You’re counting calories, you’ve bought an expensive step-tracking watch, and you’ve even hired a personal trainer. And, yet, you’re still not losing weight.
If you’re doing everything right and aren’t seeing the number on the scale go down, it’s easy to feel frustrated. Don’t give up hope, though.
Sometimes, in order to see results, you need to think outside the box.
There’s a possibility that food allergies or intolerances could be preventing weight loss for you.
Read on to learn more about food sensitivity testing and how it can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Food Allergies Vs. Food Intolerances
First things first, let’s clear up some common misconceptions regarding food allergies and intolerances.
The two words often get used interchangeably. But, there are some important differences between them.
A food allergy will cause an immune system reaction. This reaction affects various organs throughout the body and triggers a wide range of symptoms.
In many cases, the symptoms associated with allergic food reactions are severe and even life-threatening. For example, someone who is allergic to shellfish may go into anaphylactic shock and be unable to breathe if they eat something like shrimp or lobster.
Unlike food allergies, the symptoms associated with a food intolerance are usually less severe. That’s not to say that they’re not unpleasant, of course. They just are not life-threatening.
Often, if you consume a food to which you are intolerant, you might experience symptoms like digestive stress, skin problems like acne or eczema, fatigue, brain fog, or joint pain.
Common Food Allergies and Intolerances
Some foods that most frequently trigger reactions include:
- Tree nuts
Some people may also be intolerant to these foods. They don’t experience severe reactions when they consume them, but they also do not feel their best after eating them.
Many people also have intolerances to certain types of food.
For example, people with a FODMAP intolerance have a hard time digesting certain types of carbohydrates. Food additives like sulfates, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sugar alcohols can also trigger reactions in some folks.
How Allergies and Intolerances Affect Weight Loss
Now that you know more about food allergies and intolerances, you might be wondering how they can affect your ability to lose weight.
There are a few different ways that food sensitivities can prevent weight loss.
First, if you’re regularly eating foods to which you are allergic or intolerant, your body is going to become inflamed. This causes your body to hold onto water.
If you’re holding onto water, you’ll likely feel puffy and bloated and you’re probably not going to see the number on the scale drop.
If you’re regularly eating problematic foods, you’re probably also missing out on other key nutrients that your body needs to function properly and lose weight.
You’ll also likely feel less energized and generally unwell, neither of which is great for performing well in workouts and seeing results from your weight loss efforts.
How do Food Sensitivity Tests Work
Clearly, food allergies and intolerances can make it much harder for you to lose weight and feel as healthy as you would like.
How do you find out which food allergies or intolerances you have?
One of the easiest ways to determine which foods work for you and which ones don’t is to simply take a food sensitivity test.
These tests can be performed in a doctor’s office — functional medicine clinics like Bliss Medicine typically offer them more frequently. You can also order them online and have them delivered to your home.
There are many different types of food sensitivity tests, including blood tests, breath tests, and stool tests.
Once they’re collected, these samples will be exposed to a variety of common allergens and then monitored to see which ones trigger an immune response.
If an allergen triggers an immune response, this would indicate that you have an allergy or sensitivity to that particular food.
What to do with Your Food Sensitivity Test Results
Once you’ve had a food sensitivity test performed, you might be wondering what to do with those results.
In most cases, eliminating the foods to which you are sensitivity (or at least the foods that trigger the strongest immune response) will help minimize your symptoms and jumpstart your weight loss.
You’ll be less inflamed once you cut out these foods, which can help you start to see the number on the scale go down. You’ll also likely have more energy and feel better, in general, which can make it easier for you to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
Do I Have to Avoid Those Foods Forever?
Many people ask this question after taking a food sensitivity test, especially if it turns out they’re allergic or intolerant to a food they really love.
In some cases, the answer is, “yes.” Sometimes, your body just can’t handle a certain type of food.
The good news, though, is that, often, you can reverse your intolerance to certain foods by improving your gut health.
There are a number of practices you can implement to improve your gut health, including the following:
- Eliminating the foods to which you are intolerant
- Taking probiotic supplements
- Eating probiotic-rich foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, etc.)
- Eating gut-healing foods like bone broth and collagen peptides
- Reducing stress
- Getting more sleep
All of these practices can help you to heal your gut and minimize the immune response your body experiences when you eat those problematic foods.
What Else is Preventing Weight Loss?
As you can see, a food allergy or intolerance could be preventing weight loss and making it harder for you to reach your goals.
But, are there other health issues that might be keeping you from losing weight?
Check out this article to learn about three mistakes you might be making that are sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Stop doing these three things — and make sure you’re not ignoring any food allergies or intolerances — and you’ll start losing weight before you know it!