It’s no secret that obesity has become a crisis in North America. As the number on the scale continues to rise, so does the number of diseases and illnesses associated with are poor diets, lifestyles, and body fat percentages. Even more concerning is the alarming increase in obesity in children.
While unhealthy diets and lack of exercise are certainly to blame for our need for larger pant sizes and wider seats on airplanes, many of us struggle to lose weight despite our efforts to clean up our diets and move more. In fact, many of us who eat well and exercise regularly still have an extra layer of fat that won’t budge no matter how many salads we eat and laps we run of our block. The reason? The toxins in our food and environment are making us fat.
Obesogens: The Connection Between Detoxification and Fat Metabolism
Chemical “obesogens” are toxins that alter your metabolic function and predispose you to weight gain and obesity, as well as cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes. (1, 2, 3, 4)
How it Works
You may not know this but your fat cells release hormones related to metabolism and appetite into your blood stream. These obesogens or toxins end up getting stored in your fat cells where they alter their function and how they act on your body. (1, 2, 3, 4)
There are several proposed ways in which obesogenic drugs and chemicals can disrupt the body’s physiology. The three main ways include:
changes in the way hormone receptors respond
dysregulation of sex steroid creation, leading to changes in control of lipid balance
changes in the regulation of appetite and satiety (your ability to feel full) in the brain and changes in metabolism.
The effects will vary, depending on the toxin:(1, 2, 3, 4)
Some effect the number of fat cells
Some effect the size of your fat cells
Some effect hormones that affect appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism
Essentially, they not only increase your capacity to store fat, but they also slow down your metabolism and predispose you to store more of it. (1, 2, 3, 4)
(1, 2, 3, 4)
Pesticides: In food (the dirty dozen) and some tap water
BPA: In canned foods, medical devices, and come receipt papers.
PFOA: In non-stick pans, microwave popcorn bags, carpeting, clothing, backpacks, luggage, and some water.
Phthalates: In plastics, vinyl, toys, wall paint, air fresheners, and beauty products.
Soy: In non grass-fed livestock and many packaged food products.
MSG: In canned foods and soups, some restaurants, and some packaged foods.
TBT: In vinyl, fungicides, pesticides, textiles, and carpets
Antibiotics: In livestock and medical use.
PCBs: In fish, meat, and dairy.
Artificial Sweeteners: In low-fat foods and diet drinks and foods.
Effect of Obesogens on Children
These chemicals can explain a large reason why the obesity problem in children has become such an issue: Many of these obesogens can slightly alter your DNA, which then gets passed along to your children and genetically causes them to have slower metabolisms and more, larger fat cells. (1, 2, 3, 4)
So…Do You Need To Detox?
On top of avoiding sources of obesogens, helping to support your body’s own detoxification organs and pathways is a great way to jump start weight loss and get back on track.
How To Detox Your Body to Lose Weight
Due to obesogens and the toxins putting stress on your body, it can be nearly impossible to prevent weight gain and lose fat, despite your efforts to eat healthy and exercise, without getting rid of these chemicals.
While your liver, kidneys, colon, skin, and lungs do a fantastic job cleansing your body, they can easily become bogged down by this influx of chemicals. To make it worse, once you do start losing weight, those toxins that were stored in your fat cells will be released into your circulation, putting even more stress on your detox organs and causing you to plateau.
Thankfully, nature has provided us with fantastic “detox” foods that support your detox organs, flush out toxins, and help you to lose weight.
4 Incredible Detox Foods that Flush Toxins and Boost Metabolism
Lemons are fantastic for supporting your detox organs thanks to their high concentrations of antioxidant flavanoids and vitamin C. They also contain high amount of potassium which help to decrease your blood pressure. When added to water, they act as a natural metabolism booster. (5)
The enzymes in lemons stimulate liver function to help eliminate waste more efficiently, including the obesogens that are slowing down your metabolism and making you hold onto fat. (5)
Like lemons, tomatoes contain plenty of vitamin C. The antioxidant that makes tomatoes stand out, however, is the high levels of lycopene, which protect the liver from oxidative damage and keep it functioning optimally. To get the most lycopene out of a tomato, however, they actually need to be cooked. The best ways to consume tomatoes for the benefits of their lycopenes are in the form of tomato paste, tomato sauce, or tomato juice. (6)
* Watch out for sodium content in tomato sauces and juice, store bought varieties can often be quite high. Look for low sodium versions or better yet, make your own. (6)
This spicy root has been shown to improve blood sugar and leptin levels, the hormone responsible for signaling to your brain that you are full and that it is time to stop eating. This prevents you for overeating and therefore gaining weight. (7)
Ginger also suppresses the production of cortisol, which is released in response to stress. This lowered stress level reduces the amount of belly fat that we hold on to. On top of that, ginger has a thermogenic effect, meaning that it increases your body temperature and therefore your metabolic rate. Finally, ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory, which also relieves the overall stress on your body and detox organs, allowing you to lose weight. (7)
Spicy cayenne pepper has shown to suppress cravings, and also has thermogenic, and therefore metabolism boosting, effect on the body. It has shown to help decrease belly fat and increase feelings of fullness. Thanks to its spiciness, it raises your metabolic rate after eating for up to half an hour, and sends your body into cool-down mode, forcing you to burn more calories without doing any extra work. (8)
Metabolism Boosting Detox Remedy to Burn Fat Fast
All of the previously mentioned ingredients have amazing detox and metabolism boosting effects on your body. This drink combines all four of them for the ultimate fat-burning drink to kick start your weight loss. (9)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup of tomato juice
2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
1 pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper (to taste/spice tolerance)
celery stalks (optional)
In a blender, combine all ingredients except for celery and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a glass and garnish with celery, if desired.
Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Remember, supporting the organs responsible for detoxing your body by both avoiding toxic chemicals and obesogens as much as you can, and by including detoxifying drinks and foods in your daily diet, will help you to lose weight and live a long, healthy life.