When the new year comes around we often feel prompted to both detox and lose weight, or, we detox simply because we feel we need to lose weight. This means that the idea of detoxing has become implicitly connected with cutting back on calories, cutting out food groups, eating very little, and even fasting.
The thing is, a real detox is not a crash diet and a crash diet does nothing to help your body really detox or keep that weight off. January is the detox and diet month, but the best way to “diet” is to detox in a real way. Detoxing in a real way does not mean deprivation. By all means, do a dry January and don’t touch a drop of alcohol, but feed yourself and feed yourself well if you really want to lose pounds, and get that glow.
You need to feed your hormones if you want to rev a sluggish post-holidays metabolism. You can end the war with your body and instead develop the kind of healthy, supportive relationship you need that will have the added bonus of always keeping you in your best shape.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine detoxing is reserved for Spring and Fall. Spring is actually when your liver is available for a full detox. According to the Five Element Theory, your liver is most active in the Spring and needs special support.
Winter is not the right time for a concentrated liver detox, and of course, you’re always better off not letting yourself get to the point where you need a detox to recover. That means not bingeing on unhealthy foods and alcohol in the first place. We instinctively know that Spring is the time for cleaning house and purging all our unwanted possessions, but we still always try to force a detox in January after the holiday fun.
Instead, in January, focus on eating a nutrient-dense diet, full of good fats, greens and high-quality proteins. Your liver needs the fuel to process the excess hormones and toxins and eliminate them from your body. The FLO Living protocol is packed full of cleansing foods that address your liver, intestines and lymphatic system. In fact, the third central pillar of the protocol is supporting your organs of elimination. Your elimination organs require nutrients to breakdown toxins, and you get nutrients from food. You do not and will not get enough nutrients from a juice fast or cabbage soup diet!
How your liver detoxes your body:
Phase 1: The liver breaks down toxins into smaller components by using nutrients such as glutathione, B vitamins, and C vitamins stored in the liver from your food. These smaller components are free radicals and actually more toxic now they’re broken down, so they need to ushered out of the body ASAP.
Phase 2: These free radicals are combined with the selenium and amino acids in the liver - again, sourced from your food - and they become harmless and water-soluble through the process.
Phase 3: The water soluble molecules or waste finds fiber in the large intestine with which they combine and leave the body.
Phase 4: You wake up in the morning, have a glass of water, and have a bowel movement shortly afterwards. Toxins are also eliminated via your skin and your lymphatic system.
How your liver affects your weight
If these phases are not completed successfully, because the body doesn’t find the nutrients or fibre it needs to process the toxins then:
- Those toxins get absorbed back into the bloodstream and recirculate
- Your body houses the toxins in your fat tissue
- This makes it harder to lose weight, because your body then does not want to let go of that toxin-full fat, knowing that then it would become polluted with all those built-up toxins that now have nowhere else to go. Your fat keeps a hold of your toxins and your body keeps a hold of the fat.
So, when you don’t detox effectively and instead opt for crash dieting or fasts which deprive your liver of the nutrients it needs to process toxins, you set yourself to actually retain fat and subject yourself to a toxin-soup that causes all kinds of problems with your health and hormones.
My new year detox recommendations
If you feel the need to detox in the new year, then boost your intake of the nutrients your liver needs and assist and support your body in eliminating toxins naturally. It’s all about eating MORE not LESS. Let’s let go of this idea of punishing ourselves and instead focus on nourishing our bodies.
- Eat more glutathione-heavy vegetables like avocados, carrots, broccoli, spinach, apples, asparagus and melon. Add two additional servings a day
- Eat more selenium-full foods such as oats, eggs, and Brazil nuts.
- Eat more fiber from nuts, seeds, lentils and peas. Add flaxseeds to your breakfast eggs and lunch salad.
You can also speed up the elimination process and get those toxins out your body fast with a couple of simple lifestyle hacks.
- Sweat - encourage your lymphatic system to get in on the game of releasing toxins by giving it a gentle movement massage. Workout in a way that makes you sweat, whether that’s a home dance workout or a hatha yoga class.
- Soak - draw yourself a bath full of epsom salts, the ancient and highly effective way to detox via your body’s largest organ - your skin.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you feel like you need a detox?
Second, what are your post-holiday symptoms?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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