At the start of every year most people make some sort of resolution to get fit, improve their health or lose weight. If that’s your intention and you’ve tried everything else but not got the results you wanted then why not give an elimination diet detox a try?
As much as 75% of your level of mental and physical health and well-being (or sickness) has to do with the things you eat and drink. That means there are a lot of smart reasons to embrace the idea of eliminating certain foods from your diet that may be causing you some health problems and difficulty in losing weight.
If you have a sensitivity or intolerance to a particular type of food, you dramatically increase your chance of developing the following health issues because of the resulting inflammation.
- Weight gain, overweight and obesity
- Joint and muscle pain
- Sleep problems
- Mood and emotional problems
- Weakened immune system
- Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies
- Lack of focus
- Chronic fatigue, you’re always exhausted
- Skin problems
- Minor or severe headaches, migraine headaches
You Identify Not Only Problem Foods, but the Foods Your Body Loves
All the focus is on removing problem foods, but a significant benefit is that you also identify what foods and beverages your body thrives on.
When you feed your body the things it desires, you will find that not only your physical but also your mental and emotional health benefit as well.
It is great to remove foods from your diet which are causing health problems. It is also wonderful to reveal those specific foods and food types which deliver your best overall well-being from head to toe.
Energy That Doesn’t Come from a Bottle, Sugar or Coffee Bean
Inflammation is a sign that your body is fighting something. It means your immune system is at least somewhat healthy and is trying to push out one or more foreign invaders.
One of the biggest problems with inflammation linked to food-related intolerance and allergies is that it saps the energy from you. Then you reach for an energy drink, a sugar-filled cup of coffee, or some other unhealthy energy booster.
If you have issues waking up each morning and suffer that mid-morning or mid-afternoon energy crash, it may be due to a food intolerance which can be identified with an elimination diet detox.
For many people simply following a basic detox diet which eliminates gluten, dairy, sugar and coffee will bring about weight loss, a boost in energy and improvements in many health issues but some people still have niggling symptoms.
If this is you then frequently it is due to some other foods you are eating so an elimination diet can help you find out if this is your problem.
You Improve your Gut Health
Your gut and digestive processes are responsible for most of your health and wellness. Way back in the 6th century BC, the Hippocrates wisely stated that, “All disease begins in the gut.”
He recommended turning to nutrition as a first line of defense against health problems, famously stating that we should as human beings, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
It’s now accepted that many serious health problems happen because something is wrong with the gut and digestive process. Constantly eating foods that you are unknowingly sensitive to causes damage to your gut, and this positively influences a number of health conditions
You Will Usually Lose Weight
The foods which cause inflammation and influence a number of health problems are often foods which cause people to gain weight.
They are usually highly processed and refined, manufactured foods, and when you begin eating less of these foods and more vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, and grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish and poultry, you can find your clothes becoming a little loose.
Overweight and obesity are often signs that your body is either not processing food correctly, or you are giving it the wrong types of food.
As you probably know, being overweight immediately increases the odds that you will suffer a heart attack, stroke or some other heart-related disease, and you significantly increase the risk that you will develop diabetes.
There are emotional rewards for becoming slim and trim, and once you eliminate harmful foods from your diet and eat foods which cause you to be as healthy and you can be, you may find yourself finally reaching and maintaining your ideal, healthy body weight.
How To Do The Elimination Diet
It can take between 23 and 25 days to remove from your body all the anti-bodies and proteins your immune system creates as a response to the food you eat.
That means you want to dedicate at least 23 days to your food elimination game plan. I suggest going a full 4 weeks or 30 days for even better results.
So, what are you going to be eliminating?
This may look like a daunting process at first. However, remember this: the food and drinks you need to eliminate are what commonly lead to the weight and health problems you are currently experiencing, whether minor or serious.
Remember also that this is just an elimination and identification phase. In many cases, you will find that only a small number of foods are causing the majority or all your symptoms.
There are various elimination diets around from 5 foods to a lot more. Some plans also eliminate chicken, beef, pork, beans, lentils and nuts. It really depends on how you feel you will be able to cope with it. Here’s the list I have had most success with.
