The connection between food sensitivities and weight gain lies in understanding how food sensitivities cause inflammation and the overproduction of cortisol. Chronic overproduction of cortisol leads to insulin resistance and an inability to lose weight.
If your struggling to lose weight and have inflammation, you will want to avoid these seven common food sensitivities that cause weight gain and inflammation.
The most common food sensitivities to inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, and soy may be the reason why you can’t lose weight even when it may seem as though you are doing everything right such as exercising and not overeating.
Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, sugar, corn, and soy are the most common food intolerances that cause weight gain.
By simply removing these food intolerances that cause weight gain, inflammation is lowered, making it much easier to lose weight.
Can food allergies cause weight gain?
Food allergies can cause weight gain as a result of immune system activation. The immune system creates inflammation, which in turn leads to chronic cortisol production and insulin resistance. When insulin levels are consistently raised it becomes difficult to lost weight.
Food sensitivities can develop as a result of a leaky gut that lets undigested food through the intestinal lining. The body does not recognize the undigested food as a nutrient. Instead, the body thinks the undigested food is a foreign invader and mounts an immune response to that particular food.
Food allergies can develop when the body’s immune system creates antibodies to a protein component found in common allergenic foods such as the protein gluten in wheat or the protein casein found in dairy.
When the immune system is activated, it creates antibodies such as an IgG antibody against a particular food. Whenever a food that has antibodies created against it is eaten, the immune system is activated. When the immune system is activated, it creates inflammation as it attacks the offending food.
Food sensitivities and weight gain – Understanding how inflammation causes weight gain
When the body is chronically inflamed from eating these common foods sensitivities daily, this puts stress on the adrenals. The adrenals are responsible for the production of cortisol, which is an anti-inflammatory that your body uses to counter the effects of an overreactive immune system that is challenged by common food sensitivities such as gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, but cortisol is not all bad. Cortisol is a natural anti-inflammatory produced by the body to combat inflammation. The more important question to ask is what is causing excess cortisol production? Which, by the way, can lead to adrenal burnout and hormonal imbalances.
A contributing factor to chronic cortisol production is food sensitivities! The body produces cortisol to combat the inflammation created by the immune system. The immune system creates inflammation in response to fighting food sensitivities or allergies.
Foods allergies and sensitivities that are stimulating the immune system, must be removed from the diet to allow the immune system to cool off and stop creating inflammation.
The connection between cortisol, inflammation, and weight gain
Another role of cortisol is to breakdown muscle and fat tissue to raise blood glucose in an emergency when blood glucose drops too low.
But when cortisol levels are elevated to offset the inflammation created by the immune system and offending food sensitivities, blood glucose levels are also raised. When blood sugar levels are constantly raised this can lead to insulin resistance due to excess glucose always being in the bloodstream.
Cortisol causes insulin resistance and contributes to weight gain by consistently raising blood glucose levels in the bloodstream, which then leads to consistently elevated levels of insulin. High levels of insulin keep the body in fat storage mode.
Insulin is the primary hormone responsible for weight gain. The higher the insulin levels, the harder it is to lose weight as insulin tells your body to store fat.
Cortisol is the stress hormone responsible for belly fat, but it is the food that stimulates chronic cortisol production.
Food allergies cause weight gain by stimulating the immune system, which creates inflammation. Cortisol is produced to combat inflammation, but cortisol also raises blood sugar, which leads to insulin resistance and the body in fat storage mode.
The cause of the inflammation needs to be removed to stop this vicious cycle. In this case, the cause of inflammation is a food allergy or food sensitivity.
Foods that can also cause weight gain include sugar and highly processed refined carbohydrates such as white bread, as those foods spike insulin and tell your body to store fat.
The best way to reduce cortisol levels through diet is by removing inflammatory foods, which can lead to insulin resistance. Remove refined carbohydrates and sugar, which disrupts blood sugar balance to prevent the overproduction of cortisol.
