You’ve probably counted calories, fat grams, and carbs to lose weight. Most weight loss models are built around the concept of limiting calories and creating a deficit so that you can lose weight.
But science has unveiled a new way to lose weight that works to reduce inflammation in your individual cells. By doing this, you can lose weight, prevent disease, and even look younger than you ever imagined.
What Is Inflammation?
When you eat foods that are high in refined sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats, your body sees them as toxins. This triggers your liver to produce chemicals that cause inflammation. This is a normal process for the body when it’s exposed to toxins. Unfortunately, when your diet is filled with toxins, this response can become chronic. It isn’t meant to go on and on daily.
When your cells are inflamed, they can’t take in nutrients as well, so you feel tired, hungry, and have a lot of cravings. This can then cause you to eat the very types of foods that you need to avoid. The hormone cortisol is also connected to inflammation. This is a hormone that’s produced when you’re experiencing stress. It’s part of the fight or flight response that’s beneficial to the body in times of acute stress.
However, chronic stress can cause cortisol levels to become too high, which leads to inflammation and aging of the body. If you’re experiencing high levels of inflammation on a chronic basis, it can have serious consequences for your health.
Effects of Inflammation
Inflammation can cause your body to have many health problems. One of the first things you may notice outwardly is that you accumulate more belly fat. That’s because cortisol triggers fat to be stored in this part of the body. When you’re eating a lot of foods that are considered toxins by your body, the liver has to fight those foods. It often stores toxins in fat cells in order to neutralize them and keep the rest of your body safe.
If you’re overweight, chances are it’s a result of these toxins that are being stored in fat cells. No amount of exercise or deprivation dieting is going to help you get rid of this particular fat. But the good news is, you can reverse the inflammation. Inflammation also causes you to have a higher risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and diabetes. It also causes your skin to develop wrinkles earlier and causes you to age faster.
If you’re ready to reverse the inflammation that’s causing you to feel fat and is putting you at risk for disease, it’s time to take some simple steps toward healing and weight loss.
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid for Cellular Weight Loss
There are many foods that can cause you to have higher levels of inflammation. These are usually foods that are more processed. Take a look at the greatest offenders that you may be eating. Foods baked with white flour are at the top of the list of foods causing inflammation. White flour causes a spike in your blood sugar, which leads to problems with high insulin and inflammation.
Foods in this category typically include cookies, cakes, breads, pastas, and items that are breaded and fried. These foods were once eaten sparingly, but have become more and more common in the Western diet. Refined sugar causes inflammation. There are many foods that contain refined sugars, but one of the worst offenders is soda. Soda is basically liquid sugar. When you drink it, you’re getting sugar in very high amounts.
Sodas also contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that are seen by the body as toxic. This leads to an inflammation response. It’s best to avoid soda completely in order to reverse inflammation. Fried foods are notoriously full of saturated fats. These are the fats that clog your arteries and cause you to have heart trouble. They also cause an inflammatory response in your body.
When you eat a lot of deep fried foods, you increase your inflammation. Not only are you getting extra calories from fat, but you’re also causing your body to store more fat related to toxins. Trans fat is a man-made fat that comes from taking unsaturated fats and converting them to a solid by adding hydrogen to them. This was once the main type of fat in most margarines and shortenings.
Unfortunately, this fat is worse than saturated fat when it comes to the inflammatory response. Recent research has revealed that it’s worse for heart disease as well as inflammation. As a result, many food companies have stopped using it. But you still need to check labels and look for any “hydrogenated” oil. Avoid anything that contains that ingredient. Trans fat is also required to be listed on labels in the US.
Refined sugar is a chemical that causes the body to go into an inflammatory response. It causes spikes in insulin and causes the immune system to work overtime. Unfortunately, sugar is one of the most prevalent ingredients in the foods we eat. It can be hidden in items you wouldn’t expect to find it. Make sure that you check labels and avoid sugar as much as possible.
Artificial preservatives are often found in boxed and canned foods to extend their shelf life. Eating processed foods that contain artificial preservatives, such as MSG, can lead to inflammation.
