I’ve looked into many types of diets for my patients. Usually their main motivation is weight loss. When we take a deeper look, we usually find other symptoms such as fatigue, headache, symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. What I have come to find on a personal and professional level is that diets don’t work.
I’ll say it again. Diets don’t work. The science is becoming clearer and our old ways of thinking about “good” vs “bad” foods needs to be redefined and re-calibrated. The simple method of counting calories and exercising is not as successful as we once thought. Many of my patients have said that they are eating all the right foods and exercising 5-7 days a week but can’t lose a pound.
The issue is not that you’re doing anything wrong. It’s your biochemistry. You are actually eating certain foods that don’t serve you any more. I’m not talking about the sugars, alcohol, or extra whip cream. I’m referring to even the “healthy” foods that we hear so much about that you may be reacting to. Believe it or not, some of the most reactive foods are salmon, greek yogurt, tomatoes, black beans, turkey, tuna and oatmeal. Sound familiar? This does not mean these foods are bad for you, but it is possible that they may not work with your biochemistry and you’re having problems digesting them. We typically hear about gluten, dairy or soy. These can also be allergic foods but there are so many others that can trigger inflammation in the body. Symptoms include rashes, migraines, and achy joints. Reactive foods also hasten the aging process, cause anxiety and depression, and make it more difficult to cope with stress.
You may find that having wine, potato chips and chocolate aren’t the problem at all (wouldn’t that be nice!).
We all know the benefits of exercise including how it manages our weight. But too much of a good thing is a problem. Too much exercise can be interpreted as a stress to the system and keep inflammation turned on. So exercise in moderation is best.
The bottom line: It’s about identifying which foods (specifically for you) are troublesome. When eliminating them, you reduce inflammation (cortisol), re-set your immune system and allow your body to repair which is what it’s been trying to do this whole time. I have seen excess weight drop off, digestive issues such as gas, bloating and constipation improve or completely be eliminated, and energy and stamina soar!
It’s a great time to detox and reset your system. One book that I have found helpful is entitled “The Plan” by Lyn-Genet Recitas. It is a wonderful guide in giving people step-by-step eating plans and recipes in how to find their reactive foods and more importantly which foods really work for them. Allergy testing is also helpful which not only identifies foods, but also environmental toxins, molds and chemicals. When you avoid these reactants, you not only see the difference, but feel the difference too.