|Gallstones in the gallbladder|
By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here
Don't go on that cleanse, detox, or that trendy crash diet just yet!
People who go on a crash diet are more likely to develop gallstones than people on a sustainable slower paced diet. Some people may think, "I'm too healthy for that. I never crash diet, I do occasionally go on healthy cleanses and detoxes and juice fasts though." The mechanics works the same. Whenever you go extremely low on food and your body has to use too much of itself as fuel, this can occur. Cleanses and detoxes are also bad for your gut microbiota.
What happens is, your body is losing weight too rapidly and getting an extremely low amount of food. The part you like about this is, your body has to burn off pieces of itself as fuel (you lose weight). The bad part is, the liver has to secrete extra bile. Bile is made up of mostly cholesterol and salt and it helps to break down fats into your gallbladder.
Two things then happen, cholesterol and salt in the bile rises, and the ability for the gallbladder to empty is disrupted. Both leads to a hardening of the bile which creates gallstones. Sizes vary from grains of salt to the size of golf balls.
When one of these things blocks the flow of bile from the gallbladder to the intestines, inflammation sets in accompanied by lots and lots of pain. You don't want gallstones. Ask anyone who's had them. And often times, the recommended solution is to remove the gallbladder completely, you really don't want that.
So what should I do instead?
- Exercise - It's the most trusted and dependable form of weight management, not only that but your mitochondria, brain, and organs love it. When you do too much though, you get diminishing returns and you can create more harm than good. It may be hard to believe but more is not better. The idea is your body is not getting enough food, if you over-exercise, you still end up in the same place, still at risk for inflammation and gallstones. Think of a good cologne or perfume, use too much and you stink.
- Lots of vegetables - Make sure to get lots of variety. Especially leafy greens and cruciferous plants. This helps the formation of bile with sufficient salt to maintain proper bile flow. Also vegetables have a lot of fiber, which aids in digestion, and slows down the absorption of sugar (inflammation). The body also gets rid of bile through the stool, fiber helps to avoid constipation.
- Don't avoid fats - They help to create good bile flow. It also prevents your body from having to use too much of its stored energy as fuel, which is also the factor in gallstones. Make sure you're getting good fats, and fats with lots of HDL, which aid in bile flow. Bad fats would be man made fats.
- Coffee - It may reduce formation of cholesterol crystals and also stimulate gallbladder contractions, which helps to flush away crystals. Make sure though you're getting good quality coffee and consider adding butter or MCT oil to it.
- Less sweets and carbs - Too many sweet foods and beverages leads to insulin resistance, a condition that makes your liver produce more cholesterol. Next time your cholesterol goes up, don't look at the eggs, look at your sugar and carb intake. This is also relevant for kidney stone prevention.
- Less alcohol - Not only does it affect insulin resistance, it directly disrupts your liver and too much of it can cause liver damage as we know. It also disrupts the germs in your gut. A healthy liver produces healthy bile.
- Water - Make sure you stay hydrated. It's good for the organs, especially the liver. Good to prevent kidney stones as well.
- Slow down - It's not a race, it's a game of strategy. Calculate your steps and look to win and keep winning every battle a long the way. In a race you can't go backwards. In a game of strategy you can. Think accordingly.
Most of all crash diets and weight loss cleanses and detoxes do not work long term
They harm your body and lower your body's muscle mass, which is what you need to maintain your weight loss. In college, it's easy to get an A, it's hard to keep an A. The path you got to weight loss actually hurts your ability to maintain that success and that much more difficult to keep an A.
Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.