Weight loss is not simply about energy in/energy out, this works for some people but not for the vast majority who either don’t achieve their weight loss goals or put it all back on plus more.
Did you know that your food can be causing you to gain weight or stopping you from losing weight, even if you have a healthy diet and do not overeat? You might often feel tired or moody after a meal or be suffering tummy troubles but not sure what the culprit is.
It may be food intolerances otherwise known as food allergies! Over time; food intolerances damage your digestive system causing inflammation and an inability to absorb essential vitamins and minerals leading to weight gain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, stress, hormonal issues, more allergies, thyroid problems and much more.
It also can lead to a reduction the hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. These are required to make you happy, motivated and help you to sleep well. If you are low in any of these, it will make it very tough for you to lose weight. It is not your fault, you are not lazy, and it is not about “will power”!
If you are eating right foods for you in the right balance and you have a healthy functioning digestive system. Your body will easily able to make these important hormones and neurotransmitters so that you are naturally energised, motivated and happy! If you are having trouble losing weight, investigate intolerances; as identifying these; will lead you on the path to long term successful weight loss and good health, rather than just jumping back on the will power merry go round!
More recommendations for Diet and Lifestyle:
- Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre, such as low starch salad type vegetables (eg raw beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini), raw unsalted nuts and seeds (eg walnuts, almonds, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds). Note: always increase water consumption with increased fibre.
- Cease alcohol consumption or reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day, ensuring you have 2 or 3 alcohol free days each week. Avoid binge drinking.
- Don’t smoke, it increases inflammation and artery damage causing more cholesterol to be produced by the body to act as a “bandaid”.
- Exercise regularly (for example, at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily – you must get puffed)! If you don’t know what exercise you should be doing talk to a qualified Personal Trainer to get the right advice for you.
- Avoid fried foods, especially deep fried foods, battered food, pies, sausage rolls, hot dogs, spring rolls etc.
- Avoid sugar (confectionary, lollies, cakes, muffins, pastries, chocolate, sweets, sweet drinks etc).
- Avoid consumption trans-fatty acids/hydrogenated oils (including margarine and other processed foods) and confectionary (sometimes listed as hydrogenated oil/fat on the label).
- Reduce salt (labelled as sodium in packaged foods). Foods are considered to be low in sodium if they contain 120mg or less per 100g. Foods with more than 500mg per 100g of sodium are considered to be high in salt.
- Reduce caffeinated and sugary drinks: coffee, tea, soft drinks, milk drinks and energy drinks.
- Drink dandelion coffee/tea (it is liver friendly) and other herbal teas such as chamomile.
- Drink green tea an antioxidant (no milk or sugar) in moderation (it still contains caffeine).
- Eat a serving of berries each day 1/3 to 1/2 cup depending on the size of the berry (bilberry, blueberries, cranberry, strawberries etc) – high in bioflavonoids and antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important because they stop the LDLs from become oxidised and therefore damaging to your body.
- Add fresh garlic to meals.
- Do not skip meals, eat regular meals. Compared to a regular meal pattern an irregular meal pattern has been shown cause blood sugar and blood cholesterol problems.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Relax: relaxation has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
- Any food allergies/intolerances or other gut problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome must be identified and managed properly. These allergies and gut problems cause inflammation and over stimulate the immune system which will ultimately lead toward chronic diseases like heart disease. It is best to enlist the support of health professionals who specialise in this area (this is one of our specialties at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre).
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For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact Fiona or Rachel on (02) 47 222 111 or www.informedhealth.com.au
Eddey Stephen. Cardiovascular Disease: The best treatment options, 2011. Health Schools Australia, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.
Many references and studies are available at : http://www.dietdoctor.com/science
If you have any food allergies/intolerances you would be familiar with the challenges that can come with eating out. Scanning the menu looking for something that sounds nice but is also safe for you to eat. Often the choices are very limited and you end up spending some time talking to the waiter about options and possible alternative ways of making a dish – only to end up with a disappointing meal that is inedible due to taste or presence of allergic foods.
Last week I went to a Penrith Chamber dinner at the Glenbrook RAAF base, I had given advance warning of my allergies I was pleasantly surprised. They provided a three course meal which was completely allergy free for me which was tasty, filling and even included a dessert. Yes they even made a cake for me which was gluten free, dairy free, almond free, olive oil free and cocoa free – and it was lovely! This is so rare, usually I just watch everyone else eat dessert.
It is important to remember that restaurant staff don’t always understand food groups and allergies. The next day I was at a local cafe for a breakfast meeting. I was running late so instead of saying can I please have omelette with spinach, spanish onion and tomato. No cheese, milk or cream and no bread. I quickly listed what I wanted included in the omelette and said no bread or dairy. Five minutes later a concerned waiter came in to my meeting to chat with me about my choice in breakfast and explained that is was not possible to do a dairy free omelette because omelettes contain eggs!
After explaining to him as patiently as I could that eggs come from chooks not cows; he then went on to explain that they had to use milk, would skim be OK. Starting to lose my patience by now I explained that I was allergic to whey and that it is in all milk. Just make the eggs without milk, they won’t be as fluffy but they will be fine, do you need me to show the chef how to do it? He walked out still looking confused and unsure but ultimately the chef figured it out and my eggs arrived allergy free!
In my case, this is just mildly amusing because my allergic reactions are quite mild, unlike some of my clients who have quite severe and debilitating reactions. Of course this can be deadly for people of suffer from acute anaphylaxis.
Moral to the story is to always spell it out as plainly as possible to wait staff, don’t assume basic knowledge of food groups and allergies.
What have your experiences been good and bad? Any tips for other allergy sufferers about ordering to avoid allergies?