Do you sleep 8 hours but wake up groggy? Are you perpetually grumpy? Do you crave sugar? Are you gaining weight even though you’re exercising regularly? Is your cholesterol through the roof even though you think you’re eating right?
If this sounds like a typical day for you, your body may be overloaded with toxins. We’ve seen it many times in our 7 years as fitness coaches. Toxins cause you to gain weight, feel fatigued, and crave all the wrong foods. They sneak up on you quickly, and may cause you to:
1. You have a hard time losing weight.
In modern society, toxic chemicals are everywhere. They’re in
- Processed food
- Some packaged food
- Household cleaners
- Cigarette smoke
- Fruits and Vegetables (pesticides)
- …and more.
Some of these pollutants may trigger disruptions in the body’s endocrine system and this can cause you to gain weight.
Ridding your world of all toxic chemicals and pollutants is nearly impossible and makes life un-enjoyable. But, you have enough control to make a huge difference:
- Choose to eat more whole foods
- Prepare and package your own lunch, and reheat it in glass containers
- Reduce your use of plastics
- Choose all natural household cleaners (like Seventh Generation)
- Stop smoking.
- Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and wash all produce with an all-natural produce wash
These solutions do require some effort, but once you start to see the numbers on the scale go down and feel lighter and more energetic, you’ll be rewarded for it.
2. You’re always tired.
Toxic chemicals in the environment and in the foods you eat could be the culprits here too. If you’ve been feeling severe fatigue for more than six months, you could have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Other symptoms may include forgetfulness, joint pain, irritability, depression, and achy muscles. Another possible cause for your exhaustion could be mercury poisoning if you eat a lot of fish or shellfish or have mercury fillings in your teeth.
Once again, you’re not going to be able to avoid all toxic chemicals, but you can stop smoking, choose glass and other products over plastic, and eat less processed food. If, your doctor determines that you have mercury poisoning, steer clear of fish and shellfish for some time and have any mercury filings replaced with a non-toxic alternative.
3. Your cholesterol is too high.
If you are overweight or obese, your weight is one cause for your high cholesterol. Obesity can decrease your HDL (good cholesterol) numbers and increase your triglyceride numbers. Triglycerides are particularly dangerous as they can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If you are in good shape, your high cholesterol may be due to certain medications such as beta-blockers, estrogen, and corticosteroids.
To put it simply: lose weight. If that’s not an issue but you can’t ditch the medications that are causing your elevated cholesterol levels, eat foods that can help you in your battle against those numbers, such as:
- Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and halibut
- Olive oil
4. You crave coffee, sugar, or junk food.
The foods themselves are oftentimes the causes. When you eat caffeine, sugar, and other unhealthy foods, they often cause your serotonin and/or your sugar levels to spike…and then sink to lower than they were before you ingested that food. Talk about creating an unhealthy cycle!
Kick your junk food habits. Expect a withdrawal period during which you’ll be cranky, have headaches, and feel fatigued, but this will likely subside within a day or a few days. Simple, yes. Powerful – YES!
5. You’re grumpy.
Likely, your irritability is caused by a combination of the environmental and food toxins that might be causing your other issues as studies have revealed that chronic exposure to low levels of environmental toxins can lead to depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
By far, the best way to feel better is to eat better, lose weight, exercise and make smarter decisions when it comes to what chemicals your exposure yourself to. In addition to weight loss and energy gain, the combination of these healthy disciplines will boost your serotonin levels in your brain that help keep you happy.