I used to struggle so much with this. I could not keep off the weight anytime I would lose. It was so frustrating. I finally was able to understand why this was happening when I was studying holistic nutrition and learning how to lose weight sustainably. Weight loss is more than just decreasing your calories. You see, all calories are not equal. The calories in an apple react differently than say apple juice.. And, on top of this, there can be MANY reasons why your body will not allow your to burn fat and lose weight. Yes, thats right. You are not broken! You can do this. You can fix this. You have to fix the root cause.
If you have underlying issues like inflammation to name one, you will struggle to lose weight even if you are reducing your calorie intake... this is one reason why you may be dieting alllll the time and still none of the weight will come off, or you lose a little bit but gain it right back.
So let's talk inflammation- one of these issues that can cause your body to not burn fat. Inflammation in the body can be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is what happens when you get a cut or scrape or injury, and then you have the inflammatory process that helps the injury heal. Acute inflammation can also be localized to a specific area. Chronic inflammation is totally different and is not necessarily safe for the body. Sometimes obesity and excess weight is totally like acute inflammation, there's an injury underneath and it's just the body trying to heal, trying to protect those internal organs from toxins and things like so that might be harmful.
Chronic inflammation plays a role in cardiovascular health, brain function, digestion, metabolism, hormones, and more. Inflammation can also affect our body weight in multiple ways. When the immune system detects a threat, the body releases different substances of which are called cytokines, which activate the body’s immune response. Cytokines are pro-inflammatory, and they also interfere with the body’s insulin response.
When the body becomes resistant to insulin (or it does not listen to the insulin signaling) - aka insulin resistance- a metabolic syndrome which is the cause type 2 diabetes- this causes the pancreas to go into overdrive secreting more insulin, and causes the body to make and store more fat.
Chronic inflammation is a widespread systemic inflammatory response- and it appears to be our immune systems’ reaction to many unhealthy aspects of our lives- from environmental causes like toxins, chemicals, pollution- to our every day lifestyle choices, chronic stress, to lack of physical activity, and poor sleep.
The primary driver of chronic inflammation is what we EAT!
Saturated fat has the highest association with inflammation. Leading sources of saturated fats are meat and dairy products and processed/refined foods (foods that have been altered from their natural state or man made in a lab). The top sources of saturated fat in the United States are cheese, pastries and desserts like cake and ice cream, chicken, pork, and then burgers, and other processed snacks like high in salt and vegetable oils such as chips.
Eating these foods high in saturated fat and pro-inflammatory compounds leads to weight gain and increase in inflammation throughout the body. Studies show that levels of a key inflammatory marker known as C-reactive protein (CRP), increases as in correlation when weight increases.
This is why it's best to eat anti-inflammatory foods for overall weight loss and improvement in overall health! To be an anti-inflammatory diet it needs to be centered around whole, unprocessed, plant foods. Unfortunately, the anti-inflammatory omega-3s in fish can be offset by the industrial toxins that now contaminate much of the fish food chain. When eating fish, do get wild caught.
Those eating more anti-inflammatory diets appear to live longer lives, have thinner waists and lower rates of obesity. Of course, eating an anti-inflammatory diet is just one piece of the puzzle. As I mentioned other causes of chronic inflammation and inability to lose weight includes things like chronic stress, toxins in our food, toxins in beauty supplies, cleaners, other home products, and chemicals, pollution, lifestyle choices such as smoking, lack of physical activity, and poor sleep and poor digestion.
When you eat an anti-inflammatory type diet, it is not necessarily a "diet" but just leveling up the food to what your body was actually designed to eat, so it can heal and function optimally. Eating more anti-inflammatory foods will not only help with the underlying inflammation issue, may help with some digestive issues, and you will most likely see weight loss as a result! This is because everything in the body is interconnected. When you give it what it wants and needs, the body can truly heal and come to a healthy weight as a side effect.
The most anti-inflammatory foods whole, unprocessed, plant foods, like your fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, omega 3 rich nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, beans, whole grains, and herbal teas, etc. Include these more in your daily diet and watch what happens.
If you need more 1:1 help with underlying inflammation or weight loss issues, I'm your girl! I'd love to help you heal and reach your ideal healthy weight. You CAN lose weight no matter how much you've tried before or how much you've got to lose! And you can enjoy it! No crazy restrictive diets. I don't teach that as dieting in and of itself causes more damage than good. Want to know more about my methods? Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thats all for today, let me know your biggest takeaways!
BSN, RN & Certified Holistic Nutritionist