So you are trying to lose some of that weight and nothing seems to work? Eating less, working out more, trying to stress less and yet you feel starved? They say losing weight is as simple as balancing calorie intake vs calorie burnout, boosting metabolism and regulating hormones like insulin, cortisol, thyroxine and estrogen, but it just doesn’t work for you. Maybe, it’s just your genetics or you have a liver problem. If only you knew how to clean your liver to lose weight!
Did you know that liver plays an important role in creating and utilizing all the fat stores in the body? When it comes to functions at cellular level, the liver is the most important organ in the body, even more important than the heart and brain.
Most people associate liver problems only with excessive alcohol consumption. Liver is, for a fact, the major detoxifying center of the body. Yet, we’d rather brush the problem of under the carpet than actually try to clean the liver that can help improve quality of life.
Most people decide to lose weight by eating less and exercising more. A few actually get results. Many just feel hungry and tired not to mention frustrated. Eating less calories than you can burn might work for some. But if the diet is not sufficient in proteins, vitamins and minerals, the body will reallocate its resources by eating up muscle tissue. It will take minerals from the bones in addition to burning body fat in order to keep the body functioning properly.
If you feel hungry and starved all the time – your body is telling you it needs nutrients. Losing muscle mass will decrease your metabolism and make it easier to put on weight once you go off the diet. In the middle of all this, your liver grows fattier and more sluggish by the day. The key is learning how to clean your liver to lose weight.
How Liver Toxicity Causes Weight Gain?
Liver health is key to overall health. Without doubt, liver is the ultimate multitasker. But when it is overworked, toxic residues build up causing inflammation which can lead to fat deposits, especially around the belly. This means that no matter how much you restrict your calories, weight loss is nearly impossible—unless learn how to clean your liver to lose weight.
The liver has two distinct and highly important functions:
- Detoxification: It acts as a filter to remove toxins like medications and alcohol, and nutrient byproducts from the blood.
- Metabolism: It aids in digestion and metabolism by producing bile to help break down fat and absorb fat soluble vitamins and minerals. It transports proteins that help in cellular function. It also plays a vital part in regulating blood glucose, blood pressure, insulin, estrogen, testosterone, blood cholesterol production and removal.
Once the liver becomes sluggish, it doesn’t perform either of the jobs well and we end up packing on weight which is difficult to shed.
How To Clean Your Liver To Lose Weight – Six Easy Steps
The liver is a remarkable machine for keeping weight under control, both by fat burning and removing fat. It is the major fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat metabolism by a complicated set of biochemical pathways. The liver also pumps excessive fat out of the body through the bile into the small intestines.
Here are six simple steps that can show you how to clean your liver to lose weight.
1. Eat Clean
What exactly does that mean and how do you eat clean?
It simply means eat raw, fresh, unprocessed food, without too much oil, salt and sugar, and that’s it.
You want everything that goes inside you to be in its purest form. You want to avoid any toxins in food or extensive by-products of food metabolism that will make your liver work harder. You want to avoid bombarding your body with refined sugar, the simplest form of carbs which are the glucose and fructose, found abundant in sugary treats, fizzy drinks and foods made of white rice, white flour, white bread etc. Read about the ‘No White Diet’ here if you want to understand what I am talking about.
And most of all, you want to give your body nutrient rich foods with sufficient carbs, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins that will keep your liver functioning smoothly.
Some of these vital nutrients include:
- Vitamin K: green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts.
- Arginine: this helps the liver to detoxify ammonia, which is a toxic waste product of protein metabolism; found in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), oats, walnuts, wheatgerm and seeds.
- Antioxidants: found in fresh raw juices such as carrot, celery, beetroot, dandelion, apple, pear and green drinks like wheatgrass and barley-grass juice, and fresh fruits, particularly citrus and kiwi fruit.
- Selenium: sources are Brazil nuts, yeast powders, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheatgerm, whole-grains, garlic and onions.
- Methionine: is essential for detoxification; is found in legumes, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, seeds and meat.
