Gut Health Blog

July 21, 2024

How to Deal With PCOS Belly Fat

Hello Everyone,

It can be challenging to flatten your tummy when you have hormonal and inflammatory conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

In this article, I’m going to explain why it’s hard to lose belly fat when you have PCOS and share some of my best tips for dealing with this issue.

What Is PCOS?

How to Deal With PCOS Belly Fat

Encourage Good Bacteria to Grow in Your Tummy

Move Every Day in The Right Way

Get Good Quality Sleep

Reduce Stress

 

What Is PCOS?

Many women have polycystic ovaries without having PCOS, but every woman with PCOS has polycystic ovaries. Let me explain… Each month, in the first half of the menstrual cycle, the ovaries develop follicles that contain eggs. One of these eggs will be released at ovulation and the remaining follicles will degenerate.

However, some women carry undeveloped follicles on the ovaries that look like bunches of grapes – these are polycystic ovaries. It is possible to have polycystic ovaries and not experience any symptoms but with PCOS, these cysts lead to hormonal imbalances and symptoms such as:

  • Irregular periods or no periods
  • Fertility problems
  • Problems with blood sugar balance and insulin resistance
  • Weight gain especially around the abdomen and belly
  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Excessive hair growth on the face, back, and chest (hirsutism)
  • Thinning hair on the head

Tests may reveal elevated levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone and low progesterone. There may also be problems with estrogen metabolism.

If not treated, PCOS can increase the risk of other conditions like obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, depression, infertility, and an accumulation of fatty tissue, particularly around the tummy area.

How to Deal With PCOS Belly Fat

PCOS belly fat accumulates as a result of insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. It can be hard to shift, but it is worth tackling because this is the sort of fat that produces inflammatory chemicals which can make your PCOS symptoms even worse.

I recommend you follow a 4-step approach to deal with PCOS belly fat;

  1. Support your gut microbiome.
  2. Do the right kind of exercise and movement.
  3. Get good quality sleep.
  4. Learn how to manage stress.

 

Let’s look at each of these steps in turn.

Encourage Good Bacteria to Grow in Your Tummy

Many studies show increased levels of harmful bacteria and differences in the composition of the gut microbiome in women with PCOS. These shifts in microbial balance can be related to hormone metabolism and inflammation. The wrong types of bacteria can promote inflammation and “recycle” estrogen, leading to further estrogen imbalance.

You can support the healthy balance and diversity of your gut microbiome by eating gut-healthy food like this wonderful Flax & Chia Light Banana Bread or Slow-cooker Indian Vegetable Curry.

The Eat Burn Sleep food lists and meal plans are designed to encourage the growth of beneficial gut bacteria which in turn help with hormone metabolism and lowering inflammation. We have hundreds of recipes on the platform, all designed with your gut bugs in mind!

Move Every Day in The Right Way

Core strength exercises that improve your abdominal tone are great for dealing with belly fat. They really work! You can read more about these sorts of exercises in Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat Quickly.

Daily movement and exercise are important when you have PCOS, but it’s important to steer clear of workout plans that are too demanding and stressful. I see people doing intense workouts and not eating properly before or afterward, and this is a surefire way to worsen PCOS symptoms.

Workouts that are too intense increase your stress hormones and inflammation. They have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

The EBS membership includes access to our library of hundreds of movement videos that build muscle strength and help lower inflammation. I do these exercises myself daily, and I guarantee you will see the difference in your health.

Each routine takes half an hour or less – combine them with the food plan and you will see amazing changes, just like EBS Member Leila:

“I am on my 4th week of the 6-week reset, and I have PCOS.

Already I’ve seen amazing results and feeling much better and lighter in my body (and mind)!

Really impressed with the quality of your work and what you’ve put into this amazing platform.”

Get Good Quality Sleep

Sleep significantly affects your hormonal health and shouldn’t be underestimated. Do you sleep easily for 7-9 hours every night? If not, this is a key area to focus on if you want to be free from PCOS belly fat.

Lack of sleep affects your appetite and satiety hormones. When they are out of rhythm, you are likely to crave sugary foods and simple carbohydrates – things like sodas, pastries, candy, and other junk foods. Eating these sorts of foods when you have PCOS-related insulin resistance leads to more belly fat and more inflammation. I explore this further in What Happens If You Don’t Sleep Enough?

