Summer's (unofficially) here and it's that time of year when we're showing more skin and definitely more conscience of our bodies. All around me, I hear people jumping into juice cleanses and fasts to jump-start their weight loss. I'm not a huge fan of these aggressive detoxes because they can have serious consequences. In truth, most people will lose weight on these types of cleanses simply because of the calorie restriction, not because they are detoxing. But, these types of programs are pretty much impossible to maintain long-term and so is the weight loss. As soon as you stop juicing, the weight comes back on. I've seen it happen time and time again. There is a Better Way.
What if I told you that you could eat (yes, eat) as much as you want of delicious food without counting calories or carbs, and still lose weight? Say what?? Yes, you heard me. Look, it's no secret that excess weight is related to many other chronic conditions and diseases. In fact, we can really look at being overweight as just a symptom of inflammation - and inflammation is the root of all disease.
There are many things that can cause inflammation in our body but one of the most common causes is allergies and sensitivities from our food. An allergic reaction is inflammation. And, common sense tells us that when we constantly expose ourselves to something we are allergic too, this leads to chronic inflammation. Having a severe allergy to say, peanuts, can cause an immediate life-threatening response and if you're someone with that type of allergy, then you probably are very meticulous at avoiding such an exposure. Of course an allergic reaction doesn't need to be life-threatening. It could be something as simple as breaking out in hives.
BUT, what if you didn't have an allergy to peanuts but you had a more mild sensitivity? What's the difference here and how would you know? Well, unlike the allergy where you get an immediate response, a food sensitivity is an inflammatory reaction that is delayed, meaning your symptoms may not come out until about 24-72 hours after you are exposed to the culprit.
Symptoms vary, but the most common ones are:
- weight gain
- digestion issues (constipation, diarrhea)
- brain fog
- headaches or migraines
- muscle aches
- stomach aches
You may not even know that you have a food sensitivity because most likely you are eating the culprit food every single day and any symptoms you are experiencing could feel totally normal to you. OR, you are aware of the symptoms but because of the delayed time lapse it's extremely difficult to make the connection that something you are eating is causing the reaction. The other side of this, is that it can be difficult and expensive to get tested. Most doctors are not testing for food sensitivities - just allergies. And this is why so many people are unknowingly causing chronic inflammation in their bodies that can lead to toxicity and excess weight.
How To Find Out If You Have a Food Sensitivity
The easiest, most cost effective way to identify food sensitivities is by doing, what's called, an Elimination Diet. This is the protocol that I use as the foundation in my seasonal detox programs because it works. I believe in this protocol because it's also how I've uncovered my own food allergies and sensitivities. Although an elimination diet is not a new thing, it hasn't gotten nearly as much publicity as many of the other heavily marketed diets and weight loss programs on the market. And, although the goal is not to necessarily lose weight, that is more often than not, a happy side effect. Just recently, Dr. Mark Hyman was featured on The Today Show talking about the benefits of the elimination diet in helping people identify food sensitivities, decreasing inflammation and losing weight. You can read the article here.
In my seasonal detox programs, we focus on eliminating the most common food allergens for 10 days and then we guide you into a reintroduction phase where you would strategically add back each food one by one so you can determine which food(s) are causing the problems.
The foods we avoid for 10 days include:
- gluten and wheat
- gluten-free grains
- processed sugars
During the 10 days that you are eliminating the common allergens, we are replacing them with nourishing whole foods which support your detoxification. This 2-prong approach has been very successful in helping people jump-start their weight loss, detox, AND identify foods that they are sensitive to. For most people, this is a very powerful "first step" towards reducing inflammation and building their health blueprint for life.
Have you had success with uncovering food allergies or sensitivities with an elimination diet or detox? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
P.S. Wanna sneak peek into one of my 10-Day Detox programs that uses the elimination diet? Sign up to get my FREE 3-Day Detox and jump-start your weight loss now!