There is a ridiculous amount of so-called “Detoxification Programs” out there that are doing more harm than good. Misleading advertising, improper dosing of supplementation and even unsafe fasting can cause people to become more toxic than when they first started. Therefore, you HAVE to realize what toxins you have been exposed to so that you can actually detoxify properly. Also, understanding your health status BEFORE proceeding is critical to your own personal protocol.
A build-up of waste can causes disease, this disease sets in as our bodies become overwhelmed with toxins. We all have small amounts of toxins in our body, so there is no need to panic, but having an excess of these toxins is when real problems start to occur. Detoxification is not one reaction, but rather a process that involves multiple reactions and multiple players.
“Detoxification is central to understanding functional assessment in medicine not so much because we live in a toxic environment but because detoxification is the biggest item in each individual’s biochemical budget. It handles waste not only from our environment, but from every process in all the organs and systems of the body.” Sidney Baker, MD
Without getting “geeky”, let’s go over what detoxification actually is. The majority of detoxification takes place in the liver and secondly the small intestines. While some detoxification occurs in other tissues, we are going to focus mainly on the liver because it is really the most important.
Your liver has two phases of detoxification by taking these toxic substances and progressively making them into a water-soluble substance which can be excreted using a variety of chemical reactions (i.e. sweat, urine, etc.).
Phase 1: Detoxification begins in the liver. This phase actually takes the toxins and makes them more harmful than the original substance.
Phase 2: This is when your liver transforms these detrimental substances into easily excreted all water-soluble compounds.
This is where problems can occur. If Phase 1 detoxification increases, which happens when detox supplements are taken, and Phase 2 detoxifications remain slow to normal, the body can actually become more toxic! This is a HUGE reason why you MUST be extremely cautious when using any detoxification supplements.
What most realize/don’t realize is that PROPER detoxification is also critical when it comes to PERMANENT weight loss! This is because if you have a surplus of toxins in your bloodstream, your body’s metabolism will slow down. This happens when your body tells your thyroid to stop working, immediately storing the toxins as fat cells so that our body doesn’t become overwhelmed. This just goes to show you that you have to eat quality foods in order to lose weight because dietary toxins are so prevalent in so many foods that people like to eat. Eating quality, organic, local foods will allow your body to release more body fat, and who doesn’t want that?
People ask constantly about fasting to increase detoxification, and while it can work temporarily for some people, most often it does more harm than good. Fasting will increase your Phase 1 detoxification, making you more toxic! It decreases antioxidants which lead to stress in all of your bodily functions. The lack of dietary nutrition can also impair Phase 2 of your liver detoxification. Also, several problems occur when you don’t eat dietary fibers, because you won’t be able to eliminate your waste which can lead to your healthy bacteria to die off!
So, instead of going on some extreme, non-sustainable, lifestyle altering detoxification diet, make the PROPER lifestyle changes so that you are always detoxifying your body naturally.
How do we do this? It’s actually easier than you think.
- Drink plenty of filtered water (9-12 glasses per day)
- Move your bowels 1-3 times per day. If this is a problem, try increasing your fiber intake or use a quality probiotic.
- Eat 10-12 servings of mainly vegetables and small amount of fruit daily. Eat the full rainbow of colors.
- Eat vegetables that are high in sulfur like collards, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, onions and garlic.
- Eliminate or greatly reduce any alcohol intake.
- Eliminate or extremely reduce any stimulants like coffee or nicotine.
- Eliminate all sugar and four.
- Try to sweat profusely at least 3 times per week, or try to do it daily. You can use a steam room, sauna, or wear extra layers while working out.
- Try exercising at high levels of intensity (after being cleared by your doctor).
- Take high-quality vitamins and minerals.
- Finally, use stress reduction techniques, get some quality sleep and move more each day!
That’s it, enjoy!