5 Elimination Diet Mistakes and How to Overcome Them
Have you already started your elimination diet? Or are you building yourself up to start one yourself? An elimination diet can be daunting, but with the right prep, motivation and advice, it can be a beneficial time to listen to your body and see what foods work for you and which don’t. Here are 5 useful tips that can help you avoid these elimination diet mistakes.
Taking it all on
Food intolerance testing† is not something that is offered on the NHS. Instead, people are encouraged to eliminate certain foods one by one, in order to identity an intolerance. Taking this on yourself can be slow and overwhelming. One-by-one you cut out a different food type for several weeks and slowly reintroduce it after a period of time to see if you react. This can be a very time-consuming process and it’s easy to just give up. YorkTest offer a fast track solution to this. The results from a full food intolerance programmes† will tell you what foods are working against your body using a simple traffic light system – red meaning a high reaction, yellow borderline reaction and green indicating no reaction.
Failing to plan ahead
Failing to plan ahead could make you abandon your elimination diet. A last-minute meal at a restaurant or a friend’s birthday are all situations that can tempt you back into your reactive foods. Depending on what foods and drinks you’re eliminating, planning well ahead can prepare you for what you can and cannot eat. If you’re heading to a specific restaurant, browse their menu ahead of time and call if you’re unsure on ingredients. Restaurants are so much more on the ball with dietary requirements. Even if you have no interruptions to your routine in terms of eating out, travelling or events, it’s much easier if you think of 3-4 breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives so you have a varied and well-balanced diet.
All of our full food intolerance programmes† include a 30-minute consultation with a BANT* registered Nutritional Therapist, and they can advise you on alternatives that you may be pleasantly surprised about, and also give you tips on how you can stay clear of your food reactions. A food diary which is also included in our programmes is a great way to plan ahead to avoid your food triggers slipping back into your diet!
Check out some on-the-go free-from favourites and how to deal with food intolerance when you’re abroad for further information on how you can manage your intolerances when you’re out and about.
Quitting when symptoms get worse
There’s a chance you may feel worse for the first few days into your elimination diet, especially if you’re changing your diet quite radically. If symptoms worsen, hang in there! Feeling tired and headachy can be the body craving the foods you used to eat. These should pass in a few days and benefits of feeling well again will be so worth it, so don’t reach for your triggers foods just yet! It’s a big deal to change your diet, so feel proud that you’re a few days in already.
Keeping to a dull routine
It’s no fun when you’re having eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, chicken for tea and then repeat. No one likes monotony. Your new diet needs to stay varied and balanced. Starting with a small list of foods and then sticking to this diet long-term results in a restrictive plan that could jeopardise your success of seeing it through. The body functions best when you eat small amounts of a wide variety of foods. By eating this way, you get a wider variety of nutrients, too.
Switch up your routine and try out different flavours and textures. Get inspiration from these posts: 6 food trend predictions for 2018, dairy-free breakfast ideas and a food lover’s guide to gluten intolerance
Not taking it seriously
Has your elimination diet already begun? If you’ve received your food intolerance test results and you’ve got several high reactions, it’s easy to make excuses. Take cow’s milk, for example, you might avoid ice cream, chocolate, cream and cheese, but if you’re still tucking into a biscuit or spreading some butter on your toast each morning, you haven’t entirely eliminated this trigger food from your diet. Your gut is therefore unable to fully heal, and you may still experience inflammation when you consume your problematic ingredient. The only way to truly pinpoint problematic foods is to eliminate them. It’s not easy cutting out certain foods, but this is the best way to optimise your diet and feel well again.
Not only do we offer a fast-track elimination process, but advice and guidance are never too far away. We include nutritional consultations, a food diary to help you plan ahead, and we send you relevant material as extra support. Our Customer Care team are also on hand to help you no matter how big or small your query is.
Now you know these 5 simple elimination diet mistakes, you won’t get caught out. Good luck and go for it!
If you’re building up to start one yourself, did you know that the average YorkTest customer reacts to 4-5 ingredients? There could be a few unsuspecting sensitivities currently in your diet. YorkTest offer a fast-track starting point for an elimination diet. We also provide nutritional consultations in our programmes, so you can ask what foods to eat on an elimination diet, and what you should know before starting an elimination diet plan. Find out more a little bit about us and our full food intolerance programmes†.
*British Association for Nutritional and Lifestyle Medicine
† YorkTest define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction
YorkTest recommend that you discuss any medical concerns you have with a GP before undertaking a YorkTest programme