Hind, a certified doula, childbirth educator, restorative exercise specialist, and IBCLC, is here to continue covering her three-part series called Eating Your Way to a Healthy Weight. The second part goes in depth about the correlation between inflammation and our overall health, but more specifically the issues that surround weight gain in women. She is here to advice us on how we can adapt a healthier lifestyle. Let us again welcome Hind!
Eating Your Way to a Healthy Weight Part 2: Reducing inflammation
In the last article I spoke about how not all foods are created equal, and how important it is to carefully consider quality of the food you eat, not just for weight loss but also for broader health.
Now we’re going to dive into an issue that impacts many women I know, and can bring them down for years without their knowledge: inflammation.
It’s simple: inflammatory foods create inflammation in the body which contributes to excess weight.
Inflammation is not only associated with most major diseases but is also one of the main reasons people are unable to lose weight and keep it off. And, you guessed it, the food you eat has a huge impact on the amount of inflammation in your body.
This is serious stuff. Inflammation, which can look like a bump on the head after a fall, a swollen red ankle after a sports injury, or joint pain, is a normal body response to protect and aid the body from infection and harm. However, when it becomes chronic it can pose a major health risk. Chronic systemic inflammation could come in the form of autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other health conditions like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Inflammatory foods like processed sugar, grains and oils, keep the body in an inflammatory state, and for many, that means excess weight, despite all the dietary and exercise tricks they can come up with.
Inflammation can cause our main weight control hormone, leptin, to be less effective. So having a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy green vegetables, berries, and healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil can have a positive effect in not only reducing inflammation but healing your metabolism and stabilising your blood sugar.
Lifestyle factors (beyond diet) that lead to inflammation
Finding a diet that works well with your cultural and genetic background and includes lots of fresh, unprocessed foods is a great strategy for healthy long-term weight loss.
But for some people, dietary changes and reducing their intake of inflammatory foods may not be enough to lose and sustain their ideal weight.
This may happen because their past diet caused a disturbance or disruption in their hormones that needs to be addressed to reach their ideal weight (in addition to changing their diet).
Hormone support and balance can come from eating a diet focused on such a result, or by using using herbs, homeopathy and supplements to support the body.
Many women suffer hormonal imbalances from metabolic syndromes such as PCOS, or diabetes.
In these cases, getting in control of one’s blood sugar is key to not only weight loss, but to healing some underlying hormonal imbalances.
Getting proper and sufficient sleep is also needed to resettle your hormones. Chronic lack of sleep is associated with inflammation in the brain. As your brain is command central for your body’s hormonal function, taking steps to get regular consistent sleep can help lower inflammation, re-balance hormones, and stabilise weight.
Another consideration when having difficulty losing weight is toxicity. Chemicals in our home, workplace and general environment can accumulate in the body over time and cause inflammation. One of the body’s ways of protecting us from the harmful effects of these chemicals and toxins is to create excess fat for the toxins to be stored away from our main organs.
Here are five lifestyle shifts you can make to protect yourself from inflammation and lose weight more easily:
- Pick a consistent bedtime to sleep such as 10 pm, and commit to getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Go through your home and personal care products, identify which ones contain harmful toxins, and exchange these for more natural alternatives. If you need help doing this you can download my free Natural Home Guide from members.healingwithhind.com.
- Completely remove artificial sweeteners from your diet, and make a plan to slowly reduce refined sugar, and sugar substitutes like agave syrup and coconut sugar.
- Limit the amount of times you eat out per week, and focus on creating more home cooked meals. Restaurants often used vegetable oils when cooking, and reducing those in your diet will go a long way to reducing inflammation.
- Stop eating 2-3 hours before sleep. This will give your digestive system a rest, improve your sleep, and help balance your blood sugar.
Please be sure to join me for the next article when I cover one further way to help regulate weight. I’ll reveal a lasting solution that has worked for me and clients.
Hind Adeagbo is a transformational coach for mothers and women who want to stop putting themselves at the bottom of the list. She helps them heal their bodies, replenish their relationships, and welcome love and abundance back into their lives.
A mother of six, Hind is a certified doula, childbirth educator, restorative exercise specialist, and IBCLC. She’s also is a trainer of breastfeeding counselors and co-founder of a grassroots mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group.
After experiencing a devastating crash to her own health after her last child, Hind retrained as an integrative nutritionist and functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, transformed her own diet and lifestyle, and grew a successful transformational coaching business.
Hind is passionate about helping mothers build optimal health, financial freedom, and happy homes so they can succeed in all areas of their lives. She has educated and supported hundreds of women in their childbearing years, helping them achieve their personal goals related to health, birth, mothering, and business.
Originally from Berkeley, California, Hind moved to the UK in 2002 after getting married. An aficionado of international travel and culture, she converted to Islam as a student in Cairo, Egypt, in 1995, and later spent nine years living abroad with her family in Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi she founded Riyadh’s first farmer’s market, which is still running today as a local wellness fair. Hind currently runs a membership site, Healing With Hind, where she teaches, coaches and supports women in achieving their personal, relationship, business and health goals.
Connect with Hind: