Q: Hey, Jillian! I eat right and exercise but still struggle with losing weight. A friend of mine recently lost a lot of weight — and cleared up her adult acne — after discovering she had some food intolerances to wheat and dairy and removed them from her diet. She recommended I try one to see whether something in my diet was making me weight-loss resistant, and I’m thinking about doing it. What do you think of these diets in which you remove wheat, dairy, peanuts, eggs, soy, corn, and added sweeteners, then slowly add them back in? — Elizabeth (via inbox)

A:Hi buddy. You’re asking a really good question. First of all, none of these foods would make you weight-loss resistant. They might upset your health in one way or another with indigestion, allergic reactions, etc., but foods our bodies can’t process like lactose in lactose-intolerant adults or gluten in people with celiac disease don’t cause weight issues.
I have found that anything natural — food that isn’t processed (with growth hormones, preservatives, fake fats, sweeteners, etc.), genetically modified, or covered in pesticides — is fine in moderation UNLESS you have a food allergy.
The best way to determine that is to go to an allergist and have yourself tested. If the results reveal gluten or lactose intolerance or a peanut allergy, then by all means remove these foods as a preventive measure for your overall health and well-being.
In general, I would keep soy to a minimum unless it’s organic/non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) and in a fermented form, such as tempeh or miso. We already get way too much soy in our processed foods, and it’s predominantly a genetically modified, heavily pesticide-laden crop. Nonorganic dairy can be a health and weight issue due to growth hormones, so go organic with your dairy — provided you are not lactose intolerant, in which case I recommend avoiding it or going with a lactose-free version.

Overall, I find an elimination diet — which is the kind you’re describing — difficult to stick to and follow. The options available are limited and expensive: Gluten-free foods are not easy to come by, have more calories, less fiber, and cost more money — so unless you have celiac disease, I wouldn’t worry.
Ultimately, only if you are experiencing allergic reactions and health issues, like diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, fatigue, or inflammation, do you need to eliminate a particular type of food rather than just pay attention to the amount and the quality of the food you are eating.
Focus your attention on eating your food in its most natural form. Exercise as often as possible and as intensely as possible with GOOD FORM. And last but certainly not least — count calories. At the end of the day, weight loss is about calories in versus calories out.