June 30, 2024

How Much Does Inflammation Affect Weight Loss?

Hi Everyone,

Are you finding it hard to lose weight?

Do those stubborn pounds refuse to budge despite diets and exercise?

Then chronic inflammation could be the problem.

In this post, I will explain how chronic inflammation affects weight loss and why the diet foods you’ve been eating may be making it harder to lose weight. Then, I’ll share my top 5 tips for lasting weight loss.

What is Chronic Inflammation?

How Does Inflammation Affect Weight Loss?

Can Ultra Processed Foods Cause Inflammation and Weight Gain?

Top 5 Tips For Lasting Weight Loss


What is Chronic Inflammation?

There are two types of inflammation, chronic and acute. Acute inflammation arises quickly during injury or illness – when you break a bone for example, or have a high fever with the flu. Once the injury or illness starts to improve, the acute inflammation goes down.

Chronic inflammation is when your body’s immune system keeps producing inflammatory chemicals. This can be caused by an ongoing serious illness like cancer or heart disease, or as a result of stress, weight gain, inflammatory foods, or environmental toxins.

Conditions that feature chronic inflammation include:

Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and Diverticulitis



Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Long Covid



Thyroid issues

As you can tell, chronic inflammation is part of many different health conditions. It’s why it can be hard to lose weight when you have an ongoing health issue. If you don’t tackle the underlying inflammation, your body will struggle to shed weight.


How Does Inflammation Affect Weight Loss?

Inflammation and weight imbalance have a “chicken or egg” relationship. Chronic inflammation can cause weight gain, and conversely, weight gain can cause inflammation. Behind all this is a set of complex metabolic processes:

  • Weight gain triggers hormonal changes that lead to higher levels of inflammatory chemicals like C-reactive protein and cytokines.


  • The resulting inflammation hampers insulin function, contributing to elevated blood glucose levels and the build-up of liver fat. This impedes insulin activity even more and sets off a feedback loop.


  • Weight gain and inflammation disrupt the production of leptin, a crucial hormone that regulates metabolism and appetite. Reduced leptin affects satiety signaling in the brain making it easier to overeat.


Can Ultra Processed Foods Cause Inflammation and Weight Gain?

In 2019, Dr Kevin Hall ran the first-ever randomized control trial exploring the effects of ultra-processed foods (UPFs). The study found that people eating a diet of UPFs ate on average 500 calories more per day and gained more weight than when they consumed a diet of unprocessed foods (Hall et al, 2019).

All these heavily marketed “diet” foods are UPFs. They are rich in artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, high-fructose corn syrup, flavorings, and thickeners that damage your gut and worsen inflammation.

How do they do this? It’s because of the communication that happens between your gut bacteria and your brain. The billions of bacteria in your gut microbiome are sending messages to your brain based on the types of foods you eat. When you eat UPFs like diet shakes and ready meals, the gut bugs tell your brain they want more of this stuff. So, your brain keeps telling you to eat.

The problem is, these foods are devoid of any nutritional value. They give you calories, but nothing else. They lack the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients your body needs to thrive and survive.

The chemical additives disturb the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. As the bad bacteria multiply, they damage the lining of the gut, leading to increased intestinal permeability (also known as “leaky gut”) and widespread inflammation.

And as I mentioned earlier, chronic inflammation is linked to weight gain. This is how the weight gain-inflammation cycle begins.


Top 5 Tips for Lasting Weight Loss

So, now you know how bad these diet foods are for weight loss, it’s time to look at what you should do instead to lose weight.

Here are my top 5 tips for lasting weight loss:

– Ditch the inflammatory foods! Steer clear of ultra-processed meals and snacks, diet sodas, energy drinks, candy, doughnuts, chips, and sugary cereals.

– Stop doing workouts that raise inflammation. This is a major problem for many people. They think they need to exercise more often, or harder, to lose weight. But grueling workouts raise your stress hormones and over time, this encourages weight gain.

– Stay hydrated. Your brain struggles to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. The chances are you’re reaching for a snack when what you need is a glass of water.

– Prioritize good sleep. This is such an important step for sustaining weight loss. Find out why in How Does Sleep Help With Inflammation?

– Learn to relax. Cortisol, your main stress hormone, programs your body to store fat around your belly. This won’t shift until you learn how to relax and build your resilience to stress. Read more about this in Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?


Lose Weight With Eat Burn Sleep

The beauty of the Eat Burn Sleep program is that it combines all the different elements you need to tackle inflammation and lose weight, for good.

Our meal plans and food lists tell you exactly what to eat. The movement videos show you how to exercise without making inflammation worse, and our meditation guides help you deal with stress and manage your cortisol levels.

But don’t just take it from me, this is what our members have to say:

Ingrid says:

“I just wanted to let you know how much of an impact you have made on my life. My weight has always been between 9.7 and 10 stone, and as a result, it’s now been 8st for the last few months.

My sister is also a member and we feel like you are part of the family, you’re the one we go to for advice on almost everything!”


Brooke says:

“I love your “soothing workouts” and all your advice. I also wanted to let you know that when I rejoined last year, I had my physical, and my weight was 172 lbs. My physical last month was 142 lbs. Thank you so much.”


Dina says:

“After just one week of the 6-week reset I have lost 3.5kg. I am thrilled with the result and I look forward to losing some more!”


Ready to lose weight the easy way? Find out more about our membership options now.

You might also enjoy:

Why Am I Always Hungry?

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

Yours, in health,

Yalda x


Yalda Alaoui is a qualified Naturopathic Nutritionist (with a foundation in Biomedicine) who studied with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. She has spent over a decade performing groundbreaking research in chronic inflammation and gut health.


Yalda Alaoui


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