Are Toxins Making You Gain Weight?

Hot Detox Beet Bop Salad by Julie Daniluk

By Julie Daniluk

Did you know that 95% of people who attempt a diet gain all the weight back? The reason for this rebound effect often lies in harsh caloric restriction typical of diets. This short-term restriction creates a stress response that has folks jumping for junk food the second their sentence in food prison is over! A saner approach is to look at the deeper cause for the creeping pounds on the scale, which starts with our bodies chemical messengers – our hormones.

Weight gain is often blamed on eating too many calories and not exercising enough. While this can be true and a cause of weight gain, sneaky little substances called toxins also play a role. There is no denying that toxins surround us and it is impossible to completely avoid our exposure to them. These substances, better known as “obesogens”, sabotage our efforts to lose weight by altering our own natural weight control system, increasing fat cells, decreasing calories burnt, affecting food preferences, and altering hunger cues.

Hot Detox Sweet Potato Asparagus Salad by Julie Daniluk

Obesogens are endocrine disruptors, mimicking the action of our naturally occurring hormones causing imbalances. Some of the top toxins to look out for are: BPA (increases abdominal fat and glucose intolerance), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA – increases weight, causes leptin resistance and thyroid conditions), phthalates, and high fructose corn syrup (creates insulin resistance and tampers with leptin).

How does knowing this really change anything? It’s not like we can avoid toxins…

That’s true. Toxins cannot be avoided in today’s polluted world. We are exposed to too many, but there are some steps we can take to minimize exposure, and detox our body in order to get rid of them. Toxins like to stay in our fat cells. The more fat cells, the more storage space we have for them. If you want to lose weight, a detox is important for you to get rid of the sabotaging toxins that make it difficult for weight loss, and to help process and eliminate all those toxins that will be released from fat as you lose weight.

The Hot Detox Plan by Julie Daniluk

The Hot Detox is a delicious 3, 10 or 21-Day Program that will help you regain control of your metabolism through balancing hormones, including your thyroid hormones, while simultaneously detoxifying your body of obesogens. Beyond the soothing warm menu, adding in the use of infrared saunas are fantastic at enhancing mobilization of fat-soluble xenobiotics, dramatically eliminating toxins that cause hormonal imbalance. Sweating also removes petrochemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, all of which are dreadful for our hormones. If a trip to a sauna is not in your agenda this month then you may want to check out the Hot Detox Yoga flow. This yoga series is offered in the Hot Detox Online Program and is adaptable for every skill level.

Liver detox is so crucial for clearing excess estrogen caused by endocrine disrupters. Make sure that you support both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of liver detoxification pathways so that you do not cause a pileup of toxins, leaving you in a worst spot than before. Don’t worry, the Hot Detox will serve as your guide while navigating liver detox pathways. Try some of the recipes found in the book that contain cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. These contain indole-3-carbinol, a phytochemical that enhances the detoxification of excess estrogen.

Hot Detox Banana Pecan Muffins by Julie Daniluk

When it comes to the thyroid gland, anything that has a negative impact on it will impact your metabolism. Some toxins released from fat tissue during weight loss may actually suppress the thyroid. It is so important to detox slowly and safely so that no mess is created in your thyroid gland. There is evidence that fluoride found in tap water, and certain foods and drinks, can make your thyroid gland malfunction. Avoiding fluoride while increasing thyroid supportive foods such as sweet potatoes and sea vegetables will ensure that your metabolism is optimal for you to be able to lose weight. Another big one to avoid is gluten. Several studies show a strong link between thyroid conditions and gluten intolerance. Why? Because gliadin (the protein found in gluten) structurally resembles the tissue that makes up thyroid gland. If you have any level of leaky gut, gliadin can seep through the gut lining, causing the immune system response. These same antibodies can then go attack the thyroid gland, as it is mistaken for gluten.

The good news is the gluten free, sugar free recipes in the Hot Detox are so tasty and easy that many folks make the recipes part of their weekly menu long after the cleanse is over. For more information on how the Hot Detox can help you reduce toxins in your life, visit


Nutritionist Julie Daniluk, R.H.N, hosts The Healthy Gourmet a lifestyle cooking show that airs in 78 countries worldwide. She is the in-house nutrition expert on the Marilyn Denis Show. Julie’s new bestselling book, Hot Detox, provides an easy and delicious way to cleanse. Combining groundbreaking science with ancient Asian wisdom, Hot Detox walks you through a 3, 10 or 21-day detox plan with amazing results. Her bestselling books, Meals that Heal Inflammation and Slimming Meals That Heal, advise on allergy-free eating that tastes great and assists the body in the healing process.

Connect with Julie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and check out her amazing recipes and nutrition tips at


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Peckham S., Lowery D., Spencer S. “Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water”. (2015); 0: 1-6.

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