An elimination diet is well known as the number one best way to figure out what food sensitivities and or food intolerances you may have. However, if you don’t do the elimination diet properly you can end up causing more health problems or you may end up with inaccurate results. Here are the five most common and the worst elimination diet mistakes that people make:
1. Trying to do an elimination diet completely on your own without any help from a health coach, a chiropractor, a naturopath, or any other kind of health care professional. While you can find information on how to do an elimination diet and you can try to do it on your own, it will be much harder and from my own experience it has a significantly less chance of working. An elimination diet can also be really hard and without the encouragement and motivation of someone to help you, you will most likely not be able to stick with it long enough to get the results you need and want. It can also help to get professional help in deciding which foods you need to eliminate. For example, not everyone needs to eliminate dairy products even though they are a common food sensitivity.
2. Trying to eliminate more than 10 foods or multiple major food groups at once. The more foods you eliminate the harder it will be for you to stick to your diet and the more likely you are to fail. It’s hard enough to give up gluten for example without also trying to give up dairy, sugar, and multiple fruits, vegetables, and even some meats at the same time. It is best instead to start by eliminating one major food group such as gluten first and then adding to it if determined necessary.
3. Failing to plan ahead before beginning an elimination diet. Successfully doing an elimination diet is hard enough and so you need to plan ahead. I recommend avoiding beginning the diet while you will be traveling, moving, or around the time of a major holiday. You want your first two weeks to happen while you are living a normal life with no major challenges, adjustments or anything else that could through you off. You also will need to be able to keep a detailed and thorough food journal during this time so you need to be sure that you will be able to do this.
4. Failure to get adequate support from friends and family ahead of time most of whom will think you are crazy or just plain won’t understand what you are doing. In some cases you will also need to request special meals and you will need to be prepared with meal recommendations.
5. Failure to realize that you might in some cases get temporarily sicker before you start feeling better. The most common symptom is an increase in fatigue and in headaches. If you are worried about this and you are able to get time off of work for a few weeks when you first start an elimination diet it is helpful.
That said an elimination diet can really be a helpful part in your journey to improved vitality and wellness but you do want to take the time and steps necessary to do it correctly. Questions about whether you not you should try an elimination diet?