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Your gallbladder and your metabolism

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Your gallbladder and your metabolism

In The Fast Metabolism Diet, we talk a lot about the gallbladder and its metabolic role in emulsifying fat. But what if you don’t have a gallbladder?


Lots of people are successfully doing the diet without a gallbladder, but it does put extra pressure on your pancreas and liver to pick up the slack in processing dietary and stored fat. Since Phase 3 includes lots of healthy fats, your pancreas and liver will be doing the heavy lifting, so it’s important to support them.

  • Load up on fresh herbs and spices. These help break down foods, lightening the load on your liver and pancreas. Herbs such as fenugreek, turmeric, fennel, cinnamon, and cilantro are especially useful to cook with and have been shown to reduce the increased risk for diabetes for those who have had their gallbladders removed. A lot of my clients that have either gallbladder disease or have had their gallbladder removed take digestive bitters before each meal.
  • Chew, chew, chew. Chewing your food well will also help break down foods before they hit your digestive tract. So slow down and take your time. Westchester University of Pennsylvania suggests chewing your food 30 to 50 times per mouthful. It seems like a lot, but this is essential for those without a gallbladder.
  • Choose “gallbladder” foods that aid in fat breakdown, including lima beans, grapefruit, papaya, figs, along with bitter veggies like kale and asparagus. Check out this recipe for grapefruit and fig salad with mango dressing from For Phase 1, omit the olive oil in the dressing; instead, use lemon and coconut aminos with crushed garlic to taste). You could also just sprinkle cinnamon on your pink grapefruit or have papaya with cayenne pepper as your phase one snack.  More supportive foods to incorporate:
    Apples and Asian Pears
    Green beans
    Sweet potatoes
    Avocados (Use a lot of lemon, lime, and cilantro to help break down the healthy fat)
    Salmon (Use a lot of lemon, lime, and cilantro to help break down the healthy fat)
  • Include the optional grain on Phase 3 dinner just once or twice a week. This forces your body to work harder to process stored fats, rather than relying on quick-absorbing carbs for fuel. And make sure to add extra veggies so all of that cellulose will enhance your struggling fat digestion.