For insomniacs, shift workers, and people who have had a lifetime of waking up in the middle of the night we have Personalized Advice for Insomnia as part of the EBS membership. It’s a game-changer!

Reduce Stress

Stress plays a massive role in hormonal imbalance and inflammation. Stress hormones alter the balance of your gut bacteria, increase belly fat (high levels of cortisol lead to more fat storage around the belly area), and affect mental well-being. Chronic stress can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression which can make it harder to cope with PCOS.

So, please don’t despair if you have PCOS and a larger tummy than you would like because you can change it. You are not stuck with it for life.

We have many EBS members who have turned their PCOS around by following the EBS lifestyle. This is what Remi says about the program:

“After 3 years of sticking (mostly) to your food guide, I have healed my PCOS!

I just went in for hormone testing, and everything was completely normal for the first time in my life.”

We even have leading Endocrinologists who have benefited from the program, like Dr Mehreen Kahn:

“The lifestyle has helped me so much. I have PCOS and IBS/reflux. An added benefit for me is my cystic acne from PCOS just vanished. My 13-year-old acne is clearing up.

The bloat is gone, no more popping TUMS, and Gas-X and Omeprazole all the time. My tummy is flat for the first time since babies! I feel better at 40 (my birthday is tomorrow) than at 30. My hair is shinier, my nails are breaking less.”

So, are you ready to deal with PCOS belly fat?  Check out our membership options now.

You might also enjoy:

Why Am I Always Hungry?

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

How Much Does Inflammation Affect Weight Loss?

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

Author

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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

Diabetes

Endometriosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Long Covid

Migraine

Psoriasis

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

Author

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Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

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Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

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June 23, 2024

Low-Calorie Foods for Weight Loss

Hello Everyone.

Do you want to lose weight and not feel hungry all the time?

Are you looking for low-calorie foods for weight loss?

This post is for you. I’m going to share 5 important things about branded low-calorie foods so you can understand exactly what they do to your body. Then, I’m going to show you some higher-calorie meals that are even better for weight loss so you can decide what to eat to lose weight.

Let’s start with the 5 important things you need to know about branded low-calorie foods.

1. Beware of Marketing. Selling Matters More Than Your Health.

2. Most Low-Calorie Foods Should Carry a Health Warning!

3. Most Low-Calorie Foods Will Lead to Even Greater Weight Gain

4. Don’t Count Calories for Weight Loss

5. Low-Calorie Foods for Weight Loss Lead to Misery

1. Beware of Marketing. Selling Matters More Than Your Health.

I started researching low-calorie products and a quick online search led me to ‘low-calorie crackers’. The first one to come up was a sweet chili flavor rice cracker with 106 calories per 25g. That’s about 6 crackers. The marketing focus is on the calories as they are written in big bold type on the label, the same size as the logo.

The label for these crackers tells you they are ‘baked not fried’, 93% fat-free, gluten-free, and are a healthy, delicious low-fat snack.

Here are the ingredients:

Rice (84.5%), Rice Bran Oil (Contains Antioxidant: Soy Tocopherols), Sugar (4.3%), Salt, Milk Powder, Hydrolysed Soy Protein, Tomato Powder, Garlic Powder, Yeast Extract, Soy Sauce Powder (Soy, Rice, Salt), Onion Powder, Acidity Regulators: Calcium Lactate, Sodium Acetates, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Flavor Enhancers: Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Vinegar Flavor, Maltodextrin, Paprika Powder (0.1%), Chilli Powder (0.1%), Colouring: Paprika Extract, Anticaking: Silicon Dioxide, Antioxidant: Soy Tocopherol, Capsicum Extract.

Do these ingredients sound healthy to you? Do you have them in your store cupboard? Why does a simple cracker need to contain so many chemicals? The answer, of course, is that these crackers are an ultra-processed, highly addictive food.

Young female doctor consulting overweight woman in clinic

2. Most Low-Calorie Foods Should Carry a Health Warning!

Ultra-processed foods like this are riddled with enhancers, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and other additives. These chemicals damage your gut microbiome and cause gut dysbiosis (Song et al, 2023).

Gut dysbiosis leads to chronic inflammation, which causes obesity!

It’s no coincidence that ultra-processed foods are big business, and obesity and diseases are on the rise. Over 1 billion people in the world are obese. That includes 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents, and 39 million children!

