Most people are unaware of the relationship between inflammation, diet, and excess fat. We are led to believe joint pain comes from being overweight, but most people know someone who is thin but experiences problems like chronic pain, fatigue, and brain fog. These are all related to what we eat, and inflammation is a key contributor to problems associated with obesity.
What we eat impacts inflammation in our bodies, which, in turn, impacts our overall activity and wellbeing. Inflammation has been linked directly to sugar intake–one of the most insidious roots of today’s obesity epidemic.
Dr. Mark Hyman, considered a leader in this discussion of inflammation and its impact on our health, is known for saying, “food isn’t like medicine, it is medicine.” Hyman helps us focus on what weight management should be all about: health.
Good weight loss protocols prioritize body health over body size. Many popular diets focus exclusively on size, shape, weight, calories, and pounds without making overall health the primary goal.
On many pop-diet programs, dieters find themselves living for (and obsessing about) cheats, treats, and indulgences. None of these programs adequately address inflammation. Those cheats, treats, and indulgences increase inflammation, which, if left unaddressed, will prevent you from experiencing sustainable health. It’s ironic, then, that properly designed ketogenic protocols–most known for rapid results on the scale–help people move towards overall health by lowering inflammation while retraining people to fuel their bodies with better balance.
Results of Inflammation
Consider how many symptoms of inflammation you might be experiencing: arthritis, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, allergies, eczema, psoriasis, autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, depression, and forms of attention deficit disorder – these are all interrelated with inflammation. Losing weight without proper food intake will not maximize your health because weight loss alone does not reduce inflammation.
In his article “Inflammation Can Shrink Your Brain!” Dr. Hyman addresses the body’s natural defense systems in white blood cells and cytokines. This creates systemic inflammation. He says:
“This normal type of inflammation is a good thing. It helps your body protect and heal itself. However, when your immune system shifts out of balance, inflammation can run rampant—causing a chronic, smoldering fire inside your body that contributes to disease and weight gain. The causes of this type of inflammation are all around you. The sugar you eat, high doses of the wrong oils and fats in your diet, hidden food allergens, lack of exercise, chronic stress, and hidden infections all trigger a raging, unseen inflammation deep in your cells and tissues.”
This problem is cyclical.
- Consuming high levels of carbohydrates and excess fat in your body results in elevated levels of inflammation.
- Inflammation results in disease and weight gain.
- Heightened inflammation leads to a drop in mental health, often resulting in higher consumption of carbs, sugars, alcohol, etc.
How to Overcome Inflammation
Inflammation interacts with every single benefit of excess fat loss. Whether we’re talking about greater energy or less joint pain, reduction of inflammation is one strategy to help people experience these benefits.
But you don’t get these benefits from simply losing weight. You have to lose weight the right way! You also have to lose the right weight: pure fat, not a combination of muscle and fat. All of this can be accomplished with a properly designed, correctly administered, ketogenic protocol using super-bioavailable protein supplements and an abundance of alkalizing foods and minerals.
When weight is lost properly, insulin and blood sugar levels are rebalanced, insulin sensitivity is restored, and overall metabolic activity goes from slow and sluggish to fast and efficient. This naturally leads to higher energy for daily life and sustainable health.
As inflammation is reduced, movement becomes easier, energy increases, and health metrics all head in the right direction! Joint pain might be impacted by obesity, but is definitely impacted by inflammation. Get rid of the inflammation and you experience less pain, gain more energy, and can engage a healthier lifestyle.
Why is this so important to understand? Because people motivated to lose weight often overlook more important factors than being thin. This doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition; it’s actually optimal to focus on both health consumption and improved body fat levels.
Balancing Physical and Mental Health
Our culture has been consumed with external measures of perceived health. Dr. Hyman warns:
“Your mood problems, your memory problems, your trouble focusing, your ADD and depression are …NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD! THEY ARE IN YOUR BODY. By FIXING YOUR BODY, YOU WILL automatically FIX YOUR BROKEN BRAIN — and experience an ULTRAMIND.”
We have recently seen a shift towards valuing mental health and our interior selves. Traditional Hollywood and modeling agencies are filled with examples of skinny people who are completely unhealthy--but we don’t settle for this narrow definition of attractiveness anymore. Instead, well-balanced people prioritize holistic health over body shape or size.
If you’d like to understand more about ketogenic approaches that work holistically towards your health through the reduction of excess fat and inflammation, subscribe to our blog for ongoing updates.