- Diet & Weight Loss
Fat Loss and the Liver
The liver is the second largest organ in the body. It supports almost every other organ in the body and is vital for survival. The liver’s functions include detoxification, protein synthesis, and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. All of these functions are carried out by the liver cells, or hepatocytes. These cells break down toxic substances, store glucose, and are a repository for a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. A healthy liver regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, thereby regulating our energy balance. When our liver is not functioning properly, not only are we vulnerable to a whole host of diseases, we are also unable to lose weight. Fortunately for us, the liver is very resilient, and unless it is severely compromised, can be returned to a state of excellent health. The following is a set of guidelines for what to avoid, what to consume in moderation, and what natural supplements will restore the liver to a high functioning fat metabolizer.
1. Understand the role that alcohol plays when it comes to healthy liver function. Your liver will always prioritize the metabolism of alcohol. This means your liver will choose alcohol over essential nutrients, especially protein. So, if you are attempting to lose weight, it is best to limit your consumption of alcohol or stop altogether while you are reducing.
2. Limit your consumption of processed foods, by which I mean foods that contain hydrogenated fats, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, flavorings and thickeners. It is difficult for your body to digest, absorb and eliminate these toxins, and normally, food that contains them offers little in nutritional value. Instead, shop around the perimeter of the market, choosing foods that are fresh and high in protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals.
3. Water. Lots of it.
4. Take Milk Thistle, a natural nutritional supplement which has been used for over 2000 years to detox the liver. Most supplements on the market today contain anywhere from 60-80% Silymarin, which is the extract from Milk Thistle seeds that has detoxifying properties.
5. Consider Yoga for aiding in the detox of your liver. It has long been believed that certain yoga postures aid in circulating blood through the liver and toxins out of it.
Finally, remember that your liver didn’t get bogged down in toxins overnight and won’t be restored to its’ optimal health overnight. Gradual weight reduction is the best pathway to a healthy liver and long lasting fat and weight loss.