When I became self-employed in 2019, I found myself so busy establishing my businesses that I wasn’t eating right or exercising enough. In fact, most days, time flew by working at my desk. As a result, I opted for food that was quick to make rather than nourishing for my body.
Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling my best, so I decided to make a change. I eliminated gluten, dairy, and sugar from my diet. And it wasn’t an easy feat.
Why restrict these three food types?
Gluten: Harvard reported that up to 1% of the population has celiac disease, which includes an immune response reaction to consuming gluten-containing foods that is difficult to diagnose.
Sometimes it is a matter of process of elimination in your diet, or removing certain foods from your diet to see if you start to feel better. While you will find that many restaurants and grocery stores offer gluten-free options, it wasn’t always that way.
Following a gluten-free diet can prevent inflammation and intestinal tract damage, as well as clear up brain fog.
Dairy: Whether dairy products are good or bad for you is a controversial topic in the healthcare field. Lactose intolerance affects about 75% of adults and causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it can go undiagnosed without ever realizing you have an intolerance. While dairy products like milk can be healthy for you with calcium, vitamins, and minerals, it has been proven that it can lead to a higher risk of cancer in those who are lactose intolerant and continue to drink it.
Sugar: Experts have found that sugar can be as addictive as drugs like cocaine. When we consume sugar, it activates neurons in the brain that trigger opioids and dopamine to be released in our bodies.
Since these are part of our reward system, the more sugar we eat, the more we crave it. Withdrawal symptoms like irritability, headaches, brain fog, and exhaustion are possible to happen when you stop cold-turkey.
After making these dietary changes, I noticed great results in only three months. Here’s what happened to my health.
#1: I had more energy
Without blood sugar spikes and irritation, my energy levels were both regulated and boosted. I had more consistent energy throughout the day and was able to take care of everything I needed to do.
From work to self-care, household responsibilities, and relationships, I was present and capable.
#2: I slept more soundly
After I stopped eating a bad diet of inflammatory foods, I found that I was able to sleep easier and longer at night. Usually, I would be kept up with racing thoughts, which would cause me to get less than the recommended 7-9 hours per night.
Otherwise, I would sleep in a little later than I would have liked in the morning. Getting on a regular sleep schedule allowed me to be more productive each day.
#3: I craved less sugar
To eliminate it from my diet, I had to keep sugary foods out of the house and watch for hidden sugars in the food I was eating. I also found that eating breakfast in the morning kept me satisfied and unlikely to have cravings throughout the day. But, the result was fewer cravings for sweets and the ability to have more willpower in avoiding junk food.
Making these changes to my diet was successful in physical ways as well. I lost 20 pounds in the first three months when I previously found it challenging to keep weight off.
If you want to see results for yourself, start by reading the nutrition labels for the food you are consuming. You may be surprised at what you find in it.