Just the word toxin sounds scary enough, but did you know that toxins may be making you fat. That’s right! The toxins that you are exposed to in your environment may be the reason that you are not losing weight. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the conditions that wish to never deal with such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease can trace part of their roots back to toxins and how they cause fat tissue to become overactive.
Here is what you must understand. Toxins are going to keep making you fat. You are not going to get away from toxins. Why? Because our environment is continually being polluted by a growing number of chemicals. These are not harmless chemicals. Rather they are extremely harmful. What is even worse is that many of these toxins are passed off to the public as safe. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They may not cause immediate effects, but the cumulative effects are traumatic to our health. How big is this problem? Well according to the Institute for Functional Medicine, more than 80,000 new chemicals are released each year. That is a massive amount.
Even You are Toxic!
At this point, you may be saying, “but I am not toxic, otherwise I would know.” You may be surprised to find out that according to recent research, nearly everyone has appreciable levels of toxins that have built up in their body (Neurotoxicology 2012 May 31). You don’t necessarily know that you are toxic. The onset is usually slow and you become more toxic over time. So the take away is that if you are having trouble losing weight, it is not a question of are toxins making you fat because they are.
Are Toxins Making You Fat? – The Rationale
Here is exactly what happens. You encounter toxins, of which there are many sources. Some of the most common are refined foods, non-organic sources of food, plastics, medications and water. When we think of toxins, it is common to think of chemicals that are clearly marked as hazardous. However, we rarely realize we have encountered most of the toxins that we do. Once you have encountered these toxins, they are going to find their way to fat tissue in the body. The reason that toxins go to fat is not because it is a storage depot, but rather that many toxins are fat-soluble. They have a natural affinity for fat. Yet once the toxin reaches the fat, then problems for our fat tissue start to kick in.
Fat and fat with toxins embedded in it is not the same thing. Fat with toxins embedded in it does not look natural to our body and as a result, it sets off alarm signals. The answer to these alarms comes from the immune system. The increased activity of the immune system stirs up an inflammatory storm that causes the fat tissue to increase in size. This is how the toxins are making you fat. When the inflammation flares, the fat cells become more active. Worse yet, they also create problems elsewhere in the body that affect appetite control and blood sugar regulation. Clearly a seemingly harmless toxin is anything but harmless. It could be the stimulus to not just making you fat, but causing chronic disease. (Environ Health Perspect. Feb 2013; 121(2): a61.)
How to Detox
There is a way to overcoming the effects of toxins on your fat tissue. It starts with eliminating the sources of toxins that you can identify. For many though, this is simply not enough. If your body has been overwhelmed by toxins, you will need additional support. Supporting increased toxicity means supporting your body’s own detox systems. Before you jump to conclusions, we are NOT talking about purging your bowels which may actually make you more toxic over time. Rather there are specific nutrients to support detoxification as our body performs it. Replenishing these nutrients is the key to successful removal of toxins, and moreover dropping those stubborn extra pounds of fat. But you cannot stop there. Again, you must eliminate what you can and that means eating a cleaner diet without all the foods that are refined and contain chemicals. Do this and not only will you detox, but you will start dropping fat as well.