Can Detoxification Really Be the Key to Weight Loss?

I could just say “yes” and call it a day but I would really like you to have a deeper understanding as to why this is so!

We need to start off by having an understanding of  what detoxification really means.  Generally speaking, detoxification is the process of   removing chemical substances from the body.  Among the thousands of chemical reactions that occur in your body and that are responsible for making your body function normally, there is a handful of reactions that are specifically designed to help your body rid itself of chemical toxins.

Just as most of the chemical pathways in the human body have been studied extensively and have become well understood, the particular reactions that take care of removing toxins from the body have also been solidly documented and in fact, have been clarified in such detail that only a true biochemistry geek would stay awake reading about them.  This level of detailed understanding about detoxification reactions exists largely due to the work that has been done on drug metabolism– which means how medications clear the body.

Detoxification chemistry is no different than other chemical reactions in the body, it has particular requirements for optimal function.  It needs specific nutrients available in order to turn fat loving chemicals  into easily eliminated, water soluble substances.  Some of these nutrient requirements are vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folic Acid, specific amino acids, certain minerals like zinc, selenium and sulphur and a slough of antioxidants.  Final excretion of toxins through the kidneys requires a specific pH that is on the alkaline side of the pH scale.

Losing Weight by Detoxification
So now let’s get to the point at hand.  We are all exposed to chemical toxins whether that’s from our skin and hair care products, the lining inside pizza boxes, canned food or microwave popcorn bags, or maybe from plastic water bottles, clothes that have been dry cleaned or even the dust in your house which holds a plethora of toxins.  These toxins, omnipresent yet invisible, can have tremendous effects on our system of hormones as they slowly accumulate in our tissues over time.  It is this accumulated burden of toxicity that can start to erode our health by instructing our hormones to act in very different ways than originally intended.  I often speak of the ability that toxic chemicals have to derail your metabolic train to another track whose destination is stubborn weight gain.

The balance of your hormonal health, particularly insulin, is critical to maintaining normal weight. It is well documented that conditions involving resistance to insulin and therefore weight loss have correlated with higher blood levels of chemicals such as Bis Phenol A (BPA) and pthalates.  If you have tried to lose weight over and over again and can’t, doesn’t it make you wonder what is blocking your body’s ability to do that?

Cleansing vs Detoxification
These 2 terms are often used interchangeably (even I exchange one for the other at whim) but in reality, detoxification refers to the particular chemical pathways I’ve discussed while cleansing has more of a sense of lightening the incoming food burden while improving the elimination function of various organs such as the bowel, kidneys and skin.  If we speak of detoxification in a more biochemically exact way then the following comments are of interest:
~taking a bowel cleansing product and still eating a nutrient depleted diet, doesn’t mean you are truly detoxifying your body.
~fasting on liquids or using The Master Cleanse of water, lemon juice, cayenne and maple syrup does not mean that the detoxification reactions are enhanced.
~eating a totally raw diet does not insure optimal detoxification function.
~following a vegan or vegetarian diet certainly does not secure optimal detoxification.

This isn’t about one being better than the other but really that one beautifully complements the other. Providing the required nutrients to enhance detoxification reactions while cleansing the organs by improving their elimination is your best combination to rid the body of accumulated toxins, particularly the ones that just might be blocking your weight loss!

About Sheila Wagner PT, CN, BCHN

Sheila’s cutting edge ability to uncover hidden source(s) of health issues when no one else has is the first piece to her step wise approach in solving your persistent health complaints.

+Sheila Wagner is the ultimate expert assisting people nationwide to finally fix their health through 1:1 consults, group programs, lectures and classes.

Opinions & Feedback:

  1. I know for me I just feel better after cleansing my body. This also got me to start looking for cleaner food sources with less toxins. Which has led me to organic food or to grow my own. Thanks for sharing insight on detoxification!

  2. Sheila,
    I’ve never really thought about the difference between a cleanse and a detox, but you make it very clear what the differences are. Thanks for continuing to educate me (and everyone else) about our bodies and how they work.

  3. Sheila,

    Great information. Do you have specific recommendations for cleansing?

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon

    • Yes I do Lisa! My first choice is my Cleanse Your Body, Change Your Life!™ 21 Day Detox Program offered 3X/year!
      I am always so blown away by the changes people make even though I know to expect them–to see and hear their changes
      by the end of the 21 days is so inspiring!

  4. Sheila,
    This makes perfect sense. I am just not certain it is something I would do on a regular basis.

  5. Sheila – Wow! A lot of this information is totally new to me. It is so interesting … I am definitely interested in learning more.

    Jennifer Bourn, Bourn Creative

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