These days, almost everyone you meet is on a weight management program. Being overweight is a universal problem. More than half the world seems to be battling it. Of course, lifestyle factors contribute to the problem. Fast foods and the lack of exercise are churning out a nation of unhealthy, overweight people. Curiously, even those who are eating healthy and in limited quantities are also unable to keep their weight down.
One of the main reasons for people gaining oodles of weight is intense food cravings. Many of us develop seemingly insurmountable cravings for a particular kind of food. These types of food are high in sugar, salt or fats. Interestingly, these ‘comfort’ foods have the ability to dump large amounts of sugar into the bloodstream. Some examples include ice reams, pastries, fries etc. Why such foods? Surely, there cannot be so many people who love the same food? Studies show that many people feel the urge to eat these foods because of inherent food sensitivities, which ultimately give rise to metabolic problems that cause them to overeat. This leads to weight gain.
Let us look at a popular example – carbohydrate intolerance.
People who are carbohydrate intolerant are unable to digest carbohydrate and absorb sugars. Thus the carbohydrate entering their body remains unutilized. As a result the body experiences carbohydrate depletion and soon slips into a starvation mode. This is a stage where it clings tightly to existing fat deposits, drastically cuts down on the rate of metabolism and signals ever increasing hunger (so fat deposits can be built). In the end, sufferers end up eating more and their weight increases.
Something similar happens even when you eat other offending foods. Your body reacts by reducing serotonin levels, which in turn triggers the desire to eat carbohydrates. Obviously, when you overindulge in pastas, white bread, potatoes and pastries, you can expect little success in weight loss management.
Unfortunately, even though a very high percentage of people suffer from food cravings related to food intolerance, most people do not recognize the root cause. That is because these symptoms are very subtle. Many reactions occur after a period of one or two days, which makes it difficult to interrelate the cause and symptom. Often, even doctors miss out the correlation. People end up exercising rigorously and yo-yo dieting. All for nothing.
Food sensitivities can affect weight loss management in other ways too. Reaction to different kinds of food can lead to water retention and gastrointestinal problems, which hinder weight loss efforts. Many weight watchers take in supplements as a normal part of the dieting process. However, it is important to verify that the supplements you take in do not contain substances you are allergic or sensitive to. For example, people who are allergic to milk should not take in products that contain whey.
If you are overweight and want to make sure that your weight loss plans actually take off, begin by understanding food sensitivity and food allergies. Avoid offending foods. Weight loss management is a long term effort. Do not expect it to yield results overnight. However, by keeping away from foods that are bad for you, the effort becomes a lot easier. In the end, weight loss happens faster and in a healthier way.