Inflammation and Weight Gain
People sometimes find that despite dieting, exercise, and commitment to losing weight, the results are less than desired. In these cases, the problem may be inflammation. White blood cells produce substances that battle viral and bacterial infections in the body. The result is called inflammation, and it also hinders weight loss efforts. Reducing inflammation is essential to losing weight.
How Inflammation Can Lead to Weight Gain
An increase in inflammation causes weight gain, and weight gain also contributes to added inflammation. Excess inflammation has a direct impact on glucose levels and a higher resistance to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows the body to utilize insulin and convert it into energy. When inflammation levels cause insulin resistance, glucose levels increase and cause weight gain. Inflammation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It helps fight infection and aids in healing injuries. Excessive inflammation, however, can cause obesity. Fortunately, there are simple lifestyle changes that can be made to manage and reduce inflammation.
How to Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can wreak havoc on the entire body and allow the opportunity for other harmful illnesses and diseases. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the damages that inflammation can do considerably.
- Sugar. At normal levels, sugar converts into glucose and serves as fuel for the cells in the body. Excessive sugar can be harmful to the cells that help the pancreas produce insulin. The pancreas responds by overproducing insulin. High insulin levels can cause weight gain and are linked to type 2 diabetes. The best way to manage sugar levels is to avoid food products with added sugars. Many processed foods contain syrups and sugar, so it is better to avoid these foods as much as possible.
- Sleep. A healthy amount of rest is essential in everyday life and contributes to weight loss. A lack of sleep forces the body to function with overworked organs, which allows for inflammation to occur. A lack of sleep is also known to produce cell damage, especially those within the digestive tract. Doctors recommend a minimum of six hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, but also say that eight is better.
- Foods. Many processed foods have chemicals, additives, colorings, added sugars, and empty calories that contain very little nutritional value. By choosing to eat organic foods that are more wholesome and nutritious, inflammation levels lower. Always be sure to look over the ingredients listed on packaged foods to ensure that the food is minimally processed. Furthermore, certain vegetables and fats contain anti-inflammatory nutrients. Leafy greens, broccoli, avocado, salmon, olive oil, and nuts all contain antioxidants and healthy fats that combat inflammation. Gut friendly, fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and miso also help reduce inflammation.
- Stress. Physical recovery in bones and joints affects inflammation levels. A certain amount of physical stress isn’t necessarily harmful because it allows for a healthy level of inflammation. However, chronic stress can result in constant tissue breakdown and an impaired immune system. Stress causes an increase in the release of chemicals called cytokines, which raise the amount of inflammation in the body. When engaging in physical activities or exercising at the gym, always practice proper form to limit the chances for injury.
- Leptin. Another critical hormone for weight control is called leptin. Essentially, leptin is the hormone responsible for appetite. Leptin sends messages to the brain. It tells the brain when the body is full and to stop eating. Leptin also manages metabolism. It sends signals to the brain about whether to speed up or to slow down metabolism. Inflammation can affect how leptin helps the body. With excessive weight gain and inflammation, leptin levels remain low. The result is that the brain is not getting the proper feedback. Appetite increases and metabolism reduces, thus contributing to weight gain.
- Mental health. Diet and exercise are not the only factors in managing weight and staying healthy. Psychological stress also helps increase inflammation. Having too much stress keeps inflammation levels constant and can contribute to the problem. By practicing ways to manage stress, inflammation levels have been proven to lower. It’s surprising how something as simple as taking a walk, meditating, or practicing yoga can have a significant impact on overall physical health.
- Alcohol. Recent studies suggest that drinking alcoholic beverages in excess can increase inflammation in the intestines. While drinking in moderation is thought to have some health benefits, too much alcohol can inflame the lining within the intestines. It also inhibits the intestine’s ability to regulate that inflammation, and can result in organ damage. Too much drinking also wears away at the intestinal lining, which allows for more harmful bacteria to thrive. Also, People who drink heavily may develop problems with bacterial toxins moving out of the colon and into the body. This is sometimes called “leaky gut”, which can lead to organ damage.
The Bariatric Experts Can Help You Lose Weight
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