It’s true that we gain weight when we eat more than we burn off. Many factors can impact the, “burning off” part of the equation. Chronic inflammation is one of them. Weight gain can also be caused by hypothyroidism, food sensitivity (as mentioned) Cushing’s syndrome, organ disease, prescription drug use (e.g. antidepressants) anxiety, blood sugar imbalance, essential fatty acid deficiency or lack of sleep.
Many people respond to stress or depression by eating excessively. Reactions to foods are not always immediate. They may be delayed by several hours, possibly even one or two days. Common signs include; bloating and swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, abdomen, and skin and around the eyes.
Much of the weight gained is fluid retention caused by inflammation and the release of certain hormones. In addition, there is fermentation of foods, particularly carbohydrates, in the intestines which can result in a swollen distended belly and gas production. Inflammation associated with food sensitivities can lead to weight gain and obesity 1, 2.
According to the WHO a BMI (body mass index) equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight. A BMI equal to or more than 30 is considered obese 3. Obesity can lead to pathological, chronic disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and cancer 3. The WHO suggests that in 2008 more than 1.4 billion adults were overweight and of these over 200 million adults were obese 3. Obesity is a preventable condition according to the WHO.
Healthy weight loss!
The inability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight might be silent inflammation (chronic low-level inflammation) 4.
BMI is based only on the size in relation to weight, but does not consider the real “body composition”, including abdominal or peripheral fat accumulation (fat around organs).
Hence, measurement of BMI without measurement of body composition may be misleading. It is possible to not be overweight but to be over fat.
What causes overweight?
How much does the lean, fat-free body part weigh, and how much does the fat? A person can be overweight without a high body fat percentage. The overweight may come from muscle mass. When it is placed in relation to the fat percentage, muscle mass is denser and therefore weighs more.
A person who is not “fat-overweight” is not under the same disease risks, such as a “fat-overweight”. On the other hand, people may have a too high fat content but “ideal weight” according to the BMI. This condition is called normal weight obesity. Consequently, the risk of disease and inflammation is higher, even though they fall within the ideal weight category.
Thus the fat proportion plays the biggest health role, regardless of the weight. Too much muscle mass pose no health risks. In contrast to the widespread opinion that fat is stored in the form of a wobbly mass as excess calories, it is metabolically active tissue 5. Leptins are hormones which are produced in fat cells 5. They send signals to the brain that you are sated. But if excessive fat is accumulated – particularly in the abdominal and peripheral area – adipose tissue then becomes an important endocrine tissue and sends inflammatory biochemicals 5. These inflammatory mediators cause low grade systemic inflammation in “fat-obese” people even though weight is normal according to the BMI!
Alcat Food Sensitivity Testing has been shown to be an important tool to reduce inflammation and weight. I understand time may be a factor in your efforts to fully educate your patients on Alcat, the importance of gut health, inflammation reduction, and weight loss. If you would like a patient handout on this topic, please contact me:
Nancy Cohen RDN LDN
Nutritionist, Dietitian & Energy Worker