Could Food Sensitivities Be Causing You To Gain Weight?
When most people attempt to lose weight, they tend to go for reducing their calorie intake and increasing their exercise, but for many people, this approach alone fails to bring about the desired result, or it's often short lived. Sure, it's true that by eating less, or no processed food, you'll lose weight, but if you're already making a concerted effort with your diet and you're still struggling to lose weight, the reason why, may very well stem from underlying food sensitivities / intolerances.
I've written extensively about the influence your thyroid function has on your metabolism in previous posts, (you can read more about thyroid health here, and here) and how so many women can go undiagnosed, or that their condition is often mismanaged with ineffective treatment protocols, but aside from thyroid imbalances, food sensitivities are one of the most common contributing factors behind unexplained weight gain, especially when eating a balanced diet and moderate exercise fail to make an impact.
The reason I have so much success with the eating program included my book, Love Your Gut and online program - Eat Yourself Healthy, is because it targets the underlying cause of the majority of health problems - chronic, low grade inflammation - which stems from the gut.
If you're suffering from any underlying food sensitivities / intolerances, your immune system will respond by producing antibodies to 'attack' the supposed enemy- triggering an inflammatory response. Whilst the immune system's response to a food sensitivity is very different to that of a true food allergy, it's still a form of inflammation. I like to use the analogy of a slow burning camp fire within your gut, to describe the type of inflammation associated with food sensitivities, versus a huge bonfire - in the case of a food allergy. None the less, chronic inflammation is the major contributing factor to a myriad of health problems- both physiological and neurological.
When you take steps to switch off chronic inflammation - through repairing your gut and removing the offending foods, hey presto, the kilos drop away - often without having to eat any less and with NO increase in exercise!
The problem is, many people don't realise they may have an underlying food sensitivity, mainly because the symptoms often don't express in ways they'd commonly associate with such. The big question on your lips is probably, how do I know if I might suffer from an underlying food sensitivity / intolerance? Below I've listed the symptoms commonly associated :
Common signs and symptoms of a food sensitivity:
Loose bowel & / or urgent movements
Constipation, or difficult to pass stools
Excess gas (& smelly farts) and or bloating after a meal
Difficulty losing weight, or easily gain weight despite a healthy diet
Gut aches - especially after eating
Depression, anxiety, mood swings / irritability, poor concentration / motivation
Fatigue - despite restful sleep
Insomnia / sleep disturbances
Cravings for sugar and starchy carbs like bread, pasta or white potato
Hunger despite eating a balanced meal
Skin conditions - acne, rashes, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis
Poor immune defenses - catch colds and flus regularly
If you're struggling with any of the above symptoms, it's almost guaranteed food sensitivities are a contributing factor, especially if you regularly consume supposedly 'healthy' foods like, cow's dairy; gluten - even if it is from whole grain sources; soy and corn.
When we're exposed to chronic, low grade inflammation, the effects are felt systemically - impacting the function of all of the body systems. Over time, the process of chronic inflammation, can lead to the development of serious health conditions and diseases including:
Leaky gut - resulting in poor digestion and absorption of nutrients from your food
High cholesterol and / or blood pressure
Depression and anxiety
ADHD and autism
I've designed the eating program in my book, Love Your Gut and the EYH online Program, to eliminate the foods most commonly associated with triggering inflammation and food sensitivities, so you won't have to worry about trying to decipher which foods might be playing havoc with your health.
My motto as a Nutritionist has always been - "You aren't just what you eat, but what you digest and absorb, which is why I strongly recommend combining my eating program with my Comp