“HELP! I’ve tried everything and I still can’t lose weight!” This frustrating complaint is something I hear every day as part of my own nutrition practice and as a wellness coach for Clean Cuisine’s Customized Nutrition Program. If you are currently struggling with weight loss resistance, or the inability to lose weight despite dieting and despite exercise, toxins could potentially be to blame.
The Link Between Toxins and Weight Loss Resistance
Many people who struggle with weight loss resistance are actually leptin-resistant. Those suffering from being overweight and obese often have a hormone called leptin that is significantly elevated.
Leptin resistance is similar to what happens in individuals with Type II Diabetes, where the body is unable to hear the message from the hormone insulin and therefore insulin continues to rise higher and higher in an effort to get its message heard, which ultimately ends up leading to many life threatening illnesses as well as premature aging. The same holds true for leptin. As leptin continues to rise unchecked, the receptors that are supposed to hear leptin ultimately burn out. In the end, the brain never gets the fat-burning leptin message and your body continues to be hungry while not burning fat very well. Not a particularly good combination for weight loss!
Leptin Tells Your Brain To Burn Fat
Leptin is not only the satiety hormone (the hormone that makes you feel satisfied after eating), it is also the hormone that tells your brain to burn your fat stores for energy. If your brain cannot hear the leptin message then it will be impossible to lose weight despite your typical diet and exercise regimen. Additionally, because leptin resistance is also linked with excessive hunger and food cravings, you’ll continue to feel hungry and potentially gain even more weight so long as your leptin hormone receptors are out-of-whack.
Nonetheless, there is hope. Leptin hormone receptors can be healed and restored with the proper lifestyle changes.
Healing Leptin Receptors is Possible
Losing weight and healing leptin receptors is not achieved by going on a standard diet where you simply reduce overall calories. Instead, you need to nourish your body with healing, high-nutrient, anti-inflammatory foods. Adopting a “Clean Cuisine” style diet (such as the one outlined in Dr. Larson’s Clean Cuisine book) where you replace empty calorie, pro-inflammatory foods with unrefined, high-fiber and high-nutrient plant foods (such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, unrefined whole grains, etc.) and get adequate amounts of omega-3 fats is the first most important step you can make towards healing leptin receptors. Other healthy lifestyle habits such as getting plenty of sleep and controlling stress (yoga is very helpful for stress management) are also very important for healing leptin receptors and increasing your body’s natural fat-burning potential as well as curbing appetite and improving satiety.
Once your body begins to repair the leptin hormone receptors, your weight loss resistance issues start to subside and you begin to successfully lose weight and regulate your appetite. But you still might have issues getting to your ideal body weight. Why? Because one potential problem still remains…toxicity.
Toxic Fat Cells
Most people don’t realize that fat cells don’t just sit around and take up annoying space on your body, they are actively harming our bodies! Yes, that’s right, fat cells are a storage place for toxins and these toxic fat cells work round the clock to interfere with our appetite-controlling and fat-burning hormones, including leptin. The molecules produced by your toxic fat cells wreck havoc on your hormones and metabolism by increasing inflammation (which simultaneously decreases fat-burning), increasing your appetite, slowing fat burning and increasing stress hormones.
Toxicity affects this hormone cascade by causing cellular interference and hormone disruption which not only play a role in weight loss resistance, but also contribute to many diseases and bizarre conditions as well. These can include chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, premature aging, chronic allergies, ADHD, headaches, sinusitis, estrogen dominance, osteoporosis, psoriasis, chronic digestive disturbances such as IBS, acid reflux, etc.
The Detox Solution?
As soon as my patients hear that their toxic fat cells can potentially be interfering with weight loss as well as causing other bothersome symptoms the first thing most of them want to do is jump right into starting a detox program, such as taking one of the over-the-counter detox kits sold at health food stores. Neither me nor Dr. Larson recommends drastic detox methods (such as colonics or prolonged fasts) because they can be dangerous and because they are not truly necessary.
A true detox begins at the cellular level, which means those general colon cleanses and liver flushes that are sold in detox kits at the health food store will not work to cleanse the body of the bioaccumulation of today’s toxic onslaught.
Secondly, to accomplish true detoxification you need to know exactly what it is you are trying to get rid of! For example, the detox method for heavy metals such as lead and mercury is completely different than the method used for biotoxins produced from living things such as molds, Lyme disease, candida, etc.
The Test Solution
If you have cleaned up your diet and lifestyle but still feel you are having bizarre symptoms, struggling with weight loss resistance or have hit a weight loss plateau then one of the first things you should do is complete a neurotoxic evaluation. You can inquire about getting this evaluation in your own hometown area or through our online Clean Cuisine Nutrition Program. This evaluation will show which toxins are an issue and how they are impacting your body.
If heavy metals seem to be an issue, a urine test utilizing a challenge agent to pull the metals from the tissues of the body is utilized. It is important to note that performing blood tests and urine tests without a challenging agent is very inaccurate because the heavy metals are bound so tightly within the body. Note: Heavy metal detox is an area that I see most practitioners doing more harm than good because of their lack of understanding of true cellular detoxification.
Depending upon your individual test results, you may also need very specific testing to measure other hormones and enzymes that are affected by each particular toxin. With this degree of specificity you can accurately target exactly what it is you are attempting to purge from your body. As mentioned above, this is extremely important because after you overhaul your diet and adopt a detoxifying Clean Cuisine way of eat, the next step of detoxification is very unique to each type of toxin.
As you can see, there are many pieces of the puzzle to address when it comes to achieving true health and true detoxification. The first thing to do is clean up your overall diet and lifestyle. If you are eating clean but still not losing weight, testing for specific toxins is the next step. To learn more about how you can get started testing for potential toxins in your body please visit CleanCuisineNutritionProgram.com.