For 28 to 30 days eliminate:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gluten grains
- Soy products
- Dairy products
- Citrus foods
- Nightshade family vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, white potatoes, peppers, cayenne pepper, paprika)
If I Can’t Eat Those Foods, What Can I Eat?
To give yourself the best chance at success in identifying problem foods and health-friendly foods, try to eat …
- 70% fresh vegetables (not the nightshades listed above), lentils, beans, seaweed, unsalted and un-roasted nuts, seeds, and pseudo grains (really seeds) that are free of gluten, such as quinoa or buckwheat.
- 30% healthy protein foods, which means avoiding regular chicken, farmed fish, seafood, commercially reared beef and other proteins that are full of hormones. Stick to wild-caught fish, lean grass-fed beef, organic free-range poultry.
It is probably a good idea to avoid eating mackerel and marlin, swordfish, tuna and shark, as these fish sometimes have high levels of mercury. Some argue that as these fish contain the mineral selenium then the small amount of toxic mercury they contain is not a problem.
Additionally, you want to make as many meals as you can yourself, rather than eating out. Avoid processed foods as much as possible, eat lots of fiber and drink lots of filtered water, and enjoy healthy fats such as raw coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed avocado oil, flax oil, walnut oil, nuts and avocados.
Okay, you have made it to day 28 or 31 now what? You no doubt have already noticed that you are sleeping better, feeling more energetic and clearer headed, and hopefully have lost some weight.
Now you can begin reintroducing some of your favorite foods that you have been missing out on.
This is a very simple process. Here’s what you do.
- The first day after your elimination phase, whether that be day 28 or 31, add JUST 1 of the eliminated foods to your diet. You can eat it several times.
- Give your body 2 days after the day you eat the food to respond. Monitor yourself closely and record any and all physical or mental responses to this reintroduction.
- After 48 hours, if you still feel good are showing no symptoms, repeat the process with the same food.
- After eating the food in question twice and monitoring your results, if you still feel fine, you can decide how much of that food type you want to add to your regular diet.If you get symptoms then this is a food that you are intolerant to and you should continue to avoid it for at least another 3 – 6 months before trying to reintroduce it again and monitor closely how you feel afterwards.
- Continue this process reintroducing 1 FOOD TYPE AT A TIME.
If you reintroduce all 5 foods on the first day after your elimination phase and you begin to have adverse effects, how do you know what food is causing the problem?
The key to success here is slowly beginning to eat one of the eliminated food types at a time, monitoring your results, and only attempting to add a second restricted food type to your diet when you are absolutely certain you are suffering no ill effects of the food you just reintroduced.
You may be shocked to find that when you begin eating one of the restricted food types, you develop noticeable symptoms as an almost immediate side-effect.
This is because you have detoxed or cleansed your body during the elimination phase. You will have boosted your immune system by eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy foods.
You will be more sensitive to adverse reactions than when you were eating the food regularly. Your body right now is very good at spotting problem foods, and that is why this simple but powerful food elimination process works so well to help you lose weight, boost your overall health and well-being.
Tips for Elimination Diet Success
I mentioned keeping a journal throughout the entire process. This is very important for the elimination diet detox plan success.
You should also purge your refrigerator, freezer and pantry of the “no go” foods you’re going to be avoiding. You can fight the strongest urges and cravings when the foods you desire are not present.
After cleansing your cupboards of alcoholic beverages, gluten and wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, coffee, citrus and nightshade foods stock up on as many high-fiber fresh allowed vegetables as you can.
Include legumes like beans and lentils. Unsalted, and unroasted nuts and seeds make wonderfully filling and nutritious snacks. Healthy fats like coconut oil and extra virgin olive or cold pressed avocado oil add flavor to food and are filling as well.
Purchase organic vegetables where possible, wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef and hormone-free, organic poultry.
Quinoa and buckwheat are wonderfully versatile, gluten-free pseudo-grains you can use in many meals. Add some of your favorite beans or lentils to quinoa and enjoy with some of the approved protein foods.
Remove all restricted foods from your personal environment, whether that be at home at work or at play, and keep approved foods handy.
Another tip to succeed at this health boosting elimination diet detox is to get a friend or family member involved. When you have a support network around you, and you remember the significant rewards you can enjoy from following an elimination food plan, it is much easier to make it through the process successfully.