Everyone is in search of a magic bullet with the obesity epidemic affecting almost 100 million Americans. From the “pay per pound” diet offering $5/lb lost, to the shocking “feeding tube diet,” no weight loss method is considered too extreme or too taboo these days.
Dominating the market lately are exotic ingredients like Raspberry Ketones and African Mango Extract – “miracle fat burners” or “rapid weight loss catalysts” that promise to speed up metabolism and suppress appetite without a single diet tweak!
The popular HCG diet limits dieters to 500 calories a day for up to 40 days while curbing appetite with HCG, a hormone produced during pregnancy. All the while, these quick fixes offer no lifestyle changes OR long-term health benefits. Is this really the way you want to lose? Is this really the example we want to set for our children where obesity impacts 1 out of 3?
All of these get-skinny quick gimmicks miss another crucial element: detox. They ignore the importance of first preparing the liver (your body’s major detox organ) and colon (your body’s plumbing system) for successful weight loss.
In today’s toxic world we are exposed to approximately 100,000 chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, pollutants, hormones and “obesogens” (chemicals that promote obesity like Bisphenol A in plastic water bottles) and phthalates (found in perfumes and body care products) – the majority of which are fat soluble and stored in body fat. As our fat melts away, it releases the toxins that have been stored there, putting us at risk for new health issues as potential toxins migrate into different body organs like the brain, kidneys, and pancreas.
In turn, these toxins can also stall weight loss by slowing down metabolism and inhibiting the production of thyroid hormone, with a resulting metabolic meltdown. Clinical research from the University of Quebec as far back as 2002 suggests that toxins slow metabolism. In addition, many of these chemicals continually stimulate an inflammatory response in the body creating a hospitable environment for disease.
No matter what products or diet plan you may be contemplating, these are the two essentials you must do to prepare your body:
Number 1: Nourish your liver
As the body’s major detox organ, the liver is responsible for filtering all of these toxins out of your bloodstream, and producing bile to break down fats as well as assimilate fat-soluble vitamins. Bile is the most ignored natural route for getting rid of chemical wastes.
So, when you’re increasing the liver’s workload – especially during weight loss – it’s crucial to keep it in tip-top shape.
Keep in mind that your liver needs big time nutritional support so it will not become depleted during the detox process stimulated by circulating toxins from your bodily fat stores. Supporting your liver and improving your bile level will help improve fat metabolism, cleanse your system, and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Support your liver and build up bile by incorporating these Liver-Loving Foods into your diet:
Daily, choose at least one from each group.
The Crucifers (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw, about the size of a small fist) – Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, broccoli sprouts
Green Leafy Vegetables and Herbs (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw) – Parsley, kale, watercress, chard, cilantro, beet greens, collards, escarole, dandelion greens, mustard greens
Citrus (1 orange or the juice of ½ lemon or lime) – Orange, lemon, lime
Sulfur-Rich Foods – Garlic (at least one clove, minced), onions (1/2 cup cooked), eggs (2), daikon radish (1/4 cup sliced, either raw or cooked)
Liver Healers – Artichoke (1 small artichoke or 4 cooked artichoke hearts), asparagus (1/2 cup cooked), beets (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw), celery (2 medium stalks), dandelion root tea (1 to 2 cups), whey (1 to 2 scoops), nutritional yeast flakes (1 to 2 teaspoons)
For Added Support
To nourish your liver naturally and give your body a cleansing boost, I highly recommend Liver-Lovin’ Formula. This is a unique blend of:
• Artichoke, a well-known liver healer that’s loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through detox pathways and to boost bile production.
• Copper-free chlorophyll to further enhance elimination (Note: Copper is found in many liquid chlorophyll supplements on the market in the form of chlorophyllin, a water-soluble, semi-synthetic sodium/copper derivative. In excess, copper can overwhelm the liver’s ability to detoxify.)
• Taurine, a major amino acid detoxifier that boosts the liver’s production of bile, aids in both fat breakdown and helps the body detoxify chemicals better than any other amino acid.
Adults can take 2 capsules of Liver-Lovin’ Formula daily, with meals.
Number 2: Care for your Colon
While your liver acts as the body’s filtration system, the colon is essentially the body’s garbage dump. When your colon is clogged and toxic, as so many of our colons are, you’re likely to encounter health problems as well as weight issues. Ideally, food should only remain in your system for 12 to 18 hours before your colon eliminates it as waste, however, for most US adults, that waste sits in the colon for 2 to 7 days. The longer the waste remains in the colon, the more opportunity for toxins to penetrate back into your bloodstream, where your poor, overworked liver has to deal with them all over again. As a result, your body, especially your fat, becomes overloaded with toxic residues. Cleansing your colon not helps the body fully absorb and assimilate nutrients; it also makes you feel fuller faster while feeling even more satisfied, energized and nourished!
Fiber is nature’s own detoxifier, literally scrubbing the clogged fecal matter out of your colon and off your intestinal walls, helping you stay regular, and enabling your colon to work at peak efficiency. Add these Colon-Caring Foods – sources of insoluble and soluble fiber – to your diet:
Daily, choose at least two.
Colon-Caring Foods – Powdered psyllium husks (1 to 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water), milled or ground chia or flaxseeds (2 to 3 tablespoons), carrot (1 small raw), apple (1 small raw with skin), pear (1 small raw with skin), berries (1)
Here’s a twist on a favorite dip that will chase the toxins away.
Just a couple of teaspoons a day will keep those heavy metals at bay, thanks to cilantro’s healing power. Great with salads or as a dip for a variety of freshly cut veggies. Freezes well in self-sealing plastic bags.
Pesto Presto Cilantro (Makes 1 Cup)
1 ½ cups packed fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons flaxseed oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Place the cilantro and oil in a food processor. Process until the cilantro is well chopped.
Add the lemon juice and garlic. Process again until a paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the processor’s bowl as needed. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate.