In Nov/Dec 2016 I was slightly overweight and getting constant cystic acne breakouts on my chin. I made the decision to overhaul my diet to see if it’d have any effect on my both my body and my skin. Spoiler: it did!
Here’s what I cut out immediately from my diet:
I found out I was lactose intolerant nearly a decade ago but there were still some dairy products that I continued eating (because they didn’t seem to have any negative effect on me). Foods like yogurt, butter, and sour cream were still regular mainstays in my daily diet, but as of late last year, I cut those out too and totally eliminated ALL dairy from my diet.
Prior to my diet overhaul I used to eat peanut butter sandwiches almost every single day. To me, a gooey peanut butter sandwich was my ultimate comfort food and nothing brought me closer to heaven than two slices of white bread and gobs of that nutty spread did.
I saw a change in my skin immediately after having cut out peanut butter! Turns out that something in that spread (probably peanut oil) was the main culprit causing my skin to break out in angry red cystic spots. And because I would eat peanut butter every day, that explained why I was getting new spots on a daily basis. It was definitely an a-ha moment.
No more snacks. No more chocolate. No more processed foods. No more ANYTHING containing sugar. Don’t get me wrong, eliminating sugar from my diet was fucking hard at first and for a couple weeks, it was all I craved. But once that two-week period was up, I didn’t even think about sugary treats anymore!
It’s amazing how your body (and brain) totally forgets about certain things (like sugar) once it’s cleansed itself of it. Now, when I look at people eating cakes and cookies and snack bars I almost find myself feeling disgusted and totally repulsed by what they’re feeding themselves. I never voice my concerns – I keep my opinions to myself – because I don’t want to become that person who starts preaching. Just know that if you eat an Oreo cookie in front of me, I won’t ever wish I was you eating that “treat.”
Bread & Pasta (i.e. carbs)
I’m Italian but I’ve never been a big bread eater. I know, I find that hard to believe too! The only bread I used to eat was the bread I’d make sandwiches with. When I stopped eating peanut butter, I stopped eating bread too. Even if I were to have a hamburger now, I would eat it without the bun. To me, bread is just a filler and is totally unnecessary.
Pasta was harder for me to give up. I freaking love pasta – always have. When I was growing up, my family and I used to have pasta for dinner at least three or four times a week. A WEEK! But I started noticing that every time I ate pasta, I’d feel (and look) horribly bloated and I would get these little red whiteheads all over my chin. Once I cut pasta out from my diet, the bloating stopped and away went those pesky whiteheads!
Like peanut butter, deep fried foods were considered comfort food in my house. I couldn’t live without french fries, chicken nuggets, and fried rice! And there were these deep fried artichokes my grandmother always made for me that I adored! But yeah, all those went out the window when I changed my daily food intake and you know what? I honestly don’t miss them a bit! If someone dangled a crispy french fry in front of me RIGHT NOW, I wouldn’t bite.
So, like I said, in Nov/Dec 2016 I changed my diet in the hopes I’d feel better about myself. I’d lose weight and I’d clear up my skin in the process, right? Right! By Spring 2017 I was twenty pounds lighter and my acne had totally cleared up!
I still get little hormonal breakouts the week before my period, but that’s normal and expected and I can’t do much about that. But now, instead of getting those unsightly cystic spots, I just get tiny little whiteheads (but again, only right before I get my period). Otherwise by skin is clear and has never looked smoother.
What I eat now …
I stick to eating very simple foods now and I rarely ever dine out. I eat a ton of fruit (and I do mean A TON), red meat like lean beef and pork, beans, fish (tuna is a favourite), and vegetables. If I get hungry between meals I’ll reach for the fruit bowl whereas before, I always reached for packaged, processed, sugary snacks.
I found that ever since I overhauled my diet, I’m rarely hungry or “starving” between meals anymore. I don’t get cravings and I don’t want things like fries or chocolate anymore. I feel brighter, lighter, more alert, and definitely more healthy. It shows in my body and my skin and I couldn’t be happier!
If you’re having trouble controlling your weight or your acne breakouts, I would definitely recommend examining your diet. Make note of all the foods you’re eating and maybe try eliminating some of them to see if it makes any difference. Just because this whole process worked for me, it may be different for you. There may be other things affecting your weight and skin … it’s worth a try, though!
I’d love to hear from you regarding this topic! I know everyone’s different so if you’ve been trying something new to gain your confidence back and it’s been working for you, let me know by leaving me a comment!