Minimize Toxicity: Environmental Toxins and Weight Gain
We all know a diet full of sugar, refined carbs, processed foods, and a lack of exercise can lead to weight gain and excess fat. But what if you have made the change to a whole food-based diet and have been exercising only to find the weight just seems to be permanently stuck to your body?! What else can contribute to weight gain? TOXINS! More and more studies are showing how exposure to environmental toxins is causing us all to pack on the extra weight and keeping us from losing it when we try!
Our bodies are wonderfully created with the innate ability to eliminate (detoxify) toxic substances we are exposed to. The liver, digestive system, kidneys, skin, and lungs are all organs that help our bodies detoxify. When our bodies are exposed to more toxins than it can readily process and excrete out to protect itself, the body will store these excess toxins as fat. Our bodies know what will happen when too many toxins circulate in the blood stream (negative health symptoms and diseases and in severe cases liver and kidney damage) so it does its best to protect itself. Having an excess of toxins in your body and stored in your fat will cause your body to hold on to that excess fat. Your body knows if it starts to breakdown its fat stores, it’s only going to release a load of toxins that your body is unable to properly excrete.
Toxins not only lead to weight gain, which effects our hormones and insulin levels in and of itself, but toxins will alter our metabolism and our bodies ability to maintain proper blood sugar levels leading to diabetes(8).
So, what are these “environmental toxins” and how can you minimize your exposure?Environmental toxins come from pesticides, plastics, flame retardants, phthalates, parabens, bisphenol A (BPA), heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic), chemical cleaners and solvents, chemicals given off as air pollution from factories and thousands and thousands of others that have been introduced into our world.
A recent study looking at the chemicals found in the umbilical cord blood from newborns found an average of 287 chemicals, 217 which are neurotoxic(9)! Exposure to chemicals and toxins starts before we are even born. For more information on what chemicals are found in the average person, you can check out The Center for Disease Control’s Fourth Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals(12).
Personal care products, cosmetics, cleaning products, metal amalgam dental fillings, new furniture, cookware with Teflon and other coatings, seafood, plastic food containers and drinking water are all sources of environmental toxins. For example, formaldehyde is found in vaccines and also is part of that new car or furniture smell.
The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) is a great resource to guide you on ways to minimize your exposure to toxins. Their Skin Deep reference evaluates make up and personal care products and details what chemicals are in specific brands and what health concerns those chemicals are linked to. Sticking to make up, hand soaps, body washes, lotions and moisturizers that are phthalate and paraben free and EWG approved will help minimize your exposure of toxins from those common sources.
Making sure to buy organic produce especially for items on the “Dirty Dozen” list will limit your exposure to toxic pesticides. You can find this list and the “Clean 15” list (top 15 produce items with the least amount of pesticides in them) at ewg.org.
Home water filters, air purifiers, having your metal dental fillings removed, are all more ways you can minimize your toxic burden. A whole food, organic diet will help ensure your body is getting the nutrition it needs to support detoxification. Exercise is another great way to help your body detoxify, as many toxins are released through perspiration. In some situations, additional supplementation to support your liver, kidneys, and digestion are necessary to help your body safely detoxify from the toxins it is carrying.
If you feel that you have made all the right lifestyle changes and are concerned that toxins are affecting your health, Revive Chiropractic is here to help you! Ask the front desk about our Metabolix Program and schedule a consult to learn more!
-Stephanie Mahaney, Metabolix Clinical Specialist.
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