Weight loss is toxic. This can be true for two reasons. First, because weight loss has become an obsession that in many cases, results in efforts that aren’t healthy at all. This includes everything from crash diets to poor self-image and all the implications of both. The second reason, and the purpose of this blog, has to do with what actually happens in the body once you start to release stored fat.
Holding on to excess weight in the body is of course not health-promoting. Being obese or even overweight is associated with kidney disease, sleep apnea,1 arthritis, high blood pressure, polycystic ovaries,2 cancer, diabetes, depression,3 liver disease and overall inflammation.4 But losing that weight can be toxic.
So, what do you need to know about safe weight loss? This post will address that question.
Note: If you’re looking for information about how to lose weight, I recommend my book, The Quantum Weight Loss Blueprint and Can’t Lose Weight? There’s Aways a Reason!, Why Can’t I Lose These Extra Pounds?, Obesity: The Bridge to Hope and Health. Again, this article will talk more about what to do once you’re already starting to lose the weight.
How it works…
Toxins of all kinds are stored in adipose (fat) tissue.5 Although no one wants to carry extra weight around, from a survival standpoint, this is a brilliant system. When your body has a toxin, fat tissue surrounds it, creating a protective barrier so you can remain strong and alive. You don’t want toxins floating around in the blood stream. The good news here is that you get to be safe, thus increasing your survival rate. The bad news is that gaining weight, specifically fat weight, is the result.
More fat tissue equals more stored toxins…and, more toxins taken into the body will yield the need for more fat tissue. It’s truly a perfect storm.
This is why sometimes people feel sick, tired and completely depleted when they first start to improve their diet or lifestyle and begin losing weight. The detox organs can’t keep up with how fast toxins are being released into the blood stream, causing detox reaction symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and upset stomach to name a few.
Ugh so now what? It’s unhealthy to hold excess weight but also risky to lose that weight. So, what do you do? The answer is…
Healthy weight loss! Here’s what you need to know:
- Go slow. Although it’s common to reduce pounds a bit faster when you first start the weight loss process, that initial weight is often mostly water. For the long haul, you want to lose no more than 1-2 lbs/week. This isn’t just a good idea. Research indicates that 1-2 lbs/week is the amount that your body can safely keep up with, especially the kidneys.
- Hydrate. The solution to pollution is dilution! Well, at least that’s one of the solutions. Drinking lots of pure water is an important health component no matter what, but especially so when you’re seeking to lose weight. A great way to start is to drink 30-40 oz of water as soon as you get up in the morning. Your body does a lot of “clean out” in the night. Toxins get released into the blood stream but not eliminated. When you wake up in the morning that is the best time to flush toxins out of the body with lots of water right away. Proper hydration is associated with positive weight loss outcomes.6 Click here for more info on hydration.
- Help the detoxification along. There are 6 things to help with this.
- The first way to do this, is what we just discussed, stay hydrated.
- Next, eat a whole food plant-based organic diet.7 This helps in two main ways. First, the nutrients in this type of diet help to facilitate a mild detox on their own, simply by giving your body the raw materials it needs clean itself out. And second, eating an organic diet means that you’re not trying to eliminate toxins while also putting them back into the system. Conventionally grown produce is most commonly loaded with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc. The plant-based diet is specifically helpful for reducing fat (not just weight).8 On the contrary, research is clear that processed foods, rich in sugar and low in fiber, contribute to weight gain,9 so of course, this is another reason to stick with whole foods.
- Ensure that your bowels are working properly. If you are constipated, eliminating toxins of course becomes more difficult. The good news is that the best way to have healthy bowel movements are the 2 simple things above, hydration and a whole food plant-based diet which is naturally rich in fiber. Of course, exercise can be helpful as well. If you are doing these things and still having issues, reach out for help. This is a key piece of your safe and comfortable weight loss program.
- Next, go to bed! At night when you sleep, your body is working hard for you to heal, repair and detoxify. If you don’t sleep well or just don’t get enough sleep, this process will suffer, and weight loss becomes more difficult and less comfortable.
