The word detox conjures up a lot of confusion for many people. Do I need to follow a juice fast? How long do I do it for? What supplements should I take? Does it work? These are the likely questions that many have when they hear the word detoxification.
Detoxification has been around for centuries and effectively used in many cultures including Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The underlying benefit is to help rest the digestive system and excrete toxins from the body.
Much of the confusion around detox centers on food. Trendy detox diets involve little to no food and often include liquids but little science behind them. The truth is your liver is your most prominent detoxification organ and excretes toxins via a process called Phase I and Phase II detoxification. In order for the liver to effectively detoxify it needs amino acids, specifically for Phase II. Following a cleansing program where you exclude all amino acids, which many do, actually hinders the liver and leads to less than optimal results.
Effective detox not only supports the liver but also benefits the colon, kidneys, skin and lungs, all of which help the body excrete toxins. Professional detox programs involve eating an elimination diet where you remove common food allergens which cause many vague symptoms. Eating this way also helps to reduce inflammation in the body and is typically much easier to digest. The combination of eating specific foods while supporting detox organs is the most effective way to cleanse.
Why We Need to Cleanse
If you’re new to the concept of cleansing, you might wonder, why we need to cleanse in the first place. It’s true that our bodies have sophisticated detoxification systems, through the colon, kidneys, lungs, skin, and liver. But these systems are getting overwhelmed.
Toxins: Toxins are present in our food, water, air, and environment. Over the past hundred years, our world very quickly became filled with unnatural chemicals. Here are some examples:
- Our food supply is filled with nasty chemicals that are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and oxidants. Food lining the shelves of grocery stores contain preservatives, artificial dyes and flavors, flavor enhancers, fake fats and sugars, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, preservatives, and even plastics from packaging. Processed food has unfortunately been designed to become addictive.
- Pollution – outside and in. Indoors, we have constant out-gassing of our paint, construction materials, mattresses, and furniture. Often times the air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside!
- The lotions, shampoos, makeup, and dyes that we use on our bodies also contain an astonishing amount of chemicals that are absorbed by our skin. These chemicals disrupt our hormones and can cause cancer.
- Cleaning products are also known to have harmful chemicals that we breathe in or absorb into our skin.
- Of course there’s also pharmaceuticals, which overload our livers, and are accompanied by a very long list of side effects.
How Cleansing Supports Weight Loss
- Helps your body to burn fat by reducing inflammation:
This is important because inflammatory hormones cause weight gain and prevent your body from burning fat.
- Stops junk food cravings by killing unfriendly bacteria:
The most cutting edge research shows that unfriendly bacteria in our intestines causes sugar cravings and weight gain. A detox can help kill the bad bacteria and give your intestines a chance to repopulate with friendly bacteria so you no longer have junk food cravings.
- Reduces hunger by repairing leaky gut:
When we give our digestion a rest the damage in our intestines can be repaired so toxins no longer leak into the bloodstream. It also improves nutrient absorption so we are better nourished and less hungry.
- Activates your fat burning hormones:
Cleansing, done correctly, leaves you in an amazing place hormonally. Your body becomes more sensitive to hormones like leptin and insulin—so you naturally crave less food and burn fat more efficiently.
- Helps to heal the liver:
Your liver is the main detoxifying organ and when it’s blocked it becomes difficult to lose weight. A detox can help cleanse your liver, which improves your body’s ability to burn fat.
Have questions about how cleansing can support your body? Schedule a free 20 minute strategy session and learn more. Schedule here.