Make sure you read the labels on your food. In general, avoid food with ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. This is a red flag that they’re full of chemicals that could be leading to inflammation and weight gain.
Foods That Reduce Inflammation
While there are foods that cause inflammation, there are also many foods that help reduce it and allow you to have better digestion, more nutrition, look younger, and take off extra pounds.
Berries are full of antioxidants that help your body reduce inflammation and will help lower your risk of disease. They’re also wonderful additions to a weight loss program. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all great choices. Pomegranates are also high in antioxidants and can be found in many berry mixes. These berries are best in the summer, but you can substitute frozen all year.
Salmon is a fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids. Many research studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce cellular inflammation. When the inflammation is calmed, you can start to drop the weight.
Fish – such as anchovies, sardines, and mackerel – are also good choices if you don’t like salmon. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids as well. Scientists recommend that you eat two servings of fish each week.
Green tea has become popular for its antioxidants and flavonoids. Drinking green tea can help you to lose weight, reduce your risk of disease, and is a great alternative to coffee.
Olive oil is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s the perfect oil for cooking just about any type of foods. Plus, your body can use the chemicals in the oil to make anti-inflammatory molecules inside it. Olive oil helps lower your bad cholesterol and can reduce the risk of arthritis and other inflammatory illnesses. This is one of the best cooking oils you can use and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Leafy green such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens are full of anti-oxidants. You can eat them in salads, cooked in dishes, or enjoy them blended in a smoothie. Leafy greens are high in iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber – making them a super food when it comes to your health and managing your weight. Eating leafy greens daily will make a big difference in your state of inflammation.
Sweet potatoes are simple foods that have complex nutrition. They’re full of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. All of these antioxidants help you reduce inflammation in the body. It’s important that you don’t take away the nutritional value by frying them in saturated fats. Instead, roast them, bake them, or sauté them in olive oil. Also, make sure you eat the skin that provides the most nutrition.
Nuts – including walnuts, almonds, pecans, and macadamia nuts – are full of healthy fats and antioxidants. Grabbing a handful of nuts between meals is the perfect way to snack your way toward weight loss and wellness. They’re high in calories, though, so you still have to watch your portions with these delicious foods.
Garlic, spices, and herbs are treasures that can help any meal taste better, but they’re also full of antioxidants. Garlic can be eaten daily to reduce inflammation and help you lose weight and get healthy.
Some wonderful herbs include:
When it comes to spices, you can’t go wrong with cinnamon. It’s recommended that you eat at least one teaspoon of cinnamon each day for optimum health. You can also purchase capsules if you don’t enjoy the flavor.
Living an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle
You can get rid of most of the foods that are inflammatory by avoiding processed foods. These often contain refined flour, refined sugar, and artificial ingredients that can lead to inflammation.
Choosing to eat as many whole foods as possible will help you reduce inflammation. Over time, your body will shut down the inflammatory process and you’ll actually begin to heal.
Human growth hormone will be produced to help restore damage and help you look and feel younger. Without having to count calories or measure every bite of food that you eat, you’ll be able to enjoy weight loss.
This is especially true if you’re experiencing a lot of weight gain in the area of your belly. You’ll notice that your abdomen gets leaner and weight literally just falls off of you.
And you’ll be reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and other diseases linked to inflammation. In addition to your diet, you also want to watch some other lifestyle elements.
For example, it’s important to reduce stress as much as possible because it can be just as damaging to the body as a diet high in inflammatory ingredients. Taking time to manage stress through relaxation, exercise, and even meditation can help a great deal.
You also need to make sure you get enough sleep each night. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces cortisol to help you deal with the stress on your body. This leads to inflammation.
Through a healthy diet, moderate exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep, you can lower your body’s inflammatory response and lose weight. Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll have more energy and you’ll look younger than ever.
There’s no need to deprive your body of calories or to live at the gym to lose weight. Of course, it’s okay to have an occasional treat that includes an inflammatory food.
Overall, though, you want most of your nutrition to come from foods that are full of antioxidants and will help you reduce inflammation in your cells. Make sure that you start checking labels and avoid foods that are making you fat and sick.