6 Week FODMAP Elimination Challenge

6 week fodmap elimination challenge

Happy New Year to all of you!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted anything … of course it’s been crazy over the holidays with family, friends and a tonne of other distractions I won’t bore you with… and all of a sudden, it’s all over!

As I woke up bleary eyed in 2016 I started reminiscing a bit about all of the mince pies, sauces, sausage rolls, crackers, Christmas pudding, cream and excessive amounts of booze I consumed in December. If you can check a couple of these guys off your list of FODMAP containing foods eaten over the holidays, you might know how I’m feeling.

The New Year is always a time for rethinking diets and lifestyle choices. However for us fodmappers it’s doubly hard I think. Not only do we feel guilty about the regular December indulgences, the cheese, the wine, the chocolate … we have to feel guilty about the onion gravy, or the chutney, or the honey roasted cashews we ate too.

Upon reflecting on my December choices I remembered it wasn’t the first time I’d slipped up with the diet. I started my low FODMAP journey in February 2015 and within a couple of weeks of my eliminations, I felt amazing. I had more energy, I felt slimmer, I didn’t get any IBS related pain or symptoms. It was like a miracle cure. But once you’ve been on a diet for some time and you start to see results, it’s easy to get complacent. This is what happened to me. I started eating the odd FODMAP containing food, a muffin here, some houmous there. When I ended up in Italy, of course I ate all the wheat I could get my hands on! And when it came to my reintroductions, I got them wrong, which led to inconclusive results. It made me feel lousy, and I was really annoyed at myself.

These experiences taught me a few lessons, though:

  1. We all slip up sometimes. This is a really hard diet to keep up with. It’s relentless, inconvenient and awkward. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall down, but be conscious of how it made your body feel.
  2. Slipping up doesn’t mean you have to go back to square one. You can (and should!) return to the diet if you eat any illegal food. Be sure to follow it strictly from that moment and take a few days to monitor your symptoms. As soon as you’re symptom free for 3 days, you can continue monitoring things as normal.
  3. Listen to your body. This experience is different for everyone. The only person who can truly tell you what works and what doesn’t, is you!
  4. Reintroductions = scientific experiment. i.e. you have to follow ALL of the rules during reintroductions or your results aren’t conclusive. A key mistake I made during reintroductions was introducing the foods that I had tested and tolerated straight away, while carrying out the remaining reintroductions. This can cause a build up of FODMAPs and essentially void your results. This is the main reason for my number one New Year’s resolution…

my new year’s resolution

Having been through the elimination diet once, I have decided it’s time for me to re-do it. I constantly find myself dreaming of the way I felt back in March – so why not try again?

It’s so daunting, especially after enjoying so many forbidden fruits recently (literally…) but it’s going to be worth it I’m sure.

If you want to join me, please do – and let me know how you’re getting on!

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