The Secret Behind the Weight Gain-Inflammation Connection

When we think about inflammation, we often think of it as helping us heal from an obvious injury (like a wound) or fighting harmful bacteria. This is good inflammation working in our favor to keep us healthy. But on the flip side, when the immune system is too active, it can make us sick.We know that major chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, are linked to weight gain, but did you ever wonder how those diseases and inflammation are all intertwined?

Understanding inflammation, especially “bad” inflammation, will help explain this link.


Inflammation is a process you can’t actually see, so how do you know if it’s “good” or “bad”?

Think about the last time you got a bruise. The blood and fluid that rushed in to create that purplish swollen area is the definition of inflammation. As you heal, inflammation subsides and eventually goes away. This is how “good” inflammation is supposed to happen.

But sometimes inflammation can get us into trouble. An example: an allergy where our immune system overreacts to relatively harmless foods (think: peanut butter, shellfish, eggs) or substances (think: pollen, dust, latex).

Poor habits like eating an unhealthy diet, not exercising enough and consuming too much sugar can contribute to a bad type of inflammation called “chronic” inflammation. These habits turn the immune system “on” and help it stay activated for a long period of time. Along with other factors, chronic inflammation can lead to chronic illness.


The way our immune system reacts to smoking and stress increases our risk for heart disease. How? Smoking and stress damage cells and activate your immune system, leading to a low level of chronic inflammation. Over time, chronic inflammation makes your arteries more likely to collect plaque, which stiffens and clogs them, and can lead to heart disease.

Chronic inflammation contributes to type 2 diabetes by worsening “insulin resistance,” a condition where your body produces insulin but your cells don’t respond to it very well so your blood sugar stays abnormally high. How does chronic inflammation do this? Simply put, fat cells are capable of creating chemical signals that lead to chronic inflammation. But they mainly do so when you habitually eat too many calories and sugar. These chemical signals also mess with the way that insulin works in our bodies, aggravating insulin resistance.


If fat cells can contribute to chronic inflammation, then it’s reasonable to expect that weight gain, especially in the form of fat tissue, also contributes to chronic inflammation. As we gain weight, some fat cells expand beyond their capacity while trying to do their job storing our extra calories as fat. When this happens, they turn on and add to the inflammation already present in our bodies. At this point, these cells aren’t just fat storage warehouses—they’re like little inflammation factories, sending out signals to activate the immune system. Losing weight allows the fat cells to shrink back to a more normal size and turns off the signals that trigger chronic inflammation.

A study from the UK published in 2008 shows that chronic inflammation is linked to weight gain. Researchers followed people over nine years and monitored things like their weight gain and blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a chemical that shows up when the immune system is activated.

They found something interesting: Weight increases were associated with more inflammation, and the relationship was linear. This means that as a person’s weight increased, so did the level of CRP in their blood. This relationship between weight and inflammation suggests losing weight should help—and some studies prove this.

One study published in 2004 by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, involving more than 250 people, found that inflammation decreased among participants who went on a low-calorie diet to lose weight. Since losing weight helps decrease inflammation, it may also keep our chronic-illness risk at bay, although more studies are needed to prove this link.


FINISH: The Secret Behind the Weight Gain-Inflammation Connection | MyFitnessPal





New rule: Weigh myself fully clothed with shoes on after shower and breakfast.

At the doctor office I don’t get weighed naked right out of bed, and they don’t take my word on how much I really weighed in the morning – a mistake all medical professionals make.

Still, I refuse to fear the scales with clothes and shoes on. It is what it is. Fully clothed will be my new baseline and the weight from which I judge all future weights.

There was too much prep work to weigh myself. I’m groggy in the morning. Oh, I forgot to weigh myself. Now I have to remove all the clothes I just put on. Or take off my shoes, after I just tied them up. Oh, I already drank that coffee, or juice or whatever, when I think to weigh myself. Wonder how much it weighs?

I’m not going for the quarter or half pound difference any more. Those two-pound and three-pound weight gains and losses are too fickle for me.

I’m out of the 160’s. Then out of the 150’s. And on from there.

When I can feel the weight loss or gain I’ll believe the scale.



2 March 2017 Weight Loss Update

For months I’ve been putting off doing an update, since my weight fluctuated all over the place. But, since today is my birthday and I couldn’t sleep, I decided to get up and do some calculating.

Granted I’ve had some stress in my life and I’m beginning to think now that it’s not just the eating more than my body needs that made me gain weight again, but that stress may, at least in me, slow my body processes down as the weight of the stress bears heavy on my mind.

Okay, my mother died, my sister a short while later had a stroke, then my brother had a massive heart attack accompanied by a heart infection, then my husband had a stroke and subsequent carotid artery surgery, spending Christmas in the hospital, plus two other related procedures to get his blood pressure down.

Some guy and gal from Black Lives Matter came into my husband’s work place making a big scene that they were racially profiled and wanted to lodge a formal complaint, that now although my husband was exonerated of any bias after everybody viewed the tapes, it’s still on his record and the FBI and Homeland Security both have a presence at his workplace, so that whole thing was one ugly experience. Now we realize that the Black Lives Matter Organization is targeting old people, especially old men, since they figure if you’re old and you’re white, then you were a racist back in the days of Martin Luther King – and it’s time to get vengeance.

Then the promotion my husband thought surely was his, he being the most qualified, was given to someone else the very next day. Well, as they say, if we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck at all, but that really wasn’t about luck. It was about somebody making a false claim and that false claim was made on the basis of race and that affected our lives in a big way.

The medical bills are huge.

Wow. Unbelievable. There is tension all over Cleveland, Ohio. In the building where we live, at the bus stops, on the bus, at restaurants, bars, stores. The other day we’re standing at the bus stop and a black kid rides by on a bike and shouts out, “You two idiots are too old to change”. At first I didn’t catch it all, so asked for a repeat. He simply said, “you heard what I said”. Well, between my husband and myself we pieced it together. Ageism exists and every time there’s a story on television about blacks committing a crime and getting shot, old white people suffer who live in black neighborhoods.

So, no significant weight loss. I gained back 15 of the 16.6 pounds I had lost. My net loss over a 205 day period was 1.6 pounds. The YO-YO effect was in full force all the while.

What I did discover is that it really isn’t harder to lose weight than it is to gain weight.

From 8 August 2016 till 30 October 2016 I lost 16.6 lbs.

From 30 October 2016 to 2 March 2017 I gained 15 lbs.

I did cook a lot. Engineered a lot of recipes, that I need to get typed and posted, but those creative juices keep flowing and it’s hard to say no when I know the result is going to be good. Need to get more discipline in the typing department. Since I have dystonia, which is characterized by abnormal muscle contractions, typing is uncomfortable at best and excruciating at worst.

Exercise, exercise. Walking is my preferred form of exercise and I do a lot of that – always have. The other stuff causes more pain than sometimes I think it’s worth, but I keep doing it anyway. Whether I’m actually increasing my stamina and overall strength is questionable. Past injuries interfere with my success, but I’m also not working hard enough at it and need more organization.

Carrying those heavy grocery bags from the store over all these years has taken its toll on my neck and arms. It’s like I’m in a perpetual state of tendonitis.

I’ve had a spa membership since September of 2016 and I still haven’t used it. Maybe today I will. I have safety concerns. Maybe Steve and I will go together. Better for old white people to travel in pairs.

Next time I report in I hope to have more positive results.