Are Food Sensitives Hurting Your Workout?

Food sensitivities are all the rage these days!!!  If you can think back over the past decade or so, food was simply food.  Now, everyone seems to be going gluten or dairy free… all in the hopes that it will either save their health or further their fitness ambitions. If you’ve been wondering if all these sensitivities are actually affecting your health, here’s some knowledge we’ve garnered through the years.

Sensitivities Vs. Allergies

What exactly is the difference between food sensitivities and allergies?

Let’s start out with sensitivities, or “intolerances”… If you eat a dish that contains the food you think you are allergic, but without and immediate allergic reaction, you are probably dealing with a food sensitivity. The issues you deal with aren’t typically very severe, but can inhibit your ability to function as your normal, healthy self.

Sensitivities typically induce:

  • mild digestive problems
  • inflammation
  • bloating
  • fatigue
  • brain fog
  • headaches

Food allergies on the other hand, can be serious life-threatening experiences.  They trigger an IgE response; where antibodies release chemicals causing a reaction in the lungs, throat, skin or nose. These reactions can take place any time between a couple of minutes and a couple of hours.

Common food allergy symptoms:

  • Itching in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
  • Hives, itching or rash
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Nasal congestion or trouble breathing
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Very severe reactions are referred to as anaphylaxis :

  • Tightening of the airways
  • A swollen throat, or a “lump” in the throat, making it breathing difficult
  • A severe drop in blood pressure, or rapid pulse
  • Dizziness with potential loss of consciousness
  • Are Certain Foods Linked to Weight Gain?

The concept that food sensitivities and weight gain are linked has existed for a long time. The hypothesis is that the sensitivities affect the immune system; which in turn effect hormones that regulate digestion and consequently body weight.  So, if you eat a food that you have sensitivity, then your body would release a hormone that that would raise your insulin level. The insulin would then trigger enzymes which would tell you body to store the fat instead of using it for energy. The higher the amount of fat in your body, in turn, causes your “hunger” enzyme called, “leptin, ” to essentially fail. It’s the food sensitivity, “domino effect.”

However, despite a common belief amongst many nutritionists and doctors, there’s no credible evidence to prove the link between food sensitivities and weight gain, or difficult weight loss.  No that this won’t be proven; just that currently not enough studies exist to prove the hypothesis. However, if you still feel that a certain food is hindering your ability to lose the weight you desire, it might be time to start thinking about alternatives to supplement your diet.

So… What Foods Cause Sensitivities?

Most of the time, the same foods that can cause allergic reactions are the same foods that people are the most sensitive.  Wheat gluten and dairy the most popular culprits as they are utilized in the manufacturing of a significant number of process foods; making up a large amount of the American diet.

Here’s some of the other common triggers for sensitivities/allergies:

  • dairy
  • eggs
  • wheat
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts
  • soy

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Responding to Food Sensitivities

Since we are unable to scientifically blame our difficulties with weight loss on our sensitivities and allergies, we should start looking at alternatives to solving our health issues.  Pursuing a healthy lifestyle that includes watching the foods we consume, coupled with regular exercise at the gym would be the ideal method for weight loss.  However, if you wish to test foods in your diet to see how they effect your health, here are few simple tips:

  1. Remove your suspicious food for three weeks.  Remove only the food you suspect.
  2. After three weeks, re-introduce the food back in to your diet. Record your results in a journal.  Make note of weight gain/loss and how you feel.
  3. Repeat with each suspected food.

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Track Your Diet to
Eliminate Harmful Foods