Did you make any resolutions last month? We all have such good intentions when the calendar flips into the new year.
But I wasn’t surprised to read that by the end of January, nearly 80% of people have abandoned their goals…especially when it comes to weight loss.
Of course, the multi-million diet and fitness industry is still pumped up to separate you from your money. The first few months of a new year are their golden opportunity to sell you a gym membership or weight loss drug.
But if you only listen to their outdated advice, you may already be doomed to failure.
You see if you aren’t hitting your weight loss goal, it’s not your fault.
You can diet… work out… do everything “right” – and still pack on the pounds.
Because, as it turns out, one of the biggest causes of weight gain may be the plastic water bottle you’re carrying around at the gym!
Hidden toxic invaders in your everyday environment are sabotaging your weight loss goals – no matter how dedicated you are.
I’m talking about invasive chemicals called obesogens.
Obesogens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) that get into your body from what you touch, eat, and drink. They’re even in the air we breathe.
When these chemicals infiltrate your system, they hijack and disrupt your endocrine system. This chemical assault can reprogram your body’s hormonal messaging.
And this can sabotage your weight loss goals in three ways:1,2
- First, EDCs increase the number of fat cells in your body
- Second, they enlarge the size of your existing fat cells
- And third, they interfere with your body’s ability to control appetite
It’s almost as if you’re doomed from the get-go!
But there are ways you can reduce your exposure to these alien obesogens – and get your health back on track. I’ll share these in a moment. First, let’s look at what these obesogens are and where they’re lurking.
Common kinds of obesogens include:
- Bisphenols: A few years ago, the FDA acted like they were protecting consumers by banning the most well-known bisphenol, BPA, from baby bottles and sippy cups. But they refused an outright ban. Manufacturers continue to use BPA in everything from eyewear and cosmetics to food containers and cash register receipts.
- Phthalates: These man-made chemicals make plastics more flexible and durable. You can find them in toys, food packaging, detergents, soaps, and other personal care items.
- Atrazine: Long-term exposure to this widely used herbicide increases the risk of obesity and insulin resistance.
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA): You can find this chemical in nonstick cookware, stain repellants, popcorn packaging, fast-food wrappers, and carpeting.
At the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, the number of patients I see who have obesogen overload has gone from a trickle to a flood.
According to the World Health Organization, at a time when people are more health conscious than at any time in recent history, the number of people with obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.3
But the devastating effects of these chemicals don’t stop with weight gain. EDC invaders are also responsible for:
Fight back against health-stealing EDCs
I help my patients kick EDCs to the curb with three easy steps. Here’s how you can cleanse these toxic chemicals from your life.
- EDC-proof your house. Inspect your own home to reduce your family’s exposure to imposter chemicals.
- Start in the kitchen. Replace nonstick Teflon cookware that contains PFOAs. I suggest going old school with cast iron or stainless steel. Replace your plastic storage containers with ones made of glass or ceramic. At the very least, never use them to reheat food in the microwave – heat draws EDCs into your food. Replace plastic water bottles with an in-home water filter.
- Move to the bathroom. Most cosmetics, deodorants, and personal care products contain EDCs. Look for natural alternatives. If in doubt, check out the Environmental Working Group database. It can tell you what chemicals are in the products you use.
- Keep on top of the dust. No one likes to clean. But a recent study from Duke University found that obesogens can quickly build up in household dust.4 This is especially important if you have kids in your home.
- Supplement to eliminate EDCs from your body. There are a couple of supplements I recommend to detox your body of these alien compounds.
- Use this veggie trick. Vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain a compound called diindolylmethane (DIM). This helps your body break down and eliminate EDCs. In one study, patients who took DIM could break down and excrete EDCs much more efficiently.5 But you’d have to eat two pounds or more of broccoli every day to get the amount of DIM you need. I recommend supplementing with 100 mg daily.
- Add in this DIM precursor. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) helps prevent fake estrogens from attaching to your cell’s receptors. It also helps to metabolize estrogen into harmless compounds that are flushed away. Take 100 mg of Indole-3-carbinol per day.
- Sweat them out. Your body has over 2 million sweat glands that it uses to excrete toxins. I recommend every patient at my clinic detox with an infrared sauna. I prefer this type of sauna to a traditional steam sauna.Infrared light penetrates several inches into your tissue. This releases debris from the fat underneath your skin. It also allows your body to free toxins stored in other organs and tissues. In one study, sweat from a traditional sauna was up to 97% water. But sweat released in an infrared sauna was only 80% water. The remaining 20% was made up of fat-soluble toxins like EDCs.6
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Farris F. “Obesogens.”Encyclopedia of Toxicology. Accessed on January 30, 2023.
2. Environmental Health News. “Obesogens: chemicals that cause weight gain.” https://www.ehn.org/chemicals-in-food-that-cause-obesity-2658799950.html. Accessed on January 30, 2023.
3. World Health Organization, Obesity and Overweight, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight
4. Endocrine Society. “Chemicals in household dust may promote fat cell development.”www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/2019/endo-2019–chemicals-in-household-dust-may-promote-fat-cell-development. Accessed on January 30, 2023.
5. Dalessandri KM, et al. “Pilot study: Effect of 3,3’-diindolylemthane supplements on urinary hormone metabolites in postmenopausal women with a history of early-stage breast cancer.” Nutr Cancer. 2004;50(2):161-167.
6. Evolution Health. Infrared sauna detoxification.