Elimination Diet: Identify Products That Cause You Discomfort
Satisfying hunger and finding pleasure should not be the main motives in food preparation. We spend from 30 minutes to an hour on breakfast or lunch, but we feel the effect on our body throughout the day. If we consider food not only as a means of survival, it becomes clear: what lies on the plate controls our weight, health, well-being, and, last but not least, our mood.
If you notice such alarming symptoms as frequent migraines, excess weight, acne, loss of strength, nausea, and restless sleep, it is time to learn more about the elimination diet. As it so happens, effective weight loss is not its only benefit.
What Is an Elimination Diet
Food allergies are quite common, but we are not talking about a real allergy to specific irritants (for example, citrus fruits), but about the so-called pseudo-allergy — food intolerance.
Each person is an individual with unique taste preferences. Some cannot stand olives or tolerate strawberries, although there is no apparent adverse reaction. Some need a big steak to feel full, whereas others only feel discomfort after having it.
An elimination diet is a short-term program during which you slowly eliminate certain foods from your diet, and then gradually reintroduce them and observe your body’s reaction. It can be very pronounced, and you will clearly understand which foods cause an imbalance.
This is important because an inappropriate diet slows metabolism, causes added stress, side effects, and often leads to excess weight. By the way, if the weight is gone, but the condition has not improved, calories may not be the only thing to consider.
First Step: Reboot
In the first three weeks you need to completely eliminate the most aggressive foods: sweet, fried, spicy, as well as meat, fat, and most flours. Here is a list of products to avoid:
- gluten-containing products (most cereals and cereal-based products)
Nutritionists recommend eliminating these groups of products due to their high allergenicity. After three weeks, many of the symptoms associated with poor digestion should disappear. At this time, your diet should consist mostly of fish, vegetables, fruits, chicken, as well as gluten-free cereals (millet, rice, and buckwheat). Cold-pressed oils and avocados are allowed to maintain the balance of fatty acids in the body.
Stage Two: Diet Formulation
Now that the hardest part is behind you, you can gradually reintroduce products to your diet. Start with dairy, namely cheese and yogurt. Within a day or two, observe your body’s reaction: if fatigue, discomfort, rashes, or pain return, your body digests this group of foods poorly.
Keep a diary and continue to reintroduce different groups of products into your diet one at a time, carefully monitoring the reactions of your body. As a result, in a couple of weeks, your list will be ready. Safely use products you are sure of in food preparation, but be cautious with those that cause you problems.
- It is better to eliminate unsuitable products from the menu for a period of 3 to 6 months. It may not be easy, but perhaps your body will become able to digest them properly due to the absence of irritants.
- Make sure that incompatible foods do not appear on your plate more than 1–2 times a week. To make them easier to digest, it is necessary to cleanse the body of toxins often to reduce the stress on the immune system and gastrointestinal tract.
- Cook vegetables, legumes, and meat that you had a poor reaction to in a way that reduces their side effects. For example, soak cereals and legumes before use; ferment products; bake meat. In general, resort to those processing methods that maximally neutralize the negative effect.
Weight-loss is merely a bonus. The greatest reward for those who decide to try out this trendy diet is good health and no discomfort or inexplicable loss of strength.
By the way, if you have long suspected that your body has trouble digesting a certain type of product, it will be sufficient to exclude it from your menu and observe the reaction (this is, of course, a band-aid solution, but it will work). We hope you find the principle of the elimination diet useful!