Press/Kennebec Journal/Fox News

RANDOLPH, Maine — Joel Marsh, a 68-year-old retiree who shed 172 pounds in 20 months has been honored by TOPS Club Inc. as its “International King of Weight Loss.”

Joel Marsh tipped the scales at more than 350 pounds just over two years ago and was on 11 medications for diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems. He said he is now down to just three drugs and expects to be off those soon.

“After all the doctor warnings, something finally kicked in and I knew I had to do something if I wanted to live any longer,” said Marsh, who heeded the suggestion of friends that he attend a meeting of the local TOPS chapter.

“The whole thing is portion control,” said Marsh, now a slim 178 pounds. “And exercise. I’m on the [Kennebec River] Rail Trail at 5 a.m. every day. I can eat what I want, as long as I get in my three to five miles every day.”

He began by forcing himself to walk 150 feet, a task that left him gasping for breath, and then added another 150 feet each day.

Marsh tells his weight-loss story at TOPS chapters across the state, and the organization occasionally flies him to other states to speak. He does so, he said, to provide incentive for others trying to lose weight.

He usually brings a pair of his old pants with a 58-inch waist that are big enough for him and another person to fit into.

Marsh said his weight was “reasonable” until he retired from his job as a drug and alcohol counselor at Togus in 1994.

“I didn’t keep active or do much of anything except watch television and eat everything in sight,” he said.

Marsh’s wife, Dorothy, also joined the TOPS chapter and has lost about 45 pounds. In addition, she gained a healthier, more active husband.

“I used to have to do all the yardwork and things like that, because he just couldn’t do it,” Dorothy Marsh said. “It’s hard to keep up with him now.”

And now for…


Dawn Paige with her husband Jeff: She was told to drink 4 extra pints of water a day and reduced her salt intake Photo: SWNS
Richard Savill / Telegraph / SWNS

A UK woman has been awarded £800,000 (1.6 million USD) in damages by Great Britain’s High Court after a nutritional therapist placed her on a radical detox diet that left her brain damaged and epileptic.

By Richard Savill

22 Jul 2008

Dawn Page, 52, a mother of two, claimed she was told to drink an extra four pints of water each day, and reduce her salt intake, after consulting the therapist, Barbara Nash, about losing weight.

Her lawyers said she suffered uncontrolled vomiting within days of being placed on “The Amazing Hydration Diet”, but was assured her sickness was simply “part of the detoxification process”.

She claimed she was later told to increase the amount of water she drank to six pints per day.

However, less than a week after she started the diet, the former conference organizer, of Faringdon, Oxon, said she suffered an epileptic fit brought on by severe sodium deficiency.

She was treated in intensive care, but doctors were unable to prevent permanent brain damage.

So Let’s Compare

Sensible eating and exercise = sensible & healthy weight loss

Losing weight by depleting yourself of sodium = epilepsy & brain damage

But I would never do something so stupid!


How many people do you know who have tried the Master Cleanse?

I thought so.

The Master Cleanse involves drinking only lemonade made from fresh lemon or lime juice, Grade B maple syrup, water and Cayenne pepper.

No solid food can be eaten for the duration of the cleanse.

Let’s check out the nutritional content of the Master Cleanse recipe.

* 2 Tablespoons of organic lemon juice

* 2 Tablespoons of organic grade B maple syrup

* 1/10 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

* 10 oz of filtered water

That recipe is for a single serving of lemonade, and you should drink 6-12 servings a day.Lemon Juice – 12 servings = 24 tbsp/ 1.5 cups = 75 calories (all carbs) and 76.8 mg or 4.2% of your daily required sodium.

Let’s break down the ingredients

Grade B Maple Syrup – 12 servings = 24 tbsp / 1.5 cups = 1233 calories (all carbs) and 42 mg or 2.3% of your daily required sodium.

Cayenne Pepper – 12 servings = 1 1/5 tsp = 7 calories and 0.6 mg of sodium.

Total – 1315 calories and 6.5% of your required sodium intake


Yeah, that’s healthy

But, Beyonce did it!!!
But, Beyonce did it!!!

And before you jump all over me saying that salt is bad, read this.


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  1. Thanks for the link to the Science Daily article.

    I remember reviewing all the literature for low-salt intake recommendations 12-15 years ago, and I was not convinced that salt restriction was such a great thing for the general public.

    About a year ago, many expert advisory boards in the U.S. once again started pushing salt restriction for everyone. They are still at it.


  2. “She claimed she was later told to increase the amount of water she drank to six pints per day.”

    My water intake is about 11-13 cups a day. So what did her in? Was is the large amounts of water mixed with a low sodium diet (and I get plenty of salt trust me on that)?

  3. Uncontrolled vomiting may be a sign that something is NOT okay.

    But on the other hand, is there such a thing as controlled vomiting?


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