We know the biggest key to unlock weight loss is by putting the body into calorie deficit by eating a healthy diet and exercising, but apparently, there are a whole lot of factors that can prevent you from melting all that extra fat you want to get rid of desperately. In this post, we will talk in detail about one such major yet little known factor – “inflammation.” If you have been counting calories, exercising for hours together, and still not shedding any significant weight, it’s most probably inflammation that is throttling your weight loss efforts. The interesting fact is that even if you are thin, you can still have inflammation, with stress and other factors playing in, causing hormonal imbalances and disrupting normal functioning of vital organs. Inflammation is the reason for increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Studies have revealed that inflammation is a common factor in heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and also type 2 diabetes. It is also the reason one puts on weight and finds it difficult to lose weight. Since inflammation is mostly diet and lifestyle related, it can be controlled if one wishes to by making necessary diet and lifestyle modifications, and hence lose weight also in the process.
What is Inflammation?
There are two types of inflammation – acute and chronic. Acute inflammation happens when there’s an injury on the body and there’s increased blood flow and influx of white blood cell to that area, protecting the body against foreign intruders like bacteria and germs. The common markers of acute inflammation are redness, swelling, pain, and warmth. Acute inflammation helps to repair damaged tissue, healing of wounds, and defend the body against germs. On the other hand, chronic inflammation, caused by dietary and lifestyle factors, accumulation of free radicals and toxins, increases the risk of life-threatening diseases, and is the trigger to many diseases. Chronic inflammation happens when internal body cells are damaged and the body continues to be in inflamed status, affecting normal functioning of organs. Chronic inflammation affects normal functioning of the body – from digestion to hormonal function, lowering metabolism. When the body remains in inflammation for a long period of time, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, high risk of cancer, digestive issues, type 2 diabetes, etc.
How Does your Body Develop Inflammation?
When one puts on weight, leads an extremely stressful life, eats processed food, sleeps only for a short period of time, a protein called as C-reactive protein, which is considered to be an inflammatory marker present in the blood also rises up, making the body more and more acidic. Metabolic changes and hormonal factors raise CRP levels and push the body into inflammation status. One of the major contributors to inflammation in the body is your diet, the food you consume. As mentioned above, the other dynamics that play a part to cause inflammation are lack of sleep, high stress, lack of physical activity, etc. Other lesser known agents can cause chronic inflammation – pesticides, pollution, phthalates, free radicals, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B6 and B12 deficiency, etc.
What Foods Cause Inflammation in the Body?
1. Vegetable oils.
3. Food color.
4. Processed food.
5. Monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto).
6. Fried food.
7. Refined carbs.
8. Artificial sweeteners.
How High Inflammation Can Lead to Weight Gain and Prevent Weight Loss?
Even with strict dieting and exercise, heightened level of inflammation scores over and stalls weight loss.
1. Inflammation makes the body insulin resistant, and as a result, pancreas continuously pumps up insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Now, we all know that insulin is also a fat-storage hormone which triggers the creation of new fat cells. So, inflammation triggers insulin resistance, which in turn leads to more insulin production, and larger creation of fat cells which converts all extra calories into fat, and stores it particularly around the belly area. Belly fat is particularly dangerous because it increases the production of cytokines, which are released as body’s immune response, and continue to keep the body in chronic inflammatory status. Release of cytokines increases the risk of heart disease and even cancer.
2. Leptin is the satiety or fullness hormone that sends signal to the brain that you are “full” and have had enough food. In chronic inflammation, the function of leptin gets affected and even when you have had enough food, leptin fails to send signal to the brain, and you are piling up on calories, uncertain of when to stop eating. Leptin resistance can also slow down your metabolism and increase ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels. All these factors not only prevents weight loss, it can make you pile on more pounds with every meal.
Natural Foods To Bring Down Inflammation:
Pick food with anti-inflammatory effects, rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals. Also, choose whole foods and minimally processed products foods. Here are some foods that lowers chronic inflammation in the body:
1. Green leafy vegetables.
2. All fruits.
5. Pumpkin seeds.
7. Olive oil
8. Healthy fat
10. Coconut oil
18. Green tea
20. Fish oil
How To Reduce Inflammation in the Body:
1. Sleep for 7 to 8 hours: We need to rest our bodies properly to allow normal functioning the next day, so that it can repair damage, correct dysfunctions, and to flush out toxins. When you do not give that rest, everything can haywire and so does inflammation go up.
2. Stop the inflammatory agents at the gut: Like enough sleep, a lot of us underestimate the power of gut. A strong gut can prevent diseases, weed out toxins, and reduce inflammation. Do you know nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are absorbed into the body through the gut wall and sent into the bloodstream. That’s why Rati Beauty diet programs includes a lot of gut-friendly foods in the diet meals. Fermented food such as idli, dosa, etc. and probiotic food such as yogurt are great for the gut. Here’s a list of gut-friendly food.
3. Lower Stress: Losing weight itself can be a stressful job for some of us, but did you know, it could be one of the reasons your weight isn’t going down? When you overthink or take unwanted tension, you opt for activities that can be extremely unhealthy. Practice meditation, yoga, and listen to relaxing music to lower stress levels. Here are some more ways to lower stress in the body.
4. Drink loads and loads of water: Water is necessary to run every body function normally and also to lower inflammation because it helps in flushing out toxins from the body. Drink more than 8 glasses of water per day to lose weight as well.
5. Get out into the sunshine: Vitamin D deficiency can lead to inflammation and that’s why you need to go out and get some sunshine to reduce chronic inflammation.