Why is it that some people lose weight when initially stressed and others gain weight when chronically stressed?
Initially, cortisol can cause weight loss as it signals for the breakdown of muscle and fat tissue to raise blood glucose. BUT when cortisol levels remain high, it causes insulin to be elevated above normal.
When insulin levels are too high, it is difficult to lose weight due to insulin always being present and telling the body to store fat instead of burning fat. This can leave a person feeling fatigued and struggling to lose weight.
As you can see, everything is connected in the body. These common food sensitivities cause inflammation and weight gain as a result of cortisol consistently stimulating elevated insulin levels that keep the body in fat storage mode.
This is how food intolerance and weight gain are connected, but by removing the food sensitivities that are causing inflammation, weight loss becomes easy.
To find out if food sensitivities are causing weight gain and are problematic for you, I recommend avoiding gluten, dairy, sugar, and soy 100% for three weeks. After three weeks, challenge each food separately three days apart while tracking and taking note of any abnormal symptoms.
Common food sensitivity symptoms include headaches, bloating, skin rashes, runny nose, cough, stomach ache, irritable bowel, puffiness, and an inability to lose weight.
By avoiding these most common food sensitivities, you may lose weight if inflammation caused by food sensitivities is the cause of your weight gain.
For more information on how these common food sensitivities cause weight gain, I recommend reading The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin.
Losing weight is not as simple as counting calories. Ditching common food sensitivities, including dairy, soy, and gluten is a must for anyone wanting to lose weight without counting calories. If you want to find out your food sensitivities I recommend bioresonance food intolerance testing to get started.
Additional weight loss resources
If you are ready to lose weight for good, sign up for my free weight loss cheat sheet here and access my downloadable recipe E-books for weight loss
Other underlying causes of weight gain include fatty liver and insulin resistance.
This post teaches you how to reverse insulin resistance with a plant-based diet.
Practicing intermittent fasting is one of the quickest ways to lose weight as well.
Learn how to make the ultimate smoothie for weight loss and how to reverse fatty liver for weight loss!
This is by far the clearest explanation I’ve ever read in all my years struggling with adrenal issues. Thank you!
I am so glad you found this article helpful! It is amazing how the body is connected and how the adrenals and cortisol can affect peoples weight.
Understanding this complex issue for the first time makes me want to find a physician who could support me. It’s been almost twenty years since anyone has mentioned cortisol or insulin resistance or fatty liver. I’m not discouraged though.
Yes, the body is complex and modern medicine can seem so segregated at times but there are amazing doctors, practitioners and nutritionists out there who do take a holistic approach and connect the dots between the various systems of the body. Never be discouraged as there is always something to learn and it can take time 🙂
What if you’ve been struggling with this insulin resistance for decades & your cortisol remains normal? I’ve been diagnosed with celiac even though blood work was normal. Blunted villi showed on endoscopy. Have been Gluten free for 3 years including all make up, hair products. Etc. what next?
Cortisol and food sensitivities are just one underlying cause of insulin resistance, there are many more factors such as a high saturated fat diet, processed carbohydrates, magnesium deficiency, and a fatty liver. It really depends on your root causes as to what is next. I have lots of resources on how to reverse insulin resistance although it is a multifactorial approach as with everything in health 🙂 You can always reach out if you would like one on one support. The book mastering diabetes is a great resource as well.
Is there a specific blood work or test that I can get done to get to the root of it?
Hi Mayra, there are a lot of different food sensitivity tests out there but I am not familiar with all of them but for any blood work, I would be looking for a test that measures IGG antibodies, and be sure to eat suspect foods prior to taking the test. I have always done bio resonance food sensitivity testing to help guide me. Food sensitivities can change over time so it is good to get retested to find out what sensitivities drop away and which ones stay with you. Hope that helps 🙂
This explanation is absolutely amazing, very well written and easy to understand. Thank you for simplifying such a complex issue.
I am so glad you found it easy to understand 🙂