This article is by Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP of oasisadvancedwellness.com According to Dr. Mark Hyman author of the Ultra Simple Diet, “Being inflamed makes you fat and being fat makes you inflamed.”
There is simply nothing healthy about too much body fat. Not exactly “breaking news” you say? Well, consider this as well: too much fat is not only unhealthy, but downright toxic! There is a huge association between weight loss and toxicity, which most people don’t yet realize. Like so many others, you may have tried everything to lose weight such as becoming a “gym rat” (constantly jumping from gym to gym seeking the latest piece of equipment or the perfect trainer), trying every new fad diet that promises you will have the figure of a runway model, scouring the internet in search of the latest weight-loss “secret” or fat burning pill, or obsessively eyeing the scale. If you have jumped through all these hoops and have yet to experience any significant weight loss (or even gained weight), cheer up! There is hope. Perhaps it’s time to be honest with yourself and take another perspective by learning about aligning your body into complete health. Among many other benefits, this will literally melt the pounds off. Sound too good to be true? Well, take a deep breath, relax, and read on…
Why is my body so toxic?
The more toxic or inflamed your body becomes, the harder it will be to lose weight and keep it off. The air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink can combine with negative emotions (often caused by endless hours of TV, radio, and other media) to provide a constant stream of toxins in the body that significantly impact our health. This can result in inflammation and corresponding accumulations of fat, which may make losing weight difficult or nearly impossible. From what I have observed with my clients, there is a definite link between weight loss and toxicity levels in the body. It seems that the more toxins that our body takes in, despite all those seemingly “healthy” fad diets, the more difficult weight loss becomes.
The build-up of toxic and irritating chemicals causes inflammation throughout the body. For example, toxins like PCBs, which also accumulate in fat and therefore damage it, are likely to be a huge concern. Most folks are consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD), which includes hormone and anti-biotic laden meat, grain-fed chicken, and even fish that is farm raised and fed with fertilizers. As we ingest these foods, the hormones and chemicals find their way into our digestive tract, which composes up to 80% of the immune system. We must also not forget the mercury that is found in most fish, the chemicals and solvents in Acrylic nails, chemicals and toxic excipients in the personal care products that we slather on our body, and mercury in amalgam dental fillings. All of these are toxic and harmful to our health, and they are also disastrous to our attempts at losing excess weight.
Love Handles & Stomach Pouches
The “love handles” and “stomach pouch” around your waist could actually be toxic-waste storage sites! Toxins may trigger inflammation, which is a huge health issue, being the primary cause of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, and many other degenerative diseases. These are the areas of the body where most people have difficulty losing weight. Could it be because most diets do not teach how to eliminate toxic over-load? I believe the answer is a resounding YES. As we said above, inflammation is strongly related to the foods we eat, especially foods that are “acidic” in nature. Highly toxic people often exhibit the following:
- Chronic fatigue
- Heart disease
- Memory loss
- Premature aging of skin
- Skin disorders
- Hormone imbalances
- Emotional disorders
- Autoimmune disease
- Constipation and digestive tract issues
When toxins begin to build up in your body, and the liver and digestive tract can’t process and eliminate them effectively because they are already not working at peak levels, you develop a condition called “toxic overload”. Some initial symptoms of toxic overload include lack of energy, depression, cravings for sugar, environmental allergies, food sensitivities, and excessive mucus production. Other signs of a toxic body are: foggy thinking, mood changes, constipation, sallow and saggy skin, respiratory concerns, joint aches, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and easily contracting colds, flu, and infections.
Ok…Ho Hum…Just What About Diet?
Most of us consume far less fiber than the body needs, while simultaneously ingesting excessive amounts of sugar, refined white flour, saturated fats/hydrogenated oils, and too much non-organic animal protein. The digestive tract needs fiber to help neutralize toxins and to keep things moving in the intestinal system, thus preventing putrefication which can result in illness and disease.
Diets rich in organic whole grains, organic legumes, and organic fresh vegetables and fruits provide the digestive tract with an abundance of fiber which is a must when dealing with inflammation. But how many of us eat that way? Unfortunately, not many. Because we are a society of convenience, we are more likely to consume fatty, sugary and floury foods, or to go on the latest low carbohydrate / low fiber diets. The result is that the acidic food we eat sits in our digestive tract for days, where it gradually putrefies. This causes the stomach to bloat along with constipation, which adds even more poisons to the body. It also extremely challenges our already over-taxed liver, which as the main filter of the body, is supposed to filter out all toxins and poisons. The liver is very forgiving and does the best it can even under the harshest of circumstances, but after a while it will begin to operate less efficiently and will be unable to properly metabolize fat due to the daily assault of toxins. Hormones are also metabolized in the liver, and if not processed properly, weight gain can result, especially for women. Performing liver/gallbladder flushing along with total digestive cleansing is essential to not only a healthy intestinal tract, but will also help to alleviate the on-slaught of toxins that the body is exposed to on a daily basis.
