One of the most frequently asked questions from our clients at Body Catalyst is about the liver and how it helps with weight loss. Usually this stems from our advice to abstain from alcohol for 24 hours before and after fat loss treatments such as cryolipolysis or fat cavitation.
Most of us only think about our main detoxifying organ if we’ve had too much wine the night before and can sense it working hard to process the toxins we’ve added to our body.
The liver has a range of functions aside from detoxing our body after boozy nights. It has too many roles to list them all here; in fact, scientists believe that our liver has over 500 different jobs in our body. It is responsible for filtering blood, digesting fats, making and storing glucose and producing proteins to clot our blood. The liver also stores vitamins and minerals such as iron and copper and releases them into the blood when required.
Blood containing nutrients, medications and toxic substances (such as alcohol) are carried from the digestive system to the liver to be processed, stored, altered, detoxified and either passed back into the blood or eliminated through the bowel.
The liver plays a key role when it comes to weight loss, acting as the processing centre for our fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Liver cells change amino acids in foods so that they can be used as energy or be transformed into carbohydrates (sugars) or fats.
As you can see, our liver is already working overtime, so when we destroy fat cells by freezing in cryolipolysis treatments or mobilise them during fat cavitation those cells end up in the liver, waiting to be processed. While this hardworking organ is perfectly capable of multitasking, we recommend abstaining from alcohol for at least 24 – 48 hours to allow enough time to break down and eliminate the unwanted fat without extra toxins.
Other ways you can support you liver to optimise weight loss results is through the foods you eat. Of the various foods that are good for the liver the most surprising of all is coffee. Yes, you read that right, you can enjoy your morning brew even more now, knowing that it’s supporting liver health. Other foods your liver will love include artichoke heart, milk thistle and garlic.
Body Catalyst therapist and nutritionist Amy McCormick’s favourite liver detox food is beetroot. You can enjoy it roasted in salads, raw blended in a cleansing juice or even make beetroot brownies. We love these beetroot & chocolate sugar free brownies from Forensic Nutritionist, Fiona Tuck. And if you need a liver friendly cup of tea to go with your brownies then our very own Clinical and Wellness therapist Vrisha Ker, recommends opting for a nourishing dandelion tea blend.
To maintain a healthy liver you should also limit your intake of medications when it’s possible. For example, try natural pain relief instead of paracetamol or aspirin. If you suffer from nausea or inflammation, ginger and turmeric can offer relief for mild symptoms. Magnesium powder can help to ease muscle tension and stiffness from exercise or immobility. These will be much gentler on your liver and digestive system, but if the pain persists you should always seek medical advice. To learn more about fat loss treatments and nutrition, book a complimentary consultation with one of our Body Experts.