If you know me, you know I am always trying to get to the underbelly of weight gain.
After 11 years of research, I'm a convinced that for most people battling their weight, the weight isn't actually the problem.
Stubborn weight is a symptom of an underlying problem.
And it is my goal to help you know what those possible root causes are so you can be empowered to transform your body and health without resorting to starving yourself.
And one of those potential root causes is inflammation.
Vaguely speaking, inflammation is the body's immune response to an irritant. Acute inflammation is a necessary part of your body's short-term response to injury, stress, and infection.
However when it becomes chronic, it becomes the underlying mechanism for the development of virtually all ailments including (but definitely not limited to) cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, Alzheimer's, hypothyroidism, and a host of other chronic health conditions.
How does it impact your weight?? Let me count the ways...
It can interfere with your body's response to leptin (the hormone that tells you when you're full), it can damage the gut which can negatively impact your metabolism, and it can cause insulin resistance.
So knowing that, how do we reduce inflammation, feel better, and get those annoying pounds off??
There is a big connection between the vagus nerve and immune function, largely due to its connection to the gut.
In fact, activation of this nerve has been shown to have a direct impact on inflammatory conditions.
Here are some ways to stimulate your vagus nerve: cold exposure, gargling, singing, humming, om's, yoga, and meditation.
You'll want to limit refined carbs, fried foods, soda, non-organic meat, processed meats (think lunch meats and bacon), margarine/shortening, artificial sweeteners/colors/additives, GMO's, and pesticides.
Add in things like dark leafy greens, berries, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, wild caught salmon, tomatoes, cherries, mushrooms, lentils, kale, dark chocolate/cacao, broccoli, grapes, bell peppers, and chia seeds.
This is a short list of some of the most anti-inflammatory foods but basically a mediterranean diet filled with plants, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, wild fish, and olive oil is a safe bet to lead an anti-inflammatory life.
If you're interested in diving deeper into the mediterranean lifestyle, click here to listen to episode 115 of the podcast!
"A 2020 study in the journal Gut showed that a Mediterranean diet reduces inflammation in the body by changing your gut microbiome, or the types of bacteria that live in your digestive system." -Dr. Uma Naidoo
Remember, inflammation is an immune response and 70% of your immune system is in your gut. So if your gut is dysfunctional, your immune system and inflammation levels will be too.
Want to learn how to optimize your gut not only to improve your inflammation and support your health, but also to make weight loss a hell of a lot easier?
"The excess of macronutrients in the adipose tissues stimulates them to release inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6, and reduces production of adiponectin, predisposing to a pro-inflammatory state and oxidative stress." -National Library of Medicine
Basically, that's a lot of science-speak for 'excess fat stores cause an increase in inflammation.'
In fact this inflammatory response to excess fat is why obesity is a risk factor for so many other diseases.
Stress causes the release of proteins called cytokines that are responsible for regulating the immune system. There are pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and unfortunately, stress stimulates the former.
"During sleep, blood pressure drops and blood vessels relax. When sleep is restricted, blood pressure doesn't decline as it should, which could trigger cells in blood vessel walls that activate inflammation. A lack of sleep might also alter the body's stress response system." - Harvard Health
Senescent cells (also referred to as 'zombie cells') are cells that stop dividing but they don't actually die. Over time, they build up in tissues throughout the body and cause chronic inflammation.
Unfortunately when our body is constantly processing food, it isn't able to process out those cells.
Which is one of the reasons fasting is considered such a good anti-aging technique, because it gives your body a chance to do that internal 'clean up' and reduce the oxidative stress that is a main culprit of aging.
With that in mind, we can (especially as women) go overboard with fasting and really screw up our hormones and further stress out the body in other ways. So you want to stick to a 12-14 hour window, MAX.
Feeling overwhelmed about implementing all of these steps on your own?
Then I want to invite you into the next round of Follow Your Gut where I'm going to guide you step-by-step through my FYG process to help you lose weight easier by working with your body, reduce cravings, improve your relationship with food, and more.
And the best part is, I break it down over 8 weeks to make sure you never feel overwhelmed or confused, and to make sure the habits you implement actually last.
Next round begins next week, click here to apply before spots run out!
Ready to say goodbye to stubborn weight, uncontrollable cravings, emotional eating, and tummy 'fluff'? Click here to get on the waitlist for Follow Your Gut!!
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The information shared in this blog and podcast are intended for informational purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions and you should always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.