Insulin resistance slams the doors to your fat cells shut.

But when you are consuming too much sugar (in the form of sweets, starches or dairy products) or when your system is inflamed, your body secretes too much insulin and keeps the insulin in your bloodstream longer than it's supposed to. After a while, your cells can't “hear” all that excess insulin. Your insulin receptors stop responding to the insulin, and your blood sugar remains high. You may eventually have trouble manufacturing enough insulin, putting you at risk for diabetes. Meanwhile, you can't use that extra blood sugar for energy, and it ends up getting stored as fat.

In addition, all that excess insulin in your blood tells your body you have enough sugar around for fuel, so it doesn't need to burn stored fat. Insulin resistance basically slams the doors to your fat cells shut. Insulin resistance also makes it nearly impossible to lose weight. And inflammation virtually guarantees that you will suffer from insulin resistance.

Fluid retention. Inflammation doesn't just help you hold onto your body fat, it also causes you to retain fluids so you feel bloated and heavy.

Digestive problems. When inflammation rages through your intestines, your digestive system can't operate efficiently. If you have an imbalance of gut bacteria, with more bad bacteria than good, you will actually extract more calories from the food you eat and store them as fat. If your gut wall is damaged and leaky, you will struggle to be able to absorb your nutrients. The result is that even though you are eating, you still feel hungry and unsatisfied because your body can't get what it needs from your food.

Loss of energy. Inflammation causes you to feel sluggish and fatigued. If your body is inflamed, you are not going to feel like moving much, so you become even more sedentary. The less active you are, the more resistant to insulin you become — and the vicious cycle continues.

I hope you're beginning to see why I told Leslie to pull out of her diet any high-FI foods that might be causing an inflammatory response. The fastest way to gain weight that you can't lose is to allow your body to become inflamed. And the fastest way to drop those extra pounds is to remove the sources of inflammation and let your body heal. That's what the Virgin Diet is all about.

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