When you’re trying to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and generally make efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it can be frustrating not to see the results you’d expect on the scales.
Shifting the stubborn pounds can be difficult, but generally, it’s believed that eating a little less, and moving a little more, is enough to shed the excess weight. But what if it’s not? Could there be another factor keeping you from reaching your weight goals?
While there are many factors that can affect your weight, such as calorie consumption, activity levels, or medications, there could be a missing piece of the puzzle hidden in your gut.
The digestive system is incredibly complex. Linked to the brain via the vagus nerve, the gut communicates constantly with the brain, sending signals that help regulate appetite and food consumption.
But when the gut is unbalanced, those signals can be too. And this kind of imbalance can have a big impact on your satiety levels – how full and satisfied you feel after eating.
Could it be food intolerance?
An unhappy gut and an unhappy brain are more closely linked than you might think. And, with over 70% of the body’s immune system located in the gut, if the digestive system is stressed, there can be a whole host of knock-on effects around the body.
The immune system is sensitive, acting as an early warning system to protect the body from things that could harm it. But it doesn’t always get it right.
In the case of food intolerance, the immune system is triggered when the body mistakenly perceives a food protein as a threat. This immune reaction causes an inflammatory response that can lead to a host of uncomfortable symptoms such as IBS, bloating, eczema, migraine, or joint pain.
Your digestive system works hard constantly to deliver vital nutrients to the body. But if your gut is stressed, it simply isn’t as effective at processing your food in order to give your body what it needs.
Ordinarily, around 90% of the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which regulates your mood, appetite and sleep, happens in the gut.
But if these levels are low, which can happen when the balance of the gut is disturbed, you can find yourself stuck in a cycle of cravings.
Typically, when experiencing these types of craving cycles, the body calls out for foods which are high in carbohydrates, raising your insulin levels and causing spikes in your blood sugar. These sharp peaks are then followed by crashes, which leave you reaching for those carbohydrates again. The process puts further stress on your body, gut and immune system and can lead to weight gain.
It can be hard to get a handle on your cravings, but having a better understanding of your diet, and the foods that may be causing you problems, can help you make the right food choices for you, helping to balance your gut, reduce inflammation and break the cycle.
At Smartblood, many of our clients tell us that, after taking the test and making changes to their diet to replace their trigger foods, they naturally lost weight without any additional effort, as well as feeling better and seeing improvements in their symptoms.
Take control of your diet
Getting to the bottom of a food intolerance can be frustrating. Elimination diets, where you remove one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel, can take a long time. And, as it’s common to experience reactions to several ingredients, it can be a while before you are able to see the bigger picture.
Additionally, the foods that you react to can often come as a surprise. It’s common to blame a few ‘usual suspects’ when it comes to food intolerance but, anything, from bacon to blueberries, could be the cause.
Get answers faster with Smartblood
When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company.
At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods.
Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.
Extra support to help keep you on track
Our tests are supported by a 30-minute telephone consultation with our BANT registered Nutritional Therapist to help you understand your results and make safe, sustainable changes to your diet.
Once you’ve identified your trigger foods, this consultation is an important step in helping you to optimise your diet; to find alternatives for your trigger foods that help you feel satisfied, and to help you understand your intolerances in relation to some of the symptoms you may have been experiencing. If you want to manage your weight, our Nutritional Therapist can talk you through your results, recommending a safe, sustainable way to alter and optimise your diet, with your goals in mind.