Dr. Hyman: “4 Steps to Get Rid of Toxic Weight”

Best-selling author of The Blood Sugar Solution, Dr. Mark Hyman, introduces the “Quadruple P” model of how he thinks about cleansing.  It’s  basic, memorable and may help demystify what cleansing/detoxification is all about.  Given the hundreds of heavy metal chemicals in our bodies, detoxing is something to consider.

THERE ARE always more than one way to look at something.  When it comes to cleansing (detoxification), I think about what’s in the body and what’s outside it.

In the body you have the circulatory system, organs and fat where toxins accumulate and circulate.  To get them out of the body, we’re reliant on the organs of cleansing and elimination, which are:

  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Lungs
  • Skin

Many cleansing protocols focus on aiding one or more of our natural cleansing systems that in an ideal world – pristine food, pristine environment – could do the job without assistance.

Problem is that for most of us, neither pristine food nor a pristine environment exists.

That MacDonald’s and Coke are multi-billion dollar business attests to my assertion about our diet.

That the average infant is born with 287 chemicals in her umbilical cord blood, 217 of which are neurotoxic (poisonous to nerves or nerve cells) attests to my assertion about our environment.

I’m often engaged in conversations about cleansing and I typically say that:

  1. First, you need to stop ingesting and breathing in toxins;
  2. Second, you need to mop up the toxins already present in your body; and
  3. Third, I get into a spiel about how to specifically address supporting the body’s natural organs of cleansing and elimination.

But there’s another way to look at, or visualize, the same problem, brought to us by Dr. Mark Hyman, who with the publication of his best seller, The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!, is soon to be among the most famous doctors in America, me thinks.

Dr. Hyman recently penned a post he calls, How Toxins Make You Fat: 4 Steps to Get Rid of Toxic Weight. In it, he presents some research that shows that various environmental pollutants can cause diabetes and obesity, a combination that Dr. Hyman and others call “Diabesity”, which he claims afflict 50% of the American population.

Dr. Hyman is on a mission to help people heal themselves, and detoxification is one big part of the process.

Rather than get into the organs and specify how each may be supported in a particular cleansing ritual, Dr. Hyman writes about the four main exit routes for toxins: Pee, Poop, Perspiration and Pranayama (Sanskrit for “breath”), which he called the “Quadruple P.”

Every moment of every day your body is relying on the Quadruple P to mobilize, transform, and excrete toxins, he says.

I’ll summarize his points on each “P” and add my commentary here and there.


This is a kidney thing.  Dr. Hyman says you need to ensure you’re doing enough of it, and you can help your kidneys out by drinking plenty of pure water, 8 x 8 (8 ounces, 8 times per day) that allow the kidney’s to flush out the waste from the blood that accumulate in them.

If your urine is dark or smelly, need to hydrate more.

Filter the water or use a good bottle water source, he says.  I say, forget about buying bottled water!  It’s wasteful, both in money spent and environmental damage.  Think not?  Read Plastic Water Has Gotta Go, for Your Sake! and Take the Plastic Out of Water Bottles.


Have one or two sessions on the throne, Dr. Hyman advises, and says that less then this is an indication of constipation that you can reverse by drinking more water and fiber.

I concur; however, my experience and reading suggests that the number of poos per day should be related to the number of substantial meals.  Native people, who consume much more fiber than us and no processed foods, have as many bowl movements each day as they have meals.  You do the math.


Few people recognize that your skin is the largest organ of elimination.  You maximize its potential to get toxins out via the skin by sweating.  Here, Dr. Hyman focuses on saunas, stating that some research indicates that sauna therapy increases excretion of heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, and fat-soluble chemicals—PCBs, PBBs, and HCBs).

I might add two things: Exercise and Detox Baths.

Exercise is obvious, so I won’t belabor its value that extends beyond detoxification.  It feels great to breath hard and sweat… well, maybe not when first starting an exercise regime, but eventually it will.  Honest.

Detox baths are less obvious.  When done properly, these pull toxins from the skin, partly by sweating in hot water loaded with some items supplemental to H2O; namely, baking soda, sea salt, ginger powder, and – ingesting before the bath, niacin.

Learn about the detox bath at the bottom of the post, Detoxifying Your Way To Nirvana.


As your scrubbing away your toxins – detoxifying your way to nirvana, sorta speak – you can contemplate Dr. Hyman’s last “P”, Pranayama.

As mentioned, “pranayama” is the Sanskrit word for “breath”.  The idea here is that you can help detoxify your body by adopting an intentional, prescribed method of breathing.  By breathing right, breathing deeply, you better “oxygenate your brain, body, and spirit, transforming your health in the process”, says Hyman.

Naturally, it’s essential that the air you breathe is clean.  Don’t do this while idling in traffic.

The method is to breathe deeply into your abdomen.  Begin by first exhaling and contracting your abs at the same time.  Then inhale through your nose and envision your belly filling up like a balloon.  Stay with this for five minutes a day.

Read the source of this summary of Dr. Hyman’s Quadruple P here at How Toxins Make You Fat: 4 Steps to Get Rid of Toxic Weight.

Remember: cleansing is a great way to help your body’s natural detoxification methods do their jobs better given the polluted world we live in.

There are several posts at Garma On Health dealing with detoxification.  Just use the search tool at the top of the screen, type in the search box terms like “detox” or “cleansing” and find the one you’d like to read.

Here are a couple to get you started:

It’s Detox Time

A Simple, Effective Cleanse

Last Updated on February 27, 2022 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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