What is ALCAT testing?
The ALCAT is an IgG-based food intolerance test. Basically, the test examines your blood cells’ reactions to various foods. Based on your results, ALCAT provides you with a 4 day rotation diet designed to minimize exposure to intolerances which stress your body. By minimizing inflammation, the ALCAT diet gives you a lot of benefits such as weight loss, clearer skin, increased energy, etc.
If you want details about how it works, you can check it out on their website. You can ask your doctor about the test, but not all doctors or insurance plans support it. Since I’m fed up with doctors who never listened to my symptoms and charged me thousands of dollars for tests I did not need, I paid for my own testing via http://www.nutritiongeeks.com. Since the testing can be expensive, I wrote up a section on “Is ALCAT Testing Worth It” below.
What were your ALCAT test results?
In Aug 2012, was miserable. After a period of chronic stress, I had gained around 30 lbs in 2 months, with no change in diet. I was bloated, grumpy, and suffering from memory loss. I’d eat oatmeal for breakfast – only to crash for 4 hours after because my body’s reaction to it was so strong. Sick of the suffering, I decided to get the 100 food panel. When I got back the results, I was devastated: I was intolerant to 33/100 foods. I was intolerant to soy (no more processed food), vanilla (bye bye baked goods), salmon (forget sushi), tomato (no italian food), etc…
Instead of following the rotation diet they gave me, I decided to simply eliminate all the foods I was intolerant to.
I took a 2 week vacation to ease into the new diet and the weight melted off. I lost 10 lbs during my vacation! You can read about my weight loss progress here. I was ecstatic. Finally, after months of rapid, unexplained weight gain, I had a real solution!
Unfortunately, once I started stressing again, the weight came back as quickly as it had left. While my other symptoms had drastically improved, I was still unhappy about the weight gain. I still remember bloating up 2-3 lbs a day, never to see the number on the scale decrease again. I was stressed.
After a few months, I gave up. I decided that the stress wasn’t worth it. I decided to eat whatever my body felt like. To my surprise, my food reactions were significantly reduced! Accidentally ate salmon? That’s ok! Want ONE cookie? You can have it. I’m sure the ALCAT diet partially helped heal my leaky gut/reduced my food intolerances. I still can’t eat whatever I want, but I don’t have to run the risk of accidentally taking a bite of cheesecake and bloating up 10 lbs overnight (that actually happened to me before the ALCAT).
Since I started this new stress-free weight loss experiment, I decided to get ALCAT testing again, but not stress over the results this time. Overall, I think the ALCAT is an integral part of managing physical stress (inflammation). I will let you know my results when they come in the mail!
Is ALCAT testing worth it?
It honestly depends on how healthy you are and how committed you can be to the diet plan. I personally thought the test was worth it, but my results were limited because I stressed about the elimination diet. I suspect that the only reason I saw results was that my physical condition was so poor when I was tested.
Thus, I think you should get ALCAT testing if you:
- Have Leaky Gut Syndrome (or other autoimmune diseases): Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where the intestines are inflamed, allowing undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. The body recognizes these particles as “foreign invaders” and starts to react – giving you symptoms such as brain fog, sneezing/post nasal drip, and water retention. Since a person with leaky gut often has numerous food intolerances, elimination diets have limited usefulness. While not perfect, the ALCAT test takes out a lot of the guesswork for food intolerances.
- Already know how to manage your stress: Your ALCAT diet will have limited benefit if you don’t already know how to manage your stress. You might lose some weight, but not much – simply because the stress is impeding your weight loss! If you’re constantly stressed, fix that issue first. Worrying about the ALCAT test if you’re chronically stressed is like worrying about “losing the last 10 lbs” when you’re morbidly obese!
- Are willing to follow a strict diet: Unfortunately, the ALCAT rotation diet can be cumbersome – personally, I don’t like spending time obsessing over what I’m allowed/not allowed to eat for any specific day. While you don’t HAVE to follow the rotation diet to see results, you do run the risk of developing new food sensitivities if you have leaky gut. That is because continuous exposure to one specific food makes you more likely to develop an intolerance. Personally, I did not follow the rotation diet the first time I had my ALCAT done. The results? I can no longer eat pork.
- Stress-Free Weight Loss Experiment: Overview (thehealthysolution.wordpress.com)
- Stress-Free Weight Loss Experiment: Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting (thehealthysolution.wordpress.com)
- Stress-Free Weight Loss Experiment: emWave2 (thehealthysolution.wordpress.com)