Should you go on an elimination diet? Ask yourself these 9 questions to help you figure out if it’s right for you!
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet involves cutting out foods from your diet that you think you may be intolerant to. The foods are later brought back into your diet, one at a time, so you can see how they affect you.
Elimination diets have become all the craze in the wellness world. Literally, when anything goes wrong in our lives, we are like “oh it must be the food, gotta go on an elimination diet”. We fail to consider ALL of the other potential causes of what might be going on such as stress or not eating enough.
Also, it’s natural for your body shows symptoms of intolerance when you reintroduce foods you’ve previously dubbed off limits. Your body just isn’t used to those foods but that doesn’t mean you have to write them off for good. There’s other tools for checking in with how food makes you feel that don’t involve drastic measures and cutting out foods you love.
But before we go there, I want to share my experience with food intolerance tests and elimination diets with you.
I ANXIOUSLY awaited the results of my food intolerance test
I was DYING to hear back so I could figure out what the hell was wrong with me.
Finally I got the results. And yep, I was “severely intolerant” to a whole lot of shit and “needed” to go on an elimination diet. “Omg, thank god”, I thought, “now I can just stop eating all these foods and all my problems will go away, easy peasy”. I was secretly excited I had a “good” reason to create even more food rules for myself.
PSYCHHH. That’s not how it worked. Things actually got much worse. I spiraled further into orthorexia and disordered eating. I was stressed to the max. My chronic back pain became even more intense. My hormones became even more off balance (my estrogen was literally at 0). I wasn’t sleeping. And I STILL felt like shit.
My intuition wasn’t agreeing with the elimination diet
As the magical universe would have it, right around this time I came across the book intuitive eating and it IMMEDIATELY CLICKED. I was like “holy shit you’re telling me I can eat what I want when I want, not stress about it 24/7 and have balance, freedom and health? SIGN ME UP”.
After letting go of everything I THOUGHT I knew to be true about health, I realized that it was actually my relationship with food that was causing me all these problems, not the food itself.
You are the only person who knows what’s best for you
I trusted and followed my intuition DESPITE what everyone else was doing and DESPITE what my naturopathic doctor told me to do and because of that, I healed and felt better than I had ever felt. I literally eat every single food that was on my “intolerant” list and feel completely fine eating them. Better than fine actually now that there’s no guilt and stress attached to them. I’m even able to eat dairy which I was highly allergic to growing up.
YOU are the only person who knows what’s best for you. Trust that and honor it. I’m not saying to ignore your doctor but if there’s a part of you that’s questioning if it’s really best for you, explore that. The 9 questions below will help you do that.
What if your digestive troubles, hormone imbalances, physical pains, bloating, not sleeping (whatever it is for you) has nothing to do with the food you’re eating but everything to do with how you FEEL about your food?
Food anxiety can manifest in symptoms that look A LOT like an intolerance.Krista Murias
So next time you’re tempted to cut out certain foods or go on an elimination diet, ask yourself the questions below.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting an Elimination Diet
- How will this affect my mental health? Social life? Mood?
- Is it true that I should do this?
- Is there anything I can ADD in instead to benefit my health?
- Why am I doing this?
- Is there anything else going on in my life that I might be trying to use this as a distraction from?
- If I didn’t have to do this, what would I do differently?
- How do I feel when I think the thought that I have to do this elimination diet?
- What do I believe an elimination diet will do for me? Is there any other ways I might be able to get that?
- What is my intuition telling me?
You don’t have to take everything I say as your truth. But I’m sharing my truth and my experience and my belief system because that’s why I’m here and I strongly believe I am meant to change the world using the tools I’ve discovered to change the way I feel about food, my body and my health.
If you’re exhausted from thinking about food and your body constantly and it feels like it’s getting in the way of your life, I can help.
In case you didn’t know, I’m a certified integrative nutrition health coach on a mission to help women feel more free and confident with food and their body which I believe is the gateway to having freedom and confidence in ALL areas of life.
Have you done an elimination diet or thought about it? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This information is for informational and educational purposes only is not a substitute for individual medical or mental health advice.