3. Most Low-Calorie Foods Will Lead to Even Greater Weight Gain

The bad bacteria that cause obesity love these acidity regulators, flavor enhancers, and anticaking agents. They will let your brain know that they want more of this rubbish so that they can survive and wipe out your good bacteria. This is why ultra-processed foods become addictive.

These chemicals confuse the brain’s hunger-reward system. They trick you into thinking you are eating something healthy, and your body searches for fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because these foods are nutritionally deficient, your brain tells you to keep on eating, in the hope that you will find the nutrients you need. Ultra-processed food is wiping out our natural eating habits, and the body is starving.

This is why obesity is on the rise. These chemicals are in all low-calorie, marketed foods. Bodies are getting bigger, and malnutrition is getting greater. 

But when you eat real food filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, your body knows how to utilize it. You don’t feel constantly hungry with a nutrient-rich diet. And more importantly, you won’t become obese and inflamed.

Fat woman., Shape up healthy stomach muscle, and diet lifestyle, to reduce belly concept.

4. Don’t Count Calories for Weight Loss

The ultra-processed low-calorie rice crackers state that they are 424 kcal per 100g.

We don’t count calories here at Eat Burn Sleep, but look at what you can eat for the same number of calories as these crackers:

 

A tray of chicken bites coated in anti-inflammatory ingredients, sprinkled with herbs

A serving of our chicken nuggets @ 200g = 310 kcals.

Two glasses with coconut yogurt and strawberries on top. Mint at the side.

A serving of our Summer Pudding, 113.2 kcals.

 

A bowl of Thai red curry with red and green vegetables.

Our Red Thai Vegetable Curry 217.4 kcal

Plus:

A glass of a chocolatey-looking protein shake made with cacao, with a red and white straw in it.

Anti-craving Chocolate Shake 92kcal

Plus:

A plate with a burger and salad on it, with a dip on the side with an orange napkin and knife and fork.

Moroccan Burger 204.4 kcal

Plus:

A bowl of salad with tomatoes, quinoa, butternut squash and other vegetables in a pink and cream bowl

Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad 268.4 kcal

 

You could use the same number of calories (or fewer!) and enjoy easily digested, genuinely healthy food that will help you lose weight and make your brain and body happy.

More importantly, look at the superpower nutrients you are putting inside your body in these quick and easy recipes:

  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin, C, D, E, K, and folate.
  • Minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, and zinc.
  • Fiber to support your gut microbiome.
  • Omega 3, the essential fatty acid that helps manage inflammation.
  • All 9 essential amino acids that your body uses as building blocks for protein.
  • Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant polyphenols from colorful plant foods.

This is why EBS members are putting their weight issues and inflammatory conditions into remission and enjoying one of life’s joys: Eating delicious food. Just like Natasa:

“Since joining the platform 3 weeks ago, I have lost 3kg, and my bloating is gone.

I have bilateral patellofemoral osteoarthritis (severe pain in both knees) and the pain is now much less. I feel like I can finally start doing movement videos that I previously couldn’t do because of my knee pain.

Also, all your recipes are so tasty. Thank you so much.”

Woman having great happy life, jumping for joy on the beach

Eating this way will fill you up and allow your body to function as it should. It will make your skin glow, your hair grow and shine, your eyes sparkle, and, without a doubt, make you feel full of joie de vivre!

Remember that when your gut is well-fed, your brain is too. Healthy gut bacteria regulate mood balance and our “happy” neurotransmitters like serotonin. Are there many diets out there that can say the same?

5. Low-calorie foods for Weight Loss Lead to Misery

Following a low-calorie diet and counting calories all the time will lead to misery.

Weight loss diets gain popularity because people do lose weight at the beginning. Any weight loss regime is the same, whether it is the keto diet, a low-carb diet, or a low-calorie diet.

But keeping the weight off is the challenge. I know because I have tried most of these diets myself. Have you read Is Ozempic a Safe Way to Treat Obesity?, The Dangers of a Vegan Keto Diet or Is The Keto Diet Good For Diabetes?

When you eat low-calorie, nutrient-poor foods, your body is not satiated. The chances are you will think about food all day long because you are starving yourself of essential nutrients that you need to survive.

When you binge because you are so hungry, your body will hold onto that binge food because it worries that you will starve again. And this is how yo-yo dieting starts. Starve and binge. Weight loss and then even more weight gain.

