Whether you want to jump-start your fat loss or detoxify from an indulgent holiday season, there are many reasons to seek out a safe and effective detoxification program.
Each day we’re exposed to a variety of toxins through the food we eat, the beverages we drink, the air we breathe and the products we use on our skin. How well we fare depends on how well our bodies can keep up with removing these substances.
By supporting our body's own natural processes with a well-balanced detoxification system, we improve our ability to function at our best and to maintain optimal health. Detox benefits are varied and significant. Let's look at the top six advantages detoxification can offer.
Enhanced Fat Loss
This is a double-edged sword. Toxins are fat-loving, which means they seek out fat cells in which to reside. The body readily absorbs toxins into the fat cells because they're safer tucked away there than they are roaming the blood stream where they have contact with the organs.
This is a common reason people struggle with losing weight: more body fat often means a higher toxin load. (Some of us are more exposed than others depending on our occupations, living environments, etc.)
The body to some degree will resist losing fat to protect itself against the freeing of these poisons. When we lose weight, the toxins are released from our fat into our bloodstream, exposing the body’s systems to them. When we jump into a quick and/or extreme weight loss program (>2 pounds weight loss per week), we in essence “dump” the toxins into our blood very quickly, leaving our detoxification processes overwhelmed. The effect can leave us feeling pretty miserable.
Effective detoxification programs support our detoxifying organs by assisting in the efficient removal of toxins. Additionally, a good detox program also eliminates processed, chemical-containing, inflammation-producing food products as well as sugar and alcohol, which significantly reduces the toxic “input” itself and encourages healthy nourishment.
Improved Skin Clarity
Have you ever noticed the skin of someone who just completed a detox program? Their skin appears smooth and clear and actually “glows.” If you battle acne, dark circles or bags under your eyes, hives or rashes, try a detoxification program supported with dry sauna sessions.
The skin is our largest organ, and it acts as a second kidney, removing toxins through sweat. Our skin is, of course, an external barrier, protecting us from the environment. When you begin to limit exposure to external toxins (e.g. chemicals in food products, cleaning agents and personal items), you’re enhancing the health of your skin. When you further support your skin through sauna, hydrotherapy (cycling between hot and cold water in the shower) and skin brushing, it’s amazing how clear and radiant your skin can become!
Do you know people who struggle to fall asleep, toss and turn several times during the night, wake up at 3 a.m. unable to fall back asleep, or hit the snooze button several times before dragging themselves out of bed in the morning? The Centers for Disease Control estimates 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disturbances, which increase one’s risk for obesity and many other chronic health conditions.
Detoxification programs support sleep by eliminating toxic substances that actually keep you awake, such as caffeine, sugar, tobacco and alcohol. Although alcohol acts as an initial sedative and helps you fall asleep, it will wake you up immediately once it wears off a couple hours later.
Who doesn’t want more energy? Most of my clients highlight “increased energy” as one of their top three personal health and wellness goals.
Detoxification programs boost energy by focusing on what you eat and drink and encouraging only healthy, clean sources of nourishment and hydration. Your body uses the food you give it as fuel. Just as you wouldn’t put diesel in your Toyota Camry, you shouldn’t clog up your metabolism with processed, chemical-laden, nutrient-poor foods.
Your body can’t identify the purpose for these food products and additives. In fact, they end up ultimately impairing your metabolic and overall health. Detoxification programs focus on whole, natural, nutrient-rich foods that the body can identify and utilize for healthy metabolism and ample energy. They also cut out inflammation-producing food allergens such as gluten, cow dairy, eggs, soy, corn, and peanuts as well as energy-draining sugars and caffeine.
Additionally, detoxification programs emphasize drinking enough filtered water, which is the most important nutrient, since our body is primarily water (~60%). By properly hydrating, the body has an easier time transporting oxygen and nutrients – and therefore energy – through a well-hydrated blood system to the cells that require them for optimum functioning.
Improved Digestive Function
First off, the intestinal tract has initial contact with the majority of toxins entering our bodies through food, beverages and medications. It actually provides a physical barrier of entry for toxins into the body - but only if our digestive system is healthy.
Constipation (defined as less than two formed bowel movements per day, for you detailed folks) promotes toxic load since we’re not removing the toxic materials on a regular basis but instead re-absorbing them into our bodies.
The second way detoxification programs can improve digestive function is by removing food culprits that tend to cause inflammation (and, therefore, the above digestive complaints) in the body: gluten, cow dairy, eggs, soy, peanut, corn and sugar.
Many of our D.TOX participants rave about their improved digestive function after the 14-day program.
Improved Cognitive Function and Mood
There’s a direct connection between digestive and cognitive health. You may have heard it called the “gut-brain axis.” An inflamed gut contributes to an inflamed brain, affecting both systems’ functioning.
Once you improve your digestive function, as explained above, you tend to notice your mind getting clearer, more focused and your mood more stable. Some of my favorite testimonials from Life Time’s D.TOX trials were from participants whose spouses noted how much their attitudes improved! It's amazing to me how we can truly live better when we live more healthily.
Thanks for reading. Are you interested in learning more about detoxing? Join our FREE online training from Life Time Weight Loss: Learn the RIGHT Way to Detox.
In health, Cindi Lockhart - Sr. Program Manager of Health and Nutrition Coaching
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.