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Inflammation & Body Weight: The Hidden Link

Sometimes our efforts at the gym don't pay off as we thought they would. Managing your diet and exercise schedule may not be enough, as inflammation may be continuously hindering your weight loss efforts.

What Is C-reactive Protein?

C-Reactive Protein, also known as CPR, is a biomarker generated in the liver. It is a cytokine that exists to upkeep and regulate inflammatory reactions.

CPR is excessively produced when the body is battling injury, trauma, and infections. A high level of the c-reactive protein in your blood would therefore indicate you are currently fighting some form of inflammation, which may affect your weight.

How Does Inflammation Impact Body Weight?

Inflammation makes weight loss difficult for two reasons: it leads to insulin and leptin resistance.

Insulin resistance and increased fat storage

Low-grade inflammation can lead to insulin resistance which increases glucose in the blood- this condition then encourages fat storage as carbohydrates become difficult for the body to metabolize. Altered metabolism then continues to slow down your body's ability to lose weight!

The higher fat stores and decreased metabolism hand in hand make it very difficult to lose weight and easy to gain weight, so even if you're pushing yourself at the gym every day, you'll still struggle to lose weight. Insulin resistance and weight gain also form a cycle where they feed one another, weight gain causes more insulin resistance, and more insulin resistance causes more weight gain.

Leptin resistance and increased appetite

Leptin is a biomarker that regulates our appetite by balancing the amount of food you eat with how much fat you have in your body. In other words, Leptin tells your brain you don't need more energy and should not feel hungry.

Inflammation causes leptin resistance in the brain, decreasing your body's ability to suppress appetite or increase your body's energy use. This means you would constantly feel hungry, even if you are already full and have adequate or excess body fat. In summary, you will be eating more frequently and further slowing down your body's metabolic rates.

How can you reduce inflammation?

The key to reducing CPR levels is reducing inflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets help combat and minimize excessive amounts of inflammation. The Mediterranean diet, for example, is the perfect way to start reducing inflammation and, in turn, CPR levels.

The Mediterranean diet consists primarily of lean protein, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and nuts & seeds is becoming more and more popular as people discover the power of its anti-inflammatory properties! Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos is an internationally known leader in dietetics and researcher of the Mediterranean diet; you can find more information on the Mediterranean diet here from her so that you can start today!

As for foods to avoid, we suggest removing highly processed foods, fair amounts of alcohol, and red meats as they are high in saturated fats, which increase inflammation.

The Bottom Line

Although the C-reactive protein isn't directly to blame for weight gain, it is a direct indicator of the real culprit, chronic inflammation. Inflammation in moderate amounts is good for us, it is an immune response utilised to combat infection and illness, but if prolonged, it becomes chronic and starts generating more health problems than it solves.

Chronic inflammation commonly goes unnoticed as it doesn't always have obvious symptoms! Of course, weight gain could be a pointer, but this can also be caused by other factors such as dietary issues and hormone levels.

Increased C-reactive protein levels indicate increased inflammation levels which may lead to obesity if not corrected and a range of diseases and severe health issues.

How WellBeing Can Help

If you want to discover if the vicious inflammation cycle is why you are not losing weight, WellBeing may help. WellBeing is an at-home finger-prick blood test used to measure inflammation and six other key health areas, which impact weight management, including nutrition, exercise, sleep, alcohol consumption and stress.

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