Over time, the chronic inflammation that comes from eating ultra-processed low-calorie foods leads to weight gain, digestive problems, anxiety, brain fog, and depression. It can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease. Packing your body full of these chemicals is making your mind and body ill.

Young Asian lady celebrating her achievement, successful in slimming

What to Eat to Lose Weight

If you are looking for weight loss that lasts, I suggest you stop counting calories and stay away from ultra-processed low-calorie foods. It doesn’t work as a weight loss strategy, and it is dangerous, unsustainable, and boring!

Instead, give your body the nourishment it needs to feel energized and shed weight – just like EBS member Helen has done:

“I shed 10 pounds (4 and a half kg) following the Six Week Reset.

I feel so much more balanced and lighter inside and out, plus some digestive issues have disappeared.

The EBS approach is considered gentle and scientifically backed. I’m actively trying to maintain my now thriving gut health ‘garden’ as much as I can, limiting the damage it does in social eating situations.

I’ve never been a great cook, but I find the recipes so easy and filling. My favorites so far are chicken nuggets, zucchini bread, and chicken sausage shakshuka.

Plus, there are options for those of us with a sweet tooth or who can’t face savory protein for breakfast, which doesn’t happen on many healthy eating plans. Thank you, Yalda!”

 

Ready to lose weight and never feel hungry again? Find out more about our membership options now.

You might also enjoy:

Why Am I Always Hungry?

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat

Is AG1 Supplement Good For You?

Make every day count in terms of health and happiness. I hope your day is full of both.

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

Author

Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

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June 16, 2024

How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Hello Everyone!

I’m sure it must be frightening to hear you have the genetic markers for Alzheimer’s disease. However, please be assured that this doesn’t automatically mean that you will develop the condition.

Why? Because you have the power to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s a bold statement, I know, but as with any inflammatory condition (which Alzheimer’s Disease is), you can use diet and lifestyle to minimize your risk of developing it.

In this article, I will tell you some facts about Alzheimer’s disease and explain how you can optimize your brain health and protect against cognitive decline.

Please share this post with anyone you know who is fearful of developing Alzheimer’s and anyone who cares for someone who has early signs of it. It might make a world of difference to their lives.

Alzheimer’s and Inflammation: The Facts

Lifestyles Drive Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer’s Disease and Gut Health

Sleep and Neuroinflammation

Movement Affects Our Brains

Stress Response and Inflammation

How Long Does Protection Against Alzheimer’s Take?

Reverse Early Onset Dementia

Alzheimer’s and Inflammation: The Facts

Let’s establish some of the facts about Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. There are an estimated 5.8 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Around 200,000 of these are under the age of 65.
  • Women are nearly twice as likely to be affected by Alzheimer’s than men.
  • The inflammation and cellular damage that leads to Alzheimer’s begins years before any symptoms appear.
  • There are many underlying causes of Alzheimer’s, which is why the search for a single drug cure will never work.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by the appearance of amyloid plaques and knots of tau protein in brain tissue. However, this type of damage occurs in healthy brains as they age and doesn’t explain why some people develop Alzheimer’s and others don’t.

Scientists then discovered that chronic inflammation in the brain drives the progression of Alzheimer’s. It seems to be this combination of chronic inflammation alongside amyloid plaques and tau protein fibers that leads to Alzheimer’s.

A close up of a bowl of chips being eaten by a lady but only her torso is seen.

Lifestyles Drive Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are more prevalent now than 100 years ago. This is because our diets and lifestyles are radically different:

  • We are exposed to more environmental toxins and chemicals in food. These toxins alter the gut microbiome and drive inflammation.
  • We do less exercise and movement.
  • We have less good quality sleep.
  • We eat junk foods that lack essential vitamins and minerals.

All these factors combine to create a state of chronic inflammation that damages brain tissue, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Gut Health

To understand the origins of Alzheimer’s we need to look at gut health. Gut bacteria have a direct effect on brain health and inflammation. What we eat affects the balance of good and bad gut bacteria and can increase our risk of inflammation in the brain.

If we choose ultra-processed foods filled with refined sugar, processed fats, and chemical additives, we are choosing to damage the gut, promote inflammation, and increase our risk of developing dementia.

If we opt for anti-inflammatory foods that provide brain-healthy nutrients, then we are choosing to nourish our gut bacteria, minimize inflammation, and protect our brains against Alzheimer’s.