- Detox through your skin. There are two main ways to do this. First, by dry skin brushing before you shower. This opens the pores so that when you shower, toxins can more easily be washed away. Please note, it’s important to shower in pure water (so you’re not continually adding the very toxins that you’re seeking to eliminate). This is the filter I use. The other powerful way to detox through the skin is through sweating. This can be through exercise or saunas, both have incredible (but different) benefits.
- Finally, supplement appropriately. Remember the supplements that we are talking about in this post aren’t those that help you lose weight but rather those that help your body deal with the weight you are already losing. Supplements that can be helpful include:
- CoQ10– When your body starts to release copious amounts of toxic material the response is a higher level of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) as well as a lowered energy level.10 The vitamin CoQ10 helps support this process, so you feel good through the detoxification. When you feel good, you’re more likely to continue your weight loss rather than plateau. I’d recommend starting with 1-2 capsules with lunch daily.
- Medi-Clay– This is a very gentle supplement. You use it by opening a capsule up into a cup of water, stir it up and drink it. The clay binds to toxins and helps to escort them out of the body. Unlike so many products of its kind, it does this without gas, bloating, cramping or loose stool. I would recommend starting with 1 capsule twice daily, spaced out by at least a few hours. This special clay can even help to remove aflatoxins (cancer causing and harmful to the liver).11
- Green Tea ND– Start with 1 tsp in the morning. You can add this to hot or cold water or in your morning smoothie. Green Tea ND is a concentrated green tea supplement that is fermented, supplying in 1 tsp, the active ingredient ECGC that you’d need 20 cups of green tea to get, but with the caffeine of less than 1 cup. Green tea has actually been found to be helpful in weight loss but is also a powerful antioxidant, so like CoQ10, it helps irradicate ROS that are created when you are releasing toxins as well as helping support continued weight loss.12
If you need help losing weight, check out the reference links in the start of this post.
But once you’re actively in a weight loss mode, you will want to stick to these practices until you’ve arrived safely at your healthy ideal bodyweight.
If you need more help with any of this, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling the clinic at 269-204-6525.
1. Pi-Sunyer X. The medical risks of obesity. Postgrad Med. 2009. doi:10.3810/pgm.2009.11.2074
2. Sikaris KA. The clinical biochemistry of obesity. Clin Biochem Rev. 2004.
3. Ellulu MS, Patimah I, Khaza’ai H, Rahmat A, Abed Y. Obesity & inflammation: The linking mechanism & the complications. Arch Med Sci. 2017. doi:10.5114/aoms.2016.58928
4. Gómez-Hernández A, Beneit N, Díaz-Castroverde S, Escribano Ó. Differential Role of Adipose Tissues in Obesity and Related Metabolic and Vascular Complications. Int J Endocrinol. 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/1216783
5. Jackson E, Shoemaker R, Larian N, Cassis L. Adipose tissue as a site of toxin accumulation. Compr Physiol. 2017. doi:10.1002/cphy.c160038
6. Muckelbauer R, Sarganas G, Grüneis A, Müller-Nordhorn J. Association between water consumption and body weight outcomes: A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.055061
7. Turner-McGrievy G, Mandes T, Crimarco A. A plant-based diet for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017. doi:10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.002
8. Najjar RS, Feresin RG. Plant-based diets in the reduction of body fat: Physiological effects and biochemical insights. Nutrients. 2019. doi:10.3390/nu11112712
9. Hall KD, Ayuketah A, Brychta R, et al. Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: An Inpatient Randomized Controlled Trial of Ad Libitum Food Intake. Cell Metab. 2019. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2019.05.008
10. Manzar H, Abdulhussein D, Yap TE, Cordeiro MF. Cellular consequences of coenzyme q10 deficiency in neurodegeneration of the retina and brain. Int J Mol Sci. 2020. doi:10.3390/ijms21239299
11. Moosavi M. Bentonite clay as a natural remedy: A brief review. Iran J Public Health. 2017.
12. Li Z, Feng C, Dong H, et al. Health promoting activities and corresponding mechanism of (–)-epicatechin-3-gallate. Food Sci Hum Wellness. 2022. doi:10.1016/j.fshw.2021.12.013
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.