My weight would NOT budge even though I was eating healthy foods; whole grains, lots of veggies, real dairy, NO white sugar. On top of that my knees were achy and I was struggling with a low back issue that would not go away. I am blessed that I have not been diagnosed with an immune disorder or injury but I knew something was off. Instead of just living with it I did what I LOVE to do – Experiment!
There had to be a reason why my healthy intentions were not yielding the results I expected and I was determined to find out why. My first experiment was to understand INFLAMMATION. Through my course in Integrative Nutrition I learned that we are all chemically unique. What’s healthy for you might not be healthy for me. Joshua Rosenthal call this called bio-individuality. My weight and health were simply a chemical response to the foods I was eating and even though I was doing my best to follow all of the “healthy” rules out there it was not working.
Let’s back up. What is inflammation? First off it’s not always a bad thing. Inflammation is the bodies attempt to protect and heal itself. Anything that stresses the body is a que for it to inflame. There are two types; Acute and Chronic.
- Acute inflammation – starts rapidly and quickly becomes severe. You know when you sprain your ankle, stub your toe or you’ve taken one of my exercise classes and worked muscles you didn’t know you had. Signs and symptoms are only present for a few days and you know exactly what you did.
- Chronic Inflammation – means long-term inflammation, which can last for several months and even years and the problem is you might not even know you have it. It can result from:
- Failure to eliminate whatever was causing an acute inflammation
- An autoimmune response to our own body – the immune system attacks healthy tissue, mistaking it (them) for something harmful
- An irritant introduced to the body of low intensity that persists (this could be food or something else we are ingesting).
Inflammation left untreated can be VERY damaging and is the root cause of many deadly diseases.
Through my research I learned that consistently picking the foods that don’t work for your chemistry can accelerate the inflammatory process and this could cause joint pain, depression, insomnia and weight gain. Even some of the healthy foods I was eating may be treated as an irritant by my body.
So based on the recommendation of some of the health experts I put together a list of foods that MIGHT not be working for me. I had successfully eliminated some of the TOP inflammatory foods;
- Trans Fats
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (refined cooking oils such as corn, soy, safflower, margarine)
- Artificial Sweeteners
I had not fully taken out Gluten, Dairy, Grains or Alcohol or some secondary inflammatory foods such as nightshade veggies, soy, corn, eggs, citrus fruits and peanuts.
Based on how I knew I felt after eating some of these foods here is what I decided to cut out of my diet.
Amy’s Inflammation Experiment: Remove all of the following for 2 weeks
- Sugar (I did use honey)
- Trans Fats, Omega 6 Fatty Acids (refined cooking oils such as corn, soy, safflower, margarine, most processed desserts)
- Artificial Sweeteners (no diet anything)
- ALL grains which included gluten (no rice, pasta, bread, crackers, oatmeal, etc.)
I have never noticed a problem with dairy (except milk) so I still had cheese and yogurt. Oh, and I also did not fully give up wine on the weekends.
OK TRUTH time…THIS WAS NOT EASY. You have to remove all the foods that might be causing you inflammation for 2 WEEKs and then slowly add one back in at a time and see how you react? I made sure I didn’t go hungry and filled up on all of the foods NOT on the list.
In two weeks I lost the weight I had wanted to lose and guess what – as soon as I started eating whole grain bread and brown rice the weight came right back. Because of my chemistry I kinda knew that carbohydrates were my nemesis when it comes to maintaining my weight. It is really hard to give up these things but I found substitutes such as using zucchini instead of pasta, cauliflower for rice, bread and pizza dough and I found a product called Miracle Noodles online (I will put the link to this on my website).
As far as my weight was concerned I was happy but I did not notice a big change in my knee pain and my hunger was still constant so I wanted to dig deeper. From one of the many programs I have listened to I decided on my next experiment – The Ketogenic Diet. Stay tuned for my next blog post where I describe My Experiment with The Ketogenic Diet! Results were pretty cool!
Please email me or contact me if you have any questions or want help with seeing if INFLAMMATION could be causing your weight gain.
Hugs until next time