You liked the “fast” part, right?
As a rule, I’m contemptuous of fast weight loss methods, because they invariably trigger rebound weight gain. But there’s one way to lose weight quickly without causing a rebound: losing what some doctors now call “false fat.” False fat is the five to ten extra pounds of water weight, generally accompanied by abdominal bloating from gas, that comes from eating foods that cause food reactions. False fat isn’t really fat, or adipose tissue, but it looks like fat, feels like fat, and can last forever if you don’t do something about it.
Most people think of food reactions as allergies, but allergies are just one type of food reaction. The other, more common type of reaction is a food sensitivity, which is an allergy, but milder. All forms of food reactions, however, have similar symptoms: water retention, abdominal bloating from gas, food cravings, heartburn and indigestion, facial puffiness, and low energy. If you frequently have more than one of these symptoms, it’s quite possibly due to food reactions.
Food reactions typically occur when people can’t fully digest what they eat. For example, the food reaction of lactose intolerance is an inability to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy products. When food molecules can’t be fully digested, the body identifies them as foreign invaders – such as pathogens – and tries to get rid of them, in part by washing them away with extra water.
This inability to fully digest foods is extremely common these days, because:
• We eat too narrow a range of foods. Most people get about 75% of their total calories from only about 10 of their favorite staples. Unfortunately, when you overeat any one food, you can exhaust your body’s ability to digest it, by depleting specific digestive enzymes.
• We eat artificial foods that the body doesn’t recognize as foods.
• We eat foods we’re not genetically programmed to eat. The easiest foods to digest are those your ancestors thrived on. The hardest to digest are the foods your ancestors rarely ate. For example, Asians and African Americans have extremely high rates of lactose intolerance, mostly because their ancestors didn’t consume many dairy products.
Because it’s hard for your body to digest foods that you eat too often, the foods that most often cause food reactions are usually very common foods. The six “repeat offenders” that cause a huge majority of reactions are:
2. Dairy products
Others that often cause problems are shellfish, chocolate, gluten (in wheat, rye, and oats), citrus fruits, M.S.G., and aspartame.
People often love the foods to which they are most reactive, because reactive foods can cause a drug-like response. As they enter the bloodstream – and trigger a distress alarm when they’re identified as a foreign invader – part of the body’s distress response is a release of feel-good endorphins, and energy-boosting insulin and adrenaline. This creates temporary spikes of contentment and satisfaction – which inevitably subside, causing a desire for more of the food: cravings!
It’s easy to find out if you’re reactive to various foods, by taking a rather expensive doctor’s test. Most people, though, can figure it out just by avoiding certain suspicious foods for about a week, to see if their symptoms subside. To do this, restrict all of your suspicious foods – the ones you eat most often, and seem to crave. Then add them back in one at a time, looking for symptoms, such as indigestion, or the gain of water weight. This procedure can be challenging, because it’s hard to avoid your favorite foods. But it can really pay off.
When you eliminate all your reactive foods, you’ll probably lose several pounds of water weight, or edema, almost instantly. You’ll look and feel much better. And after you rid your system of the last vestiges of your offending foods, your cravings for them will drop dramatically. Conquering cravings will benefit your dieting efforts tremendously.
You’ll quickly find that there are numerous substitutes available for virtually all foods. Why? Because millions of people need them, since food reactions are so common.
Give this some consideration. It’s very important.