“Going anti-inflammatory doesn’t sound the least bit sexy until I tell you inflammation is making you hold on to those last 10 pounds,” I told a Dr. Oz audience a few years ago. “Then you’re going to pay attention.”
I wasn’t exaggerating. Inflammation stalls fat loss and creates weight loss resistance in many ways, including insulin resistance, low energy, fluid retention, and digestive problems. Inflammation also contributes to nearly every disease on the planet.
Now, inflammation isn’t always bad. It's a necessary by-product of any intense immune response, rushing a cascade of healing and protective chemicals to the site to help your system heal.Think about cutting your finger. Your body immediately goes into action to seal up that wound and initiates healing. That's called “acute inflammation.”
But inflammation should do its job and then leave. When it sticks around longer than needed to heal an injury or infection – also called chronic inflammation – big problems can result. Inflammation is at play in conditions like arthritis, allergies and asthma, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, and type 2 diabetes, as well as common skin issues like acne and rosacea.
Diet has a huge role here. Inflammation can occur when a highly reactive food triggers an immune reaction, and your digestive tract becomes inflamed.
Eating dairy, gluten, and other highly reactive foods means you’re likely to suffer from chronic low-grade inflammation, with all its resulting problems. A high-sugar impact diet can also cause chronic inflammation, as well as the inflammatory fats and oils that permeate the standard American diet.
If your goal is to be the best fat burner, keep your immune system humming, and create amazing overall health, reducing inflammation should land tops on your to-do list.
These 9 strategies can help you dial down inflammation so it doesn’t derail your weight loss efforts or your quality of life.
- Make an oil change. Dump the inflammatory vegetable oils for olive oil (sautéing), coconut oil or ghee (medium-heat cooking), or walnut oil (raw).
- Make breakfast a protein shake. Load your shake with All-in-One Shake and anti-inflammatory favorites like unsweetened coconut milk, freshly ground flaxseed, chia seeds, avocado, frozen raspberries (unless you’re in cycle 2 of the Sugar Impact Diet), and leafy greens like kale.
- Eat more fat. Load up on healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Quality matters here: grass-fed and wild meats are much higher in anti-inflammatory fats than their inferior grain-fed versions. Learn how to get more healthy fats HERE.
- Go low-sugar impact. Sweet and starchy foods raise blood sugar, increasing insulin and spiking inflammation. They’re just bad news all-around. Use the Sugar Impact Diet plan to gradually cut inflammatory sugars without the withdrawal and other miseries going cold turkey can create.
- No more GMOs! Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) disrupt your healthy gut flora, trigger an immune response, and create inflammation. Whenever possible, buy organic and look for no-GMO labels.
- Address food intolerances. Those include soy, dairy, gluten, eggs, corn, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, which trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation. Learn more about food intolerances here.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep loss fuels inflammation by raising levels of stress hormones like cortisol. (Find out more here.) If you struggle to fall or stay asleep, try Sleep Candy™ for a safe, natural blend of sleep-inducing nutrients that's never habit-forming.
- Curb stress. Studies show chronic stress fuels inflammation, contributing not only to metabolic and vascular disease, but also to many autoimmune diseases. Address your stress with yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or just walking your terrier around the block. Learn more about how to stop stress in its tracks in this podcast.
- Take this anti-inflammatory supplement. Omega-3s have been proven to fight systemic inflammation and boost brain and heart health. Omega Ultras delivers an impressive 1,000 mg of anti-inflammatory omega- 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in just one easy-to-swallow softgel. You can only get it here.
Craving something sweet? My Sweet Treats Guide has 15 delicious, guilt-free recipes (hello, brownies!) that are free of food intolerances that can create inflammation. Get your guide FREE here.
The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.