Sleep and Neuroinflammation

How well we sleep influences our risk of developing neuroinflammation. Good quality sleep is vital for brain cell “housekeeping” and clearing away amyloid plaques in the brain. If you regularly get less than 7-9 hours’ sleep a night you are depriving your brain of the time it needs to do this repair work.

The Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle supports and promotes healthy sleep and we have specific advice for Insomnia. You might also like to read: What Happens If You Don’t Sleep Enough?

 

Movement Affects Our Brains

Exercise and movement stimulate blood flow and oxygen circulation to the brain. Brain cells get more nutrients and metabolic waste can be cleared away.

Our program includes a whole series of exercise and movement videos designed to improve your strength without increasing inflammation. Many regular forms of exercise are too strenuous. They spike your cortisol levels which then causes more inflammation.

Stress Response and Inflammation

Stress is a massive factor in chronic inflammation and dementia. We each have the power to reduce the effects of stress and improve our resilience. Regular relaxation is crucial for cognitive wellbeing and we have a library of guided meditations for you to enjoy.

 

How Long Does Protection Against Alzheimer’s Take?

In a matter of weeks, you can dramatically change your genetic expression and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you are as consistent as possible (I advise an 80/20 on this lifestyle), you give yourself the best protection possible.

Start the 6-Week Reset, and then follow Daily Goals and the monthly planner in the Reboot & Revive section under Lifestyle Guide to make your meals, meditations, exercises, and snacks for each day as easy as possible. Remember that the recipes are family-and-friends-friendly!

 

 

Reverse Early Onset Dementia

If you have signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or early onset dementia, you can slow the progression and dramatically change the outcome with the Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle. Give yourself proper rest, daily movement, interesting activities to stimulate your brain, and an anti-inflammatory diet, and you will give your brain the best chance to fight dementia.

My final advice is to start protecting yourself as soon as possible. Don’t live with that fear anymore. You can protect yourself against developing inflammatory conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and look and feel years younger by doing so!

Want to find out how? Look at the Eat Burn Sleep program and find out about our membership options now.

You might also like:

How Does Sleep Help With Inflammation?

Brain Food for Studying and Focus

Signs of Inflammation That May Surprise You

With love and excellent health, as always!

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

Author

Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

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May 26, 2024

Is Ozempic a Safe Way to Treat Obesity?

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are well. Today, I want to talk about the diabetes drug Ozempic. It’s one of the big social media topics at the moment because people are using it for weight loss.

However, there are significant health risks to taking prescription medicine for a health condition if you don’t have that condition and without your doctor’s approval. People are buying Ozempic from online pharmacies and unregulated websites, leading to a shortage of the drug for diabetics who desperately need it.

So let’s dive into this topic and see whether Ozempic is a safe way to treat obesity and weight loss, and what the natural alternatives are.

What is Ozempic?

Side Effects of Ozempic

Is Ozempic Dangerous for Weight Loss?

Can Ozempic Affect Fertility?

Long-Term Effects of Weight Loss Injections

Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Is Obesity a Chronic Disease?

How to Manage Obesity Naturally

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is one of the brand names for semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1)  receptor agonist. The other well-known brand name is Wegovy.

In 2017 the FDA approved the use of Ozempic as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycaemic control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes. It helps diabetics feel full and reduces their appetite but it is important to note that Ozempic isn’t approved as a weight loss medication.

On the other hand, Wegovy (also semaglutide) is approved as a weight loss drug. However, neither Ozempic nor Wegovy are designed to be used by people who only want to lose a small amount of weight.

Side Effects of Ozempic

Any doctor will tell you that medication has side effects. Doctors weigh up the pros and cons of a medication based on your medical history and the potential benefits to your health. Ozempic is only for patients with Type 2 Diabetes and must be used under medical supervision. It is not meant to be a temporary drug or for people who want to lose a few pounds.

The common side effects, according to Ozempic’s official website are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Cramping
  • Constipation

 

These side effects can kick in within hours of Type 2 diabetics starting the drug which is why the dosage is gradually increased under medical supervision.

There is also a warning about the risk of possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs like Ozempic are known to cause thyroid C-cell tumors in rodents. The manufacturers of Ozempic say that the risk of this happening in humans is as yet “undetermined” and only time will tell now that more people are using the drug.

