You eat a pretty healthy diet, you aren’t sedentary, and you get a decent amount of sleep. You decide to lose a few pounds by cutting back on sugar and you up your workouts. But something’s not right. You can’t seem to lose weight. So you decide to go get your thyroid tested. But your numbers are all good. You try out a few other fad diets, you even go to hot yoga (so smelly). Yet nothing seems to work.
So what gives? Why can’t you lose weight?
There’s a big reason for weight gain that no one is really talking about. Why? Because there aren’t any major pharmaceuticals that can come to the rescue.
The reason you may have such a hard time losing weight is because of the toxic load you are carrying around in your body.
According to Dr. Jill Carnahan, “toxic chemicals from foods, pesticides from foods, mold exposure, and heavy metals (to name a few) can block the leptin receptor in our fat cells and cause an inability to break down fat”. Toxins can lead to obesity because they disrupt our hormones and brain functioning. They are also a culprit in causing insulin resistance which leads to diabetes. The amount of toxins we are exposed to throughout the day is staggering. In fact, 80% of the toxins we encounter are in our air. That’s why it’s so important to get a good quality air filter in your home. If you are looking for some hard data, look no further than the Center for Disease Control’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals
So what are we supposed to do about toxic exposure? How are you supposed to drop the pounds if you are battling toxic exposure day in and day out?
Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize your toxic burden.
The word detox can often invoke images of juice cleanses and meditation retreats. But don’t be turned off by it – there’s a much less hippie approach to detoxifying your life than what you think.
Follow these steps to lessen your toxic load (and hopefully lose some pounds in the process).
Conventionally grown foods are full of pesticides and chemicals. When you can, always chose organic, local and Non-GMO. In an ideal world, it would be amazing to only eat organic, but that can sometimes be cost prohibitive and chances are restaurants aren’t carrying organic produce (unless stated). To put your mind at ease, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out a report that lists the foods that you should absolutely go organic on – The Dirty Dozen – and those that are ok to eat conventionally grown – The Clean Fifteen (organic still preferred though!). The list changes every year and they even have a handy, dandy app now that you can use while grocery shopping or out to dinner. Check out the list here.
Drink Filtered Water
To date, there have been thousands of publications and studies showing that our drinking water contains heavy metals. Granted, some of these metals are fine for human life, however, in sustained large doses over time, they can become a major player in some really awful health problems. A very easy way to avoid dosing yourself with toxic heavy metals is by using a water filter. There are many types out there – you can even purchase charcoal sticks to throw in your water bottle. I personally love the Berkey water filter system, but a trip to your local home improvement store should give you plenty of options. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids. Prolonged exposure to heavy metals in drinking water can cause a multitude of problems in our precious little ones, including shorter attention spans and learning delays. Recent studies also suggest that arsenic can harm the developing brain.
Excrete the Toxins
I love Dr. Mark Hyman’s take on this. He explains this process as the “4 P’s”. Perspire, Pee, Poop, and Pranayama (aka the practice of breath control). Release toxins through your pores as you b break a sweat either through movement, saunas, or steam rooms. Drink plenty of fluids (yay filtered water!) to give your kidneys the fuel they need to flush out toxins from your bloodstream. Make sure you are having consistent bowel movements, which also flush out toxins (tip: Fiber with adequate water helps to battle constipation). Finally, the breath. By breathing fully and deeply, all the way down into your belly, you are helping your lungs to deliver clean oxygen to our tissues. Try attaching a round of 2-3 belly breaths to an activity of daily life – ie, checking emails, social media, making phone calls, getting in your car, etc. Choose an activity, say making a phone call. Each time you are about to make a phone call, take 2-3 belly breaths. This will not only deliver oxygen to your body but will relax you and help you center. Yes, please.
My last tip for excreting toxins is using the gift provided by Mother Nature. There are many natural detoxifiers you can incorporate into you daily life to help rid your body of unwanted toxins. Charcoal capsules (I’m obsessed with Bullet Proof’s charcoal capsules – especially when traveling), dandelion root tea, and apple cider vinegar are all easy to find, easy to use, and wonderful for you. Of course, always make sure to consult your physician before adding herbs and supplements to your regimen!