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You're not alone if you want to be done with dieting. The truth is, a lot of us struggle with our weight (and the evil forces that lurk in temptations like fresh-baked sourdough bread, bourbon craft cocktails and homemade shortbread cookies. Well, that's my kryptonite list, anyway). Sometimes it even feels like the weight is controlling you, as opposed to the other way around.

If you can relate, then you're probably also always trying to decode what eating plan/diet/weight loss regimen will work for you. It's overwhelming, to say the least. And once you finally do, you wonder if the weight will stay off.

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Danee Barrett

So, with swimsuit season lurking, I tapped a local force in healthful weight loss: Danee Barnett. Danee—who's certified in non-surgical facial rejuvenation, nutritional counseling and acupuncture for substance abuse, weight loss and cancer patients—has been in practice for 18 years  (if you don't know her yet, it's likely someone you know does). I asked her to share how she's guided more than 3,000 clients to lose 10 percent of their body weight—and keep it off.

Before I hand you off to Danee, a bit of important info: she's located in downtown Sarasota, and the cost of her program is $695.  That covers office visits, treatments, tests, homeopathy, acupuncture and more. Feel free to tell her I sent you. 

Tell us what makes your detox/weight loss system different from others?

Our program is actually set up just like a drug and alcohol rehab program, with behavior modification being every bit as important as weight loss.

Do you prescribe phentermine for the process? 

I practice functional medicine, which uses no drugs, but rather uses food and nutrients as medicine. We use electro-acupuncture (no needles) to eliminate cravings, and an oral homeopathic formula that eliminates hunger and triggers excessive calorie burning. An oral amino acid compound with a weekly vitamin cocktail injection called Lipolean are both designed to build and preserve muscle. The trick is to lose weight without losing muscle mass, and our combination does exactly that. You are also provided a very specific diet of proteins, vegetables, fruit and minimal grain that’s followed for 24 days. 

How do you measure results? 

We use a process called bioimpedance analysis. It tells us your total weight, how much is lean [mass], how much is fat, how much is fluid, and your base metabolism, which is the number of calories you burn in 24 hours without exercise. I may have two patients who are the same age height and weight, which give them an identical body mass index, but the one with more muscle mass always burns more calories. We run the test three times during our program. When our program is followed, we see the muscle mass rise while the fat mass drops.

Speaking of results, if a client follows your plan – what should they expect regarding weight loss? 

Women usually lose about 10 percent of their starting weight. (For example, a 150-pound woman would lose about 15 pounds.) Men lose 12-15 percent of their starting weight. The most important thing is that the loss is fat. At the end of our six-week program, you are provided a Mediterranean diet food plan to follow, which is customized for your metabolism. Even too much healthy food is still too much!

What about exercise—how does that factor in? 

During the initial 24-day detox, we recommend only minimal exercise. Once we increase your calorie count, exercise will be part of  your plan. The more you move, the more you can eat.

Lastly, what would our readers be surprised to know about the program? 

In the last eight-and-a-half years, we have helped more than 3,500 patients lose over 63,000 pounds of fat. My curious mind wondered, “So where did the 63,000 pounds go? That’s the equivalent of five African elephants!” Here’s what I discovered. A basic law of physics is nothing ever disappears; it just changes form, like evaporating water becoming steam. Eighty-five percent of the fat you burn is exhaled as carbon dioxide through the lungs. Yes, we exhale lost fat! My patients just feel a whole lot better.

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