They also warn against using Ozempic if:

  • You or anyone in your family have ever had Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2)
  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients in Ozempic. Severe hypersensitivity reactions (anaphylaxis, angioedema) have been reported in patients treated with Ozempic.

They then list even more severe potential side effects:

  • Inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Their website states that you should stop taking Ozempic if you have severe pain in your stomach, with or without vomiting. Ozempic has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis.
  • Vision changes.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Kidney problems (kidney failure). As stated on their website, there have been post-marketing reports of acute kidney injury and worsening of chronic renal failure in patients treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists. Some of these are reported in patients with no known underlying renal disease. Most reported events occurred in patients who had experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration.
  • Serious allergic reactions.
  • Gallbladder problems.

This is why you need to be under medical supervision if you take Ozempic or Wegovy. Doctors who understand the physiology of semaglutide and know your medical history should be the only people prescribing these drugs.

 

Is Ozempic Dangerous for Weight Loss?

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, the risks of taking Ozempic for weight loss are not worth it.

One final point about side effects: Medicine.gov lists all of the precautions about semaglutide, the ingredient in Ozempic, and has added:

You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways, and you may become suicidal while you are using semaglutide injections for weight loss.

Why put your health at such serious risk when there are easier ways to lose weight? Also, when you stop using the drug, the weight piles back on. It is not a long-lasting, sustainable solution.

To achieve lasting, healthy weight loss results, you need to abandon the idea of a “magic pill” and embrace holistic health.

Weight loss isn’t just a simple matter of cutting calories. It requires knowing what to eat, how to move, and how to deal with negative thoughts that sabotage your weight loss efforts.

This is what the Eat Burn Sleep platform is about. We have food lists, meal plans, movement videos, guided meditations, health Masterclasses, and more, all designed to support you on your weight loss journey.

 

Can Ozempic Affect Fertility?

No one knows yet if Ozempic affects human fertility or pregnancy, but the manufacturers advise stopping the drug two months before a planned pregnancy.

Animal studies reveal why. In a combined fertility and embryo development study using rats, small doses were given to male and female rats before mating. The offspring had reduced growth and fetal abnormalities in heart and blood vessels, cranial bones, vertebrae, and ribs. In studies using rabbits, pregnant rabbits experienced early pregnancy losses along with increased fetal kidney, liver, and skeletal abnormalities.

 

Long-Term Effects of Weight Loss Injections

Your doctor will advise you about all the effects of weight loss injections.

Studies show that stopping weight loss drugs, injections, and other weight loss regimes will likely lead to regaining weight within a few months. It stops intuitive eating, so you do not know when to eat and when you are full, which also affects other areas of your health, like sleep.

 

Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Yes! Not getting enough good quality sleep will hamper weight loss. Sleep is essential for your body to regulate hunger hormones and appetite. Lack of sleep makes you prone to cravings, overeating, and fatigue. I talk about this topic more in Weight Loss & The Link to Sleep.

 

Is Obesity a Chronic Disease?

Obesity is a chronic inflammatory condition that can be managed naturally and safely without injections and extreme weight loss regimes. Millions of people struggle with obesity because of highly addictive ultra-processed foods that promote weight gain and inflammation. It takes more than an injectable drug to deal with this issue, which is why we have so many weight loss success stories here at Eat Burn Sleep.

Weight loss can occur quickly on EBS – and it lasts. The only side effects are more energy, comfortable digestion, no cravings, and excellent mental well-being! This is why our program is used and recommended by doctors and medical professionals all over the world.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out our members’ reviews from people like Kirstin:

“The movement videos really help my energy levels. My immune system has improved, less of the dreaded colds.

Working with young kids I’m constantly surrounded but I’ve been on top form the last year and fought off anything relatively quickly.

Gobsmacked at how quickly I got pregnant as I wasn’t even sure it was even possible.

My skin is clear and fresh not to mention the weight loss of 15kg and rediscovering my wardrobe! My mental health has improved too!”

 

How to Manage Obesity Naturally

Optimum gut health is the foundation of the EBS approach. It is essential for weight loss because the microbes in your gut regulate appetite and weight balance. Gut microbes can be modulated positively or negatively by different lifestyle and dietary factors and can even ‘turn off’ any hereditary links to obesity (Cuevas-Sierra et al., 2019).

