According to the British Dietetic Association, the average person consumed 6,000 kcals on Christmas Day! Over the festive period, the average person will have gained around 5lb in weight by the time we reach the beginning of the New Year. Is that you?
As not everyone over indulges over the festive period then this must mean that tens of thousands of people must be eating significantly more calories to counterbalance those not overeating.
So how are you feeling now that the holiday break is over?
Although this is supposed a period of joy and merriment, many people feel very poorly and don’t understand why. They haven’t over-indulged. Yes, they enjoyed some treats that they normally would avoid, but not to excess.
Why then do many suffer with some common symptoms of bloating, fatigue, lethargy, heartburn, digestive problems?
Often the increased use of carbohydrates and sugar is the reason for many of these symptoms. Our immune systems are not programmed to cope with such an overload. Some people seem to cope no matter what they eat, but for many the pleasure of all those sweet treats is short lived.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and food intolerance are common problems that have seen an increase in many western countries, particularly since the increase in grains, dairy and sugar in our diet such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, wraps, baguettes, bagels, cakes, biscuits, cheese, yoghurt, dairy smoothies, etc.
You may be aware that sometimes after a meal you feel uncomfortable and need to loosen your belt or undo a button, but after a while things settle. However, when we increase the intake of these foods without letup such as Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, Stollen, Panetonne, mince pies, then our immune system has difficulty coping and hence we suffer a variety of unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms.
It is the repetitive use of common foods that is the cause of the problem. You may feel sometimes you can eat bread, for instance, and you don’t have a problem, other times you feel it does cause you symptoms. This is because the immune system, as a result of frequent use of various foods, often reduces the severity of symptoms, masking the allergy, thereby making it more difficult to identify.
It is important to identify what are the trigger foods that cause the symptoms of food intolerance. This is possible by what we call Elimination and Challenge.
• Have as much variety in your diet as possible.
• Remember to read the content of packaged food to be sure they do not contain common problem ingredients.
• Eat seasonally, thereby not repeating the same foods all the time.