Could your inability to lose weight be due to an undetected food intolerance?
Are you overweight and frustrated that when you try reduced calorie diets you only have limited success? Or do you feel that although you are very physically active you still lose very little weight? Or do you experience really strong cravings for a particular food and then break your diet because you just can’t resist these cravings? It is possible that you could be suffering from food intolerances which can have a huge impact on weight management.
There are many factors involved in regulating body weight and they combine in complicated ways. If you are overweight it is really important that you consider the main individual causes of your obesity. These could include such things as neurotransmitter imbalances, blood sugar imbalance and insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, psychological or emotional issues, yeast overgrowth and last, but certainly not least, food intolerances. Food intolerances are unique to each individual and can result in an inability to lose weight.
It is well known that individuals crave the foods to which they are intolerant and develop an addictive type relationship with particular foods. They describe a strong need to eat more of a food to get a ‘lift’ and they experience withdrawal symptoms when cutting down on the amount they regularly consume.
Sugar from foods like chocolate and alcohol can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural, powerful painkillers. The digestion of food proteins such as casein and gluten can stimulate the production of exorphins – opium like substances that are very similar to endorphins and attach to the same receptor sites. Over time these pleasurable brain chemicals can exert an addictive, drug-like effect similar to that produced by heroin and morphine that can be followed by withdrawal symptoms (such as cravings, overeating, weight gain, mood swings and guilt) if these foods are avoided. Does this sound familiar? So when you have been over-eating certain foods that you are intolerant to (it could be bread, red meats, sugar or even dairy), it may be because your body is driving to maintain an opiate level, not necessarily to get high, but to avoid the dreadful feeling of withdrawal. It is not because you have no self-control.
Medical researchers from Dubai reported in the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine that patients unable to achieve goal weight loss by calorie restriction alone were significantly aided in their attempts when they avoided foods that had been shown in a unique lab test to excite their immune system (Deutsch, 2009). In the 12 week study, the 27 patients underwent a single treatment: avoidance of foods that they were intolerant to. The foods were different for each individual. The results showed an average weight loss of approximately 37 pounds, an average drop of 6 points of BMI and an average decrease of 30% of body fat.
Food intolerances often provoke delayed and chronic symptoms that are not as obvious as the dramatic and immediate onset of “true” food allergies but, over the long term, can be just as devastating and are more difficult to detect.
We already know that food intolerances can cause people to crave the foods to which they are intolerant. Obese people can testify to the overwhelming power of food intolerance cravings. The obese person has no idea that his daily food cravings or eating habits are based on a physiological need to stop withdrawal symptoms. It’s like a drug.
It is possible to become intolerant to all sorts of foods, although there are foods that are more likely than others. If you are addicted to coffee then you may not necessarily put on weight. If however, you are addicted to sugar or wheat, you may be running around with lollies or wheat crackers in your pocket to satisfy your cravings. If you’re intolerant to dairy and wheat, that might explain your unstoppable craving for pizza! What is most important is it is extremely difficult for food intolerant individuals to lose weight unless they ultimately gain control of their food intolerances. If this applies to you – you must identify the culprits, break the craving and then eliminate the food. Only then will you see real weight loss results!
To find out more about food intolerance and weight control, or about food intolerance tests, symptoms and cures, visit www.thecontentedbody.com and we’d be happy to help.