I hear this from a lot of patients. “How do I lose weight?” or “How do I Detox?” Many are frustrated because they already eat what they consider a healthy diet, have been drinking detox drinks, followed a detox program or a week of vegetable juices, and are frustrated because they didn’t lose weight.
There is more to body detoxification and weight loss than restricting caloric intake or following dietary modifications.
Detox and weight loss can only happen naturally in a body that has healthy physiology. Think of this as having a strong foundation. Start your detox diet or weight loss journey when your body’s basic detoxification systems are not functioning well. You will not have the desired outcome on body weight or being able to handle getting rid of the toxic load.
So how do you know if you have healthy physiology? The following four areas MUST function well for your natural detoxification processes to give you the desired results.
Gut – You poop at least once daily, shaped like a sausage. You have zero bloating or acid reflux. You have a flat belly with no gas.
Sleep – You fall asleep quickly and stay asleep the entire night. Waking once to pee is ok. Be asleep from 11 pm to 4 am. (More sleep is even better).
Heart – Your heart pumps the blood. If your pump is weak, it can’t pump enough nutrition to your cells and remove toxins. As a result, your cells cannot be healthy and accumulate too many fluids and toxins. Your blood vessels are your plumbing system. If the pipes of your plumbing system are clogged or weak, this will further affect the ability of blood to get to and from your cells, allowing further accumulation of toxins. If you have swollen ankles, your pump or plumbing is not working well.
Hormones – Your hormonal system must be balanced to allow you to metabolize food well. Any imbalances will affect your ability to metabolize sugar and confuse your fat storage system.
If you have gut, sleep, heart, or hormone issues, please consider seeing one of Healing Elephants Physicians before you expect to have success losing weight or trying to detox. If your body is already in a sub-par state, trying to lose weight or detoxify without addressing these will put additional strain on your system. Imagine trying to dump extra toxins into a system that is not functioning well. Not only will you NOT lose weight, but you will be frustrated because you will feel even sicker or at the very least feel more sluggish and have a foggy mind!
Once you have ensured that you have a strong foundation, your bodily processes are ready to flush toxins, eliminate waste and lose weight. A few secrets that have worked for many of our patients are:
Secret Number 1 – Eat Clean for Three Months
What does this mean?
Remove the more inflammatory foods temporarily from your diet to reduce the burden on your system. Stop eating rubbish. When you eat any processed food, the body sees this as rubbish. The body does not know how to break down preservatives, emulsifiers, colorants, and all other artificial ingredients. When you eat these processed ingredients, please understand that you are slowing down the speed at which food will move through your entire digestive system.
Say hello to bloating, constipation, weight gain, cellulite, and puffy ankles. Eating clean makes it easier for your digestive factory to metabolize food as fast as possible. A fast metabolism means weight loss. Google AIP Paleo or Autoimmune Paleo for recipes and how-tos. If you want my favorite resources, email Veronica at firstname.lastname@example.org, asking her to send you an email I share with patients about AIP Paleo.
Secret Number 2 – Eat Warm and Wet
Make it super easy to digest your food.
Eat warm and wet food. If you have weight to lose, I am assuming that either you have been overeating or your metabolism has been compromised so that you are putting on pounds. Either way, we want to turn your digestion into a highly functioning fat-burning machine. So let’s make it easy for you to break down your food. Your stomach has a digestive fire inside it.
You are constantly reducing this metabolic flame if you drink or eat a ton of raw things like smoothies, juices, iced drinks, sushi, and salads. You can reignite your digestive fire by focusing on eating warm and wet food. Your stomach likes to be wet. Eating many dry foods slows down digestion as the stomach has to work even harder to get the dry food moist and turned into a slushy mix before sending it to your intestines. If your gut is generally pretty healthy at the moment and you have zero digestive symptoms, then you may be one of the lucky ones to be able to eat salads at lunch.
Secret Number 3 – Eat Fewer Carbs
Your plate should consist of 2/3rd plants, 1/3rd animal protein (roughly the size of the palm of your hand), and a little dash of oil like coconut, olive, or avocado.