Our food lists and meal plans are designed to nourish your gut flora and keep you energized and satisfied. Snack options are included if you want to snack but the meals are so filling you probably won’t want to!

Try these recipes that aid weight loss (when eaten as part of a varied anti-inflammatory diet, daily): Egg Muffins: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots & Chives, Paleo Energy Bars, and Chicken Tagine With Preserved Lemons.

You will be amazed at the transformation!

Take a look at the program and check out our membership options now.

You may also want to read:

Why Am I Always Hungry?

How to Lose Weight For and During Holidays

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

As always, I wish you excellent health and a wonderful day!

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

Author

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April 14, 2024

Is Stress Always Bad For Your Health?

When you hear the word “stress” do you think it’s good or bad? I believe most people think of stress as bad. And this makes sense, given that we talk about feeling stressed when we’re tense, angry, and frustrated. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are different types of stress. So, is stress always bad for your health or are there some benefits?

Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress

It was Dr Hans Selye who first identified the negative effects of bad stress on the body. He identified 3 distinct stages of stress (Tan and Yip, 2018):

1. The alarm stage: Your initial response to a stressful situation.

2. Resistance phase: Your body attempts to adapt to being under stress by maintaining elevated levels of stress hormones.

3. Exhaustion: You exceed your capacity to cope with the stress and reach burnout.

Many of the clients I see for executive nutrition coaching are in the resistance phase or the exhaustion phase. They have been under a great deal of negative stress for a long time and simply don’t have the resources to keep going anymore.

However, at the other end of the scale is eustress or good stress. This is the kind of short-term stress that provides a sense of achievement, growth, or fulfillment.

Eustress is the buzz you get when you achieve something significant and challenging like completing a new work project or mastering a new skill. Regular bouts of positive stress keep you alert, motivated, and interested in life.

woman at top of mountain

Stress, Immunity, and Inflammation

Stress hormones like cortisol interact with your immune system and inflammatory processes.

In the short term, positive stress can help to keep your immune system working efficiently. The “fight or flight” response that kicks in when we encounter stress is designed to help us survive. Small amounts of short-term stress prime the immune response and help you fight invading pathogens effectively (Dhabhar, 2014). And the little bit of oxidative stress that occurs during this response is dealt with before it causes too much inflammatory damage.

Problems arise when stress becomes negative and long-lasting. Scientists estimate that 75-90% of human diseases are linked to stress, with stress-induced inflammation being the root cause of many of these conditions (Liu, 2017).

Chronic stress can increase your risk of:

 

What Turns Good Stress Into Bad Stress?

We all respond to stress differently and have a unique capacity to cope. What feels like negative stress for one person may be a positive thrill for another, and vice versa.

In general, though, good stress starts to become harmful when it is prolonged and you don’t give yourself the right resources to cope with it. The resources we need to manage long-term stress are rest, good quality sleep, regular daily movement, relaxation, and of course, the right kinds of foods.

woman doing exercise

How to Stop Bad Stress From Ruining Your Health

If you’re dealing with ongoing stress, it is important to pay attention to these resources.

Here on the EBS platform, we have all the resources you need to prevent the negative effects of stress:

  • Movement videos help you stay fit, strong, and active without intensely stressing your body.
  • Guided meditations to help you relax, rest, and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Health Masterclasses that offer support for specific conditions.
  • Videos explaining key health concepts and nutrition trends.
  • Meal plans, food lists, and recipes are designed to nourish your energy levels, mental well-being, hormone health, and resilience to stress.

woman preparing a meal in the kitchen

Following a holistic anti-inflammatory lifestyle like the Eat Burn Sleep approach is the best option for building resilience to stress. Our members see fantastic results with their health and feel empowered by the wealth of information available on the platform.

This is what EBS Member Mahget has to say:

I follow your EBS platform, and if anyone is undecided, jump in.

Just do it.

I read all labels now, and when you think something is too good to be true, it usually is, especially when the ingredients list ends with emulsifiers, gums, and all the things that cause inflammation. We tend to trust people in white coats or athletes, but clearly, they are being paid to support something that is not good for us.

The Eat Burn Sleep platform educates us on what is good and what is not.

Thank you, Yalda, your EBS approach is spot on.

 

Don’t let the negative effects of bad stress destroy your health. Explore our membership options here and discover how to create the diet and lifestyle you need to stay strong and resilient.

