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If you want to lose weight, reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates(bread, pasta, cookies, soda, etc.)will be vital. Refined carbohydrates are easily converted into glucose (blood sugar) in the body, which can then turn into fat with the help of insulin, a hormone that our body produces. Interestingly enough, many people find it nearly impossible to reduce their consumption of these types of food and consider it their biggest obstacle when it comes to losing weight.

After 12+ years of helping thousands of people recover their metabolism and lose weight, I’ve learned to recognize a variety of metabolism-related problems, one of which are food intolerances. Most people know what a food allergy is merely due to the fact that the symptoms are pretty obvious. Allergies can cause pretty immediate reactions, such as headaches, itching, loss of breath, mucus, indigestion and inflammation. For some, consuming seafood or peanuts can cause life-threatening allergic reactions.

A food intolerance is similar to an allergy in that it can cause a negative reaction in the body, but the symptoms are usually less obvious and do not include reactions related to the immune system (itching, mucus, inflammation, etc). However, when the body is intolerant to some type of food, the metabolism will slow down to the point where it is impossible to lose weight.

The most common food intolerances are to wheat, soybeans and corn. Out of these three, wheat is the most common, as it is present in a large amount of prepared foods, such as bread, pasta, cookies, cereal, etc.

As you may already know, wheat contains a protein called “gluten”, which can prevent many people from losing weight. It can also cause other symptoms, such as constipation, headaches, fatigue, indigestion, gas and water retention.

If and when someone is intolerant to gluten, it will be impossible for him or her to lose weight. They also may experience emotional changes, such as anxiety, memory loss, disorientation and even depression. It has also been found that children and adults who are diagnosed with “Attention Deficit Disorder” (ADD) or “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) are actually intolerant to gluten. For many, simply changing their diet to exclude gluten or wheat can help reduce or eliminate ADD/ADHD symptoms.

Celiac disease is another condition associated with an intolerance to gluten, which few doctors really know how to diagnose.

Unfortunately, many people suffer from a handful of emotional and physical conditions that are simply related to an intolerance to gluten. Some even end up taking medication (such as antidepressants and cortisone) to handle these various afflictions, some of which can cause further weight gain.

It has been found that gluten contains an opiate-like substance, making it strongly addictive. An “opiate” is simply a substance that relates to, resembles or contains opium. It is what the drugs morphine and heroin are derived from. This is a big reason why many people who are overweight or obese are addicted to bread or other wheat products.

Now, this is something I experienced personally when I was trying to lose weight. I discovered that my own body was intolerant to wheat. If and when I ate bread or pasta, my body would feel heavy and I would retain water, enough to make my clothes feel tighter. On top of that, I couldn’t lose weight, no matter how well I ate. It was around then that I found out that gluten can cause the body to retain water. When I started avoiding anything that contained gluten, I finally was able to lose weight.

In my book, “The Power of Your Metabolism”, I dedicated an entire chapter to food intolerances. I’ve received hundreds of letters from people who finally managed to lose weight by eliminating wheat from their diets. Others finally stopped having indigestion, headaches and even thyroid problems.

Food intolerances are related to our hereditary background, which can determine our body’s current genetic characteristics. Some of our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, and some were farmers. Hunters and gatherers did not cultivate the land and did not eat wheat, so their bodies never adapted to it.

My suggestion would be to find out whether or not you have an intolerance to wheat (or any other food, for that matter), because if you do and aren’t aware of it, you may be stuck wondering why you’re not losing weight. Should you discover that your body is intolerant to wheat, the good news is that there are a lot of other wheat/gluten-free foods you can still enjoy.

Frank Suárez,Obesity and Metabolism Specialist

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