A seldom-discussed yet extremely important aspect of weight loss is liver function. Traditional diets see-saw between high fat, nutritionally void foods and weight loss gimmicks and products that actually causes people to gain weight in the long run. In the middle of all this is a liver that grows, quite literally, fattier and more sluggish by the day.
The liver has two distinct and highly important functions. First, it is the body's chief blood detoxifier. Secondly, the liver is the body's primary fat metabolizer. Once the liver becomes sluggish and fatty it performs neither job well and we begin to pack on the pounds in earnest and have great difficulty losing the weight once it is on.
What are some causes of a fatty liverA high fat diet (primarily animal fat) will most likely cause the liver to malfunction over time. Animal fats tend to contain toxic materials that were trapped by the animals body. When we ingest these fats the toxins are released in the liver where they have the ability to cause damage, inducing poor liver function.
Another cause of fatty liver is artificial sweetener use. Artificial sweeteners have been touted by industry as a zero calorie marvel that will help consumers reduce calories and lose weight. What is not revealed is that artificial sweeteners generally lead to long term weight gain. How, do you ask? Artificial sweeteners completely bypass the normal digestive stages and are immediately taken into the liver. The liver basically shuts down all other metabolic processes, including metabolizing fat, to contend with the sweetener. The fats in the liver are either released - without being fully metabolized - into the blood stream to be stored as unprocessed material or they attach themselves to the liver. Either way,this is bad news for your weight and health.
An additional prevalent culprit behind fatty live is excessive alcohol use. Before the alcohol causes cirrhosis it makes the liver fatty, which is the beginning of the road to dysfunctional health and weight gain. Your liver will work at burning off alcohol before it burns off fat, making your weight loss take a back seat if you're indulging more that you should.
Finally, prescription and over-the-counter medications have adverse effects on the liver. Notice that almost all of the pharmaceutical commercials mention the liver and liver function. It is because they know how detrimental their medications areto the liver and the health dysfunctions, like weight gain, cirrhosis and liver failure that will occur when using their products. Continue taking your prescriptions but seek a holistic health professional who can assist with eliminating the underlying cause(s) of your condition which would eliminate the need for the medication.
How to avoid or reverse a fatty liverHere are a few helpful tips that can get you started or keep you on the road to healthy liver function.
• Avoid artificial sweetener use
• Restrict or eliminate alcohol consumption
• Nourish the liver with fresh citrus juices, milk thistle, and licorice. A mixture of cayenne and lemon juice or cayenne and vegetable juice is a great liver nutritive
• Detoxify the colon to keep the digestive system flowing which increases metabolism and aids the liver in its proper functioning
• Chlorophyll is water is a great way to slowly detox your liver all day long
It is clear that poor liver function will most likely lead to a malfunctioning and fatty liver, in turn making weight gain probable and weight loss unlikely. If you are working diligently at exercising and eating right but still struggle to lose weight have your liver function checked to shed light on this little-known aspect of weight management.