I am so incredibly grateful and blessed to have met my mentor and friend, Dr Robyn Murphy, just 3 short years ago. She has taught me so much! One of the most important and relevant things she's taught me in relation to my business as a personal trainer and weight loss coach is the relation between the liver and metabolism.
To be more specific, the role that genetics plays in facilitating proper liver detoxification and in turn, healthy metabolism of fat and toxins.
Let me explain in further detail...
For many of my clients they come to me when they have been eating clean and taking pretty good care of their bodies but they aren't seeing any positive changes in their body composition.
They feel stuck, frustrated, confused and borderline defeated. But they haven't given up hope yet.
I explain to them that each person's ability to lose weight in a healthy way is different. It depends on their genetics and epigenetics (how their environment is affecting their DNA).
For example, I may carry the at-risk alleles for poor liver detoxification but if I lived a pretty stress-free life, ate organic and whole foods, didn't use drugs (pharmaceutical or recreational), didn't drink alcohol, had an air purifier in my home and drank reverse osmosis water all the time chances are I'd have pretty stellar liver detox capabilities and those at-risk alleles would just stay a risk and not a reality.
But what happens when I do take drugs, drink often, am an anxious person and live in the city surrounded by lots of toxins and no air or water purification systems? Well, chances are that my body will eventually express the at-risk alleles and the genetic predispositions I have will turn ON.
This would result in symptoms appearing that are in line with poor liver detoxification. Symptoms such as:
For the purpose of this blog and in relation to weight loss, it's important to understand that your genetics, specifically the at-risk alleles you carry with the MTHFR gene, can tell us a TON about your ability to lose weight based on your liver's ability to detox.
You see, the more at-risk alleles you carry, the slower the enzyme activity is which helps your liver to prices sand eliminate toxins. You need a healthy enzyme activity in order to process and eliminate toxins and efficiently utilize fat cells.
Remember, if your liver isn't detoxing efficiently then it will store toxins in fat cells where they are 'safe' and won't cause a lot of damage to the rest of your body. Your body will hold those toxins in those fat cells until your liver is detoxing well again.
How can you determine your genetic predispositions to poor liver detoxification?
Great question. There is a simple test you can do at home that will give us a ton of info about what your body needs in terms of training, nutrition and supplementation so that you are side-stepping illness and weight gain, and optimizing your results with the efforts you're putting into the gym and in your kitchen.
Read more about our Fit Genes Program here.
How Does One Improve Liver Detoxification Based On Their Genetics?
Another great questions. I like the way you're thinking! :)
This would differ person to person depending but some common ways I prescribe strategies to help with liver detox are:
In my opinion, using our genetics as a way to customize nutrition, supplement and training programs is the way of the future. One-size-fits-all programs do not work for the masses and people are needing more time and customized attention in order to really thrive with their health.
I'm noticing more and more in my career, people who are seemingly trying everything with little to no advancements toward their goals. This can be an extremely frustrating place for people to be and I wish more people knew about genetics as a way to slice through the trial and error protocols and just get straight to healing and optimizing their health.
If you're reading this and are underwhelmed with the progress you're seeing then this could be a great start for you! The days of feeling like a prisoner in your own body, afraid to eat or try anything and thoughts of being broken or unworthy can be over. There is a science-based approach out there and is at your fingertips! Contact me to book your complimentary genetics consult and learn more about how it may help you.
In good health + happiness,
Cassandra Hope RHN + CPT
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