Does Inflammation Lead to Weight Gain?
January 25, 2023
Studies show that inflammation is a common primary factor in all major degenerative illnesses like heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes. It also causes weight gain and difficulty losing weight. The good news is inflammation is related to several diet and lifestyle aspects. A weight loss program can help you make key changes to these areas, so that body inflammation can be reduced, the risk of degenerative diseases can be lowered, and your body will shed excess weight.
Inflammation is our body’s response to a threat or injury. If you cut your finger, blood flow goes to the area so that white blood cells can protect the injury site and defend your body against bacteria. This response is our body’s way of shielding itself and fixing hurt tissue. Without acute inflammation, wounds will never heal. This is temporary and will go away after a few days.
Chronic inflammation, however, happens inside the body and leads to major health complications, including weight gain. This is also known as systemic inflammation, which places our body in an emergency state for long periods, which leads to health issues. This impairs body functions related to cardiovascular health, cognitive functions, digestion, metabolism, and hormone levels.
Diseases related to chronic inflammation account for 50% of deaths globally. Obesity, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome are interconnected to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancers. Gut inflammation may also be a contributing factor to weight gain. Dietary interventions like pre and probiotics, along with fresh vegetables, are important to gut health.
When the immune system detects a threat, it releases cytokines, which activate the body’s immune response. Cytokines interfere with the body’s insulin response. When the body becomes resilient to insulin, the pancreas releases more of it, which activates the body to store fat. People who are resistant to insulin tend to stock more fat in the abdominal area. Inflammation also interferes with our body’s response to leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells our brain when we’ve had enough to eat. If the brain does not receive this signal, then it will cause overeating.
Breaking the cycle of obesity and inflammation is not impossible. A healthy and balanced lifestyle is key to returning the body to health and equilibrium. Treat obesity as a chronic medical condition since it already affects health.
What are inflammation causes?
- Chronic stress. Stress leads to cortisol, which is also related to increased abdominal fat.
- Exposure to chemicals, food additives, pesticides, and pollution. Skincare products that contain phthalates are linked to oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Nutrition deficiencies. This leads to cellular damage. Low levels of Vitamins D, B6, and B12 can cause inflammation.
- Excess weight places stress on the body, which leads to cellular damage.
What are inflammation-causing foods?
Sugar, vegetable oils, fried food, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, and other food additives trigger inflammation in the body. Acid-forming foods like coffee, dairy, soda, sports drinks, bottled fruit juices, potato chips, alcohol, and processed and red meats increase inflammation.
What are foods that can reduce chronic inflammation?
Eat healthy, whole fruits and vegetables each meal. Drink a lot of water throughout the day to flush out toxins and waste from your body. These foods have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits because of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which fight inflammation while increasing your metabolism:
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach)
- Green vegetables (broccoli)
- Olives and olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Bell peppers and chili peppers
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
How do you reduce inflammation in the body?
Eating a healthy diet full of the above list of anti-inflammatory foods is a big step in fighting chronic inflammation. However, changing your diet alone is not enough. The leaky gut syndrome can prevent your body from absorbing nutrients. Hormonal imbalances can interfere with your body’s reaction to food.
Intermittent fasting has been found to be effective in reducing inflammation and can help reset our body’s metabolism. Regular exercise and plenty of sleep are also important factors. Use skincare and cosmetic products that are phthalate-free. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Practice mindfulness meditation and yoga breathing exercise to help with stress.
Supplements like Vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D can further help fight inflammation.
How do you reduce inflammation and lose weight?
- Skip processed food and processed sugars. Chemicals, additives, coloring, added sugars, and other compounds in processed foods are all probable causes of irritation.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory produce and fats. Refuel with antioxidants, phytochemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, plant-based oils, and avocados.
- Go to bed on time. Adults need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep to rest, repair, and recharge for the next day. Not getting enough sleep leaves the body without the resources it needs to function properly and generates new inflammation.
- Incorporate gut-friendly foods. Strengthening the gut’s microbe barrier is vital to reducing inflammation. This prevents irritants from getting into our bloodstream. Eat foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, or kimchi.
- De-stress. Mental and psychological health is equally important. Low-grade inflammation will stay on while stress levels are at a high. Do yoga, meditate, or walk for 10 minutes a day.
Inflammation increases with weight gain. This leads to insulin and leptin resistance. If you want to lose weight, reducing inflammation is needed. Avoid processed foods and sugars, eat more anti-inflammatory foods, get enough sleep, and lower your stress levels. Reduced inflammation also lowers your risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. If you are having a difficult time achieving weight loss, consider enlisting a professional to help you on your journey. They can help us invest in things that are more important to our health and happiness.
Eastside Weight Loss has a weight loss program where we provide patients with a personalized plan that can help reduce chronic inflammation. Interventions that balance hormones, reduce stress, and lower inflammatory marker levels are also offered. Do you need help reducing inflammation and losing weight? Schedule an appointment here.