The great news is that your body can be turned from a highly efficient, fat-storing machine into a highly efficient fat-burning machine, simply by making some key changes to the balance of your diet (and without having to spend hours at the gym!). An unhealthy body and particularly an unhealthy liver, is great at storing fat, but rubbish at burning it.
Your liver is arguably the most important organ when it comes to weight loss. When you think of your digestive system, you probably think of your stomach, your intestines and your bowels, but you probably don’t think about your liver. Yet this key organ is not only responsible for filtering everything that goes through your body (just like an oil filter on a car), it also has a huge impact on how you metabolize and store food as energy – and how you make that energy available for use, as and when needed.
The liver is situated on the right-hand side, at the bottom of the rib cage, and it is directly ‘plumbed into’ the digestive system and the heart for circulation. It has many functions, including the following:
• Production of bile – required for the digestion of fats
• Filtering of hormones
• Converting the extra glucose in the body into stored glycogen in liver cells; and then converting it back into glucose for energy when needed
• Production of blood-clotting factors
• Production of amino acids (the building blocks for making proteins), including those used to help fight infection
• Processing and storage of iron – essential for red blood cell production
• Manufacture of cholesterol for growth and repair, and other chemicals required for fat transport
• Conversion of waste products of body metabolism into urea, which is then excreted in the urine
• Metabolization of medications into their active ingredients in the body.
A poorly functioning liver can cause fluid to leak into the area just below the rib cage, giving a pot belly appearance. Unlike rolls of fat, this sac of fluid feels more solid and can actually be pushed from side to side. A dysfunctional liver is caused by a lack of nutrients and an imbalanced diet.
Your liver will produce obvious physical symptoms if it is not looked after. As well as the pot belly, you may notice that your tongue looks white and furry and has a crease down the centre. You may have severe, on-going itching, pain in the right shoulder, liver spots, or a yellow colour to the skin or the whites of the eyes known as jaundice.
People with a poorly functioning liver often suffer from bloating, especially after eating gluten, which is found in grains. The gluten in rice and corn is safe for celiac patients (who cannot tolerate even minute amounts of gluten), but the gluten in wheat, barley and rye is not.
More serious liver conditions include hepatitis – inflammation of the liver – and cirrhosis – a late stage of liver disease that causes a build-up of scar tissue. Although a dysfunctional liver can inhibit fat burning, and therefore weight loss, a severely dysfunctional and diseased liver usually results in drastic weight loss.
Despite all the symptoms of physical stress, an overworked liver retains an amazing capacity to perform its functions, which explains why so many people have advanced liver dysfunction before being diagnosed. If you think you may have the symptoms of a severely dysfunctional liver, consult your GP. If you think you may have some signs of a slightly dysfunctional liver, which may be contributing to your weight gain, my colour coded nutrition system will show you how you can help correct it naturally. The colour code system has been designed to promote healthy liver function.
A healthy liver is essential for effective, long-term weight loss but it can be stressed or damaged by several factors. Here are some of the key ones:
• A high intake of sugar
• A diet low in nutrients
• A diet high in caffeine
• Long-term use of certain medications
Here are some foods that promote a healthy liver:
• Cruciferous vegetables, for example, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, pak choi. These all contain vitamins, minerals and fibre. As well as aiding digestion and fat burning, they contain phytochemicals that can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells, helping prevent cancer.
• Foods containing sulphur, such as garlic, legumes, onions and eggs.
• Good sources of water-soluble fibre, including pears, oat bran, apples, and legumes.
• Artichokes, beets, carrots, dandelion, cranberries (and most other berries), turmeric and cinnamon.
• Good-quality protein foods, such as fish, tofu or organic chicken.
As the liver is a detoxifying organ, it’s important to maintain good levels of hydration to flush toxins out once the liver has processed them.
Constipation can cause liver problems because the bowel isn’t able to excrete the toxins through the faeces, so they stay in the body and have to be cleared by the liver. Therefore, a diet high in fibre is indirectly linked to the health of the liver.
It can take years of abuse to severely impair liver function, but once the damage is done, a good, detoxifying diet and a reduction in stress can rejuvenate this organ, often in just a few months. You are likely to notice a difference in energy levels and improved digestion after just two weeks of eating a vegetable-rich diet that also contains high-quality proteins such as fish and organic chicken. The colour code system makes this really easy to achieve.
Based on what you have just read, think of three things that you can start doing now that will boost your liver function, and therefore your ability to burn fat. Now write them down – this is important, because it makes you focus, and it uses a different part of your brain than just thinking it. So just do it! Say them out loud to make a statement (you know how powerful this is).
• I will make a cranberry and mixed-berry fruit smoothie every day.
• I will eat more green coloured vegetables
Say your intention out loud and add at the end, “and it will help me to become healthy and slim”. You have to mean this as you say it, and of course, you know you must attach emotion to it. Each day as you drink your smoothie, or eat your green’s, say the words and then visualize how healthy it’s making you. In this way you create positive anchors to it, and you change your mental and your physical physiology at the same time. The ultimate winning combination!
If you would like to learn more in-depth about how to detox your body in order to burn more fat and create healing in your body, come along to my one-day workshop COLOUR FAST DIET where you will learn exactly which nutrients cleanse your body, boost metabolism, energy levels and health, and kick start weight loss. You walk away with a structured but flexible plan based on the Colour Code System and incorporate all of the benefits of detoxing and fasting. The early bird price is available until March 14th 2018. BOOK HERE>>