Have you ever heard of an elimination diet? It’s something we have used with clients to help them drop 2-4 inches off their waist in just a 3-4 week period.
The big draw to an elimination diet is that it takes stress of the digestive tract. In addition to that it largely works because you’re eliminating calorie dense processed foods.
When you combine these two things it leads to weight loss. There are many different versions of elimination diets out there. We suggest a super simple elimination diet because it makes things easier for people who haven’t tried something like this before (or for those who have tried before, but failed to be able to follow through on it).
Important to note for most people this is not a long-term diet or lifestyle change. The purpose is to identify if there are foods that are not agreeing with your digestive tract. It doesn’t mean you should never eat any of these foods every again.
How Long Should I Follow the Elimination Diet For?
We typically suggest you do a minimum of 3-4 weeks eliminating the food 100% for that time period.
You can do it for longer periods of time 6-8 weeks, but most people find they start feeling deprived when they go too long.
If You Don't Do This......You Won't See the Real Benefit
You must eliminate the food completely from your diet. 100% of the time for the set number of weeks you decide on. Don’t invest your time and energy if you’re not ready to completely eliminate the food from your diet.
Usually, we are all about moderation. However, for this diet to work in its goal of identifying what foods are bugging your digestive tract it must be followed 100% of the time.
Elimination Diet: List of Foods to Eliminate
Here is a list. You can always do a modified version where you only pick certain foods off this list to eliminate. Of course, it will be far more powerful if you eliminate all of them.
- Grains (wheat, rye, rice, and all other grains products)
- Processed sugar
- Processed foods
Wait....What Foods Can I Eat on the Elimination Diet?
This is the question we usually get after someone reads this list. Here is a list of the foods you can eat (obviously not a complete list).
- Legumes, lentils, beans, chic peas, etc.
Essentially real whole foods not including a few from the groups listed above.
No Processed Food at All? What's Up With That?
You have to watch for many processed foods that are healthy but still should be avoided on the elimination. For example, peanut butter, almond milk or other similar products which although may be healthy are still to be eliminated to check for food intolerance.
As well, processed foods are easier to overeat on. So, it will help the elimination diet for weight loss.
Strategies to Make the Elimination Diet for Weight Loss Easier
Here are some easy tips to make life a little easier.
- Figure out 3-4 different meals for breakfast, lunch & supper
- Figure out some healthy treats that you will enjoy, but still fall in-line with the elimination diet for weight loss
- Remember it will be hard for the first 2 weeks, but it will get easier and more routine after this
- When eating out ask them about any ingredients you may be unsure about (especially added sugars or dairy)
- Remember these foods aren’t necessarily bad for you. The point is just to identify if any of these don’t agree with your digestive tract and eliminate calorie dense foods
- Remember you have to 100% eliminate the food from your diet
How to Check for Food Intolerance
This is important. Once you’ve eliminated the food for 3-4 weeks (or longer) you can check to see how you react to the food by introducing 1 food at a time in a normal serving sized amount of that food. And see if you have any reactions over the next 2-3 days.
Make sure to only add in 1 food every 4 days. Often some reactions like rashes or others are delayed.