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The Elimination Diet: Find the Foods the Disagree With You

There’s a good chance that you’re regularly eating something that doesn’t agree with you. It might be making you tired, paranoid, or hurt your ability to concentrate. Each time you put food into your body, it can have a negative effect on your mind or body.

Everyone is different, so there are no hard and fast rules. You’ll have to be a bit of a detective to find the culprits.

Everyone should give an elimination diet a try. You might feel a lot worse than you think. If you’ve been eating the wrong foods your entire life, you don’t know any differently.

Greater health, energy, and mental clarity might be as easy as eliminating a couple of foods from your diet. It’s definitely worth the time and effort.

Try these ideas to find the foods that are causing more harm than good:

1. Avoid the most common culprits for three weeks. These include dairy, soy, gluten, nuts, and eggs. Some people also have issues with alcohol or artificial sweeteners. It’s up to you to determine how far you want to take it. If you’re wondering what you can eat, there are still quite a few options: Unprocessed meat, vegetables, fruit, non-gluten grains, and beans, to name a few.

2. After three weeks, document how you feel. Three weeks is the magic number. That’s how long it takes the antibodies your body has produced to expire. So, after three weeks, measure how well you feel. Assign a 1-10 value for the following items:

  • Energy

  • Mood

  • Sleep quality

  • Ability to focus

  • Mental clarity

3. Add one food back into your diet at a time. Now, just pick one of the foods you’ve been avoiding and eat it. Just eat it at one meal and note how you feel over the next 48 hours. If you still feel good, eat it one more time. Remember to measure how you feel. 4. If you had a reaction, drop that food and continue until you feel better. Avoid adding another food until you’ve recovered from the previous one. A few days is usually sufficient. Now you know that you should stay away from that food over the long term.

  • Negative foods can cause fatigue, grumpiness or depression, insomnia, mental fog, or altered thinking. In addition, you might experience bowel discomfort or diarrhea.

5. Repeat the process of adding foods back into your diet. Keeping adding foods back into your diet, one at a time, and see what happens. Always record how you feel after eating it. Keep a log just for your elimination diet. This might be the most important journal you ever keep. 6. If you want to get fancy, check your pulse and blood pressure. Just before you’re about to add a new food, take your pulse and blood pressure. Then, eat the food and check both again. Any food that alters either significantly probably isn’t good for you.

If you’ve never tried an elimination diet, you owe it to yourself to go through the process. Many people have a food or two that’s making life much more challenging than it needs to be. The wrong food can affect your digestion, skin, mood, mental clarity, focus, energy, and sleep.

If you’ve been struggling with life, a big part of the solution could be an elimination diet. Give it a try and see what you find out. Experiment on yourself. It’s the only way to know for certain. It might seem like a daunting task, but after just a few weeks you might find a way to improve your life dramatically.

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