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TOXIC WEIGHT LOSS
March 3, 2014
Tis the season when shedding some of those leftover winter pounds is on everyone’s mind. Gyms are bustling, personal trainers can again afford to eat (been there done that), and you begin to get nervous about the half marathon a couple of months away that your friend guilted you into signing up for and haven’t yet trained for. It’s great to have different seasons of change and motivations. It’s keeps us from becoming stagnate and bored. A little fear about how you’re going to look in a swimsuit during that trip to Cancun in a few months can be healthy.
And, like clockwork, que the fad diet marketers who annoying argue their case like a two-year old in the cereal aisle. What no one bothers to tell you is that weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, can be toxic! Yup, read that statement again. Let it sink in and blow your mind…again. It can make you more unhealthy than the fat you were storing. It can make you sick and contribute to disease.
Just hold on. Before you click back to your Facebook feed, let me at least state my case. I promise I’ll provide you with a solution that will leave you happy and healthy.
We live in a toxic world. That’s just the reality of it. Over 15 trillion pounds of chemicals are either manufactured or imported into the U.S. every year. As a result, more than 400 chemical contaminants have been found in human fat. Most toxins that enter the human body get stored in the fat. The more fat you have, the higher toxic load you are likely to have. So it stands to reason that losing weight would automatically diminish the toxic load on your body, right? An emphatic WRONG! It’s actually quite the opposite.
When researchers measured levels of a specific toxin, chlorinated pesticides, in adults undergoing stomach-stapling surgery, they found startling results. Three months after surgery, participants lost an average of 21% of their pre-surgery weight. However, they also found this was accompanied by a 52% increase in circulating pesticides in their blood. By their 12-month follow-up, these individuals had lost 46% of their pre-surgery weight, but their circulating pesticide levels had shot up 388%! It’s not good enough to mobilize toxins by losing fat.
These chemicals love fat and given the first opportunity, they simply redistribute into other available sources of fat. If you don’t rid your body of these chemicals first, you can do more harm than good. This increased toxic load can also diminish your metabolic rate, making it more difficult to lose any further weight. This may be a contributing factor in why people who lose a substantial amount of weight quickly are likely to regain their weight back within the first year PLUS 10-20%.
In a study at Laval University in Quebec, scientists showed that the rise in circulating toxins during weight loss led to a drop in their resting metabolic rate. The drop was caused by a reduction in the circulating level of the most active thyroid hormone, T3. When T3 levels drop, metabolism slows down making it more difficult to lose weight. You know that you have toxins in your body already; you want to lose weight, and you don’t want to increase your toxic load. So, what’s the solution?
The first step to reducing your overall toxin load is reducing your exposure. Granted, these chemicals are everywhere. They’re in our atmosphere, mountain peaks, and even found in the blood of Inuit tribes in the arctic. Your exposure may not ever be zero, but that’s not the point. Your body can handle a lot. It’s extraordinary design allows for processing and elimination of these outside invaders. However, if you are overbearing your body with high amounts, sooner or later the body just can’t keep up.
The Environmental Working Group recently came out with a list of the top 12 endocrine (hormone) disruptors. These are the most common toxins that affect our health. I will summarizing the details of the list below. You can get more info at:
If your body is overburdened by these toxins, there are some relatively simple and easy things you can do to help your body better process and eliminate them.
1.) START WITH THE BASICS:
Clean your life up!
Eat clean food (mostly local and organic).
These foods will have a higher concentration of nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, etc.) vital to help your body process toxins.
Drink clean water.
As you’ve read above, many of these toxins have contaminated our water supply. Invest in a good water filter and try to drink close to half your body weight in ounces.
Breath clean air.
The incidence of asthma and respiratory related illnesses continue to skyrocket each year. Of course, these occur in higher rates in urban areas where pollution is worse.
At the least, use an air purifier with HEPA filter in your bedroom.
Avoid exercising outdoors on days when pollution ratings are above normal (generally very hot or very cold days).
Get more sleep!
I know, this sounds simple and you already know you should be sleeping more. Face it, most of us are too stressed and sleep too little. This is a perfect storm for decreasing our body’s ability to recover and repair.
The CDC estimates that 30% of Americans get 6 or less hours of sleep per night.
In a study published in 2013, scientists demonstrated that healthy adults who got around 6 hours of sleep per night changed the way over 700 different genes were expressed, most of which had to deal with inflammation, protein damage, and immune system dysfunction.
2.) GOOD QUALITY MULTIVITAMIN:
I’m not going to drop any names here, but I’m sure you’re probably aware that all multivitamins were not created equal. The supplement industry is like an Elvis convention in Las Vegas…there’s a lot of energy, lights, and cameras. When it’s all said and done, they’re just not the real deal. Invest in a good quality multivitamin.
Most of us, despite our best efforts, don’t consistently eat like we should. A good multi will help cover any nutrient deficiencies that might arise otherwise. You get what you pay for. Be prepared to pay more than the cost of a couple of lattes for a good multi. It’s ok. Invest in your health!
Utilize your body’s largest detox organ, your skin! If you want to detox, the BEST way you can do this is by sweating.
Utilizing saunas can be helpful, but there’s no substitute for grinding it out on the trail or gym. Find a way to do this daily. Habits are made by repetition. You can’t establish an exercise habit by just going to the gym 2 to 3 times per week.
4.) GOOD QUALITY DETOX FORMULA:
Ok, I will be dropping names for this category because “detox” supplements can be so confusing and potentially harmful. I’m going to show you what I use and have many of my patients use to help clear their bodies of these unsightly toxins.
This is a comprehensive, fructose-free, low-allergy supplement designed to support gastrointestinal (GI) function, balanced detoxification, and a normal, healthy response to inflammation.
It features a proprietary amino acid and pea/rice protein blend, Aminogen® (to facilitate protein absorption), phytonutrients, mineral amino acid chelates, and activated B vitamins, including Quatrefolic®† and methylcobalamin.
It’s also used as a meal replacement to help control appetite.
This is a formula designed to support phase I and phase II liver detoxification of environmental pollutants, endocrine disruptors, estrogen metabolites, xenoestrogens, and other toxins.
UltraClean also supports antioxidant activity throughout the detoxification process.
Micronutrients, phytonutrients, and activated cofactors provide additional support for energy production, cellular protection, and liver function during crucial metabolic biotransformation processes.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Slow weight loss, especially when you’re supporting it with things to help your body detox, is safer and more productive in the long run.
If you consistently lose no more than a pound per week, you’re more likely to keep it off 2 years after you lost it. That’s the idea, right? Plus, think about the big picture.
If you lose a pound per week, after one year, that’s 52 pounds! You did it a way that didn’t increase your toxic burden (which could lead to many other health problems) and you’re more likely to keep it off because you made healthy habit changes.