The Hidden Fire: How Chronic Inflammation Sabotages Weight Loss & Hormones

We’re all familiar with inflammation – that swelling and redness that appears after an injury or illness. But did you know that there’s a stealthier form of inflammation, called chronic inflammation, that can silently wreak havoc on your body, including your weight and hormones?

The Hormonal Domino Effect

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers, regulating numerous bodily functions, including appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. Chronic inflammation can throw these messengers off balance, leading to a chain reaction of hormonal disruptions that can hinder weight loss efforts.

  • Leptin Resistance: Leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells, signals to the brain when you’re full. However, chronic inflammation can impair the brain’s ability to receive leptin’s signals, leading to overeating and weight gain. [2]

  • Cortisol Dysregulation: Cortisol, the stress hormone, can be elevated by chronic inflammation. Increased cortisol levels have been linked to weight gain, particularly around the abdominal area. [3]

  • Insulin Resistance: Insulin is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels. Chronic inflammation can interfere with insulin’s effectiveness, leading to elevated blood sugar and increased fat storage. [4]

The Weight Loss Conundrum

Have you ever felt like you’re doing everything right, yet the scale refuses to budge? Chronic inflammation could be the problem. By disrupting your hormones and metabolism, it can create an environment where weight loss becomes incredibly difficult.

Beating the Inflammation

The good news is that chronic inflammation can be managed. Here are some research-backed strategies:

  • Adopt an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Emphasise whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (olive oil, avocados), and lean proteins. Minimise processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats. [5]

  • Engage in Regular Exercise: Exercise is not only beneficial for cardiovascular health but also for reducing inflammation. Find activities you enjoy and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days. [6]

  • Prioritise Stress Management: Stress is a significant contributor to inflammation. Explore relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or spending time in nature. [7]

  • Ensure Sufficient Sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night to support your body’s natural healing processes. [8]

  • Consider Supplements: Certain supplements, like omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric (I have a FANTASTIC supplement you can get from me), may help reduce inflammation. Consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements. [9]

Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re struggling with weight loss or suspect you might be dealing with chronic inflammation, it’s important to consult with your doctor. However, if they can’t help identify the root causes and develop a personalised plan to get your health back on track- join my Beat the Inflammation Challenge

Remember, weight loss is not just about willpower – it’s about addressing underlying imbalances and creating a supportive environment for your body to thrive. By working on chronic inflammation, you’re not only paving the way for potential weight loss but also investing in your overall health and well-being.

References:

[1] Pahwa, R., Goyal, A., & Jialal, I. (2022). Chronic Inflammation. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.

[2] Milanski, M., & DeFronzo, R. A. (2010). Leptin and inflammation. Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity, 17(5), 469–475.

[3] Kyrou, I., Chrousos, G. P., & Tsigos, C. (2006). Stress, visceral obesity, and metabolic complications. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1083, 77–110.

[4] Esser, N., Legrand-Poels, S., Piette, J., Scheen, A. J., & Paquot, N. (2014). Inflammation as a link between obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes research and clinical practice, 105(2), 141–150.

[5] Minihane, A. M., & Vinoy, S. (2016). The role of diet-induced inflammation in obesity and chronic disease. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 19(1), 45–50.

[6] Petersen, A. M., & Pedersen, B. K. (2005). The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 98(4), 1154–1162.

[7] Slavich, G. M., & Irwin, M. R. (2014). From stress to inflammation and major depressive disorder: a social signal transduction theory of depression. Psychological bulletin, 140(3), 774–815.

[8] Irwin, M. R. (2019). Why sleep is important for health: a psychoneuroimmunology perspective. Annual review of psychology, 70, 385–410.

[9] Calder, P. C. (2017). Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochemical Society transactions, 45(5), 1105–1115.

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