One or two daily fruits from low glycemic fruit like berries, peaches, green-tipped bananas, or grapefruit.
Restrict your higher-carb vegetable until you reach your weight loss or detox goals. Only eat ½ cup of higher carb veg at a meal. Starchy veg includes acorn squash, butternut squash, cassava, yucca, plantains, pumpkin, sweet potato, tapioca, taro, and winter squash).
Secret Number 4 – Eat More Fish
I think of fish as diet food. Fish and white chicken are excellent protein sources to fill you up, give you energy and help you to lose weight. They are easy for your digestion to break down. If you hate fish, try and eat it at least once a day, and you will notice that you will lose weight even faster.
Secret Number 5 – Eat Less Fat
Many people on paleo-type food plans are overeating fat. If you had zero stress, did not live in America, were under 35, worked only 36 hours a week, weren’t married, and didn’t have a job or kids, you would probably have a robust digestive system. This means that your liver and gallbladder are most likely sluggish, so you are not digesting fat well. Therefore, eating a higher fat diet is probably not leading you to the weight loss goals that you were promised. If this is you, then reduce your fat intake. Only use enough fat to give yourself satiety and make your food taste good. Don’t cut out fat but reduce it as much as possible until you reach your weight loss goals.
Secret Number 6 – Alcohol Makes You Get Fat!
Drink nothing for at least 21 days. Preferably three months. At the very least, only once a week. I wish it weren’t, but drinking alcohol affects your weight and detoxification so much that I should dedicate an entirely separate newsletter to this. In a nutshell, it slows down your fat burning because the body gets distracted by metabolizing the highly toxic alcohols. Anything you eat while drinking or shortly after drinking will be stored as fat far more readily. My best advice is to stop drinking completely until you have achieved your health goals. If you are in a position where this is impossible, stick to tequila or red wine. On the days you drink alcohol, don’t consume any fruit or eat starchy vegetables.
Secret Number 7 – Bone Broth
Bone broth – one to three times a day. It is high in protein and collagen, which helps you feel fuller for longer and supports calorie restriction. If you are hungry, drink bone broth. If you are tired, drink bone broth. If you want to have firm skin after weight loss, drink bone broth. If you wish to have better clarity of thought, drink bone broth. I could go on and on. Just drink bone broth.
Secret Number 8 – Eat Early
Eat at least 2-3 hrs before bed. Your stomach is not a storage chamber. It is impossible to store food until the morning. Digestion has to happen as soon as you eat. If you eat before bed, you are going to put on weight. You cannot enter deep sleep with food or drink in the stomach. You will only enter deep sleep once your stomach has sent the food out of the stomach and through the intestines.
Secret Number 9 – Acupuncture and Ear Magnets
Acupuncture can help with weight loss by regulating hormone production, improving metabolism, optimizing digestion, reducing inflammation, suppressing the appetite, lessening water retention, and optimizing other bodily functions related to detoxification and weight loss. In addition, if you are human, you are probably comfortable eating sometimes. Self-soothing with food gives rapid relief when we don’t have enough comfort. Acupuncture can help to reduce the anxiety that is triggering comfort eating. In addition, ear magnets can be left in to continue the effect of the treatment and strengthen willpower and motivation.
Secret Number 10 – Herbal Medicine
If you need a pill for weight loss, we use herbs. Herbs are simply food therapy. We have a propriety collection of herbs that are tailored to your unique needs to enhance the body functions that are weak so that you become a leaner, highly functioning fat-burning machine.
Secret Number 11 – Lift Heavy Things
Muscle tissue has a higher caloric need than fat tissue. Therefore, increasing your muscle mass, even only marginally, will increase your fat burning.
Consider seeing one of our practitioners for acupuncture and a custom-tailored detoxification program. Weight loss and detoxification can be helped by acupuncture by affecting factors that can reverse weight gain, such as increasing metabolism, reducing appetite, lowering stress, and affecting the part of the brain that feels hunger.
If you’re having challenges with losing weight, contact Healing Elephant to book an appointment with Dr. Corbin and her team. We’ll evaluate your history and medical conditions and work to find a solution. We have telehealth and in-clinic appointments available.