Is it Food Addiction or Food Intolerance?
by Tracey C. Webber February 3, 2012
Do you have a favorite food that you HAVE to have or can’t stop eating? Do you feel tired, bloated, and drained much of the time? These may be signs of a food addiction or it could be a food intolerance. Either one will wreak havoc on your health and your ability to maintain a healthy weight, strong immunity, and more.
Many times, the foods we think we LOVE are actually the foods that our bodies have a sensitivity to or intolerance to, keeping us from losing weight and making us feel tired and depressed.
When we eat a food that we have an intolerance or sensitivity to, it causes an inflammatory reaction and floods our body with chemicals. And it’s the chemicals that our body releases that create the addiction to that food. This can keep you from losing weight, causing you to feel tired and start a cascade of other symptoms.
The reason a food intolerance can be difficult to identify is because there are many different symptoms and the symptoms are different for everyone. Also, there is often a delayed reaction from eating the food, so you may eat wheat one day and feel fine, but then the day after you feel bloated and tired. The challenge is how do you know the two are related.
It takes time, but by being your own detective you can identify how you are responding to the foods you eat. Once you do, it makes it much easier for you to control your food addictions and improve your health. I know from firsthand experience that for some foods I eat it can take up to 2 -3 days before I have a reaction to the food. Having this understanding has made a tremendous difference in my life. This is why it is one of the most important things I help my clients identify.
The most common foods that people have a sensitivity or intolerance to are dairy, wheat/gluten, and soy. These are the foods that often end up being trigger foods for most people, along with sugar.
Once you eliminate the foods that you are reactive to, you will be amazed at how quickly your energy and health will increase and, if needed, weight will effortlessly fall off. Your body will thank you for returning it to its natural state of radiant health.
Symptoms caused by food intolerances that you may not be aware of:
Headaches / Migraines
Cravings for food
It’s surprising isn’t it?
Below are five suggestions Dr. Mark Hyman, a very well-known holistic health doctor, writer, and one of my teachers, suggests you can do to help break your food addictions:
1. Balance your blood sugar: Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with LOWER overall blood flow to the brain, which means more BAD decisions. To keep your blood sugar stable:
Eat a nutritious breakfast with some protein, like eggs, protein shakes or nut butters. Studies repeatedly show that eating a healthy breakfast helps people maintain weight loss.
Also, have smaller meals throughout the day. Eat every 3-4 hours and have some protein with each snack or meal (lean animal protein, nuts, seeds, beans).
Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime.
2. Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners and your cravings will go away: Go cold turkey or slowly work out a plan to eliminate refined sugars, sodas, fruit juices, and artificial sweeteners from your diet, as these can trigger cravings.
3. Determine if hidden food intolerances are triggering your cravings: We often crave the very foods that we have a hidden intolerance or allergy to.
4. Get 7-8 hours of sleep: Research shows that lack of sleep increases cravings.
5. Optimize Your Nutrient Status:
Optimize your vitamin D level: According to one study, when Vitamin D levels are low, the hormone that helps turn off your appetite doesn’t work and people feel hungry all the time, no matter how much they eat.
Optimize omega 3s: Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have also been associated with depression, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity.
Understanding food addiction and food intolerance may seem daunting, but really isn’t. It may take some time, but the benefits to your daily health and your weight can be significant. The more intuitive you become with your body’s response to food the more your health will improve and you will struggle less with weight gain.
Take the time to pay attention and keep track of what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. This is a good start to knowing what works for you and what doesn’t. None of my clients have the same exact symptoms caused by the same foods, but they all see significant improvements in their health and weight loss efforts when they identify how they are responding to the foods they are eating.
If you are truly stuck and find that you are not getting what you want and know something is getting in your way, contact a member of our team for a 30 minute breakthrough session. During this session we will look at your current goals and see what is blocking you. You'll walk away with a least one major aha about why you are stuck and what you can do to get unstuck and break your old patterns.
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~All food can be medicine, and all food can be poison...
the secret is in using the right food at the right time ~
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