But how is that possible you might ask?
Let me share the story of one of my clients. Let's call her Irene.
Her problem was: she could not lose the weight because she was chronically inflamed.
Her food sensitivities and the imbalances in her gut resulted in the inflammation. How did we know she had food sensitivities? She embarked on an elimination/cleanse protocol soon after we started to work together and we also introduce some good bacteria to help her gut.
The result? She started to lose weight and feel better in just a few weeks. The holidays came and went and even though she did come off her path somewhat, she only gained one pound. Which has never happened before. Now that she knows the foods she is sensitive to, she is much more careful about what she chooses to eat and the weight continues to shed.
Food sensitivities are a much bigger issue than one may realize, so even if you don't think you have a food sensitivity, take a minute or two and answer these questions below. You might be surprised. Answering "yes" can indicate the probability that you suffer from a food intolerance.
- Do you have puffy eyes or dark circles beneath your eyes?
- Do you suffer from unexplained headaches? Depression or foggy thinking?
- Have chronic joint pain, muscle aches or arthritis?
- Do you have itchy skin, eczema or rashes?
- Do feel extremely tired after eating or in general?
- Do you eat the same foods every day?
- Do you have frequent sinus infections or stuffy nose?
- Does your throat tickle? Or suffer from chronic coughing?
- Are you a compulsive eater? Do you find yourself binge eating often?
- Do you suffer from a lot of water retention?
- Do you often feel bloated? Gassy, burp a lot or have chronic constipation?
- Does your weight go up and down every day by as much as five pounds?
- Find you are unable to lose weight no matter how much you exercise and watch the calories you eat.
Ninety percent of food sensitivities stem from the most common reaction-producing foods: wheat/gluten, dairy, corn, unfermented soy, peanuts, eggs, citrus, MSG .. etc.
Top it with eating the typical American Diet and you end up fostering the growth of bad bugs in the gut. They then damage the gut lining and produce toxins that are absorbed into your system.
Because of the damage in your gut lining, partially digested food particles will end up leaking into your bloodstream. What happens next is that your immune system will react to the toxins and foods, producing inflammation. That inflammation then leads to a toxic liver + insulin resistance, which will make your body store higher levels of insulin in your body. And insulin is a fat promoting hormone as we all know.
So this is how an unhealthy gut will make you fat, sick and tired. Inflammation is how all diseases start (see a previous article I wrote on this here).
So how do you figure out if you have food sensitivities? Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Eat a whole foods based diet. that is rich in fiber (fiber as in vegetables and fruit, not cereal, whole grain bagels etc). Let go of processed foods and introduce foods that will feed the good bacteria in your gut (such as fermented foods).
2) Add in some good quality probiotics on a daily basis to boost the good bacteria in your gut. Choose from reputable brands.
3) Try an elimination diet for a few weeks. Cut out the so called "Sensitive Seven" and watch the pounds melt away.(One client lost a pound per day when she gave up her beloved dairy.)
You will see a huge difference within a few short weeks, I guarantee it.
You can be sensitive virtually to any food - even otherwise so called "healthy" foods like Greek-style yogurt, egg-white omelets, soy milk, beans etc. Typically, we will develop sensitivities to the foods we eat most often. Because the "Sensitive Seven "are all common ingredients and the basis for many commercial and processed foods, most of us are overexposed to them.
So what are the "Sensitive Seven Foods"?
They are dairy, gluten, soy, corn, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
You may go and get a food sensitivity test done by an integrative practitioner (such as an IgG test) but that examination can miss genetic or hormonal intolerances.
When you do an elimination diet, you are technically pulling out the high food intolerant foods from your diet for a period of few weeks and then challenge your body by adding it back slowly (one-by-one) and see how you feel.
Food intolerances kind of "sneak upon" you. Many of us never make the connection between the foods we eat and how we feel.
A lot of people test negative for food sensitivities, but feel 100% better when they eliminate certain foods.
One of my client let's call her Elizabeth came to me with IBS symptoms. We did the elimination diet with her and she immediately felt better after taking out wheat/gluten and dairy from her diet. Then she decided she wanted to get tested for food sensitivities. She came back smiling and waiving her test results saying she was not sensitive to wheat or gluten and decided to add them back. Well, in a few days her symptoms were back.
At first, any elimination diet can be a little challenging. Mostly because it requires you to break your habitual eating patterns - and, quite possibly, to eat a wider variety of foods than usual. Once you are over that hump, though, it becomes quite easy and very rewarding, if I mights say myself, to maintain.
If you are hearing or seeing some signs that your body is sending you, I would like to invite you to join our upcoming cleanse.
We are going to have a lot of fun listening to the messages our bodies are sending and learning what the cues are about and how to manage them.
If you would like to get support and guidance while finding out what specific foods might be inflaming YOUR body, join us for our 7 Day Winter Cleanse , starting next week. (If next week is a challenge, you can do the cleanse at your convenience.)
For details, please click HERE.