Detox, Weight Loss and Toxicity
A detox diet addresses the direct relationship between weight gain and body toxicity. Toxins are stored in our fat cells and as the body grows more toxic, more fat is produced to store the additional toxins. This is the body’s way of protecting the organs from being damaged by the toxins. Be aware that many weight loss diets on the market do not address the need for body detox in long term weight management.
When the body cannot expel toxins they are stored mostly in the liver, kidneys, lungs, joints, pancreas, and in fat tissue. One cause of weight gain is the body’s manufacture of fat for the storage of synthetic toxins it cannot process. If the body does not have the nutrients to process out the toxins when they enter the liver, they are stored, either in the liver or in fat tissue. There is a distinct connection between body toxicity and weight gain. Toxins are stored in fat cells. As toxicity increases, the fat cells enlarge in size. One of the reasons detoxification is an excellent way to lose weight is simply due to the fact that a reduction in toxic build up in fat cells directly contributes to a decrease in the actual size of fat cells.
When someone is dieting by taking in fewer calories than are being burned, nutrients (which are also stored in fat cells) are tapped. Along with the nutrients, toxins are released from the fat cells. If this release of toxins is too rapid, the symptoms of toxic overload are likely to emerge: nausea, light-headedness, headache, fatigue, anxiety are the most common. Fasting as a dietary method encourages this kind of toxic overload. For this and other reasons, fasting is not the best way to detox or diet.
Detoxification and Obesity
In his book The Detox Diet, Elson M. Haas, M.D., states:
“Detoxification is also an important component in treating obesity. Many of the toxins we ingest or make are stored in the fatty tissues: hence, obesity is almost always associated with toxicity. When we lose weight, we reduce our body fat and thereby our toxic load. However, during weight loss we also release more toxins and need to protect ourselves from nutrient depletion through extra supplementation, including taking additional antioxidants to balance these toxins. Exercise will also promote the loss of excess pounds and help further detoxification.” (p. 24.)
In the 7-Day Detox Miracle, Drs. Bennett and Barrie write that, “Although not meant as a weight-loss system, you’ll discover that most of the clinical secrets for helping shed difficult pounds are found in our program. Almost all our patients lose 7 to 14 pounds in one to two weeks, and, because they stay on a maintenance program, the weight does not come back.” (p. 79.)
Detox Weight Loss: A Fresh Approach
If you’ve been “yo-yo” dieting for a long time, an understanding of detoxification can change your approach and give you insights that may change your approach to weight loss. It can explain why you get headachy and jittery while you’re dieting. Those symptoms are caused by toxins, stored in fat, reentering the bloodstream as fat tissue is broken down. Another insight is avoiding diet products that are based on dairy products. Because of modern factory farming methods and the levels of pesticides used in farming, dairy products contain residues of pesticides used in growing grain that is fed to cows, as well as the hormones and antibiotics given directly to cows. These residues accumulate in reproductive organs that include the cows’ udder. For these reasons, dairy products increase your levels of toxicity, which is counterproductive when dieting. The toxins add to the burden your liver is attempting to process out of storage from the fat tissues being metabolized for energy demands.
Detox Weight Loss Diet and Lifestyle Choices
There are many choices we can make daily that affects our weight and general health. Here are some healthy choices we can make in our diet and lifestyle for immediate impact on our weight.
- Lower Fat Intake
- Higher Fiber Intake
- Exercise Regularly
- Drinking Ample Pure Water
- Body Detoxification
Lower Fat: It is imperative to cut back on saturated fat, which is hard for the liver to metabolize and creates havoc on the arteries of our circulatory system. By low fat, we don’t mean no fat. Fat is your body’s primary energy source. The majority of overweight people actually have too much sugar in their blood and relatively low fat levels. This will result in constant hunger and the tendency to snack on high carb foods, which perpetuates a vicious cycle. Aim to always include a little healthy fat in every meal and snack.
Healthy fats include:
- olive oil
- peanut oil
- canola oil
- nuts and seeds
- safflower oil
- sunflower oil
- soy oil
- conttonseed oil
- nuts and seeds
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- flaxseeds and flax oil
Higher Fiber: Dietary fiber is that part of food that is not broken down by the body’s digestive enzymes. As a result, fiber moves through the entire digestive tract, where it performs a gentle scrubbing action. Fiber is a natural intestinal and colon cleanser, and we should rely on getting it in our diet, not only in colon cleansing products. Fiber retains water, which produces softer and bulkier stools — a great and natural prevention against constipation. Fiber also binds with certain fatty substances that produce cholesterol.
High fiber foods include:
- fresh fruits
- fresh vegetables (raw is best)
- whole grains
- nuts and seeds
Exercise: Exercise not only burns fat, it raises metabolism, which can provide a long-term calor
ie burning effect even after exercise. Daily exercise will release fat from the cells. Even if you change your diet only slightly, regular moderate exercise will shed weight. Cardiovascular exercise burns fat and stimulates lymphatic circulation, which helps carry toxins from the body, which in turn lightens the load of your fat cells. Weight training exercise builds muscle. When muscle mass increases, so does metabolism, a very important factor in permanent weight loss.
Ample Water: Water is the key to life. It is absolutely required for the body to detoxify naturally and is the single most important aspect of any serious detox diet. Water advocates the removal of toxins from the body and provide a channel for nutrients to enter our body. In fact our body can only absorb nutrients in a liquid form. The recommended amount of water to drink each day for a healthy adult is 8 servings of water (8 ounce or 1 cup per serving). Increase this if you exercise and sweat regularly. Also remember, when you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated so drink water even when you do not feel thirsty.
Body Detoxification: The human body has not changed much for thousands of years, but our surrounding sure has. With ever increasing consumption of fast foods, alcohol and involuntary toxins like water and air pollution, our body often needs additional aid in detoxifying itself. Learn more about the various forms of toxins and poisons in our article Toxicity in Everyday Life. Engaging a detox diet or detox program is a great way to start cleansing our bodies and all it takes is a little research and commitment.
You can learn more about the benefits of detox in our articles: Why We Need to Detox, Who Should Detox and How to Start Detoxing.