No one wants to gain weight any more than they have to, I get it. But unfortunately weight gain is a common (short term!) side effect of beginning a nutritional balancing program. I’ve heard a theory that this weight gain happens for the same reason why women gain weight while pregnant- we need extra nourishment! Let’s talk about why this happens and what we can do about it.
After we start giving the body the nutrients it needs, our bodies start to wake up and they start to “clean house”. I like to think of it like a house that has dozens of layers of paint and wallpaper that needs to be taken down. As nutrient deficiencies are fixed, we start to peel back those layers as new tissue replaces the old. The old, toxic junk needs to come out though! This is where we are likely to gain weight as the liver, colon, and whole detoxification system gets a little overloaded. Our goal is to support all of these systems so we don’t get recirculating toxins. Healing reactions can stink but they are a good sign!
The Liver and Gut
When the liver gets overloaded, it cannot filter toxins so it stores them in fat. So we literally can be full of toxins! This is why when we embark on a natural healing path, we can experience these healing reactions- these toxins can finally get filtered out. They cause an increase in symptoms as they get released. This is why liver and gut health are CRUCIAL to the healing process. They work in tandem to eliminate these toxins in a timely manner.
So how we do love our livers? My favorite remedies include Bone broth, gelatin(or collagen) Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, ginger, apples, Milk thistle, dandelion root decotions or tea, garlic, taurine, turmeric, coffee enemas (if tolerated) and Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!). My absolute favorite liver support supplement is BioRay Liver Life and most of my clients see pretty amazing results with it. Also, you can try a glass of warm water with a freshly squeezed lemon in the morning before you eat to kick start your digestive system.
And don’t forget to love your guts! We have to increase stomach acid to assist in nutrient absorption as well as kill off critters like parasites. We need to heal and seal the gut lining which can get holes punched in it and allow food to enter the bloodstream- this can create an inflammatory reaction. Repopulating the gut bacteria is essential as well, especially for people that have been on antibiotics countless times in your life. Sticking to a whole foods, as-organic-as-possible diet is crucial as well.
Bile flow is probably the most crucial part in this issue. We need bile to assimilate fats, flush out toxins, and to help assimilate fat soluble nutrients. A bitter herb supplement can be the biggest helper in this area! Find my other bile boosting tips here.
The lymph system doesn’t have its own pump- we have to keep moving to keep the lymph flowing. We all know the importance of regular movement but many struggle with exercise because of fatigue, pain or simply because they do not have the time. There are a lot of light, easy and quick exercises you can try to see which works best for you. Rebounding, walking, yoga, swimming, and even light stretching can help your lymph system to keep things moving. Staying hydrated is huge too.
Rebounding is the number one best exercise you can do- it is gentle, easy, and extremely effective! Check out my other tips for keeping the lymph moving here.
The colon is a part of the body that tends to get overlooked. But it is vital to our health! When our livers start working properly, they tend to get a little overzealous and that can put some strain on the colon. If the colon is already sluggish, this can cause huge problems for people like constipation, pain, insomnia and even anxiety because toxins can get recirculating. We have to make sure we keep things MOVING. Ideally, we should all be having at least 3 bowel movements a day. Most people barely have one!
Some tips for keeping the colon happy:
- Fiber is your friend!
- Staying Hydrated- 1/2 your body weight in ounces is a typical recommendation. I would say go for water, herbal infusions, lemon water, ACV water, etc)
- Enemas (coffee, honey, ACV, whatever floats your boat and works for you)
- Light exercise
These are just some of the main points to focus on while on a healing protocol. Weight gain may be undesired but it can happen to some people. The more we get into balance, the easier it will be to get back to our normal weights. Not everyone experiences this weight issue, so don’t panic! This is just an explanation for those that have had this happen.