Q: There are a lot of books out about detoxing. Will those types of programs help me lose weight, and are there any books you like?
A: One of the foremost experts in the world on toxicology is Mark Schauss, who’s been studying medical research concerning the effects of toxins on our health for more than 28 years. I highly recommend his book Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World.
From Schauss’ perspective, a major cause of the increase in obesity rates is excessive exposure to toxins. He defines a toxin in our bodies as “something from the outside…that our bodies view as being foreign and causes negative effects.” According to a 2002 report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, more than 7.1 billion pounds of 650 chemicals—266 of which have been linked to birth defects—have been released into the air and water in the U.S.
Schauss says that when the body is exposed to toxins, a state of hypothermia occurs that causes the body’s internal temperature, and thus resting metabolism, to drop. Resting metabolism is the rate at which the body burns calories when at rest. If an individual takes in an average of 2,500 calories daily and is following an exercise program that burns 625 calories, that leaves 1,875 calories to be burned through resting metabolism—assuming that calories in equal calories out.
Now, if toxins lower an individual’s body temperature from, say, 98.6 to 98 degrees, the resting metabolism would decrease by 7 percent. Using our example, during a single day 131 of those 1,875 calories attributable to the resting metabolic state would not be burned. Multiply 131 x 365 days in a year, and you get 47,815 extra calories. Going with the assumption that 3,500 calories equals one pounds of fat, toxins could cause you to gain 13.66 pounds in a year and 136 pounds in 10 years.
How do you deal with toxicity? First, reduce your exposure to toxins. Schauss discusses many ways to do that in his book, and here are a few: Do not microwave any food covered in plastic. Do allow clothes that were dry cleaned to air for two days before wearing them. Do not use air fresheners. Never drink liquids from plastic bottles that were allowed to get hot.
The most accurate way to determine what toxins your body contains is by having a lab test your hair, stool, urine and blood. In one study by an environmental group of people working in white-collar fields such as teaching, researchers found that the blood of the subjects contained 100 chemicals that did not exist 40 years ago. How to detox is a complex subject, but consider that most toxins can be dealt with by using natural supplements such as glycine, vitamin C, selenium and N-acetyl-cysteine. For more information on this subject please consult Schauss’ book.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.com. Also, see his ad on page 147. IM