Ever feel like your workouts and healthy diet aren’t paying off? Turns out 45 per cent of the population suffer from food intolerance*and it could be jeopardising weight-loss goals. Holland & Barrett nutritionist Elizabeth Wall reveals more…
food intolerance Hinders weight loss? er, why?
Elizabeth tells Now: ‘From an aesthetic perspective, bloating, puffiness and water retention commonly experienced with food intolerances will influence the way we look, causing us to feel and look bigger and weigh more on the scales.’ As well as this, intolerances cause fatigue, meaning fewer calories burned, which can lead to weight gain. Elizabeth adds: ‘At cellular level, gut wall inflammation caused by food intolerances can lead to deficiencies of nutrients that are essential for proper metabolism and weight control. The hormone cortisol, produced to control inflammation, also causes blood sugar fluctuations. As a result of these blood sugar fluctuations the excess glucose will be then stored as fat, usually around the abdominal region.’ Food intolerances can also lead to cravings, particularly for sugary and high-glycaemic food, leading to an increase in calorie intake.
do you Have an intolerance?
Any food can cause an intolerance, but the most common culprits are dairy (lactose), wheat (grains), gluten, eggs and yeast. Elizabeth says: ‘The foods that people are intolerant to are very individual and can be completely random. Often hidden ingredients can cause you to think you’re intolerant to that specific food.’ For example, gluten isn’t just in bread – it can be found in baking powder, stock cubes, mustard powder, ready-grated cheese, lemon curd, soy sauce, dry-roasted nuts, processed meats, flavoured crisps, malted milk drinks and pick-and-mix sweets. Try eliminating certain foods for a period of time then gradually reintroduce to see if symptoms return.
Dairy alternatives include soya-based products, rice milk and nut milk. Glutenfree grains include amaranth, teff and quinoa. Most supermarkets now offer ‘free from’ ranges so you don’t have to miss out. Try Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Nutri+ Calcium 1l, £2.40, Waitrose; Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Penne 500g, £1.30; and Sweet Freedom Choc Pot Chocolate Spread
250g, £3, Sainsbury’s.