We’re exposed to so many toxins in our environment – plastics, pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, mercury, lead, arsenic and the many thousands of chemicals introduced since the industrial revolution. We know these can interfere with health, influencing body functions like metabolism, hormones, and brain function.
But how do they impact on weight gain or weight loss?
It turns out there’s several ways:
- Some toxins, like persistent organic pollutants (POPs) found in pesticides and industrial chemicals, are known to interfere with hormone function like insulin, leptin, and thyroid hormones, leading to metabolic imbalances, insulin resistance, and slower fat burning.
- Chronic low-grade inflammation caused by toxins also disrupts the normal insulin signalling, leading to insulin resistance, promoting fat storage, and making it harder to lose weight.
- Environmental toxins can also disrupt the gut microbiome — the trillions of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. A healthy gut microbiome plays a vital role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and metabolism. Exposure to toxins, such as glyphosate (found in herbicides), can harm the diversity and functionality of gut bacteria, potentially affecting weight management. More on the gut, your weight and immune system here.
- As the body is increasingly overloaded, it gets difficult to eliminate these toxins from the body through the liver and kidneys. With sluggish clearance, the toxins need to go somewhere so the body wraps fat or cholesterol around toxins within the body to protect itself from its effects, resulting in weight gain – you’re not fat, you’re toxic.
To address this, firstly we need to reduce our exposure, becoming aware of what we’re eating, putting on or into our bodies and what we’re using in the house and around us
- Eat organic produce when you can to reduce exposure to pesticides
- Filter tap water to eliminate contaminants like heavy metals.
- Use natural cleaning and personal care products, avoiding those containing harmful chemicals.
- Minimize the use of plastics, especially for food storage and heating.
- Improve indoor air quality by ensuring proper ventilation and using air purifiers
Following that, we need to ensure healthy gut function to eliminate waste effectively and support our liver and kidneys to do so.
Download your environmental toxic load checklist or get in touch at email@example.com to discuss how I can help you make holistic, sustainable lifestyle changes.