Why is it you are not losing weight? Despite all the diets and exercise your weight will not stay off?
Have you considered that maybe your favourite food was to blame?
Do you often feel as if your stomach bloats after eating? Do you constantly suffer from fluid retention? Do you try every diet and attend regular classes at the gym but still struggle to lose those pounds? Or, put them back on after you finish your diet? If this describes you think again– it may simply be a food intolerance that is stopping you shifting those excess pounds.
Statistics from Allergy UK, a national charity established in 1991 to increase awareness of food sensitivities, highlighted that approx. 45% of the UK population suffer from a food intolerance at some point in their life. But, how can a food intolerance affect our weight?
A food intolerance is often confused with a food allergy but, in fact, they are really very different. When an allergy is present symptoms can be very dangerous and even life-threatening, happening within the hour of taking a food type. A food intolerance is more likely to present itself with symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Eczema, migraine, fatigue, hives and asthma,” says Muriel Simmons, Chief Executive of Allergy UK.
“An allergy generates the IgE immune response, which occurs when an antibody mistakes the food as a harmful alien, perhaps believing it to be a virus or bacteria, and attacks it" . This response produces histamine.
A food intolerance generates the IgG immune response, which is due to the presence of certain trigger foods,” says Simmons. This antibody is responsible for less severe symptoms associated with a food intolerance, and, unlike an allergy, symptoms may take from an hour to several days to appear. No histamine is produced so is very much harder to detect.
We now know that how our metabolism functions is a major factor in whether we lose or gain weight. Foods we have an intolerance to disrupt our metabolism. Research shows that when a food intolerance is present our metabolism slows down in response and weight loss occurs. A food intolerance puts a strain on the body's systems as it is fighting an inappropriate immune response. This can lead to low energy levels which will make weight gain more likely.
Unfortunately, it is often the very food we crave that is to blame and this craving can lead to 'binge eating' and withdrawal effects when that food is denied. According to Dr Jonathan Brostoff, (Allergy and Environmental Health Professional) 50 % of people with a food intolerance crave the very food their bodies can’t handle. This intolerance therefore puts a strain on the digestive system as it is having to cope with an immune response at the same time.
The quality of the food we eat is also a factor. Mass food production which was necessary to feed an expanding population has meant that our diet has now become highly processed and contaminated with chemicals. These can clog up our digestive systems.
If you think a food intolerance is a possibility then why not book a test and see if there are any trigger foods that you need to eliminate from your diet.
It may be necessary to avoid those trigger foods for a period of time (normally 10- 12 weeks). After this period you might be able to slowly and safely reintroduce the problem foods back into your diet.