Are toxins making you fat?

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When I turned 30, I declared to a friend that I must be getting old because my metabolism was slowing down. I was going to the gym 3 times a week and walking everywhere and I hadn’t really changed my diet. Granted I was eating a terrible diet at the time, following a pretty typical Standard American Diet full of gut inflaming grains and dairy. But still I was pretty sure I was burning off those calories but still I gained weight! Can you relate?

I’m sure that you, like me, grew up believing that you become overweight by eating more calories than what you burn in a day. Later, you might have heard that it’s not the calories but where the calories come from that make a difference in weight gain. For instance, a diet high in sugar and processed grains versus one with no sugar and high in colorful veggies.

But did you hear that in 2008 a study came out showing that environmental toxins make you fat and cause diabetes? Yes, it still does matter where your calories come from! If you eat low nutrient dense and high carb foods you’ll naturally put on more weight that if you eat high nutrient dense and lower carb foods.  But there’s more to the story.

There are 84,000 human made chemicals today. None are tested for human or ecological safety.  We’re exposed to hundreds of these every single day and, sadly, babies are born with over 200 chemicals already in their tiny body. This may be one of the reasons why childhood obesity is on the rise.

Now, I was a pretty slender kiddo but when I hit 30 I really started loading on pounds and I was so confused because I felt like I was moving a whole lot more than I had been. I was also remodeling an old house, with my husband, filled with questionable paint, asbestos and leaded pipe. In one year I gained 20 pounds and eventually hitting 140 which may not sound like much but on my small frame I looked pretty darn plump.

Our body is designed to detox these environmental and naturally occurring endotoxins ever single day but with growing toxin quantities, our bodies aren’t necessarily keeping up with the removal. Mine certainly wasn’t during that remodel.

Imagine a rain barrel. Toxins are the rain filling the barrel (your body). When toxins come in too quickly the rain barrel starts to overflow. That’s when small symptoms, including weight gain, and eventually disease appears.

So why wasn’t this study all over the news in 2008? Well, there’s no drug to get rid of environmental toxins! In fact, some pharmaceuticals are indeed toxic and because they end up in the environment, in water, they become and environmental toxin.  I’m not suggesting you stop taking doctor prescribed medicine but I would challenge you to seek out a functional or naturopathic doctor to work with to see if there are diet and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce or remove those medications.

So back to environmental toxins and gaining unwanted pounds. Endocrine disrupting compounds can cause weight gain but then other fat loving chemicals are stored in this fat tissue increasing the rain in your barrel. These fat loving chemicals include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

Living a low toxin lifestyle will certainly help you reduce your toxic burden. Check out my holistic detox article here for ideas.

Ready to help optimize your body’s natural detoxing capability?Are Toxins Making You Fat?-2

  1. Drink Plenty of Clean, Filtered Water – Your pee should be practically clear and it shouldn’t smell (save for after eating asparagus or taking certain supplements). The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you’re 120 pounds, you would drink 60 ounces of water. Increase this if you’re exercising, drinking caffeine or alcohol.
  2. Eat Fiber – The American Heart Associations suggests roughly 25 grams of fiber per day give or take 4 to 5 grams (lower if you’re a woman and higher if you’re a man). This helps to add weight and bulk to your poo so it’s more easy to expel. This in addition to plenty of water will help you have one to two complete bowel movements per day. If you’re on a grain free diet like I am, you can get fiber from psyllium husk and chia seeds which are great to add to smoothies or to bread recipes.
  3. Sweat – Your skin is on of the largest organs you have and it’s great at helping to detox heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins. Sweating for 20 minutes 3 times a week is a good rule of thumb and this can be done either by exercise or sauna. This has the added benefit of helping you lose weight. Be sure to shower right away so you don’t reabsorb those toxins.
  4. Take a Gentle Binder – Taking chlorella is a great option to add to your routine assuming you’re doing all of the above. Chlorella doesn’t strip calcium and other bone building minerals from your body like charcoal can and so it’s safe to use.

Reducing the rain in your rain barrel can also have other benefits besides losing unwanted pounds. Those benefits include sleeping better, clearer memory, boost energy and reduce food cravings.

Here’s to a low toxic year ahead! Ready to start your journey? Book a chat with me today  to see how I can help you get your health back on track so you can feel like the superstar you know you are!


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