Last months newsletter talked about PacMan and how he can help you lose weight using the 16:8 plan to help reduce the toxins in your body that promote weight gain. This month we will look at the foods that can compliment this plan.
Firstly, a quick reminder on last months newsletter article – On the left you can see my weight graph from MyFitnessPal. You can see from the graph that I lost weight before Xmas (good planning!), spiked over the festive period, then lost the Xmas weight within a month, plateaued and then lost significantly more in the following couple of months (ready for the summer). I achieved this using the 16:8 plan, effectively eating all my calories in a strict 8 hour window everyday. This helped reduce hormones such as insulin and cortisol which promote fat storage. Eating the right foods during the 8 hour window will help even further, here is why –
What is inflammation in the body? Your immune system becomes activated when something foreign enters the body—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemicals. This often triggers a process called INFLAMMATION. Intermittent bouts of inflammation that attack truly threatening foreign invaders will protect your health.
However, sometimes inflammation persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. This often comes from foods, chemicals that we come in to contact with or stress. This inflammation can then become your enemy. Many major diseases—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.
The 16:8 plan allows the body to cleanse itself by reducing the inflammation brought on by the foods we eat, however, if all we do is pour chemicals, sugars and processed foods in to our bodies during the 8hours it wont help. Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can fight off inflammation for good.
Foods that cause inflammation
Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- Chips and other fried foods
- Coke and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- margarine, shortening, and lard
“Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” Dr. Hu from Harvard University says. “It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”
An anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods:
- olive oil
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- nuts like almonds and walnuts
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Benefits of anti-inflammatory foods
On the flip side are beverages and foods that reduce inflammation, and with it, chronic disease. In particular, fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.
Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation, as well.
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you’re looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils. Avoid anything processed as it often has added sugars and chemicals, cook from scratch when possible. Check the labels on foods, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient avoid the food, these chemicals are highly inflammatory and will effect your body.
Remember – Choose the right anti-inflammatory foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process
Try it yourselves but make sure you stick to it! If you need help then then email firstname.lastname@example.org