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6 Strategies to Improve Liver Function and Help You Lose Weight

The liver’s role in fat metabolism makes this organ’s health vital to achieving your weight loss goals.

A congested liver prevents abdominal weight loss. Statistics prove that Americans are getting heavier. Not surprisingly, the associated health problems with being overweight are becoming more common. There is little doubt that adopting a healthy diet and exercising regularly form the cornerstone of successful weight loss programs.

However, the liver’s role in our weight is rarely acknowledged.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70 percent of American adults are overweight. Whether you want to look good in a bathing suit for summer, are aiming to prevent diabetes, or have been told by a doctor that you must lose weight, most of us are familiar with the challenge of losing weight. For those who seem to be doing all the right things (eating right and exercising regularly) yet are unable to shed excessive weight, a congested liver could be the culprit.

The liver is a workhorse, performing hundreds of daily roles in the human body. Some of the liver’s prominent functions include:

  • Filtering toxins and byproducts from the blood.
  • Aiding digesting by producing bile to help break down and absorb fat.
  • Regulating glucose.
  • Producing and removing blood cholesterol.

The liver is the main organ that regulates fat metabolism. A congested liver can lead to fat buildup, especially in the abdominal area.

A congested liver:

  • is not capable of removing small fat globules (chylomicrons) from the bloodstream.
  • is unable manufacture adequate amounts of good cholesterol (HDL), which travels out of the liver to scavenge unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) from the blood.
  • prevents weight loss until liver function improves.

Some well put together weight loss programs target cleaning up a toxic, congested liver as the first step. Although rarely labeled as a liver detoxification phase, these types of weight loss programs typically offer the best clinical results. Although, the more congested the liver, the longer it takes to decongest this vital organ.

Strategies to Decongest and Detoxify Your Liver

There are many different strategies for helping decongest and detoxify the liver. Listed below are six strategies that contribute to improving liver function – which will support weight loss goals:

  1. Lemon water in the morning – Upon waking, the first thing you put in your body is important. A glass of room temperature (lukewarm) water with some fresh lemon squeezed in it helps kick start the liver into detoxification mode. An alternative to freshly squeezed lemon is drinking a glass of lukewarm water mixed with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. Read why you should “Love Your Liver With Lemon Water.”
  2. Know what to avoid – Avoid alcohol at all costs when aiming to improve liver health. Eliminate processed foods (anything with chemicals in the ingredient list) because they will contribute to clogging up the liver’s filtration abilities. In addition, reduce sugar intake because sugar sets the stage for liver inflammation – which inhibits the liver’s ability to metabolize fat and detoxify waste. To lighten the liver’s load, skip anything that contains high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, additives, hormones, preservatives or artificial colors.
  3. Small, frequent meals – Overeating (especially meat and dairy) overwhelms the liver and clogs it. This is especially poignant if consuming meat or dairy from animals that have been fed antibiotics or hormones, because the liver must filter these chemicals out of our bloodstream. Small, frequent meals give the liver the time it needs to process all of the food consumed.
  4. Keep active – Besides burning fat, exercising regularly stimulates lymphatic and liver circulation, which prevents liver congestion. In addition to cardiovascular activity, stretching and twisting of the torso specifically targets circulation enhancement in the liver area. Find out “4 Easy Movements to Exercise Your Liver.”
  5. Supplement support – An herbal supplement that supports liver health and aids detoxification can make liver decongestion much easier. A comprehensive formula such as Liver Support & Detox is ideal in that the herbs, vitamins and amino acids included all contribute to helping move unwanted liver sludge and toxicity out of the body.
  6. Eat organic produce – Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – all of which help clear out a congested liver. UltraNourish contains cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and cabbage contain glucosinolates that bind and eliminate toxins. There are many more liver-friendly foods such as artichokes, asparagus, spinach, garlic, grapefruit, beets, dandelion greens, chicory, avocado and apple. Since chemicals are not present, eating organic produce reduces the toxic load on the liver. This might sound too good to be true, but it is – UltraNourish is also available in chocolate! Chocolate UltraNourish is simple, healthy and delicious!

For those who have a hard time losing excessive weight that seems to stick around the middle of the body, a congested liver might be responsible. By putting the extra effort into helping detoxify and cleanse the liver, achieving weight loss goals becomes a much easier task.

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http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/5-liver-health-tips-for-weight-loss-875431, 5 Liver Health Tips for Weight Loss, Vanessa Rodrigues, RHN, Retrieved January 31, 2016, Active Network, LLC, 2016.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm, Obesity and Overweight, Retrieved January 31, 2016, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016.

https://www.liverdoctor.com/liver-problems/weight-loss/, The Liver and Weight Loss, Retrieved January 31, 2016, Liver Doctor, 2016.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/313381-liver-flush-for-weight-loss/, Liver Flush for Weight Loss, Cathleen Calkins, Retrieved January 31, 2016, Demand Media, Inc., 2016.

http://www.newsweek.com/7-10-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-345723, Seven of 10 American Adults Are Overweight or Obese, Douglas Main, Retrieved January 31, 2016, Newsweek, LLC, 2016.

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx, Overweight and Obesity Statistics, Retrieved January 31, 2016, National Institutes of Health, 2016.

http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/weight-loss-secret-you-ve-never-heard, The Weight-Loss Secret You’ve Never Heard, Valerie Berkowitz, RD, Retrieved January 31, 2016, Meredith Corporation, 2016.

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About the Author

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM is a long time advocate of integrating perspectives on health. With a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute, Nicole has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. She has gathered acupuncture licenses in the states of California and New York, is a certified specialist with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has earned diplomat status with the National Commission of Chinese and Oriental Medicine in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition to her acupuncture practice that focuses on stress and pain relief, digestion, immunity and oncology, Nicole contributes to the integration of healthcare by writing articles for professional massage therapists and people living with liver disease.

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