If your body could get addicted to tobacco, alcohol and drugs, then why not food? Yes, little do we realize that our bodies could get addicted to food. Your body suffers from addiction regardless of the damage being done.
A food allergy is hypersensitivity of body towards certain kinds of food. Since we all have a distinct combination of genes, most of us are prone to different types of food allergies in varying degrees. The symptoms of a food allergy are generally severe itching, redness, swollen appearance of certain body parts, vomiting, diarrhea and sneezing. Such foods are treated as harmful foreign bodies by your immune system and it starts reacting to it. Did you know? Almost 4 million Americans have at least one food allergy.
The most common food allergies are towards peanuts, tree nuts, seafood like squids, shellfish and fish, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, barley and soy products. While you may not always exhibit epidermal reactions to your food allergens, chances are you may get bloated without any reasonable explanation or you may gain a few pounds overnight.
If you are intolerant to such allergens that are often hard to spot, chances are you may also be craving them just like any other form of addiction. Yes, the body will show subtle signs of allergy on your weight, but that won’t stop it from craving these foods. If you still don’t buy it, ask people suffering from obesity about what made them pile on the pounds. In fact, you too are a proof of this theory.
Are Food Allergies and Weight Gain Related?
When your body is allergic to any substance, it starts showing symptoms in your body like running nose, puffiness in certain parts and even sneezing. The water content in your body suddenly goes up as the body’s biochemical defense mechanism starts producing and retaining excess water to flush out the foreign substance causing allergy.
Thus, when you consume certain foods that you are allergic too, even unknowingly, a certain body organ may suddenly seem puffy or bloated than usual like your face, belly, arms, thighs or feet. Many people suffer from asphyxiation and need to be immediately referred to the medics. But, not all allergies result in such obvious reactions. A food allergy may be difficult to identify if the symptoms do not bring drastic changes in a short period.
Due to increase in the percentage of water in your body, you pack up a couple of pounds suddenly. However, the good news over here is that this is only water weight and easy to eliminate. But here is a catch, if you let your food cravings control you and consume food, that you may be unknowingly allergic to, more than once, your calorie intake will increase and surplus of it will increase the percentage of fat in your body. Hence, obese people are many pounds away from acceptable body weight with respect to other physical attributes, by a massive difference.
This may also be why it is so hard for you to stay committed to your diet and target weight loss or even prevent weight gain. The most common allergy causing foods in Americans are high in fat content and calorific value. Certain types of protein fragments in food mix in to the blood and cause allergic reactions. Whole grains, an integral ingredient of the ham-burger culture that contains 12 to 17% protein, is one of the food allergens that most Americans are allergic to. Sadly, one or more of these foods are consumed on a regular basis amongst them. So, you may now blame food allergies causing weight gain in Americans and explain the reason behind increasing dress sizes.
Another explanation for food allergies causing weight gain can be that, exactly like a drug addiction, when you eat food that you are allergic to, certain chemicals called endorphins are secreted by your brain. These are happy hormones and their effect lasts up to a few minutes. Once the effect starts receding, your brain craves for the same rush and compels you to eat more of those certain foods that you are allergic to. This phenomenon produces food cravings.
Well, here is a deal to help you avoid food allergies from causing weight gain. You can try out the elimination diet or the rotation diet. In fact, this also explains why certain diets work like a charm for some people but not all. An elimination diet can help you identify the foods that your body may be allergic to or the culprits of weight gain. It also detoxifies your body from those food cravings in about a week.
You may also undergo a blood test, like an Antigen Leukocyte Cellular Antibody or AL-CAT test, to ascertain the same. Start with eliminating a certain group of foods for example grains, seafood or poultry one at a time and slowly re-introducing them after at least 15 days of abstinence to observe any changes in your weight. I would also suggest that before you embark upon any diet, give your body 3-day detoxification.
Do yourself a favor, next time when you get a sudden craving, avoid those foods completely. You will thank yourself when the weighing scale shows you better results after a month.