- Natural sulphur compounds: are found in eggs, garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
- Essential fatty acids: Seafood, cod liver oil, and fish oil. Seafood may be fresh, canned or frozen such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, mullet, blue mussels, calamari, tailor, herring, blue eye cod, gemfish. Fresh avocado, fresh raw nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), whole grains, wheatgerm, green vegetables such as spinach, green peas and green beans, eggplant, cold pressed fresh vegetable and seed oils, freshly ground seeds, especially flaxseeds (linseed), evening primrose oil, black-currant seed oil, star flower oil.
Essential fatty acids are required for healthy membranes in every cell of the body and plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. This is why strict low fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function (see step 3).
2. Plan Your Meals
The key is to start your day with a glass of water on an empty stomach. This gives your slowed down metabolism a head start, clears your throat and gut and stimulates your bowel movement.
Planning your meals is very important in the context of how to clean your liver to lose weight. Just as important as planning your life. A heavy protein rich breakfast, a high fiber lunch and a full meal dinner, that’s what your menu should look like.
If the diet is high in fiber, the unwanted fat will be carried out of the body via the bowel movements. If the diet is low in fiber, some of the fats, especially cholesterol and toxins that have been pumped by the liver into the gut through the bile will recirculate back to the liver. A high fiber diet will reduce the re-circulation of fat and toxins from the gut back to the liver. This is vital for those with excessive weight and high cholesterol.
The inclusion of plenty of raw fruits and vegetables as well as raw seeds will increase both soluble and insoluble fiber in the gut, and reduce re-circulation of unwanted fat and toxins.
3. Choose The Right Fats – Good Cholesterol vs Bad Cholesterol
As mentioned earlier, liver does two things with dietary fats; manufactures good cholestrol (HDL) and removes bad cholestrol (LDL). How to clean your liver to lose weight? If the liver is healthy, it will allow dietary cholesterol to be shunted into the liver for metabolism or excretion through the bile. If the liver is dysfunctional, it will not manufacture adequate amounts of the good cholesterol (HDL), which will travel out of the liver to scavenge the unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) from the blood vessel walls. Poor liver function may increase your chances atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
Avoid fats that present a high workload for the liver and gall bladder. These include full-cream dairy products, margarine, processed vegetable oils (hydrogenated fats), deep fried foods, foods that are not fresh and contain rancid fats, preserved meats, animal skins and fatty meats.
Eat good fats which contain essential fatty acids in their natural unprocessed form. These include cold pressed vegetable and seed oils, avocados, fish, shrimp, prawns and crayfish, raw fresh nuts, raw fresh seeds such as flaxseeds (linseeds), sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, alfalfa seeds, pumpkin seeds and legumes (beans, peas and lentils). Spirulina, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, borage oil and lecithin also contain healthy oils to help the liver.
Do not use butter or margarine on your bread and crackers. Replace them with tahini, hummus, pesto, tomato paste or relish, nut-spreads, fresh avocado or cold pressed olive oil. Good fats are essential to build healthy cell membranes around the liver cells.
It is not necessary to make yourself miserable by following a low fat, low calorie diet. What is effective in the long term is to eat the correct foods for the liver to improve its fat burning function.
4. Intermittent Fasting
Most people fast for religious reasons. What if you were told that the answer to how to clean your liver to lose weight and improving overall health is not just in dieting, but skipping meals every once in a while. Going without food or very little food for more than 14 hours and being a bit conscious of what you are eating and when will go a long way in towards a clean liver to lose weight. If you think about it, all of us “fast” every single day when we sleep at night so it shouldn’t be a big deal.
While there are different intermittent fasting diets, two of the most talked about are :
- The Fast Diet: Sometimes referred to the 5:2 diet, the fast diet to clean liver encourages people to eat normally five days per week and trim calorie intake down to 500 to 600 calories total for two non-consecutive days. In terms of weight loss, participants can expect to shed about one to two pounds per week.
- The 8-Hour Diet: It limits the window of time for calorie consumption to eight hours per day, which is supposed to make the body burn fat and calories more efficiently. This diet works on a cellular level and triggers the energy centers of the body’s cells (mitochondria) to selectively burn fat for energy. The diet is also said to reduce the amount of cancer-causing cell damage caused by a typical American diet.
