If you are currently struggling with weight loss resistance or the inability to lose weight despite dieting and exercise, toxins could potentially be to blame. Environmental toxins contribute to weight gain by altering fat storage, metabolism and hormone imbalance and can even increase our number of fat cells.
These toxins are found in our food, water, toiletries, make up, perfume, cleaning products and much more. It can feel overwhelming to try to avoid the chemical soup we live in, there are simple ways you can drastically reduce your toxic load and support detox to lose weight.
Toxins overload your body’s detox systems creating inflammation. They also increase fat cells or fat metabolism. Toxins can affect mitochondrial function. They alter circadian rhythm and the autonomic nervous system.
Many people who struggle with weight loss resistance are actually leptin-resistant. Those suffering from being overweight and obese often have a hormone called leptin that is significantly elevated. As leptin continues to rise unchecked, the receptors that are supposed to hear leptin ultimately burn out.
Leptin isn’t the only hormone that makes you feel satisfied after eating, it is also the hormone that tells your brain to burn your fat stores for energy. If the brain cannot hear the leptin message, then it will be impossible to lose weight. Because leptin resistance is also linked with excessive hunger and food cravings, you’ll continue to feel hungry and potentially gain even more weight so long as your leptin hormone receptors are out of whack.
Fat cells don’t just sit around and take up annoying space on your body, they are actively harming our bodies. The molecules produced by your toxic fat cells wreak havoc on your hormones and metabolism by increasing inflammation. They also can contribute to many diseases and bizarre conditions.
Some of the most common toxins that cause weight gain are the following.
Bisphenol-A (BPA): These are found in plastic food storage containers, water bottles, and the linings of some canned goods. You should try swapping plastic products for reusable silicone, beeswax food wrap, and glass containers.
Phthalates: This is commonly found in makeup, air fresheners, plastics, food and drink containers, and medical devices. You should try clean and natural body care and personal care products.
Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs): Most non-stick pans use a coating made of Teflon, which is made of a class of compounds known as PFCs. These are referred to as “forever chemicals.” You should try ceramic or cast iron cookware and invest in a quality water filter such as Berkey or Propur.
Artificial sweeteners: In small amounts, negative effects from these artificial sweetening agents may be minimal, but if you’re consuming them on a regular basis, or if you have any other kind of digestive trouble, they can make a bad situation much worse. You should increase protein intake to curb cravings and make sure to eat plenty of healthy fats. Use natural sweeteners like honey, refined cane or coconut sugar in small amounts. Monk fruit sweetener or lucuma are also good alternatives.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): These are a large group of chemicals found in many household products, from personal care items, to cleaning supplies and home furnishings. Once they are in our homes, they release particles into the indoor air we breathe. You can use gentler cleaning products like Branch Basics, Grove Collaborative, or Method. You should also invest in quality air filters.
Heavy Metals: Lead, cadmium, and mercury may be lurking in even some of our healthiest foods and have long been known to contribute to immune dysfunction and inflammation. The worst offenders are predatory fish like tuna, shark or swordfish for mercury, while fish like mackerel, sardines, and anchovies tend to have much less. You should also be aware that in older homes lead-based paint was often used.
The best ways to improve detoxification include the following.
Consume a nutrient dense diet and avoid foods that contain pesticides. Create meal plans that include adequate amounts of protein (amino acids), fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, green tea, garlic and herbs like ginger, turmeric, cilantro and rosemary are all helpful.
Focus on elimination and consider a diet that avoids common food sensitivities like gluten and dairy and possibly soy, corn, eggs and yeast. Cut out refined carbohydrates and sugars, excess salt, caffeine and alcohol. Both saunas and sweating during exercise can be a great way to rid your body of toxins.
Identify hidden infections that may be affecting your metabolism such as chronic viruses, H pylori, Lyme, mycotoxins, yeast, parasites and sources of chronic inflammation in the mouth, nose, GI tract or genitourinary tract. You can improve your gut microbiome with fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir or take a probiotic that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.
You should limit unnecessary stress which can affect your appetite. Get regular exercise, share your feelings with loved ones you trust, eliminate toxic relationships and go to bed and rise at approximately the same time each day and aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep.
Use clean skincare and makeup because products we put on the skin are directly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Using the supplement glutathione is also very helpful as it is a special antioxidant compound that provides the greatest antioxidant protection within the body. Glutathione has been labeled the “master antioxidant.” It can be rapidly broken down in our digestive tract, so supplementing is tricky. There are three forms, so you should see which one works best for you. They are N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), Liposomal Glutathione, and Acetylated Glutathione.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a very unique and powerful antioxidant that has both water and fat soluble properties. It helps to upregulate glutathione levels indirectly by regenerating other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and CoQ10. ALA maintains insulin sensitivity, optimizes blood sugar levels and strengthens blood vessels.
Milk thistle is one of the most powerful liver detoxifying agents. It also helps protect the liver, thyroid and immune system from radiation stress.
Selenium is a trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant that plays a key role in detoxification and immune regulation. It also has a strong binding affinity for mercury and other heavy metals.
Chlorella and spirulina are potent sources of chlorophyll and trace minerals. They help purify the blood by binding toxins and improving the body’s ability to bring oxygen to cells.
Activated charcoal acts like a sponge, gobbling up toxic debris and expelling it from your system through the stool. Research has shown that activated charcoal decreases the toxic load on the body by more than 60 percent with daily use.