For many people the beginning of a new year means making important resolutions about health and wellness, and one of the most common goals is to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight. The good news is that herbal internal cleansing can help you get a head start on healthy weight loss by helping to eliminate harmful that can slow down your metabolic rate and inhibit your body’s natural fat-burning ability.
Clinical research has shown that toxins are commonly stored in fat cells in the body, so the more fat cells you have, the more toxins your body will retain. As you lose weight, however, those toxins are drawn out and released into the bloodstream. There they can seriously inhibit your weight loss efforts, especially if your body’s natural detoxification organs aren’t functioning optimally. Once in the bloodstream, toxins can affect your ability to lose weight in three important ways:
- Toxins slow down your metabolism;
- Toxins decrease your ability to burn fat; and
- Toxins slow down satiety response time (the time it takes for you to feel full).
Toxins and Metabolism
In the past it was thought that your resting metabolic rate declined with weight loss primarily because of the decrease in caloric intake or changes in the ratio of muscle tissue to fat. But clinical studies have begun to show just how much of an effect toxins can have on your ability to lose weight. When released into the blood, toxins can affect the production of certain thyroid hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolic rate. As a result, your metabolism slows down and your body is unable to burn calories as efficiently as possible. But if you can eliminate toxins quickly enough from the body before or during a period of weight loss, you may be able to reduce the decline in your metabolic rate.
Toxins and Fat Burning
When you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to hear is that something floating around in your blood is preventing your body from burning fat. Yet, studies conducted in the last three decades have proven that toxins can indeed decrease the efficiency of your body’s fat-burning systems. In a 1971 study conducted at the University of Nevada, scientists determined that chemical toxins weakened by 20 percent a special co-enzyme required to burn fat. More recently, researchers have concluded that toxins released during weight loss had the capacity to significantly damage the fat-burning mitochondria (energy centers) within our cells.
Toxins and Hunger
The body produces two important hormones that tell us whether we are hungry or full. One of these hormones—leptin—is released by fat cells to indicate the level of fat stores available to the body, and it is the hormone that tells us when we are full. The other, called ghrelin, is released by the stomach to signal hunger.
Research has shown that toxins stored in our fat cells can interrupt the signals coming from the hormone leptin that indicate when we are full. Over time, this can affect the receptor sites in the brain that register fullness after eating. The result is that we either overeat (because the signals take too long to register the satiety response) or are constantly hungry. Both lead to increased caloric intake and difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight.
Cleansing and Weight Loss
Nowadays the majority of natural health experts recommend using an herbal cleansing formula before beginning a weight loss program. Such a formula is designed to support the organs and organ systems used by the body to filter and eliminate toxins—specifically the lungs, liver, lymphatic system, kidneys, skin, blood and bowel (or colon). When each individual channel is performing at its peak, those toxins that may have otherwise altered your metabolism, fat-burning ability and satiety response will be flushed out of the bloodstream before they can cause a problem.
When choosing a pre-diet cleanse, make sure it contains natural ingredients clinically proven to assist with healthy weight loss and detoxification. For example, an extract derived from decaffeinated green coffee beans has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels by delaying the absorption of glucose from foods. As a result, stored fat is then released from the body’s fat cells to supply a needed energy source for everyday functions. Similarly, an extract of the European ash tree has been shown to help prevent excess sugar absorption by the kidneys and assist with fat burning.
An effective pre-diet detox formula will also include a potent colon cleanse to assist with the removal of toxins via regular, healthy bowel movements. Natural ingredients such as cape aloe and rhubarb stimulate the natural muscle contractions that keep food moving through the intestines (also called peristalsis), and magnesium hydroxide provides the necessary hydration for the bowel.
DIY Detox: Healthy Recipes for Bath & Body
Living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle begins right at home.
That’s because everyday household cleansers and personal care products are loaded with harsh chemicals that can not only cause minor allergies and skin irritation, but that may even lead to illness and chronic disease over time. The solution, says best-selling author Brenda Watson in her book The Detox Strategy, is to gradually begin replacing commercial products with safer, natural alternatives free of synthetic chemicals. This holiday season, give the gift of detox-friendly living with these body- and soul-soothing recipes that are quick and easy to make.
Cool Strawberry Cleanser (for feet and hands)
8-10 fresh strawberries
2 tbsp. apricot oil
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Massage into hands and feet. Wait 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Store in a cool, dry place for up to one week.
Lavender, Milk & Honey Bath Soak
3 tbsp. dried lavender flowers
1½ c. whole milk or cream
? c. honey
Process lavender flowers in a blender or food processor until they form a powder. Whisk together lavender powder, milk or cream, and honey in a glass bowl. Pour the mixture into a jar. Shake well before each use, pouring half of the mixture into the bath. (Makes enough for 2 baths.) Cover and store mixture in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.