Short post about how I tried elimination diet, how it completely changed my perception of healthy food and taught me a great deal about nutrition. Elimination diet truly worked very well for me, which is why I decided to share my experience.
Why I tried elimination diet
I’ve never been interested in fad diets or certain popular diet trends as keto, paleo, etc. I believe in the good old formula that never failed anyone yet: eat healthy food (no junk food, a reasonable amount of saturated carbs, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated.
However, when it comes to food sensitivities and intolerances, it’s impossible to rely on generalizations. I’ve been exercising my whole life and did yoga and pilates regularly, didn’t indugle in junk food, and never overate. I tried to be as mindful as possible about my nutrition and yet my health was bothering me. Blood tests didn’t show anything abnormal, by the way – I was perfectly healthy.
I kept getting bloated, tired, dehudrated, and even exhausted after having food. I tried to eliminate certain foods, one after the other. At first it was dairy – I suspected that I had lactose intolerance, since it’s quite common. So after eliminating dairy, I felt better for some time, but I still got those gut issues anyway.
For reference, I am around 160cm tall and my caloric intake per day fluctuated between 800 and 1500 calories. Mind you, I didn’t try to lose weight – that’s just the amount of food I had and didn’t feel hungry. By all means, with this small caloric intake I should have lost some weight, even unintentionally (taking my workouts into account), but I gained weight instead (around 5kg per year). Needless to say, my health was becoming my huge concern: where did all the weight came from?
How I started
To tell the truth, my discovery of elimination diet was completely intuitive. At one point, I traveled to another country and stayed there for around 2-3 weeks. I had so many errands to run and so much to do that I didn’t have time to prepare food for myself. My diet changed drastically and I had mainly skinless chicken (roasted or boiled), potatoes, vegetables, and fruits. After several days of such diet I felt improvement, so I continued.
Going through the elimination diet
That was around the time YouTube suggested me one of the most awesome channels about fitness without the bullshit – Swolenormous. There I stumbled upon a video about elimination diet.
Elimination diet implied removing all foods that I suspected that my body couldn’t tolerate well. I researched common foods that cause sensitivities and intolerances – dairy, gluten, processed sugar. And eliminated all of them.
One thing about sugar: it might be difficult to eliminate it since it’s actually in nearly all foods you’ll find in stores. For me it wasn’t difficult because processed foods weren’t a huge part of my diet anyway – I usually have home-made food.
After a few weeks, I started reintroducing the foods that I suspected. After having one croissant, I felt the negative effect almost within an hour. So gluten truly was a food that I couldn’t digest well. The same thing happened with sugar and dairy.
Six month after doing the elimination diet
During the first month of doing the diet, I lost those 5kg. But that wasn’t something I was happy and relieved about – I never strived to lose weight, but rather to be healthy.
I stopped experiencing not only the issues directly connected to digestion – I started sleeping better, my skin cleared up. Before that, I had small bumps on my face and often got rashes. No wonder – my body tried to signal that it was fighting actual poison on a nearly daily basis, but it took me so long to understand it.
Today, I know myself so much better. Knowing the foods that I can’t tolerate so well doesn’t mean I can’t have any of them at all (at least in my case). From time to time, I can have muffins I make myself – muffin dough isn’t processed long enough for gluten to release, so it’s mild on my stomach. As for sugar, I can have it in very small quantities.
Would I recommend elimination diet?
I’m not a doctor and this post is simply to share my own experience, so of course it’s up to everyone to decide for themselves. If I could turn back in time and tell myself about this diet – it could save me years of discomfort.
We are literally the food that we eat. And for each and every one of us, there are different foods that make us feel good or bad. Doing elimination diet improved my quality of life and made me so much more confident about my nutrition. In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that fad diets gain so much popularity, while something so effective and simple as elimination diet isn’t talked about enough.
See you in my next post!
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