That “Healthy” Salad Can Stall Fast Fat Loss & Leave You Feeling Miserable

You had a perfectly healthy chicken Caesar salad (hold the croutons) with a bottle of Perrier 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. At the same time you’re hungry, and you know that bag of Pirate’s Booty white aged cheddar on your desk sometimes soothes your stomach.

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

You could have food sensitivities or other gut-related issues. Symptoms manifest hours or even days after you’ve finished the offending food and include joint pain, fatigue, mental fuzziness, mood swings, skin issues, constipation, diarrhea, congestion, gas, and bloating.

Take control of your digestive problems with these five strategies and never spend another afternoon stuck in the office bathroom or running to Starbucks for a brain-fog relieving grande latte.

  1. Ditch the common culprits. Many so-called healthy foods can trigger food sensitivities that develop over time as you frequently consume these foods. Try an elimination diet. For 21 days, dump the dairy, soy, gluten, corn, peanuts, yeast, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. You will survive and feel fabulous. What’s left to eat? Plenty: raw nuts and seeds, a rainbow of veggies, low-glycemic fruits, and clean, lean protein.
  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 a comprehensive digestive enzyme like B.P.P. from Thorne Research.
  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 Sausalito cookies, and sends you running to the bathroom. An integrative health practitioner can help destroy these nasty invaders. In the meantime, garlic can help. If you want to keep your friends and not radiate bad breath, though, 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 whey protein (if you’re not dairy sensitive), such as Whey Protein Isolate from Thorne Research. And build gut flora with a probiotic like Bacillus Coagulans, also from Thorne Research.
  5. Cool off. Make an oil change and dump the pro-inflammatory vegetable oils for wild salmon. If you’re not eating cold-water fish three or four times a week, you can get therapeutic benefits to reduce gut and overall inflammation with Omega Plus  from Thorne Research.  Another gut-soothing strategy that makes a perfect mid-afternoon snack: mix freshly ground flaxseed meal with applesauce.


© 2012 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. Watch for The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, Dec. 2012. Visit JJ at to get her 3 free training videos on the secrets to achieving fast & lasting fat loss.

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  1. When I read an article that makes this subject so interesting I have to say something. Your insightful points and interesting material has given me reason to ponder these things.

  2. karla smith says:

    Sad but too familiar. B.P.P. ($30), Kyolic Aged Garlic ($15), Bacillus Coagulans ($20), Omega Plus ($30). If one doesn’t have $100 to spend per month, which is the best one to try for bloating and gas that stinks horribly? thanks for your advice.

  3. intolerantwithfoodstamps says:

    More than a handful of years ago I found out through an allergist that I was intolerant to many of the things that you list to avoid in your diet. Since then due to food allergies and stress related illness I ended up unemployed after over 30 years of work finding myself on food stamps … it is unfortunate for persons like myself that we can no longer have access to the right foods and diets that you and other nutritionists like yourself suggest for us to follow. There is no whole foods in my neighborhood and the one store who sells the most organic and gluten free products does not and will not accept food stamps even if they were not more costly than other foods so we continue to suffer health and dietary issues. There needs to be a change in the way that people with food allergies and intolerance are cared for allowing better access to proper nutrition and dietary care. The USA is one of the richest countries in the world yet the ignorance that the people have with regard to adequate nutrition and diet for all is horrid. I am so sick of seeing diet plan commercials on TV that I could never pay for and never eat in my diet. Sites and nutritionists like this need to work with doctors and programs in communities to change this mindset instead of trying to make a quick buck selling overpriced food, vitamins, oils and minerals that only the elite can afford and yes, I could afford it when I was employed but it still did not make it right.

    • Pololena says:

      Dear intolerantwithfoodstamps,

      So sorry to learn of your health/financial issues. I understand and completely agree w/your premise of nutritionists working with doctors to come up with creative ways to help those less fortunate. Perhaps someday that will become a reality…someone with enough resources will do that. In the interim I’d like to share some tips I use. Do not get me wrong, I am overweight and just discovered JJ’s program last week. I do plan to learn as much from her research/teachings as possible and get back to normal weight!

      I was diagnosed with diabetes, and did lose enough weight such that diagnosis was rescinded by my physician. So I know I am on the right path. Although I have a ways to go…I eat foods in combinations of meat + vegetables (lots of it!) OR meat + starch (only during midday) OR vegetable + carb (1 fruit serving). I no longer eat fruits such as bananas, grapes, pineapples, or the larger-sized apples. I buy the lunchbox-sized apples and do not eat an apple a day. Berries, pears, cantaloupes, even nectarines, are better fruit choices (per my nutritionist) than is eating those aforementioned, high in sugar content fruits. I have also stepped up my water consumption…and float all day, but that is weight falling off.

      Being unemployed can be a detriment to anyone’s ability to enjoy good health. Barring the ability to purchase more expensive, healthy foods, may I suggest eating what you have to and balancing how much of it you actually eat by taking several sips of water between bites, slowly chewing your food, even pausing between bites to help you feel full faster. Pretend you’re having lunch w/someone and are having a conversation (natural pauses). Thereby, consuming a lower quantity of those bad foods. That might be another way to combat weight gain until you can do better.

      I feel your pain because I have been in your situation and that is what I did/still do. Now, on the other hand, life’s stresses can cause one to choose his or her drug of choice, no matter what is offered in the way of help. If an alcoholic…drug choice w/b alcohol, if a food addict…drug choice w/b bad food choices, no matter what.

      Identifying WHEN you are stressed and planning ahead by having foods such as celery, carrots, jicama, and even bell peppers prepared in advance can help you deter those cravings. These can be eaten with almond butter, or my favorite, hummus. These vegetables can be purchased at Dollar Tree stores on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or at a Farmer’s Market…all at affordable prices. I know, when I was unemployed, I shopped there for everything I could.

      Just be sure to never shop when hungry and always use a shopping list. This way, if you do “mindlessly” pick up unintended items you can revert to your list at the checkout and sort out what you need vs. what you didn’t intend to buy! This is also what my daughter and I do when shopping for groceries. Trust some if not all of this helps. Take care…God Bless!

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  6. His_snowflake says:

    I just watched JJ Virgin’s presentation on PBS where she claims after 21 days of following her plan you’ll feel so great you won’t want to go back to eating those foods. The Zone diet made the same claims. I do not find that to be true. I have changed my diet, felt great and been free of cravings numerous times…but I always go back to eating those bad for you things I love. I know other people, too, who have done the same thing. I sure would like to find the secret to giving up those bad for you foods I love forever…

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