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People work hard to lose weight to improve their health. Yet, unbeknownst to them, every bit of fat that is being successfully lost may be dangerous. There are dozens of common environmental substances that are fat-soluble and stored in our fats, including: benzenes, parabens, herbicides, pesticides and countless other substances.
It comes as no surprise to the thinking person that if they are mobilizing fat via successful weight loss program, they are also very likely liberating those fat-soluble toxins. Here is the big catch, each and every day in our modern world we are exposed to new and dangerous toxins as we breath, eat, live in our homes and commute to work. So while your weight loss may be rescuing your body from fat-soluble toxins from past exposure, you are still experiencing a daily burden of toxins.
What is a person to do?
Here’s what I recommend to my patients to support a healthy weight loss regimen:
- Eat super-clean. Go organic or free range.
- Drink plenty of purified water – aim for half your weight in ounces.
- Keep your bowels moving 2 to 3 times a day. Slower bowels result in drier stools, which simply equates to reabsorbing “muddy water” back into the body. All blood from the gastrointestinal tract goes to the liver putting it to work. It has plenty of work to do surviving each day. There is no need to have your liver revisit a challenging substance again unnecessarily.
- Sweat out environmental substances (as your body and health can tolerate) and then rinse off those toxins in non-hot shower as soon as you can, as the skin is the largest detoxifying organ of the body.
Natural approaches to support body detox
Very popular traditional detox herbals include: Milk Thistle, Burdock, Dandelion, Stinging Nettles, Red Clover and Cilantro.
My patients generally target an organic Milk thistle or Milk thistle/Dandelion combination as a foundation to protect their body and aid in healthy liver function. Also, incorporating broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous veggies can help support processing certain burdens.
After drinking adequate water, exercising based on your fitness level and eating a health promoting diet, then the next big hurdle is keeping the GI tract moving. Remembering the goal is 2 to 3 bowel movements per day. Short term use of the herbal supplement Cascara Sagrada can support keeping the bowels moving. The key here is short term, as you want your bowels to keep doing their job on their own, that can be hard when dieting. Sometime when changing one’s diet there can be some gastrointestinal discomfort, this is when Slippery Elm and Marshmallow may help soothe the digestive system. Also, the use of organic herbal bitters, such as Artichoke, can help stimulate digestive enzymes needed for digestion and a healthy liver function.
Remember the key of weight loss is to become healthier, so make sure to support your natural detox pathways, minimize daily burdens, keep your intestines moving and support healthy digestion.
Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., has 24-years of experience practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor in Portland, Oregon. He is dedicated to using his vast knowledge about alternative medicine to help his patients and generously give to those in need. He has written over a dozen books and 100's of national articles, and was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Read more about Dr. Meletis here. Or, visit our "Ask Dr. Meletis, N.D." page for additional articles.
*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website, and provided by Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications. There is additional information linked within this site to HealthNotes®, a third party educational source, containing the latest research on health and supplements. Oregon's Wild Harvest will not be held accountable for this information and consider it an education reference only.