Does exposure to THESE toxic chemicals sabotage your weight loss success?

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toxic-chemicals-weight-loss(NaturalHealth365)  It’s no secret that weight loss, and perhaps more importantly, weight loss maintenance, are challenging.  According to one 2020 article from Scientific American, 80 percent of people who lose a significant amount of weight will not be able to maintain that weight loss for even a single year.  The same article mentions how at least one meta-analysis of diet and weight loss intervention studies found that dieters tend to regain more than half of what they lose within two years … and plenty of dieters even end up weighing more than they did before they tried losing the extra pounds!

There are plenty of reasons why weight loss success is so hard.  And while losing weight sustainably ultimately does come down to healthy lifestyle changes (namely, improved nutrition and regular physical activity), growing research suggests that many of us could be facing an unexpected obstacle on our road to healthy weights.  That obstacle?  A common toxic chemical.

Are toxic chemicals making people “forever” overweight?  The disturbing reality exposed by research results

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Obesity wanted to shed some light on why so many dieters experience the frustration of weight regain.  Could it be that these people simply aren’t as adherent to their diet and exercise programs as they think they are?  Or is there something else going on?

The researchers’ findings suggest the latter is at least something to consider.

For their study, the researchers tracked 381 people from eight different countries in Europe who lost at least 8 percent of their initial body weight over a two-month period.  The researchers then measured the levels of a toxic chemical called perfluorinated alkylate substances, also known as PFAS, in each participant’s blood.

Perfluorinated alkylate substances are a group of more than 9,000 synthetic chemicals used in everything from nonstick cookware to upholstery to flame-retardant materials.  They are notoriously known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade well and are highly widespread in the environment – and in humans.  This group of chemicals “has been linked to obesity in [prior] clinical studies,” the researchers add.

So, what did the researchers find?

First, baseline plasma levels of PFAS “were significantly associated with greater weight gain by 26 weeks after an initial weight loss.”  In fact, participants who were in the top third percentile of PFAS plasma levels regained 10 pounds more on average than those in the bottom third percentile of PFAS plasma levels.

Second, that “[t]he weight gain associated with elevated PFAS exposures exceeded the differences in weight gain linked to suboptimal study diets.”  In other words, the weight regained among people with high PFAS blood levels likely was not attributed to diet alone.

PFAS are considered “obesogens,” according to scientists – here’s what that means

Unfortunately, this is not the first research study of its kind suggesting a link between PFAS and post-diet weight regain.

For example, a 2018 study published by PLOS Medicine found that following a dietary intervention, women with higher baseline plasma PFAS levels regained about 4 to 5 pounds more than women with the lowest levels of PFAS.  It’s also long been observed among animal studies that exposure to PFAS can drive obesity.

The link is so consistent and significant that the scientific community has a term for chemicals that appear to drive the fat accumulation and weight gain: “obesogens.”  PFAS are specifically thought to promote fat gain because of the way they interfere with hormonal and endocrine systems involved in body weight regulation and metabolism.

Other chemicals that have been identified as obesogens include phthalates, flame retardants, bisphenol A and artificial sweeteners.

So, what can you do?

PFAS and other toxic chemicals aren’t completely avoidable.  But you can reduce your exposure to these chemicals (especially if you’re on a weight loss journey) by doing things like avoiding heavily processed, packaged foods, throwing out your nonstick cookware, investing in a high-quality home water filtration system, and opting for natural, low-toxic versions of your everyday household needs, including cleaners, mattresses, clothing, and furniture.

Another great way to remove unwanted toxins from the body – which disturb your metabolic pathways – is to consider using a sauna on a regular basis that emits (mostly) far infrared light energy to help stimulate cellular detoxification.  And, of course, drink enough clean water to avoid dehydration and aid in the detoxification process.

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