Is Inflammation Preventing Weight Loss?

weight loss

 When we decide to start losing weight, “inflammation” is rarely the first thing that pops in our heads.

Our thinking immediately goes to:

  • I need to eat less, watch my calories, start eating low-fat, low-carb, etc…
  • I need to give up cokes, fast food, candy, etc…
  • I need to start exercising, doing cardio, get a gym membership, etc…
  • Diets, fat-burning pills, weight loss supplements, etc…

Unfortunately, 95% of those “things” you THINK you need to do to lose weight, ends up leaving you worse than where you started.

Which means you were suffering from inflammation before and these “weight loss tricks” left with you more inflammation and weight gain.

It’s a vicious cycle when these occur…

  • Work long hours or sleeping less than 6 hours a night? 
  • Do you have trouble finding the time to eat right, instead opting for a burger on the run or a frozen dinner? 

What is Inflammation and Why Does It Prevent us From Losing Weight?

While short-term inflammation is an important body process that helps us fight off infection and injuries, the the  chronic form is known to be harmful to our health and can set the stage for obesity.  

Chronic overeating, smoking, stress, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and hypertension (high blood pressure) can flip the inflammation switch to the ‘ON’ position.  

These poor-quality, inflammation-producing habits trigger 3 fat-storing hormones:

  1. It can cause us to become resistant to insulin (a hormone that helps control blood sugar) and leptin (a hormone involved in satiety), which in turn translates to increased appetite, weight gain, and possibly obesity.  
  2. Leptin regulates your body’s level of fat by controlling your appetite and metabolism. So, as you add more fat tissue, your body produces more leptin. The problem is that chronic inflammation impairs the brain’s ability to receive leptin’s appetite suppressing message.
  3. Chronic stress raises cortisol for long periods of time. Cortisol, our “stress hormone” is produced by the adrenal glands, which in short-term bursts is beneficial for inflammation and weight loss. However, our body can’t tell the difference between a physical stress and a psychological stress. If you eat a donut, stress. Worry about paying your bills, stress. Don’t sleep enough, stress. All of these and more lead to chronically elevated levels of cortisol.

The solution is to stop the inflammation-weight gain cycle through dietary and exercise management. Inflammation and excess body fat create a cycle where it leads to fat gain and fat gain leads to more inflammation.

Losing weight is the most effective way to turn “off” the chronic inflammation switch, but significant changes need to be made.

The Hidden Cause of Weight Gain: Inflammation

It’s vitally important you find the main source of your inflammation. It’s more than possible you have multiple causes of inflammation so the best approach to take when identifying your inflammation is to focus on the major inflammatory stressor in your life.

As mentioned before, inflammation is part of your body’s natural response to anything flagged as harmful or irritating. You want this occur when you bang your elbow on a door or get bitten by a mosquito, because inflammatory proteins help tissues heal and repair.

You don’t want inflammation to be a constant in your life.

When you eat processed foods, food additives, chemicals, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, gluten, conventional dairy, and other inflammatory foods, you create a toxic, diseased environment.

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This particular environment is a fat cell’s favorite way for you eat and live.

Fat cells promote inflammation, which leads to more fat cells, which promotes more inflammation until you are obese, borderline diabetic, and completely frustrated.

Getting rid of inflammation helps you lose fat and losing fat helps you get rid of inflammation.

How Do I Know If I Am Inflamed?

Inflammation happens every time your immune system has to fend off irritants or stressors that come into the body.

  • Bad bacteria in our food and water
  • Environmental toxins (pesticides, PCBs, and dioxins)
  • Non-food based allergens (dust mites, pollen, dander, cedar, etc…)
  • Processed/inflammatory foods (sugars, trans fat, additives, preservatives, GMOs, etc…
  • Stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, blood sugar instabilities, etc…

The odds are pretty high if you’re living in modern society, you endure daily triggers that cause inflammation.

Whether you are aware of it or not, your body is reacting.

Review the list below to determine if you are inflamed:

  • Do you have food allergies, or do you feel poorly after eating (sluggish, headaches, congestion, brain fog, sleepy)?
  • Are you exposed to pesticides, toxic chemicals, heavy metals?
  • Do you have a history of chronic infections such as canker sores, cold sores, sinus infections, flus, and colds?
  • Do you have allergies, mucus, and phlegm?
  • Do you suffer from arthritis or painful joints?
  • Do you have stress in your life? Emotional, mental, psychological, etc…
  • Do you drink more than 3-4 alcoholic drinks per week?
  • Do you have diabetes, insulin resistance, or blood sugar issues?
  • Are you overweight, obese, or have a BMI over 26?
  • Do you have digestive issues like colitis, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, or Leaky Gut Syndrome?
  • Do you have skin issues (dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc…)?
  • Do you exercise less than 2 hours per week?
  • Do you do long bouts of cardio type exercise more than 2 times per week lasting more than 30 minutes?
  • Do you feel sluggish, unmotivated, overweight, and just plain unhappy about health?

If you answered YES to 3 or more of the questions above, the odds are pretty high you are suffering from inflammation.

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