Should you eliminate certain foods from your diet?

Updated: May 5, 2018

Having had a lot of experience helping clients take part in photoshoots, compete on stage in physique, bikini and bodybuilding shows, and helping athletes make weight for fights and weightlifting competitions, I'd like to think that I am suitably qualified to suggest that eliminating certain foods from your diet is highly beneficial.


Im confident that every one of us have experienced bloating and / or digestive trouble before. It's common! This may have been stomach distention, pain and feeling 'stuffy' after consuming a take-away, or perhaps soft stools and / or diarrhoea from eating something your stomach didn't agree with.


Symptoms are different for everyone.


In some cases, symptoms may not be as obvious as we'd like them to be. They can arise anywhere from immediately to 36 hours after the consumption of problematic foods, and therefore it is often hard to associate such symptoms with particular foods or meals.


One thing is for sure...


We are all sensitive to different foods in different doses.


Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches / Migraines

  • Lethargy and noticeable tiredness

  • Bloating

  • Stomach distention / pain

  • Achey joints

  • Unexplained muscle soreness

  • Water retention (your socks leave marks)

  • Inability to lose bodyweight

  • Skin disorders, irritation or rashes

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhoea or soft stools

  • IBS-like symptoms

  • Brain fog

  • Loss of short term memory

  • Increased susceptibility to illness / common cold

Now some of these are more obvious than other. Bloating may occur within minutes of finishing a meal you've ordered from the pub, however others may not be so obvious. For example, you may feel tired all the time despite getting a reasonable night's sleep.


This could simple be down to the fact that you are unknowingly consuming a food that you're sensitive to on a daily basis.


Now, going back to my athletes who compete in weight category sports, or those looking to diet for a physique competition or photoshoot...


These guys need to get as lean as possible without reducing muscle mass.


Vascularity and that 'shredded' look is the aim.


This involves reducing as much fat mass as possible whilst reducing water retention under the surface of the skin.


Before now, my typical advice in the final 1-2 weeks before their deadline has been to cut out common sensitivity foods. These include things like:

  • Bread

  • Pasta

  • Cereals

  • Flour

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Coffee

  • Bell Peppers

  • Tomatoes

  • Chillies

  • Chilli powder

  • Cayenne Pepper

  • Paprika

  • more

Advising the client to avoid such foods has had impressive affects! They feel more energetic, their performance improves, they feel healthier and noticeably leaner and more defined.


I am sure you are familiar with gluten sensitivity / intolerance. Perhaps you know someone who is intolerant to lactose. These issues are common...


But one thing that working with hundreds of people has taught me is that everyone is different, and by a large extent.


Before now, I have typically advised people with the above named symptoms to cut out the above named foods. This has produced impressive results, but I have always been aware that simply offering this general advice has not removed or reduced all symptoms in every individual.


Since liaising with a UK based lab more recently, I now understand that there a hell of a lot more foods that people can be sensitive than I first thought!


I am currently working with people who can tolerate bread, pasta and pastries with no issues at all, yet respond negatively to foods such as apples and cocoa!


Bizarre I know!


Every single individual is different, and therefore you need to be treated that way also.


Just because a lot of people bloat when they eat wheat does not necessarily mean that you need to avoid it too. Cutting out certain foods may be a complete waste of time, yet foods that you believe are perfectly healthy may actually be causing you a lot of stress and putting you at risk of illness.


There is no way of telling exactly what you are sensitive to without a blood test.


Some nutritionists recommend following an elimination diet. This involves you removing foods one at a time for periods or a mont or so. Taking note of symptoms and then slowly reintroducing those foods back into your diet one by one to try and identify the foods that are causing you issues.


This method is an enormous pain in the ass. It can take years to identify a single problem-food, and that is only possible if you're extremely strict with your food intake.


Fortunately, there is an easier method. Here at Cheshire Barbell we offer food intolerance testing. More specifically, your sensitivity to over 130 foods! In just 3 days after sending your blood to the lab we can detect the foods you're best avoiding to help you rid you on symptoms and help fast track you to a leaner, stronger and more energetic version of yourself!


What does the science say?


Don't just take my word for it. There are plenty of studies showing the enormous benefit of identifying and removing your sensitivity foods your diet.


Atkinson, et al. (2003) looked at 150 outpatients and demonstrated how a clinically significant improvement in IBS symptomatology was observed in patients eliminating foods to which they were found to exhibit sensitivity as identified by an ELISA test for the presence of IgG antibodies to these foods.


Lewis et al., (2012) monitored 120 subjects and found that those who eliminated their IgG reactive foods from their diet experienced reductions in weight, BMI, waist & hip circumference. Subjects also saw improvements in all quality of life measures after just 90 days.


Dixon HS. (2000) gathered 114 patients in total and were tested for food sensitivities using a food specific IgG antibody test. Of the 114 initial subjects, 80 completed the study by following an elimination diet based on their IgG reactive foods. Upon elimination of reactive foods, subjects showed significant improvements in their previously reported symptoms.


