Inflammation in the gastrointestinal system leads to fat gain in a myriad of ways. Firstly, gut inflammation creates a stress response in the body, which will then produce Cortisol (Stress Hormone). This can lead to a suppression of the immune system, including suppression of the immune system of the gut, which can lead to an increased susceptibility to infection and further increase the inflammatory cycle. This process can lead to food sensitivities and Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome is linked to a host of autoimmune diseases such as Hashimotos Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Food sensitivities are more common than you might think and its potential to wreck fat loss efforts and health are massive. Well beyond the typical food allergy causing an anaphylactic reaction (i.e. peanuts), food sensitivities are characterized by a low-grade reaction to certain foods that cause an inflammatory response in the body. Again, this leads to a stress response and cortisol release, leading to immune suppression and further gut issues. This vicious cycle will likely continue unless the offending foods are removed, the gut is allowed to heal and the stress response is reduced. However, discovering and addressing your food sensitivities is an effective way to increase your chances for sustained fat loss.
Foods to Avoid During an Elimination Diet (3-6 weeks)
Wheat and gluten containing foods
All dairy products
The nightshade family of vegetables (i.e. onions, tomatoes, eggplant)
Anything else you think may be causing you issues that are potentially harmful at worst. One of the best ways to stop a vicious GI-related cycle is to control inflammation and identify food sensitivities. A good Elimination Diet means removing foods to which many people are sensitive, you may be asking,what's left to eat? Good question. You'll eat a lot of rice, turkey, fish, lamb, green vegetables, and certain fruits (i.e. blueberries, apples).
By Kali Brydon BSC Human Nutritionist