Dieting is hard enough without food allergies. But with them? That’s a whole different ball game.

When so-called superfoods are super poisonous to your body, weight management requires a highly individualized approach. It can be frustrating and discouraging to find yourself passing up the healthy options available to everyone else simply because they contain allergens. Anyone with a serious food allergy knows that processed snacks like potato chips are often the safest bet for avoiding a reaction, even if they’re not great for your cholesterol levels.

Fear not—there are a few straightforward ways to drop lbs while managing your allergies safely. Here are three strategies to keep you on track.

Plan Ahead

You’ve probably already learned to cook for yourself if you have allergies. After all, it’s the only way to know for certain that nothing dangerous is in your food. But even if you’re used to making your own meals, there will be times when you find yourself without pre-packed sustenance. It’s during these times that the unhealthy (but safe) snacks come into play—fast food, high-fructose corn syrup candies, bags of Doritos, and so on.

Always keep healthy, allergy-safe snacks on you to avoid these temptations. There are a multitude of natural meal replacement bars that will fill you up without filling you out. The right one will vary depending on your food sensitivities, of course, but plenty of gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free options exist.

Ask for Special Treatment

You’re not being high-maintenance by asking to have your allergy accommodated. Whether eating out a restaurant or attending a catered company lunch, make sure to let all the appropriate parties know about your dietary restrictions. It’s also appropriate to give new friends a heads up if you’re having dinner at their place or picking a spot to grab a bite.

When you’re watching your weight, it’s a good idea to suggest alternatives. Ask if the catered lunch can include an allergy-free salad. See if your friends are open to healthy restaurants that you trust to not kill you (keep a list). It’s no joke—it’s your well-being. You can kindly request special treatment and be specific with your desired alternatives.

Work with a Medical Professional

Like any major health question, you should always talk to your provider before experimenting with ways to lose weight and manage allergies. Because you’ll need a customized approach, it’s important to have medical supervision. Your physician, PA, or Nurse Practitioner can recommend strategies and dietary changes unique to your needs.

That’s why we require all patients to have regular check-ins with one of our providers at Alaska Premier Health. Your health is our number one priority—and it’s about a lot more than what the scale says. To find out how you can lose weight with the help of our medical staff, call us to schedule a free consultation (907-561-3488).