Gut Health Blog

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

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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Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

Is an anti-inflammatory diet good for weight loss?

May 19, 2024

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

Hi Everyone!

How can I flatten my tummy? I get asked this question a lot, and I’m pleased to say that my answer never fails!

Every week, I receive testimonials from members saying they cannot believe their weight loss and the difference in their body shape. This is why I’m writing this article about how you can lose belly fat quickly and get a flat tummy.

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat and Flatten Your Tummy

What Exercise Should You Do Every Day to Lose Belly Fat?

How To Flatten Your Tummy Quickly

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat and Flatten Your Tummy

Before we dive into the exercises, I need to explain the different types of fat we all have. There are two main types:

Subcutaneous fat is the fat lying just underneath your skin. It is usually harmless and helps regulate body temperature and protect your bones from injury.

Visceral fat lies much deeper in your abdominal cavity. It can build up around your stomach, liver, kidneys, intestines, and inside your arteries. This type of fat behaves in a different way to subcutaneous fat. It releases pro-inflammatory chemicals and hormones, increasing your risk of systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, Type-II diabetes, and heart disease.

Women who have had children are more prone to visceral belly fat than women who haven’t. And when a woman reaches menopause, the drop in estrogen encourages more fat deposition in the belly area – regardless of whether you have had kids or not.

However, both men and women of all ages can reduce the risk of visceral fat build-up by eating foods that do not contribute to belly fat (and some of it is surprising) while doing exercises to strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles.

The key here is consistency. If you want to see positive results, you have to build healthy habits that last.

Trends in exercises and exercise machines for losing belly fat and flattening your tummy come and go. They are not all good for your body. Many trendy exercises can inflame your body, increasing your risk of disease. And some exercises may be fine when you are young but less suitable as you age. For example, I was a runner until my physiotherapist put me off by asking if I wanted joint and bladder issues!

 

What Exercise Should You Do Every Day to Lose Belly Fat?

Forcing yourself through a grueling exercise routine for an hour every day to lose belly fat isn’t as effective as any gentle movements in the movements section.

Prolonged, intensive exercise has other drawbacks too. Some studies show that high-intensity exercise releases endorphins linked to increased negative feelings and pain. This could be one of the reasons why many people dread this sort of daily exercise and quickly abandon it.

To reduce belly fat and focus on flattening your tummy, start the 6 Week Reset as soon as you can and do these exercises every day:

19-minute Stretch For Digestive Issues

19-minute Core Fire & Body Strength

22-minute Glutes & Core

25-minute Bloat & Digestion

31-minute Powerful Core & Glutes

34-minute Arms, Abs & Glutes

26-minute Yoga & Pilates

I recommend measuring yourself today and again next week to see the difference!

If you do this you cannot go wrong in your quest to reduce belly fat and flatten your tummy.

These powerful movements are easy to follow but do not have you breaking into hot sweats. They are not jarring to your joints and bones so there is no risk of creating future joint issues. Check out the ones with meditations. They are so nourishing to the mind, body, and soul.

How To Flatten Your Tummy Quickly

Start the 6-Week Reset as soon as possible, like today. The 6-week Reset tells you what to eat each day and when to incorporate the exercises and meditation practices. Our Red List of foods identifies the foods that contribute to belly fat. Stick with the Green List foods, with occasional treats from the Orange List and you will be successful!

Follow the daily movement plans and focus on the exercises that develop core strength and tone your abdominal muscles. Get out for a walk as often as you can too. Walking complements the EBS lifestyle, helping you reduce belly fat and gain muscle. I love walking, and I share my reasons why in this article: 10 Reasons to Walk.

Even a 12-minute Morning Wake-up will do wonders to get you started. As long as you enjoy plenty of the anti-inflammatory foods and drinks listed in the Lifestyle Guide, you will never be hungry.

Sleep and Weight Loss

Remember that you will also sleep better when you follow the Eat Burn Sleep program. Good quality sleep is crucial for healthy weight balance and there are many studies to prove this.  Overall, adults who have 7- 8 hours of good quality sleep a night have less visceral belly fat than someone who only has 5 hours or less.

Read more about it in this post: Weight Loss & the Link to Sleep.

You can age well and have a flat tummy. And it’s never too late to start working toward this. Weight gain can be safely turned around with the right foods, movement, and relaxation. I do all of the above and am in the best shape ever. I don’t do anything extra!

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out our members’ reviews from people like Ingrid, Selima, and Julie…

“EBS not only helped me mentally, but it also gave me the push I needed to finally take control of my drinking. I used to love a drink at the end of a busy day, but it got so easily out of hand for me and I felt so well by following the lifestyle that I decided I didn’t need to do it anymore. That was last June and I’ve never felt better.

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.” Ingrid

I can’t thank you enough for all the goodness you’ve brought to my life. Feeling so good after a three-year burnout and three kids, thanks to your food and motivational insights. Plus, 10 kilos down with very little effort postpartum!