Some people actually do lose weight on a low carbohydrate diet, but there may be a price to pay. The effects of low carbohydrate diets are disastrous for both health and long-term weight loss. Low carbohydrate diets encourage the over-consumption of very acidic foods such as high protein meats like beef, chicken, fish, and pork. They also discourage the consumption of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, which actually help to purify, add oxygen to the body and eliminate toxins. The result is the ingestion of way too much protein, along with insufficient amounts of stomach acid and enzymes to digest it efficiently. Emotional stress, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and poor exercise and dietary habits have also conspired together to deprive the body of adequate amounts of stomach acid that is needed for proper digestion. All of these factors combine to make it difficult to digest the excessive amounts of meat recommended on low-carb diets. It then putrefies in the digestive tract, overloads the liver and intestines, and leads to inflammation and weight gain.
Garbage = Toxicity
Every one of us is toxic to some degree, and we all have a certain amount of poisons stored in our bodies. We can compare this to forgetting to empty the trash in your home every day. Soon the garbage piles up, begins to overflow, and the odor can making you feel nauseous just from walking past it. This is essentially what happens in your body when you take in toxins and don’t get rid of them via proper and effective elimination. The body has a very efficient waste management system that keeps you healthy when it is functioning properly. However, like a home where the garbage is not taken out, your digestive tract (remember this is where 80% of your immune system is located) can become overwhelmed with toxins that may result in a myriad of diseases or illnesses.
How can this be avoided? Unless you live in a bubble with a pristine diet, toxins cannot be entirely eliminated because we have allowed our planet, air, and food sources to become so very polluted. The chemicals and excipients used in pre-packaged and GMO foods, prescription drugs, synthetic supplements, household cleaning products, personal care products and lawn care products all contain numerous toxins. We literally walk through a maze of hormones, electrical-magnetic frequencies, and dangerous chemicals just by exiting our homes!
Don’t lose hope. There is a solution to solve this dilemma. The answer is “detoxification”—a process that will help you begin to lose weight, and eliminate inflammation to boot.
This is NOT about popping pills, eating mass quantities of only two to three “special” foods, or exercising until you drop. It IS about cleaning up your body by removing toxic overload and enabling it to be in a position to heal and repair itself.
We must be aware of the fact that during cleansing and detoxification, our cells, tissues, and organs start to dump accumulated waste products from cellular metabolism, as well as chemicals, pesticides and other toxins. Many people will actually feel a bit worse during the detoxification and cleansing period. However, this is only the initial result of truly eliminating built-up toxins. While it may be uncomfortable for a while, it will not last long, nor will it harm you. Actually, it is a good sign that the body is responding to the cleansing efforts!
There are some very simple steps that you can implement to aid your body with the removal of harmful chemicals and toxins and to help your waste management system keep them out as well. The following are ways that you can decrease your exposure to toxins:
- Consume half of your body weight every day in ounces of clean, pure, or filtered water. Avoid tap water. Purchase a water filtration system for your home, as bottled water is becoming more and more “suspect.”
- Eat more organic foods, including free-range organic chicken and low fat organic free-range dairy. Thoroughly wash all vegetables, fruits and meats before preparing. Eating at home will not only save you money but will also save your body from the toxic ingredients of fast food and pre-packaged foods.
- Consume healthy fats and oils every day, such as organic flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, and tea oil. Eliminate all hydrogenated oils.
- Avoid inhaling smoke of any kind. Make your home a “smoke-free zone.” Incorporate ionic air purification in your home and place of work.
- Wear protective gloves and masks when using any type of chemicals or solvents.
- Replace all home-cleaning and lawn chemicals with organic products.
- As you lose weight and fight inflammation, work with your healthcare practitioner to try to eliminate as many prescription medications as possible, including over-the-counter meds. This will give your liver a huge break, and will allow it to be more effective at ridding your body of built up toxins.
- Perform a liver/gallbladder flush once every two weeks for the first two months. Thereafter, do a flush quarterly at the beginning of every season. Perform a complete digestive tract cleanse after each liver/gallbladder flush.
- Take a good probiotic every single day.
- Take an organic multi-vitamin/mineral complex every day.
- Take digestive and systemic enzymes every day. This will help tremendously with inflammation.