In my last post, I discussed what an elimination diet is and some of my thoughts when I first tested this out years ago.
This go around, I wanted to create some guidelines to help my family go through the process with less negativity than what I previously did.
Here are the 7 tips to make sure your “Elimination” Diet or rather what I call an Experimentation Diet is a success.
- Pick a Date: Write it Down and Follow-through! It sounds simple, but you got to set a start date. If you don’t it will be easy to come up with excuses of why you shouldn’t do it right now. Set a date, write it down and seriously just do it.
- Remove Temptations – Clean the fridge and the pantry. The ideal scenario is get the food that doesn’t support your elimination diet out of the house; however, that is not always realistic if you have others in the house who don’t go through this process or think it’s a waste of time. If that’s the case then just group your approved foods and snacks in one area so you are not tempted when scouring for meals and snacks.
- Mindset is Key – In my opinion, this may be the most important step. It’s important to not focus on what you can’t eat. Instead, think of it as an experiment. You are playing in the kitchen and testing out new healthy recipes! You are learning what works for your body. Have your mindset be on the positive not the negative and the process will go much easier. Surrender to it. Remember, it’s only temporary although you may feel so good that you don’t go back to some of those foods. Dare I say that is the ultimate goal. Baby steps!
- Plan and Prepare – In order to be successful you need to do meal planning each week and prepare the foods in advance so that you don’t have to think too much. I personally love to meal plan and prepare my foods on the weekend. You can do batch cooking by making soups, healthy carbs like quinoa or brown rice for the week as well as wash and cut your veggies. This makes preparing meals and snacks 10 times easier and keeps you on track!
- Track It! – From start to finish I recommend that you track your food intake. This is probably the second most important step I would recommend because you want to pay attention to how your body reacts. A good way to track this is by doing a food journal. You can use a pen and paper, which is what I did since I am a bit old school. However, you can also write notes in your phone or use one of the many great apps like My Net Food Diary, MyFitness Pal, etc. to track what you eat and how you feel.
- Detach from the Outcome – Although I recommend taking your starting weight and measurements, but don’t be discouraged by your scale or by how many pounds you lost to determine the “success” of this experiment. Instead, go by how your body feels. Remember, the primary purpose is not weight loss; the primary goal here is to determine what foods negatively impact your body.
- Accountability – Find someone to help you and hold you accountable. It could be a friend who does this with you or a health coach to give you suggestions around meal planning. Whatever the base for your situation, make sure to hold yourself to the promise you made.
You are unique. What works for me may not work for you so it’s important to determine what works for your body and this little experiment is one way to help you figure it out.
I know technically speaking this process is called an elimination diet, but I prefer to call it an experimentation diet. It’s cutting out the crap, getting back to basics and determining what works for your own body.
You are the expert on you, so be open-minded, pay attention and listen to your body!
Take it one day at a time and I promise you can do it. Would you be game for trying it again following this method? I would love to hear your stories below in the comments.