Thank you!!!” Selima

“I am so impressed with what the EBS lifestyle has done for my body. My husband, family, and friends have all noticed as well. Nearly 5 months later and weighing a healthy 12lbs less than when I started, I love it!” Julie

 

Do you want results like these? Get started on your flat belly TODAY! Take a look at the program and check out our membership options now.

Once you’ve joined, you can catch the Masterclass Lives on How to Stay Fit Beyond 35, Perimenopause & Menopause Weight Loss, How to Get Rid of Cravings and Emotional Eating.

You might also enjoy:

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

How Much Does Inflammation Affect Weight Loss?

Is AG1 Supplement Good For You?

 

With love for your weight loss journey,

Yalda x

Yalda Alaoui

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

How Much Does Inflammation Affect Weight Loss?

Is Ozempic a Safe Way to Treat Obesity?

Is AG1 Supplement Good for You?

March 31, 2024

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

You’ve probably heard of cortisol, the main stress hormone, but do you know how it affects your body? This powerful chemical messenger influences everything from digestion and mental health to sleep and immunity. But does cortisol cause weight gain? And how can you best manage this?

What Cortisol Does to Your Body

Cortisol is released from your adrenal glands whenever you are under stress. The stress we encounter nowadays is very different from what we experienced millions of years ago. Back then, it was woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers giving us stress! Now, we feel stressed out by busy traffic, credit card debt, and an overflowing inbox.

However, the effect of stress on the body is the same. Your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and you move into the “fight, flight, or freeze” response, which is part of the sympathetic nervous system.

Cortisol has several main actions:

  • Raises blood sugar levels by breaking down sugar stores in the liver and muscles.
  • Breaks down fatty acids and proteins for energy.
  • Raises blood pressure.
  • Diverts blood away from the digestive system so that more blood and oxygen are available to large muscles in the limbs to help you fight or flee from the source of stress.

 

In the short term, these actions help you deal with an immediate danger. However, modern forms of stress are chronic and not easily dealt with. Instead, your body remains in a state of near-permanent fight or flight, with chronically elevated cortisol levels.

 

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?

One of the key signs of dysregulated cortisol levels is weight gain around the belly area. This is because cortisol promotes the growth and differentiation of fat cells. Visceral fat cells that lie deep within your abdominal cavity are much more sensitive to cortisol than fat cells that lie just beneath the skin (Duclos et al, 2012). So, higher cortisol levels encourage the fat cells in your belly and abdomen to grow much larger.

Chronically elevated cortisol also interferes with the delicate balance of thyroid hormone activity. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and play an important role in weight management. Thyroid dysregulation can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight.

Signs and Symptoms of High Cortisol

Some of the common signs of chronically elevated cortisol include:

Weight gain around the belly area.

Fatigue.

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Lowered immune response.

Gut problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bloating, indigestion, wind, constipation, and diarrhea.

Headaches and migraine.

High blood pressure (hypertension).

Muscle tension.

Brain fog, poor memory, and poor concentration.

 

How To Get Rid of Cortisol Weight Gain

To get rid of cortisol-induced weight gain, you need to work on your diet and lifestyle. Just changing your diet alone will not be enough if you continue to feel stressed by work, family, finances, or other factors. You probably can’t make these problems disappear – most of us have to live with a certain degree of stress! – but you can change how you respond to them.

The Eat Burn Sleep program will help you build resilience to stress and achieve a healthy weight balance.

The meal plans, recipes, and food lists are designed to support blood sugar regulation and hormone health. These foods help you avoid blood sugar crashes (another form of stress!) and provide a balance of protein, fat, and the right kinds of carbohydrate to keep you energized between meals.

Our meditation guides for morning and night help you switch from the sympathetic nervous system into the parasympathetic response. This side of your nervous system promotes healing and repair and the release of calming mood chemicals.

Plus, our workout sessions help you stay strong and flexible without stressing your system and triggering more cortisol. It is important to keep active but exercising too intensely is another form of stress that must be avoided.

 

This is what EBS member Sharon has to say about our program:

I feel the best in years, with a flat tummy and much less with bloating. I try to follow the program as much as possible and when socializing, I enjoy a few treats, then get back on the green food list.

I’m slimmer around my middle and have a lot of energy. My joints feel so much better. I can tell I have less inflammation in my body.

The workouts are great, and because they are short, I can always fit them into my day.

I will be subscribing for another year in May, thanks Yalda for all your work, in helping yourself, you are now helping so many people.

 

Would you like to experience the same benefits as Sharon?

Now is the time to take control of stress, lose weight, and strengthen your resilience. Check out what’s on offer in our membership options here and begin your journey to optimum health.

 

You might also like to tune into these podcast episodes:

Using Sounds to Calm Your Mind

Unstressable

 

And dive into these articles:

Heart Health: Do You Have a Heart Healthy Lifestyle?

Depression, Anxiety, and Gut Health

 

Wishing you peace and calm,

Yalda x

 

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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