Catherine Tanaka
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The Inflammation Solution: Fat-Busting Foods For Optimal Weight Loss

Inflammation has been a buzz word in the health and fitness space for several years now.  As women get into midlife, ages 40 and beyond, optimizing health and managing inflammation and stress on our system becomes increasingly important. 

If optimal health is important to you, you will also want to know about the role that inflammation plays in hindering your fat loss progress. 

There are several things to consider from a lifestyle perspective and there are certain factors that women in middle age  should be aware of to effectively achieve their health and weight loss goals. Inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormonal changes are key considerations that can impact this journey. Understanding these factors will help women make informed choices to optimize their health and successfully lose weight.

So, let's explore these inflammation-fighting superheroes and add them to our plates!

Understanding Inflammation

Before diving into what you can do, let's quickly understand what inflammation is. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury, infection, or stress. It's the way our immune system defends and repairs itself. However, when inflammation becomes chronic or excessive, it can lead to long-term health problems. The good news is that we can harness the power of nutrition to support our bodies in managing inflammation effectively.

Signs That You're Inflamed

Although you can go get tested for inflammation marker, there are so many ways that your body will tell you that it's struggling with an inflammatory response.  Here are some of the one that I often see with my women client and once they start an anti-inflammatory protocol, things change.

SKIN: your skin is a powerful organ that can show where things are out of alignment. Do you breakout often around your chin?  This can be a sign of inflammation process in your system.

FEELING PUFFY: when you're bloated, feeling constipated, swollen, resistance to loosing body fat.

BRAIN FOG AND LOW ENERGY MID DAY:  this is a big one I see with my clients and nutrition and fitness can transform this space. 

NOT FEELING RESTED: sleep is paramount but one of the signs of inflammation can be still feeling sluggish even when you get enough sleep.

MOOD SWINGS: Stress and inflammation can really impact how you feel and when we reduce inflammation this can improve.

Managing Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can have a significant impact on fat loss efforts and health as we age.  It disrupts the body's metabolism, slowing down the rate at which calories are burned and making it more difficult to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Inflammation also contributes to insulin resistance, hindering the body's ability to efficiently use stored fat for energy.

Therefore, managing your inflammation is important if fat loss is a goal but also as part of a health and well being strategy.  As I have discussed before, the way we nourish our bodies really helps our health thrive or perish. 
Here are a few things to think of when wanting to improve inflammation:

  • Focus on an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Minimize processed foods, refined sugars, and trans fats, as they can contribute to inflammation.
  • Regular physical activity, including both walking and resistance training, can help reduce inflammation.
  • Prioritize stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing, as stress  contributes to inflammation.
  • Take the time to regulate your nervous system and get outside in nature, walk, be barefoot on the ground etc.

Insulin Resistance as we age is something I talk a lot about to my ladies.  Insulin resistance, which can be influenced by age, lifestyle, and genetics, can impede weight loss progress but more than that your ability to manage your stress, nourishing your body and your daily practices can reduce or promote inflammation. Consider the following strategies with your nutrition to an support anti-inflammatory life.

  • Consume a balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Limit refined sugars and processed foods, as they can exacerbate insulin resistance.
  • Engage in regular exercise, including both aerobic and resistance training, to enhance insulin sensitivity.
  • Seek guidance from a healthcare professional if necessary, as they can provide personalized advice on managing insulin resistance.

Finally, hormonal changes through midlife, particularly during perimenopause and menopause, can affect inflammation therefore affecting weight loss and overall well-being. Here's what women should keep in mind:

  • Be aware of fluctuations in hormone levels, such as estrogen and progesterone, which can impact metabolism and appetite.
  • Prioritize a well-balanced diet that supports hormone health, including foods rich in phytoestrogens like soy, flaxseeds, and legumes.
  • Regular exercise, including strength training, can help maintain muscle mass, support metabolism, and manage hormonal changes.
  • Consider consulting a healthcare professional who specializes in women's health to discuss hormone replacement therapy options, if needed.

5 Top Superfoods to Help Curb Inflammation

As previously noted, foods have incredible anti-inflammatory properties that help curb inflammation and promote well-being. Here are our five top superfoods you can easily incorporate into your diet to combat inflammation and enhance your health.

Superfood #1: Bursting Blueberries

Who knew these tiny, flavourful gems could be such inflammation-busters? Packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, blueberries are inflammation-fighting powerhouses. They help neutralize harmful free radicals and calm those inflamed cells, promoting a healthier you. Sprinkle them on your morning oatmeal or blend them into a refreshing smoothie – your taste buds and body will thank you!

Superfood #2: Mighty Turmeric

Prepare to fall in love with the golden spice – turmeric! This vibrant ingredient contains curcumin, known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, and now science is catching up. Add a pinch of turmeric to your curry dishes, stir it into your morning latte, or try it in a warm cup of golden milk for an inflammation-fighting treat.  I actually LOVE my tumeric ginger shots that I've been using for the last several months. 
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Superfood #3: Leafy Greens to the Rescue

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are more than just salad staples – inflammation-fighting champions. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these green wonders can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases. Amp your meals by adding a generous serving of leafy greens to your smoothies, stir-fries, or even sandwiches for a delightful crunch.

Superfood #4: Nutty Goodness with Walnuts

Crack open a walnut, and you'll unveil a world of health benefits. These mighty nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Snack on a handful of walnuts, sprinkle them over your salads or blend them into a delicious homemade pesto. Your taste buds will thank you, and your body will feel the difference!

Superfood #5: Zesty Ginger

Add a zing to your meals with the mighty ginger root. Ginger possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help soothe those inflamed cells. Whether you grate it into your stir-fries, brew it into a soothing tea, or add it to your homemade salad dressings, ginger will surely spice up your life while calming inflammation. Like I noted above, I actually LOVE my tumeric ginger shots.  They have been part of my anti-inflammatory protocol over the last 6 months and they're amazing.  I have one everyday with hot water in the morning.
You can check out and use the code TANAKA for a discount


As us women go through midlife into our late 60's, seeking to optimize health and lose weight, we should be aware of the impact of inflammation on our journey. By managing inflammation through diet, exercise, and stress reduction, addressing insulin resistance through lifestyle choices, and navigating hormonal changes with a well-balanced approach, women can empower themselves to achieve their health and weight loss goals.

Additionally, incorporating these five essential foods to reduce inflammation into your daily meals has a HUGE ROI on the benefits. Embrace the power of blueberries, turmeric, leafy greens, walnuts, and ginger, and watch as your body thanks you with improved vitality and a happier, healthier you. So, let's raise a spoonful of blueberry-infused yogurt and toast to a life free from inflammation's grip. Cheers to your health! Don’t forget to check out our weekly recipe!

Recipe (Broccoli, Pepper, Turmeric): Anti-inflammatory Quinoa

Serves 2

  • ¾ cup dry quinoa (pre-rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced1 bell pepper, chopped1 dash salt½ tbsp turmeric1 dash black pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped

In a saucepan place 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the quinoa and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes). 

Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Add diced onions, turmeric, pepper and salt, and lightly sauté for a few minutes.

Add broccoli and lightly sauté for 5-6 minutes, until it becomes softened.

Add the cooked quinoa and stir everything together. 

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Add some cayenne pepper or curry spice for an extra spicy kick.

About the Author Catherine Tanaka

My name is Catherine Tanaka. I am a Personal Trainer, Transformation Coach, Yogi enthusiast and Mom of two. I am on a mission to make a difference in others happiness through fitness using the best research available to give you the best fitness hacks to make being the best version of you possible. Learn more about my one-on-one coaching or check out my Online Course - The Body Project Protocol.