Contrary to popular belief, the simple formula of calories in vs. calories burned is not complete in itself for weight loss. The process of breaking down fat is very much dependent on what you’re consuming. (Duh, Tory. But do you know how many people count calories and think a 100 calorie apple is equivalent to a 100 calorie pack of artificially sweetened mini brownies?!)

The process begins with your liver. You know how people pack on the ‘freshman fifteen’ when they suddenly start drinking obscene amounts in college? This isn’t only due to caloric intake, it also is a consequence of taxing the organ that is responsible for flushing fat! 

Everyday your liver produces about a quart of a yellowish liquid called bile.  Bile acts as an emulsifier, breaking down fats and oils so they can better mix with water for metabolizing. If fats and oils were left intact, they’d get stuck in the liver part way through the flushing process. After bile mixes with the fats, oils and water you’ve ingested, this lovely concoction is pumped into the small intestine. If you’re eating enough fiber, this unwanted fatty mixture will stick to the fiber and be easily released through the bowels. Goodbye fat!

As you see, the quality and quantity of bile is essential to the fat-removal. It is the liver’s job to produce said abundant, high-quality bile. The liver can be impeded in numerous ways:

1. Bile is made up of water, electrolytes, lecithin, cholesterol, and bile salts. If the liver is not provided with the all of these nutrients, bile cannot be produced.

2. If the body is dehydrated due to lack of filtered water, the liver will produce thick, sticky bile that cannot flush fat.

3. If the liver becomes clogged with excessive toxins (think processed food additives, cigarette smoke, pollution, non-organic/non-natural body lotion), it cannot produce enough bile. 

Unhealthy liver = no bile = no fat-flushing. 

If you cannot flush fat, it will begin to store around your liver. Surprise— your liver is located in your abdomen, hence you will start gaining a roll of chub around that area… and then everywhere else. 

Here are ways to IMPROVE LIVER FUNCTION, WOOOOO:

1. DARK LEAFY GREENS: This comes up often. I think you might have noticed by now that I LOVE DARK LEAFY GREENS. Eat them up! They help with breaking down toxins and purifying the blood.

2. Cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, kale, and brussel sprouts contain sulfur. Sulfur attaches to certain unneeded chemicals in the body and turns them into water-soluble non-toxins. Get that shit out of there!

3. Other sulfur-y things: Eggs, garlic, onions, red peppers. WE LOVE SULFUR. Also, eggs, garlic and onions encourage additional bile secretion. 

4. Asparagus, avocados and walnuts: These superheroes contain a compound called gluthathione that seeks out ugly toxins, attaches itself to them, and escorts them out the pooper. 

5. Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons and limes contain Vitamin C which stimulates the production of our pal, gluthathione ^. 

6. SOLUBLE FIBER: We also love fiber! Remember, fiber attaches to fats in the small intestine and, ah hem, gets things moving. Pears, apples, oat bran, and legumes are great sources of soluble fiber. 

7. Beets: Beets contain betaine, which thins bile and makes it more productive.

8. Artichoke hearts: Artichoke hearts contain antioxidants called flavonoids that protect your precious liver cells. 

9. Brown rice: Think of brown rice as the custodian. It cleans, buffs and makes those intestines shine. 

10. TUMERIC: Feeling spicy? Don’t answer that. This spice is the highest known source of beta-carotene (an antioxidant), and it protects your little liver from stupid toxins. 

11. Dandelion: You can use this herb in teas, take it as a supplement, juice the greens, or as a tincture mixed with water. Dandelion stimulates bile production, as well as assists in the breaking down of fat. 

12. I’m out of breath. MILK THISTLE: This herb has been used for 2,000 years for liver-healing. it contains an ingredient, silymarin, that can protect the liver from alcohol and other dangerous toxins. Silymarin boosts gluthathione levels in the liver by over 33%! (Milk thistle tea will not work, the silymarin is not water soluble. Get your milk thistle fix through capsules or tincture). 

Fear not if you’ve encountered the freshman 15! Or the 26-year-old 15! Take care of your liver, and it will take care of your chunky thighs.

If you would like LOADS more info of this sort, check out The Science of Skinny. It is NOT a book about dieting, it is a LIFE CHANGER. 

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