So, you’ve just gotten your results back from your food sensitivity test, and the results are way more intense than you initially expected. Not only are you sensitive to gluten, but dairy and nuts also made the list.
One or all of these symptoms are what led you to take a food sensitivity test in the first place. Chronic bloating, wacky hormones, and adult acne.
Your doctor recommends an elimination diet, but you can hardly stick to a healthy eating regimen as it is, let alone a full-fledged elimination diet. Instead of losing sleep over how to handle this dietary grenade, keep reading. We’ve got you covered.
How does an elimination diet work?
An elimination diet, at its core, is a hands-on way to determine how the foods you are sensitive to affect you.
Typically, these diets are conducted over the course of five to six weeks and include eliminating the foods that you are sensitive to, for a specific amount of time. One important thing to keep in mind at this stage is how your body is reacting as these foods are eliminated.
If your nagging symptoms persist, even after three weeks without your food triggers, then your symptoms might be the result of something else in your diet or an underlying medical condition.
After this first stage comes the reintroduction phase. This is where you will begin adding back your eliminated foods slowly, over the course of several days. If your old symptoms come back to haunt you during this phase, then you can assume that whatever food group you’ve been reintroducing is the culprit behind your symptoms.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here is how to follow an elimination diet in three easy steps.
1. Create your elimination diet plan.
A lot of great journeys start and end with no plan. Your elimination diet is definitely not one of those journeys. No matter how much of a seat-of-your-pants person you are, in order to be successful on your elimination diet journey, you absolutely must have a plan laid out.
There are a few ways to do this, but we recommend using a calendar or a daily planner to help you visualize each stage, what foods you’re eliminating when, and your symptoms as you move through the process.
Part of creating a concrete plan for yourself is also making sure that you have a stockpile of diet-friendly recipes planned out. Yes, this likely means that you will have to meal prep a few times a week.
2. Be honest with yourself
Being told that you can’t eat cheese or drink beer for the next few weeks might make you want to accept the adult acne and carry on as before. We get it. Letting go of key food groups in your diet is a lot harder than it sounds. In fact, it really sucks.
When we do something that we would rather avoid like the plague, it’s easy to lie to ourselves. “Just one beer won’t kill me…”
“A little parmesan on my gluten-free noodles won’t make a difference.”
“Just one cashew won’t derail me…”
The truth is that with every little exception, every tiny indulgence, you are only setting yourself back. If you want to be successful on your elimination diet journey, you need to let go of those cheat meals and start being brutally honest with yourself.
Do you want to deal with your chronic symptoms like acne or stomach pains in ten years, or would you rather be uncomfortable for a few weeks while you figure it out?
3. When in doubt, talk to your doctor
We know this one sounds cliche, but doctors exist for a reason. If you’re having a really hard time sticking with the plan that you laid out for yourself, then maybe it’s time to bring in the big guns.
Communicating with your doctor or nutritionist might be exactly what you need to push through this. Our Bloodprint® nutritional program recommends visiting your physician for a results review, second week follow up, 30-day follow up, 60-day follow up, and then a 90-day follow up. These are the perfect times to bring up any successes or challenges. Your physician can help you fine-tune your plan, suggest different coping methods, and even come up with a whole new elimination diet plan.
They can even give you that morale boost when you’re second-guessing yourself for starting this journey in the first place. If you have certain symptoms that are not having improvements, then your physician may have a supplement, treatment, or other recommendation to help you.
Ready to start your elimination diet journey?
We’re here to help. When you get our Bloodprint panel, we actually create an elimination diet plan that is catered specifically to you and your food triggers. Talk with your physician about the Four-Day Food Rotation. Once you complete your Bloodprint test you can use our Immuno Labs Health Guide to help you track your meals and symptom improvements.
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