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Episode 183: 6 Signs You Need an Elimination Diet in 2023

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First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

We have officially made it to 2023, and I know right about this time we're looking ahead at how we want the next go-around-the-sun to look.

Meanwhile we may also be contending with a bit of guilt after some full-fuck-it behavior over the holidays and are ready to dial it back in. 

The question is... how are you going to prepare yourself for the year ahead? How are you going to dial it in?

Are going to peruse the latest fad diets? Go back to the old standbys of counting calories or cutting carbs? 

Or is it dawning on you this year that if you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done?

If so, an elimination diet is the answer for you.

Now before you go writing this off as just another quick fix that focuses on deprivation, allow me to explain what a true elimination diet is. 

Because it is not just cutting out random foods to lose weight and then going back to your old habits. 

It is a strategic system to become your own health detective, finally figuring out what foods are causing your stubborn weight, your fatigue, your digestive issues, or any other inflammation-related symptoms you may be experiencing. 

In an elimination diet, it isn't deprivation for deprivation's sake. It's deprivation for education's sake. We remove common problem foods long enough to give your body a break from them, and then follow a specific reintroduction protocol and carefully observe your body's response.

I remember following my first elimination diet and it was a game-changer. After years of struggling with random symptoms, trying a million diets, and spending way too much money on different supplements, I got more clarity in 30 days than I had in the previous 10 years.

I found out dairy was causing 80% of my acne and loose stools, gluten was causing my debilitating fatigue, and corn was causing gas and bloating. 

It may sound weird, but that was the beginning of food freedom for me. Because that knowledge gave me a choice every time I sat down to a meal.

I finally wasn't a victim anymore. I had the power to either not eat those foods and feel my best or to eat those foods knowing and anticipating the tradeoff.

 And believe me, sometimes I decided it was worth it to eat those foods. But then I wasn't devastated when I'd break out the next day or feel bloated and tired, because I knew it was coming. 

So how do you know if an elimination diet is the right next step for you?

1. You're confused by all the conflicting advice out there and don't want to bounce from diet to diet this year. 

There is no study that can tell you how foods will affect your body. I can find you studies that show the benefits of certain types of dairy, but my body does not respond well to it. 

That's why there's so much conflicting research out there when it comes to nutrition. There is no way to account for all of the variables of a person's genetics, health issues, stress levels, sleep, activity level, and more that all impact a study's outcomes.

So we can't really rely on someone else telling us what to eat. If we want to stop the endless trial and error we have to do the detective work to learn our own body and that's exactly what an elimination diet is for. 

2. You feel like too often you use food to cope with negative emotions.** 

I this with an asterisk because if you're doing an elimination diet on your own, it's easy to find foods that technically fit the rules but that are still highly binge-able (paleo crackers or cassava chips come to mind). 

But the way I teach an elimination diet in Follow Your Gut is to embrace the spirit of an elimination diet as much as the rules. In other words, we don't abuse food during our elimination diet.

We learn other ways to cope with negative emotions, we get out of autopilot with our food behaviors, and we even change our environment by not keeping certain foods in the house while we heal both our body and our relationship with food. 

3. You deal with a random array of symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, aches and pains, skin issues, mood issues, and/or brain fog. 

First of all let me debunk this right now: you aren't experiencing these things because you're older. You're experiencing them because there is dysfunction in your body.

Whether that dysfunction is adrenal fatigue, poor digestion, poor detoxification, hormonal imbalance, or a combination, symptoms are a sign that a cog in the machine is loose or straight up broken. 

And we can't fix the dysfunction if you're constantly putting food into your body that is adding fuel to the fire. 

For some people eliminating the problem foods is the fix because the foods are the root of dysfunction.

For others eliminating the problem foods is the start of their journey because it's giving their body the rest it needs to start healing the actual underlying problem. Either way, following an elimination diet is step one. 

4. You feel like you've tried everything to lose weight and nothing as worked. 

If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: stubborn weight is a symptom. And if you've counted calories, cut carbs, fixed your portions, gone keto, gone vegetarian, done detoxes, worked out, and you still can't lose weight, a typical diet is not going to work for you. Period.

Your body is screaming at you that there is healing that needs to be done. And healing doesn't happen by eliminating an entire macronutrient like carbs or by just tracking your food. Healing happens by intentionally eliminating specific foods that are known barriers to healing. 

5. You deal with some gnarly cravings.

Sometimes cravings are about the food, sometimes cravings are about energy, sometimes cravings are about emotions, but believe it or not many times cravings are actually signals from the bacteria in your gut. 

Luckily the foods we take out during an elimination diet are the foods that tend to feed those cravings-causing bacteria. So you can reduce your cravings at the source when following an elimination protocol. 

6. You know you need to get better at cooking and planning your meals. 

A huge part of reaching our goals is simply getting out of the autopilot mode that keeps taking us back to our old habits. 

And I know many of us have gotten into a bad habit of eating out all the time, ordering delivery, and just picking our meals in the moment which sets us up to make poor choices. 

An elimination diet is like a crash course in meal prep and planning ahead. You don't have the luxury of just flying by the seat of your pants.

So whether you're going to a party, or a dinner out, or you're just going to be running errands all day, following an elimination diet forces you to look ahead and get intentional about how you're going to set yourself up for success. 

Of course, if you've never done something like this before it can feel a bit overwhelming. You might struggle finding recipes, or knowing what to order at restaurants, or learning to manage cravings when they hit. 

Which is why I started Follow Your Gut in the first place. Not only do I give you the step-by-step tools to successfully implement an elimination diet, I give you the guidance on what to do after the elimination is over (which in my opinion is just as, if not more important than the elimination itself). 

Inside you'll learn how to listen to your body and understand the messages it's trying to send you with your symptoms and cravings. You'll learn the exact steps I took to get out of the restrict-binge cycle once and for all. You'll enjoy recipes that taste so good you won't even miss your old go-to's. And you'll finally have a clear path to reach your goals. 

Our next round starts January 16th and there are limited spaces, click here to get more details and to get your application in today!


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