6 Steps to Successfully Lose Weight While Detoxing

Do you feel like you're doing everything right, but still not seeing the results you want when it comes to weight loss? You may be dealing with toxins that are preventing your body from losing weight. These toxins can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to shed extra pounds. This is one reason many people turn to a metabolic detox. Let's find out how to maximize weight loss if you're considering a natural detox, and how it can help clear out these toxins safely and effectively.

Learn more about conditions we treat: Weight Management

What is the link between toxins and weight gain?

An abundance of research shows toxins can interfere with your body's natural processes, including metabolism (1). When certain chemicals accumulate in the body, they can prevent many processes from functioning properly and lead to a variety of health issues—one of them being weight gain.

Chemicals that disrupt hormone function (and therefore metabolism as well) are known as endocrine disruptors. They're found in food, air pollution, personal care products, household cleaners, and many more everyday items.

The subset of chemicals linked with weight gain are known as obesogens, and they have been shown to alter fat storage, metabolism, and hormone balance, and even increase the number of fat cells present in the body (2,3). These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Bisphenol-A (BPA)
  • PCBs
  • Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)
  • Phthalates
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Heavy Metals
  • Some artificial sweeteners

Related: Decrease Your Toxic Burden to Boost Immune Health

If you have a high toxic load, your body may store more fat

Circulating toxins are bad for your health. And one hypothesis about why and how your body protects itself from a high toxic load is described at the dilution effect. This is essentially where your body attempts to 'dilute' the concentration of excess toxins within fat cells. 

When toxic load begins to overwhelm our body's natural detoxification processes, it then stores those excess toxins in body fat to keep you safe. In turn, this may lead to your body actually needing to create new fat cells to dilute the overall concentration of harmful substances in your tissues (4).

This may make body fat accumulation somewhat of a protective mechanism against environmental pollutants that would otherwise be more damaging to your cells or organ systems.

However, there are ways to both flush toxins safely, and lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.

What’s the fastest way to detox and lose weight?

Many people think that detoxification means fasting, a concoction of detox drinks, or taking an entire handful of supplements daily. In reality, helping your body naturally detoxify doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. You can perform a whole-body detox with a balanced diet, simple lifestyle changes, and an integrative medicine doctor who will work one on one with you to design the perfect plan for your needs.

At CentreSpring MD, we take a holistic approach to weight loss—one that factors in gut health, hormones, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and elevated blood sugar. Integrating these factors can not only kickstart your weight loss efforts but can also lead to successful long-term weight management as you support continued healthy detox function.

There’s no downside to working toward your goal weight. Learn more about our approach here.

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Overcome weight loss resistance with a natural detox

Detoxification is constantly occurring in your body, but it is possible to encourage your body to burn fat more efficiently by supporting natural detox pathways. So how do you do this? Here are 6 tips on how to avoid weight loss resistance and get the most out of your detox plan. 

1. Follow a detox diet

First, remove ultra-processed foods and prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods like quality proteins, fiber-rich organic fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.

In one study, a healthy diet with adequate protein spaced throughout the day, plus the addition of intermittent fasting not only achieves long-term weight loss, but also helps release toxins in the form of PCBs from the body fat stores, in addition to enhancing heart health and reducing oxidative stress (5). 

Then, add fiber. Fiber not only helps digestion and detox, but it supports easier weight loss too. Current fiber intake recommendations are about 25 to 30 grams per day, though most people eat barely half that. 

Other detox supporting foods include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables: kale, broccoli, cauliflower
  • Leafy greens: cilantro, parsley, kale, chard
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric
  • Berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • Citrus fruits: lemons, oranges, and limes
  • Green tea

Support digestive detox with G.I. Detox+

2. Avoid exposure to chemicals that disrupt metabolic health

Some level of toxin exposure (like air pollution, etc.) in our modern world is unavoidable, which is why your body has organ systems dedicated to detoxification pathways that work around the clock. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help reduce our exposure when we can.

Avoid BPA and glyphosate by storing your food in glass containers and looking for organic produce when able. Filter your indoor air and tap water to avoid additional contaminants like PFAS.