Where increased IgG concentrations to foods were found, the implementation of an elimination or rotation diet could be an effective method of reducing inflammation, thought to be a key cause of depressive disorders. Depressive disorders were found to be linked to IgG food sensitivities and therefore removing such foods from the diet may help treat those who suffer from depression (Karakuła-Juchnowicz et al., 2017).


Lee and Lee (2017) showed how patients with IBS had significantly higher IgG antibody reactions than the control group within their study. Serum antibody levels to common foods are abnormally elevated in IBS patients.


Virdee et al., (2015) demonstrated how patients with asthma demonstrated substantial relief in symptoms after following a IgG antibody guided elimination diet.



How do I go about receiving a IgG test to identify the foods I am sensitive too?


We are offering the exact test that is required to determine the relevant IgG antibody test that can identify sensitivities and therefore determine the exact foods you should be cutting out from your diet.


We are able to offer it to those living in the UK and Europe.


At the moment, we are offering this test at the regular retail price (RRP) and offering a complimentary follow up appointment to discuss your results and help you put a strategy together to make the necessary changes to your diet.


The test takes just 2 minutes to complete. You can complete it here, with us at Cheshire Barbell, or have the test kit delivered to your home. Once the lab receive your test kit they aim to have your results published within 3 working days.


You will then be invited to your complimentary follow up appointment and can complete this here in our gym or over the phone via Skype, FaceTime etc


What foods are tested?


Wheat, Barley, Brown Rice, Gluten, Oats, White Rice, Goats Milk, Sheeps Milk, Cow Milk, Casein, Whey, Whole Egg, Egg White, Egg Yolk, Beef, Chicken, Duck, Lamb, Pork, Turkey, Cod, Crab, Haddock, Lobster, Mackerel, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Shrimp, Trout, Tuna, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashew nuts, Hazelnut, Peanut, Pistachio, Walnut, Coconut, Flax Seed, Sesame Seed, Sunflower Seed, Cocoa Bean, Green Been, Haricot Bean, Kidney Bean, Soy Bean, Cinnamon, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg, Paprika, Vanilla, Coconut Oil, Corn Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil, Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chick Pea, Cucumber, Lettuce, Mushroom, Onion, Garden Pea, Peppers, Scallion, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Sweetcorn, Tomato, Turnip, White Potato, Apple, Apricot, Banana, Blackberry, Cantaloupe Melon, Cherry, Cranberry, Red Grape, White Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew Melon, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Olive, Orange, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Raisins, Raspberry, Strawberry, Sultana, Watermelon, Almond Drink, Black Tea, Cacao, Cashew Milk, Coconut Milk, Coffee, Green Tea, Hazelnut Milk, Hemp Milk, Oat Milk, Rice Milk, Soya Milk, White Tea, Casein Protein Isolate, Hemp Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Isolate, Rice Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate, Baker's Yeast, Balsamic Vinegar, Brewer's Yeast, Citric Acid, Hemp, Hops, Hops, Lentils, Malt Vinegar, Mustard, Vanilla Essence, Wheatgrass.


How do I arrange my test?


Simply click here for more information and purchase your test. We will contact you within 24 hours to arrange your test or have a test kit shipped out to you in the post.


References:


Alpay, K., Ertaş, M., Orhan, E.K., Üstay, D.K., Lieners, C. and Baykan, B., 2010. Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Cephalalgia30(7), pp.829-837.


Bentz, S., Hausmann, M., Piberger, H., Kellermeier, S., Paul, S., Held, L., Falk, W., Obermeier, F., Fried, M., Schölmerich, J. and Rogler, G., 2010. Clinical relevance of IgG antibodies against food antigens in Crohn’s disease: a double-blind cross-over diet

intervention study. Digestion, 81(4), pp.252-264.


Karakuła-Juchnowicz, H., Szachta, P., Opolska, A., Morylowska-Topolska, J., Gałęcka, M., Juchnowicz, D., Krukow, P. and Lasik, Z., 2017. The role of IgG hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis and therapy of depressive disorders. Nutritional neuroscience20(2), pp.110-118.


Lee, H.S. and Lee, K.J., 2017. Alterations of Food-specific Serum IgG4 Titers to Common Food Antigens in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility23(4), p.578


Lewis, J.E., Woolger, J.M., Melillo, A., Alonso, Y. and Rafatjah, S., 2012. Eliminating Immunologically-Reactive Foods from the Diet and its Effect on Body Composition and Quality of Life in Overweight Persons. J Obes Weig los Ther2(112), p.2.


Virdee, K., Musset, J., Baral, M., Cronin, C. and Langland, J., 2015. Food-specific IgG Antibody—guided Elimination Diets Followed by Resolution of Asthma Symptoms and Reduction in Pharmacological Interventions in Two Patients: A Case Report. Global advances in health and medicine4(1), pp.62-66.

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