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All You Need To Know About Elimination Diet

The foods that we eat every single day have a huge impact on our overall health and wellness. As everyone’s bodies do not react the same way to a particular food, what may be healthy to you might cause discomfort or an adverse reaction in another person. Some foods, unbeknownst to us, might be triggering inflammation in our bodies. This is where an elimination diet comes in. This article will tell you more about the diet, its benefits and things to consider before you start one.

What Is an Elimination Diet?

An elimination diet plan consists of excluding certain foods from your diet for a pre-determined period of time, preferably a month. By doing this, you’re effectively removing the foods that may be causing problems as well as giving your body enough time to heal. This diet commonly removes foods, such as gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, corn, nuts and nightshade vegetables. After about a month of not consuming these foods, they are slowly introduced into your diet again, one at a time. At this point, you will have to closely monitor your body’s response to these foods so that you can determine which one of these foods has been causing symptoms or problems in your body.

The Many Benefits

A properly-structured elimination diet is highly restrictive, but the benefits that it provides far outweigh its cons. Some of the many benefits of this diet are listed below.

Reduces Inflammation

When you consume foods that don’t agree with your body, it sends your immune system into overdrive, thereby causing inflammation. This inflammation is directly associated with many serious disorders, such as asthma, weight gain and even fatigue, among others. By eliminating the foods that trigger an adverse response in your body, you can calm the inflammation.

Increases Energy Levels

Foods that cause inflammation in your body can make you feel lethargic, both physically and mentally. By eliminating certain foods that irritate your body, you’ll effectively give your brain and body the required amount of energy levels to work at optimal capacity.

Boosts Immune System

With certain foods causing inflammatory responses in your body, your immune system is constantly working to get rid of the irritants. This puts your immune system under tremendous stress and reduces its effectiveness at dealing with even the simplest of diseases. An elimination diet helps remove foods that flare up the immune system, thereby keeping it strong and prepared to defend your body against diseases.

Decreases Intake of Processed Foods

We consume foods that are heavily-processed and devoid of any nutrients. These foods are responsible for introducing a lot of health-related problems into our bodies. As an elimination diet requires you to completely lay off processed foods, it gives you a clear plan and helps you focus on eating real and healthy foods.

Gets Rid of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Doctors say our gut plays a huge role in keeping our body healthy and in check. Most chronic health problems start from the gut. When your intestinal lining becomes inflamed due to the consumption of certain foods, it can lead to a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. The inflamed gut lining then allows the toxins from the food to pass into the bloodstream, thereby increasing the inflammation in your body. The elimination diet breaks this vicious cycle and helps your gut heal.

Apart from the above benefits, the elimination diet also provides relief from migraines, skin problems and irritations, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Although not conclusive, there is mounting evidence that the diet even prevents and treats attention disorders, such as ADHD.

10 Things to Remember Before Doing an Elimination Diet

Before starting the elimination diet, there are certain things that you should know about. Here are 10 such points to note before getting yourself on the diet.

Plan and Schedule Appropriately

Most people do not plan or schedule ahead before doing an elimination diet and end up cutting it short. Planning is really important as you’d be cutting a lot of foods that are a part of your daily diet. Therefore, you’ll need some time to replace those foods with something else. Making a proper plan will help you ease into the diet and make you stay loyal to it. The same thing goes with scheduling. If you schedule your diet right before a major event, such as a wedding, a vacation, or a party, it can throw you off the diet as you’d be tempted to eat foods that you have excluded.

Elimination Diet Is Not for Losing Weight

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Although an elimination diet is restrictive in nature, the goal of the diet is not to lose weight but to identify food intolerances. The ultimate end goal is to get back to a nutrient-rich and diverse diet. Therefore, restricting calories while on the elimination diet will do more harm than good. This is because when you remove a lot of foods from your diet, you’ll effectively be losing out on micro- and macronutrients, like protein, fiber and vitamins. So, you’re supposed to replace the lost nutrition with non-prohibited foods. Failing to do that can put your body at a significant risk.

Keep a Written Log

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Monitoring your entire progress from start to finish makes it easy for you to identify and eliminate foods that cause inflammation. While you may be good at remembering stuff, it is still recommended that you keep a log or journal, and note down even the slightest changes you notice in your body. The reintroduction process of the diet is the most crucial part. Having a written log of the foods that you consume and the reaction they have on your body is necessary. It might even help a medical professional diagnose and come to a conclusion regarding your food intolerance.

Do Not Quit Impulsively



There is a high chance that you’ll feel worse during the initial days, which is when you eliminate all the prohibited foods from your diet. Removing so many foods at once is a radical change, and your body needs some time to adapt to this newfound diet. You might experience lethargy, headaches, dizziness and strong cravings, among other symptoms. Once you power through these initial days, you’ll start to feel better again. So, hang in there for those few days, and do not go back to your previous diet.

Take It Seriously

It is not easy cutting all those foods out at once, but if you require accurate results, then you have to take the elimination diet seriously. For instance, you may have avoided consuming dairy products at large, but if you are still spreading a little butter on your toast, that means you haven’t eliminated the trigger food from your diet yet. Even if it is as little as a spoon of butter or a cube of cheese once in a while, it can still cause inflammation. Therefore, take the diet seriously, and go cold turkey on the prohibited food products.

Do It Under Supervision

Unless you are a medical professional, it is highly likely that you will miss a lot of the indicators that problem-causing foods show. Sometimes, you might even end up removing foods that aren’t the cause of your problems since you may not be able to make a proper connection. For instance, signs like persistent bloating or migraines might be due to some other serious underlying condition rather than the foods you consume. Hence, it is essential that you take up this diet under the supervision of a doctor or healthcare professional.

Does Not Guarantee Relief


We all know that everybody is different and that it may take time to see results. Some people might experience relief quickly; for others, it might take a while. For some, elimination diets might not work at all—for some reason. The diet might end up not uncovering any food intolerance because there wasn’t any food intolerance to begin with. The problem might have been something other than food. Thus, you need to be prepared to face the fact that the diet might not guarantee you relief.

Different Types of Elimination Diets

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There are plenty of different types of diets that involve elimination, such as a low FODMAP diet, few foods, rare foods and fasting diets. In addition to these, medically-supervised diets are specific to each individual. Choosing the right diet to accurately pinpoint the food causing the inflammation is essential for success.

What to Eat

Is There a Need for Low-Carb Vegetables

While you’re now aware of what not to eat, there are certain non-prohibited foods that you are allowed to eat while you’re on an elimination diet. Some of these are fresh vegetables, organic poultry, grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, low-glycemic fruits, healthy fats, herbs and spices and fermented foods.

Staying On the Diet for Too Long

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Staying on a restrictive diet, such as the elimination diet, for far too long will surely deprive your body of the essential micro- and macronutrients that it needs to function properly. And so, once you’re done with the diet, switch back to eating normally.


Now that you know what to do, you can go ahead and try this diet. While it may not guarantee you results, it can cause some surprising and long-lasting benefits, if it does work. Also, keep in mind that our bodies are constantly changing and likewise, our food intolerances are also prone to change. This means that you might have to repeat the diet at some point in your life when you feel that your intolerances have shifted or that a new one has cropped up.

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