It’s true! Awful right? Well, I knew it was going to happen. I set myself up. Since my last blog I have been focused on removing inflammatory foods in my diet to help me heal my gut and thyroid. But, I decided to continue my tradition of eating an Italian sub while watching the Superbowl. That means I consciously consumed foods that I know for a fact create inflammation as well as foods that I’m still testing. What happened? Six pounds overnight happened! It’s not that I ate six pounds worth of calories, I assure you I did not. What happened was that I ate things like gluten that make me bloat. Within minutes of eating it my fingers began to swell. And, yes, I will lose the six pounds over the course of the next week without much effort (other than going back to my anti-inflammatory diet) because, again, the weight was simply a reaction (inflammation) to the food.
Why am I sharing this? Because up until recently I didn’t understand or appreciate that how much of the weight I had put on during my under-treated thyroid years had to do with consuming foods that created inflammation rather than eating “too many calories”. This could easily be happening to you too. I hear from people all of the time saying that they are eating the “right amount of calories” and exercising but still not losing weight or even (gasp) gaining. When you start to remove foods that create inflammation (note, everyone may have different trigger foods), the focus on counting calories disappears.
How do you figure out your trigger foods? You have to play detective. You refocus your diet on “nutrient dense eating” – lots of veggies, some protein, some fruit – for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce foods back into your diet. Then you observe your body’s reaction to each of the foods. It takes time but what you end up with is a better understanding about which foods are the best for you. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as saying “eat vegetables” because some people have a difficult time with things like nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc.). That said, it’s worth going through the process. Understanding this has made me feel a little less crazy when I think back to how I would endlessly track my calories and workouts with little results.
And, once you become more aware of your trigger foods you’ll start to decide whether they are worth eating. Clearly I went into this knowing full well what would happened. I had estimated that I’d put on 5-7 pounds and I was right (lucky me). Maybe next year I’ll rethink my options!