How “Healthy” Foods Could Be Making You Fat



imagesYou had a chicken Caesar salad (hold the croutons) with mineral water for lunch. An hour later, swamped at your office, you’re gassy and bloated. You feel like you’re going to bust out of your jeans, and you’re certain that hot new assistant is starring at your muffin top while he faxes at the copying machine.

You’re tempted to write this discomfort off as an upset stomach, but it happens far too frequently.

Food intolerances might be the underlying culprit here. In The Virgin Diet, I ask you to pull 7 highly reactive foods for 3 weeks. Some of these foods, like sugar and artificial sweeteners, you know aren’t healthy.

Others might be more surprising. Egg-white omelets, fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, and “whole grain goodness” breads could create unpleasant symptoms that manifest hours or days after you eat them.

These symptoms include joint pain, fatigue, mental fuzziness, mood swings, skin issues, constipation, diarrhea, congestion, gas, and bloating.

You might never connect the Caesar salad you had for lunch with bloating an hour later, for instance, or your brunch veggie omelet with that splitting late-afternoon migraine.

Take control of your digestive problems with these 5 strategies and never spend another afternoon stuck in the office bathroom or uncomfortably hunched over in your cubicle.

  1. Ditch the common culprits. In The Virgin Diet, I ask you to eliminate dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, corn, sugar, and artificial sweeteners for 3 weeks. Ditching these foods eliminates symptoms like bloating and fatigue, makes you look 10 years younger, reduces inflammation, and helps you burn up to 7 pounds the first week alone.
  2. Digest well.  No more mindless eating, dashboard dining, or TV dinners.  Slow the heck down, make time for your meals, put your fork down between bites, and minimize the sparkling water while you’re eating. (Liquids dilute your stomach acids and inhibits protein breakdown.)  You’ll also benefit from taking a comprehensive digestive enzyme before your meals.
  3. Search and destroy. Those pesky microbes, yeast, and parasites can extract more calories from your food and stall fast fat loss. Gut bacterial overgrowth also zaps your energy, triggers serious cravings for those double-fudge cookies your coworker brought in, and sends you running to the bathroom. An integrative health practitioner can help destroy these nasty invaders. Garlic can also help. If you want to keep your friends and not radiate bad breath, use Kyolic Aged Garlic Digestion Formula 102.
  4. Build your defenses.  Most of your immune system exists in your gut. Boost your defenses with a high-quality probiotic. A prebiotic-rich fiber supplement can also help you maintain good gut flora.
  5. Cool off. Make an oil change and dump the pro-inflammatory vegetable oils for healthier fats. For instance, I throw flax or chia seeds into The Virgin Diet Shake for breakfast. Avocado, olive oil, and raw nuts and seeds also make great anti-inflammatory good fats. If you’re not eating cold-water wild-caught fish 3 – 4 times a week, you can reduce gut and overall inflammation with omega 3 fatty acids.


© 2013 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food allergies.  She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters.

Her latest book, New York Times Bestseller The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, is out now. Learn more at


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