How allergies are making you fat (and what you can do about it!)
Beating yourself up for not being able to shift that extra 15 pounds you’ve been lugging around for the last few years? Thinking that it’s kinda weird it’s there to start with – you’re a really healthy eater, no junk foods, you’re watching the calories, eating mostly organic foods (as far as your wallet stretches), exercising a few times a week (ok maybe once but you’re busy!), and all your friends comment that they can’t understand why you’re still overweight? Yeah, join the club. Here’s me on a BBC training course in 2005 (I continued to gain weight after these photos) – before I worked that allergies (histamine) can make you overweight, or thin, but that antihistamines definitely make you fat! Before I launch into what helped me lose 77lbs in under six months, let’s go over the basics of what can trip you up… 1. Are you sure you’re tracking calories correctly? I use the free version of www.fitday.com to track my calories and nutrients. Though I no longer have to count calories (more on why in a minute), it’s important to get a handle of what a plate of food actually measures up to. 2. Do you know what real hunger feels like? According to Dr Fuhrman, the dizziness, brain fog and stomach cramps we get about four hours after eating, are actually caused by toxins from our food being released into the blood stream. Numerous fasts and being sure to only eat when hungry have put me back in touch with real hunger. I can honestly say at least 90% of the time I only eat when hungry. 3. Lack of nutrients Ever suddenly go crazy craving something but not sure what it is? Sometimes an eating binge is the body’s way of trying to get the nutrients it needs. In it’s most extreme form we have pica, a weirdo disorder where people (usually women and children) eat dirt, sand, chalk and other things we wouldn’t call food – it’s mostly seen in people who are iron deficient. Using Fitday (or any other tracker) will help you work out what’s lacking in your diet. 4. Lack of exercise While I wish I could say there was an easy way around this, there really isn’t. On a very basic level, exercise is needed to help fight inflammation, boost feel good dopamine and endorphins that keep you happy (and out of the fridge!), in addition to burning calories. I used to spend $$$ on exercise classes and dvds before discovering GAIAM TV! They’re the folks behind my absolute favourite exercise dvds – all of which you can now stream for just $10 a month. I started out slow; just 10 minutes a day for the first few weeks, before gradually working my way up to 50 minutes of hardcore cardio several times a week, in addition to ashtanga yoga. Exercise raises histamine levels, please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise. 5. Overestimating how many calories exercise burns… Here’s the one that tripped me up for decades! I was so excited by how many calories I had burned that I would just go out and eat what I wanted afterwards…now I just don’t factor in exercise. Getting back in tune with my body was easy once I eliminated meds from my diet and fasted a few times. I trust my body to let me know when it needs food.