Diet not working? Food sensitivities could be stopping you from losing weight



Food sensitivities can be a common cause of weight gain. Foods such as wheat, corn, milk and eggs are often the culprits

Avoiding these potentially problematic foods can also relieve ailments such as headaches, depression, digestive problems and skin conditions.

Don’t count on it

Counting Calories as a strategy consistently fails millions of people. If you’ve tried low fat, low carb, and low calories and/or spend hours exercising each week and have failed to lose weight, your problem could be a food sensitivity.

When the body is aggravated by a food, inflammation and weight gain can result.

One of the most successful weight loss secrets is to find out if you are sensitive to a food you typically eat daily, e.g.  Wheat, corn, eggs, yeast or milk, and then eliminate one or more of these foods from your diet.

Food sensitivities can vary considerably from one person to another. Many of us have no idea we are sensitive to certain foods because we eat them all the time and are used to the symptoms (headache, depressed moods, fatigue, dry skin etc.).

We often don’t realize that it may be our diet that is causing these chronic unexplained symptoms.

The most common food sensitivities are: Wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, yeast (used in many products such as bread, vinegar and alcohol), oats, sugar, coffee, oats, barley, potatoes, soy, citrus, chocolate, beef, pork, nuts and onions.

Obesity and weight problems have reached epidemic proportions in the last three decades, with more people struggling to achieve their ideal weight.

The mantra of the doctors, dieticians and governments is to reduce calories and increase exercise. Yet if you look at the statistics, this approach has not produced the desired results. In fact the opposite is occurring.

Thyroid problems (i.e. hypothyroid) can be an underlying reason for to weight gain. There is a link between gluten, (another common food sensitivity) and thyroid problems. Once people who are hypothyroid start avoiding gluten, they often lose weight and feel better. Some even reduce the amount of medication they are taking.

One theory about how food sensitivities affect weight is that they cause an immune reaction that disrupts a feedback mechanism in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus receives signals from the gut when we eat fat, prompting us to feel satiated.  When this mechanism is working well, your body weight remains constant, despite varying calorie consumption from day to day. This negative feedback mechanism is your body’s way of maintaining homeostasis.

Adverse reactions caused by regularly eating foods you are sensitive to causes the homeostatic regulation of weight to be disrupted, thereby abnormally increasing fat storage, and leading to weight gain.  This is why you can’t shed the pounds regardless of how little you eat.

In order to identify which foods might be affecting your health, following an elimination diet and gradually re-introducing potentially problematic foods  can provide the solution to your weight and other chronic health conditions. Once the problematic foods are identified they can either be permanently eliminated or in some cases eaten occasionally.

An elimination diet allows you to eat as much as you like of low sensitivity foods, such as turkey, lamb, many types of fish, lentils, vegetables such as green beans and avocado and fruit such as apples.

By eliminating high sensitivity foods, weight loss can be achieved in as little as a week.

The overall goal of this diet is to introduce a broad range of foods back into the diet that don’t adversely affect weight or induce other symptoms.

The elimination/challenge process can take up to six weeks to identify the sensitive foods and then reintroduce non-problematic foods back into your diet.


About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin