Maya's Happy Place

A multiple food allergy kid grows up.

Do Food Allergies Make You Gain Weight?

 I say everything, but you and I know that’s not really the case. I’m anaphylactic to peanuts and soy protein. I also have severe allergies to some tree nuts, chickpeas and green peas with minor allergies to sunflower, strawberries and watermelon.

I have a love/hate relationship with food for so many reasons that go far beyond just food allergies and eczema. I have very little self-control when it comes to diet. But when it comes to my food allergies I’m very strict with what I ingest. Go figure.

Ever since I was little, I had a fear of getting fat. So I did dumb things to stay skinny or lose the weight whenever I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw.

woman's face looking into broken glass reflection
When the mirror lies, its time for self-love. Or a cupcake.

Down The Rabbit Hole

As a teenager, I tried diet pills, took fiber supplements, drank way too many energy drinks, starved myself and became bulimic as a way of self-harm. Back in those teenage years, I should have probably seen a therapist and gotten help, but therapy and psychiatry was too much of a stigma for my family to bear. You see, my grandfather was a doctor at a psychiatric hospital, so my family had many friends who were psychiatrists or doctors in the psychiatric field. To them, only the severely troubled kids or teens had a therapist and God forbid someone close to the family found something wrong with me. They also were afraid for my allergies and the psychiatric drugs I would be subjected to.

Food Allergies Sabotage Weight-Loss Goals

This year, many of my allergies disappeared and I gained forty pounds. That’s what happens in response to being able to eat your favorite foods that you haven’t eaten in like five or six years. Foods like sesame chicken, Taco Bell and Burger King burgers that I couldn’t have due to cross-contamination and soy derivatives. The bad stuff was now back on my list and my self-control (like my size six clothes) went out the window.

girl holding a tape measure around waist
What’s a diet when you have Taco Bell?

The soy allergy improved to the point where I could eat vegetable oil derived from soy aka soybean oil and even peanut oil. Peanut protein or tofu (soy protein) could send me into anaphylactic shock. Of course, because I’m now eating soy derivatives my hand eczema started acting up.

This made me mad. I can’t even have ‘cheat days’ with my food where I have a bit of this soy derivative or cover my sushi with actual soy sauce. I have to buy coconut aminos and cook like Macguyver to make things actually taste authentically Asian.

sushi pieces with coconut aminos in a small dish
If you’re gonna have sushi with a soy allergy you’ve got to have coconut aminos!

So now of course, my mission is to lose those forty pounds in whatever healthy way I can.

I realize that when I’m unhappy, I have a tendency to suppress my emotions with food. I’m very much an emotional eater and have to control myself when it comes to my favorite cuisine. Eating mindfully is especially difficult for someone who was once allergic to so many of the foods she could now eat. Before I restarted the allergy immunization shots in 2019, I was suffering from severe cross reactivity to many various foods, including rice, tomatoes and apples. You can read and learn more about cross reactivity from this post.

Now I can eat those things and so much more.

The good news is I’m extremely motivated in the gym. I’m pretty sure I’ll get back to my 145lb goal weight as long as I stay away from soy derivatives and cut out soybean oil again. It’ll take a new exercise regimen and lifestyle changes, which comes with diet changes for weight loss goals. I am excited to team up with Orgain as an affiliate to tell you about some of their products! If you click on any of the following links I make a small commission on any sales at no extra cost to you.

If you click on this link you can get $5 off any protein powder on their site. They have a variety of protein powders, one made from non-GMO grass-fed whey and another made from organic oat, rice and pea protein. If you’re allergic to pea protein like I am, they have a Clean Protein shake line that is made primarily with rice protein which I love!

You can also get 25% off the first purchase of StressLess with Ashwaganda, GABA, Chamomile and 5-HTP to help alleviate anxiety and calm the mind. Studies have shown Ashwaganda to help balance hormone levels which I believe is key to mental health, especially in women. It is for this reason, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant. GABA and 5-HTP help deepen sleep so you can rest and wake refreshed. Let me know in the comments how it goes!

Getting back to the topic at hand…

Do Allergies Make You Fat?

hands holding fat on belly
Allergic inflammation packs on pounds.

The answer, in a word…is yes. Allergic reactions cause inflammation which triggers mast cells to trigger in the body. This causes a plethora of chemical reactions which I cannot get into here because I’m not a doctor. But yes, it is true that inflammation is connected to weight gain. All these years of worrying about my weight now makes so much more sense. Yet another reason why those with food allergies have to be easier on themselves and know that certain things come with the territory. It is only through healing and managing the allergies that you can begin to lose the weight healthfully and long-term.

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