If you have struggled with weight loss even after cutting calories and increasing exercise you might be suffering from food allergies. When we work with individuals who are interested in losing weight the first typical step is to look at caloric intake and exercise expenditure.  The majority of individuals will lose weight when consuming less calories than they take in, however there are times when this doesn’t work. If weight isn’t coming off we’ll make sure foods are being tracked properly, there aren’t medications that can be hindering weight loss, and there hasn’t been a dramatic shift in an individuals hormonal environment.

If exercise and nutrition are in check, medications aren’t playing role, and hormones aren’t an issue – there’s a possibility that a food allergy might be a culprit. We have known for a while that certain foods can cause an immediate reaction such as wheezing, developing a rash, and/or bloating.  There is now evidence that food allergies might do more than just cause an acute reaction and may lead to weight gain.  In fact we have seen multiple individuals lose weight when cutting out certain foods even though caloric intake hasn’t changed much. In addition current research seems to point to this as well.

Besides food allergies it’s also important to address maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut – because this can also play a role. It appears that food allergies combined with an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can wreack havoc on the body and lead to fatigue, joint pain, as well as weight gain.

Now that we know certain foods and bacteria in our digestive system might be hindering our bodies ability to lose fat – what can we do?

  • Consider an elimination diet for 3 weeks – Some of the most common food allergies include: dairy, eggs, gluten, peanuts, yeast, and corn.  There are also books on the subject that discuss these topics including JJ Virgin’s “The Virgin Diet”
  • Take a food allergy test – These can help you identify what foods your allergic to and then you can go about cutting them out from your diet. While helpful, this is a more expensive option. An example of food allergy test can be found at https://www.alcat.com/alcattesting.php
  • Eat a high fiber, whole foods, plant based diet – Following this type of diet will help fuel the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Take a daily probiotic

While these practices can be helpful it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor prior to making significant changes to your diet and exercise program.