But don’t forget about toxins that also slip under the radar, like alcohol. Alcohol consumption even a few times per week can affect our metabolism through microbiome changes and blood sugar imbalance. Your liver processes alcohol as a toxin, and in addition to increasing the risk for liver cirrhosis and NAFLD, it slows other metabolic waste products from being processed and eliminated.

3. Support liver function 

Your liver works with the gallbladder, gut, and intestines to detox, but if not functioning optimally, harmful toxins get stuck in a pattern of “recirculation”.

To avoid recirculation and prepare toxins like heavy metals for excretion, we can use what are called “binders”. Toxins should first be processed by the liver, “bound” in the intestines, and then passed with our stool. But if they’re not, they’re reabsorbed into the liver, and this places immense stress on the body. Binders include fulvic or humic minerals, activated charcoal, or certain clay powders. 

Support liver detox with:

  • Addressing underlying digestive issues like sensitivity to gluten or dairy, leaky gut, or intestinal inflammation
  • Detox binders, like certain clays, to absorb toxins along the digestive tract
  • Fiber to add bulk to stool and encourage bowel regularity
  • Prebiotic fiber and probiotic bacteria to balance gut health in the long term

Get back on track with a little extra help: Shop detoxification

4. Put out any inflammatory “fires” ASAP.

Inflammatory processes left unchecked are like a slowly spreading fire. Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to metabolic dysfunction and future health concerns.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet high in antioxidants can help, as well as regularly incorporating omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. Along with proper stress management, sleep, and an exercise routine you enjoy—you’ll be covering all your bases to combat oxidative stress.

Read: 5 Ways to Control Your ‘Hunger Hormone’

5. Eliminate trigger foods

Some foods or additives make it harder for your body to function optimally, depending on how they affect your particular chemistry. While these things aren’t “toxins” in the sense you might think, they can cause immune and gastrointestinal issues that lead to symptoms outside the gut like eczema, joint aches, and migraines (6). 

Common food intolerances include:

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts and/or tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Dairy
  • Artificial dyes

You may eliminate common allergens for a few weeks and then slowly work them back into your diet. An elimination diet may not be best for everyone, so it’s best to consult your functional medicine experts or dietitian.

Most detox diets also recommend removing other inflammatory foods such as processed sugars and artificial additives (pesticides, sweeteners, preservatives, dyes) that could be slowing your body’s capacity to eliminate toxins. During your detox, you may also decide to limit red meat to once per week or less as your digestive system heals.

6. Leverage the right supplements for healthy detox

Functional medicine lab testing can help you and your provider determine the best supplements for your needs, so you’re not supplementing blindly. 

Tests can show what nutrients you may be deficient in that are needed for proper detox function. It can also show which kinds of toxins (heavy metals, etc.) may be playing a role in your weight loss issue. 

Some supplements to support a detox plan could include:

Comprehensive 10- or 28-Day Metabolic Detox Program

For a comprehensive detox support system that upregulates Phase 1 and Phase 2 detox enzymes, Metagenics Clear Change is a 10- or 28-day metabolic detox with easy-to-follow instructions, menu plans, and recipes.

This system enhances the body’s natural metabolic detoxification process while providing adequate fuel for both cleansing and other daily activities

The 10-day program is ideal for anyone wanting to benefit from an occasional “Spring Cleaning” or somebody who eats a reasonably healthy diet, exercises regularly, and manages stress adequately.

Shop this 10- or 28-day detox here.

Get expert guidance about weight loss and detoxification

As functional medicine practitioners, first, we want to identify potential issues with certain areas of detox, including mold, heavy metals, environmental toxins, and hormones. This helps pinpoint the best way to detox for your genetics and individual situation.

In addition to looking at the genetic data, lab tests check for environmental toxins and how well you are metabolizing hormones. This helps dictate which foods to incorporate (or reduce) and which supplements to use in your detox plan. Functional testing includes:

  • Food Allergies & Intolerances – ALCAT
  • Saliva and Urine Hormone Testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Heavy Metal Analysis
  • Underlying infections
  • Nutritional deficiencies testing
  • Gut function analysis (GI Effect)

Functional medicine doctors can design the perfect detox protocol for your individual needs—without resorting to pills or harsh diet restrictions.

Resources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359373/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060002/ 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888404/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6101675/ 
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170111184102.htm
  6. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01065/full 

Tags

detox, inflammation, weight loss


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