Recently I went on a food intolerance course to better my understanding of what food intolerance is and what effects it can have on the body with weight loss and what benefits my clients would get from doing a food intolerance test, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to find what I now call a Missing Link in Personal Training.
As a professional trainer I receive questions all the time from clients and friends “what should I be eating to lose weight?”, usually I would know exactly what to say, but what I found out about food intolerance really through a bit of a spanner in the works!.
Before I continue, I realize that some of you reading this might ask yourself, “what does this have to do with weight loss or fitness?”
Up to 45% of the population has a food intolerance, and it can affect any organ in the body, although there is a wide range of chronic symptoms to having an intolerance, it’s the gut symptoms, bloating, low mood and weight gain which is most relevant to some of you. And this sheds light on why some people are training 5 times a week, eating healthy foods but are unwittingly making their fat loss goal an almost impossible nightmare by eating foods they are actually intolerant to which is halting their weight loss. (Light bulb!)
So what is the difference between having a food allergy and food intolerance?
|Food Intolerance||Food Allergy|
|Reactions up to 72 hours after eating (often chronic)||Immediate reactions (2 hours or less)|
|Multiple foods can be involved||Rarely more than 1 to 2 foods|
|Any organ system can be affected||Primarily skin, airways and digestive system|
|Very common(up to 45% population)||Trace amounts of foods can cause reactions|
|Difficult to self-diagnose, Caused by raised IgG antibody||Caused by raised IgE antibody|
|Symptoms can clear after avoidance (3-6 months)||Lifelong|
Before, I had always thought that the foods people could be intolerant to were only a few. You know, the main ones being things like milk and nuts, but I had no idea you could be intolerant to any foods, yes and I mean any. A person could be intolerant anything from beetroot to broccoli or even carrots. I was surprised, to say the least.
*I personally have suffered from IBS like symptoms, bloating, and had occasional severe stomach pains for 3 years on and off, to which the GP and the local hospital could not find a cause. I had tried cutting out bread then I tried cutting out dairy but with only little result. But I knew it was something I was eating, but could not pin down what?
Also, this was a great chance to find out what foods I was intolerant to, the food intolerance test I took was a simple finger prick and a little absorbent wand to collect a few drops of blood (which tested my blood against 150 food and drink ingredients), and sent it off to get tested.
I received my results just over a week later. Turns out I am intolerant to Milk, Eggs, Yeast, Wheat and Brazil nuts. So within 3 weeks of taking these foods out of what I eat, my stomach is no longer bloated. Also, my IBS like symptoms have almost completely gone and is exactly what I was hoping for.
However, what I was not expecting was an added side effect of my dry cracked skin on my hands to clear up or the tired spells I get in the middle of the day to stop. I hadn’t even considered that these would improve as well.
Meanwhile, as for weight loss, I am always keeping fit training people all day. Remarkably for 3 weeks of adjusting my diet, I lost 2kg (4.4lbs).
Since having tried and tested this and seen the benefits personally, I have already been recommending my clients and friends about doing the test. One of my clients who gets migraines has done the test. It had yeast come up as her intolerance, since cutting this out of her diet (as much as possible). She was happy to report she has not had a migraine since!
In conclusion, I have found the tests to be very useful and valuable to me and my clients in increasing our health, and sometimes also speeding their fitness and weight loss goals!
A recent study has shown that those who eliminated trigger foods based on food-specific IgG test results had reductions in weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumference and improvements in all indicators of quality of life that were measured. The quality of life indicators included physical and emotional wellbeing, mental health, social life, pain levels, and vitality.