Both diets claim that, in addition to helping participants in losing weight and keep it off, they’ll also help regulate blood sugar, possibly prevent diabetes, slow the ageing process and prevent or minimize risk of heart disease.
Learning the difference between when you think you’re hungry and when you’re actually hungry is one of the biggest challenges, and trial fasting is a great way to practice managing hunger. It’s an essential skill for anyone who wants to get in shape and stay fit and healthy. According to Scientific American, it has been seen that intermittent fasting can actually help you live longer and healthier.
5. Early Reversal Of Fatty Liver
Fatty liver is a very common and much ignored problem, and doctors often tell their patients not to worry about it. It may not be a serious condition now but it definitely indicates a very serious health problem in the future, and should not be ignored.
If you have fatty liver, your chances of high cholesterol, heart disease and type 2 diabetes are very much higher.
Many middle-aged people with excess fat in the abdominal area have a fatty liver. In this condition the liver stops burning fat and turns into a fat storing organ. It becomes enlarged and swollen with greasy deposits of fatty tissue. If you have a fatty liver it is vital to be patient. It can take between 3 and 12 months, depending upon the amount of fat deposited in the liver, to remove the excess fat from the liver. After this accumulated liver fat has been removed, weight loss will occur easily.
If the liver filter is damaged or blocked by toxins it will be not be able to remove fat globules circulating in the blood stream. This will cause excessive fat build up in the blood vessel walls. This fat may then gradually build up in any organ of the body, including fatty deposits under the skin. Thus you may develop cellulite in the buttocks, thighs, arms and abdominal wall.
If the liver does not regulate fat metabolism efficiently, weight gain tends to occur around the abdominal area and a protuberant pot belly will develop. This is not good for the waistline. It can be almost impossible to lose this abdominal fat until the liver function is improved. Once this is done the liver will start burning fat efficiently again and the weight comes off gradually and without too much effort from you.
6. Indulge In Foods That Heal
If you are looking to learn how to clean your liver to lose weight, you will find it useful to know that many diseases can be overcome by eating foods that heal. Such foods contain powerful medicinal properties and therapeutically active chemicals known as phyto-chemicals. Most Mediterranean countries have lowered their prevalence of cardiovascular disease because of the protective effect of traditional Mediterranean food, such as olive oil, tomatoes and legumes.
Optimal health and the prevention of disease is only possible by including these healing foods regularly in diet.
- Broccoli: It has been found to contain a phyto-chemical called sulphoraphane, which enhances the phase two-detoxification pathway in the liver. Sulphoraphane has been clinically found to block mammary tumor formation in rats and other mammals. Other vegetables in the cruciferous family including broccoli have been known to reduce the risk of bowel cancer as well.
- Tomatoes: They contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which is the most powerful of all the dietary carotenoids. Researchers have found that the dietary intake of lycopene is linked to a lower risk of prostate problems. They have also found that higher levels of lycopene in the blood lowered the risk of cell proliferation, which would theoretically exert a powerful anti-cancer effect. Cooking or chopping tomatoes increases the absorption of lycopene into the body. Eating tomatoes with oil increases the availability of the lycopene to the body, which is another reason that Mediterranean cuisine works wonders.
- Beetroot: It is a beautiful deep purple color because it contains the antioxidant anthocyanidin. Constituents of beetroot have been known to exert anti-viral and anti-tumor effects in animal studies. Other foods which exert these properties, although to a lesser degree, are red and green peppers, red onion, paprika and cranberry. These foods contain healing phytonutrients such as carotenoids, capsanthin and anthocyanins.
- Legumes: All legumes such as beans, peas and lentils contain high concentrations of plant hormones called phyto-estrogens. Examples of these include isoflavones genistein and daidzein, found in soya beans and red clover, and lignans which are found in flaxseed. Asian communities have a high intake of soy and thus a significantly lower incidence of hormone dependent cancers of the prostate, uterus and breast.
It is not impossible to adopt habits that show you how to clean your liver to lose weight. It is just some effort on your part to commit to your own health, to eat healthy and not overload your liver with the wrong type of food, drugs and toxins. Make sure your live has enough energy to perform its function of fat metabolism leading to weight loss. Always remember – eat healthy for a healthier liver and a trimmer waistline.