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Elimination Diet Plan: How to Do It Correctly and What You Can Learn

Author: Anna Frinzi

Elimination diets are fairly self-explanatory as they use the tactic of “elimination” around food to determine how your body reacts to that specific food item. This requires completely removing that certain food from your diet temporarily.This diet plan is typically used to discover allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances that certain food choices may trigger. Read on to learn more about the elimination diet and its purpose for the human body.

Basics of the Elimination Diet

There are various types of elimination diets out there, but the main goal of each is to remove a certain type of food to determine what your body can and can’t tolerate. This diet is typically short term and is not something that will be sustainable in the long run, as its main goal is to discover foods your body may have negative reactions to. After this temporary period of “elimination” with certain foods, there is a “reintroduction period” where you slowly reestablish the foods you removed back into your diet. Let’s explore these two phases a bit more! As always, before embarking on any type of diet, please consult your doctor or medical professional for their recommendations.

What is the Elimination Phase?

Depending on the type of elimination diet plan you follow, this phase typically involves removing the foods that you believe may be causing negative symptoms for your body. This period is usually around 2-3 weeks of time in order to note the symptoms that may occur. Some common foods that may be eliminated during this restrictive meal plan are: nuts, corn, soy, citrus fruits, vegetables, wheat, foods containing gluten, pork, eggs and seafood. This is not an exhaustive list of foods that can be removed during this time, but includes choices that are popular for the elimination diet plan. During and after this phase, it is important to note how your body is feeling along with any possible symptoms you may experience.

What is the Reintroduction Phase?

This phase is after the 2-3-week elimination phase and is when you slowly introduce the foods that were removed back into your diet. Reintroducing these foods should be done with the supervision of a medical professional and this process varies depending on the specific type of elimination diet being performed. In general, each food group should be introduced one by one, over 2-3 days, and symptoms should be closely monitored. Some symptoms to be aware of during this phase include the following: rashes, skin changes, joint pain, headaches or migraines, energy levels and fatigue, sleeping patterns, breathing changes, bloating, stomach cramps, bowel movements, and any other patterns you may become aware of. Stay attuned to your body! If you reintroduce a food group and do not experience symptoms, it is then recommended to move onto the next food group and continue from there. On the other hand, if you do experience negative symptoms from a specific type of food, this is then identified as the trigger food and is advised to be removed from your diet. As mentioned previously, always consult your doctor with any type of diet, particular the elimination diet as removing entire food groups from your eating habits can create nutrition deficiencies.

Consider This…

This type of diet is typically done with the guidance of an allergist or registered dietitian, with the goal of discovering a specific food allergy or food intolerance. With this, it is important to monitor your symptoms closely and be aware of your body’s needs. This diet can be beneficial in specific cases but eliminating certain food groups can be challenging, particularly with the wide variety of vitamins and minerals our bodies require to achieve adequate nutrient balance. The ultimate goal of the elimination diet is to determine what works for your body. Contrary to this limiting approach, Noom tends to be a bit less restrictive and encourages mindfulness around your food choices. At Noom, it is encouraged to take the time to note your satiety levels and hunger cues during the day, and become more attuned to your body and what it requires to feel nourished. We encourage moderation, portion control, and no restrictions or dieting is necessary! Check out Noom today to learn these mindful eating tips, find out what foods support your wellbeing and goals, and lose weight sustainably!