Find out more about the benefits of the EBS lifestyle approach in these podcast episodes and articles:

Podcast – Using Sounds to Calm Your Mind

Podcast – Unstressable

Depression, Anxiety, and Gut Health

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

 

With love,

Yalda x

 

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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May 12, 2024

Signs of Inflammation
That May Surprise You

Hello Everyone,

I am often asked about the signs of inflammation and how to tell if it’s a problem. But honestly, chronic inflammation will express itself differently for each of us! This is because we have a unique genetic makeup that influences our health.

However, there are some common signs of inflammation to look out for, some of which will surprise you.

 

What are the signs of chronic inflammation?

Digestive System

 

Cognitive function

 

Joints, muscles, and skin

  • Skin rashes
  • Acne
  • Joint pains
  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen ankles and fingers
  • Puffy legs
  • Mouth sores
  • Dark circles around your eyes
  • Puffy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Melasma

 

General Health

 

This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gives you an idea of how many different ways chronic inflammation can appear in your body.

Should I Be Tested For Inflammation?

In some cases, your doctor or healthcare practitioner may run blood or stool tests to check for inflammatory markers. The most commonly tested marker in your blood is CRP – C-Reactive protein. Elevated levels of CRP indicate acute inflammation in your system.

However, CRP levels do not give the whole picture and you can still have chronic inflammation even if your levels are within the normal range.

What Causes Chronic Inflammation?

It’s easy to get attached to the name of a disease and what medicines you can take to deal with it rather than thinking about the underlying cause. So many people get rid of their health issues on the Eat Burn Sleep program because it deals with the underlying cause.

When we talk about chronic inflammation we are looking at two main underlying causes: diet and lifestyle.

Yes, genetics play a role too. But even if you carry a genetic predisposition for an inflammatory condition, it is your diet and lifestyle that switches on those genes.

 

Diet, Lifestyle, and Chronic Inflammation

Diet is a major underlying cause of chronic inflammation because of the number of Ultra Processed Foods and Drinks (UPFDs) available now. These foods and drinks are high in refined sugars, industrially processed oils, artificial sweeteners, additives, and emulsifiers. They lack fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They aren’t real food; they are the products of a chemistry lab! And we as humans are not designed to thrive on such things.

Lifestyle is the other major underlying cause. We have become reliant on smartphones and screens that disrupt our sleep. Millions of people are dealing with high levels of stress. And we move our bodies far less than we need to.

A sedentary lifestyle is strongly linked with chronic inflammation and is known to increase your risk of developing serious conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The same goes for stress too. Ongoing stress disturbs gut health, immunity, brain function, and cellular repair, opening the door to weight gain and chronic inflammation.

 

Eat Burn Sleep – The Power of an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle

Living a low-inflammation lifestyle protects you from disease and helps you recover from illness and surgery more efficiently.

The Eat Burn Sleep approach is more than just an anti-inflammatory diet. It is a complete 360-degree platform of inflammation-reducing tools.

The program includes:

  • Food plans
  • Recipes
  • Guided meditations
  • Movement videos
  • Health masterclasses, and more.

 

It is a program that works. We have countless testimonials from EBS members who have had an inflammatory condition, followed the program, and then returned to see their doctor who is astounded at the results.

Take Natasa, who saw incredible results after only 3 weeks on the program:

“Since joining the platform 3 weeks ago, I have lost 3kg, and my bloating is gone.

I have bilateral patellofemoral osteoarthritis (severe pain in both knees) and the pain is now much less. I feel like I can finally start doing movement videos that previously I couldn’t do because of my knee pain. Also, all your recipes are so tasty.

Thank you so much.”

I am passionate about helping people live healthier, happier lives, so you can imagine how it feels when testimonials like this come in!

How does the program work?

I always suggest that people start with the 6-week Reset. This is designed to optimize your gut microbiota and liver function. It takes just 42 days to feel incredible before you carry your anti-inflammatory lifestyle forward with all the tools that you need.

The program is all about moderation and enjoying life – not deprivation and restriction. It’s about damage limitation, not perfection! With the health education Eat Burn Sleep provides, people make better choices for themselves and their families – promoting healthier lives for all ages.

Want to find out more? Enjoy a sneak peek into the program and find out more about our membership options now.

You might also like:

How Does Sleep Help With Inflammation?

Heart Health: Do You Have a Heart-healthy Lifestyle?

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With love,

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

Author

Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

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