Last Updated on March 20, 2020
Cut Inflammation to Lose Weight and Feel Your Best
The highly processed Standard American Diet—ironically nicknamed “SAD”—is taking its toll on people around the nation. One of the major features of this SAD diet is epic inflammation, which leads to disease, weight gain and overall poor health.
Consider these stats: Nearly 24 million Americans had diabetes in 2008, and that number has climbed steadily over the years. By 2025, it’s estimated that almost 50 million will have it. And let’s not even talk about the high rates of other diseases, allergies and conditions that so many people face every year. Maybe you’re even one of them.
But that’s not all. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that 66% of American adults are obese, and without drastic change, that number would steadily climb.
What’s causing these health issues? It turns out that there are linear correlations between inflammation and whether you lose or gain weight. Inflammation creates an insulin resistance, which can lead to sometimes mysterious weight gain. And in a cruel turn of events, that extra weight can also increase your inflammation—which increases the number on the scale yet again.
But what exactly is inflammation?
It seems everyone is talking about the dangers of inflammation these days. But just to be clear, inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. Inflammation is your body’s natural way to protect itself after injury and infection.
When your body is on the mend after an injury, sickness or a particularly hard workout, it can become swollen or inflamed, as white blood cells rush to the rescue. Temporary bouts of inflammation are known as acute inflammation, and are totally normal.
But when stressors and dangers are almost constantly present, you body enters a chronic state of inflammation. And that’s bad. This constant stress overload and inflammation can trigger a whole host of problems, including weight gain, diabetes, depression and nearly every major disease, which puts the body on a downward spiral.
Incidentally, losing weight is a key way to fight back against inflammation.
Cut your losses to maximize your weight loss
Studies show that weight gain might have a deeper connection to inflammation than we ever knew. If you are trying to shed extra pounds to no avail, it’s time to dive deeper to find the root causes of your inflammation, and modify your diet and lose weight.
Here’s a quick list of how to cut inflammation and, in the process, boost your weight loss efforts.
Change your lifestyle
- Reduce stress
Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” is meant to help fight inflammation. But chronic stress affects cortisol’s ability to keep it under control, which allows inflammation to run rampant. Decrease your stressors or add some meditation and mindful breathing to your life to allow your natural anti-inflammatory responses to kick in.
- Get up and move
Fitness plays a vital role in fighting inflammation as well. Studies show that even as little as 20 minutes of exercise a day could help reduce inflammatory responses by 5%. That doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or join a gym. Walking at a fast pace is just as helpful.
- Get more sleep
An Emory University study showed that lack of sleep, poor sleep quality or short sleep durations of 6 hours or less can increase the body’s inflammatory responses. Poor sleep habits also increase your risk factor for major diseases. Getting 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night can help you cut inflammation and boost your longevity.
Supplement with supplements
It can be challenging to fit in all the vitamins and minerals we need on a daily basis, especially if you’re working out regularly. Supplements are a quick and easy way to boost your nutrition intake without having to eat every moment of the day. These powerful spices and enzymes can help reduce inflammation and help you lose weight in the process.
- Garlic reduces the production of some inflammatory enzymes.
- Bromelain, the enzyme in pineapple juice, boosts your Vitamin C count to help you fight infections and inflammation.
- Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient called Curcumin.
Learn more about top weight-loss supplements.
Rethink your diet
When we hear the word “diet,” starvation or depravation can quickly come to mind. But your diet is simply anything you eat or drink. You can either have a good, nutrition-filled diet, or a diet that’s dragging you down into a cycle of inflammation and poor health. Replacing nutrient-depleting foods with anti-inflammatory foods is vital to conquering this chronic problem.
- Nutrient vampires
- Refined carbs like white breads
- Refined sugars and sugar alternatives
- Fried foods
- Processed meats
- Red meats
- Vegetable oils
- Dairy products
- Refined starches
- Trans fats
- Nutrient rich
- Foods rich in Omega-3
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
For many of us, inflammation and bloating just feels like normal life. But it doesn’t have to. By making some simple diet and lifestyle changes, you can put your life on a healthier track today.