What Is an Elimination Diet?
An elimination diet is a very effective approach that allows you to find out exactly which foods you have allergies, sensitivities, and/or intolerances to through the process of the elimination and reintroduction of certain “suspicious” pro-inflammatory foods. The idea is to give your body a few weeks to heal from the constant inflammatory response that some of these foods might be triggering in your digestive system.
Additionally, wholesome, nutrient-dense, and anti-inflammatory foods are added during the elimination phase so that you are not only removing the potential trigger foods, but are also adding foods that will accelerate healing and promote a healthy internal environment for the digestive system. Foods that commonly cause inflammation in the body and are therefore avoided during elimination include gluten, grains, dairy, soy, nightshade vegetables, all processed foods, added sugars, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, alcohol, tomatoes, and eggs.
If you suspect that a certain food not included in this list is giving you symptoms, you should also cut it out of your diet. These foods are eliminated for at least 30 days and then are slowly reintroduced one by one so that you can very clearly notice when a specific reintroduction is giving you symptoms and making you feel worse than before you added it back to your diet. Severe food allergies might be a bit easier to pinpoint even without the elimination diet, but a more subtle food allergy, a food intolerance, or the delayed IgG-mediated response that you get with a food sensitivity can make it almost impossible to know for sure which food is causing your symptoms.
Some symptoms that these foods are causing might not even be related to your digestive system, so it can be very hard to associate them with a particular food. For example, some of these trigger foods have been known to cause acne, headaches, eczema, negative moods, anxiety, and fatigue.
Individuals who have tried the elimination diet have seen improvements in many of these symptoms for the first time because they never before would have suspected that they were caused by the foods they were eating and therefore they never tried to change anything about their diet.
For example, people who suffer from acne know how frustrating it is; they try every product on the market, but still, nothing clears up their skin. Many of these skin conditions are linked to a diet rich in pro-inflammatory foods that are common allergens. You might not even notice that any foods bother you, but you will be surprised at how much better you feel once you eliminate them, especially when it comes to processed foods and refined sugars, which aren’t good for anybody!
Processed “junk” foods can be extremely addictive and those temptations can be hard to resist, but this short-term diet can be your chance to kick those cravings once and for all. The elimination diet not only helps to reduce inflammation, but also helps to restore the balance of healthy gut bacteria. Inflammation in the digestive system can disrupt the health of the gut microflora, which is linked to many conditions and diseases. A healthy gut microflora lowers your risk for disease and can also reduce many of the gastrointestinal symptoms you might have been experiencing, such as bloating and irregular bowel movements.
Benefits of a Successful Elimination Diet
- Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation is at the root of many different chronic diseases, such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, specific foods can also contribute to this inflammation and make your body feel worse. An elimination diet removes all of these inflammatory foods.
- More Energy
Having a pro-inflammatory environment inside your body can be exhausting, and you might not even know it. These foods might be the reason why you feel so tired even though you had plenty of sleep. Eliminating pro-inflammatory foods can leave you feeling energetic and ready to take on the day.
- Confirmation of the Foods to Eliminate
The only way to confirm whether certain foods do or don’t agree with you is through the elimination diet. Once you reintroduce each food back into your diet one by one, you can quickly detect which foods are giving you problems, such as bloating or fatigue.
- Confirmation of the Foods to Eat
Not only will you find out what foods your body doesn’t agree with, but you will also find out which foods your body loves. The elimination diet focuses on anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in micronutrients. You will discover foods that give you the most energy and make you feel amazing.
- Less Overwhelm and Confusion
With all these diets coming in and out of trend, it can be very overwhelming and difficult to understand which foods you should and should not be eating. The elimination diet will help you create your personalized food plan because, at the end of the day, every individual thrives off of slightly different foods.
- Better Gut Health
Recently, research on the importance of gut health has been dramatically expanding. Certain foods can cause damage to your gut microbiota and give you uncomfortable symptoms. By removing these foods and treating your gut with the right nutrients, you will notice a huge improvement in any underlying illnesses or conditions you might have.
- Better Immune Health
Although many foods can cause inflammation, this doesn’t mean that they’re helping our immune system to become stronger and work harder. In fact, the foods that are eliminated might have been compromising your immune system and making you more prone to sicknesses. The foods you eat on the elimination diet will boost your immune system and you will notice that you will not get sick as often.
- Less Cravings
Some foods might make one person feel great and the next feel horrible, but we all know that processed foods aren’t good for anybody. This elimination diet will finally help you curb those cravings and get rid of all those processed, unhealthy foods in your diet.
- No More Dieting
“Dieting” through food restrictions and having a negative relationship with your health journey can be very destructive to the entire process. Usually, we can keep up with this restriction for a few weeks, but eventually, we crash and can’t keep up with such a difficult lifestyle. The elimination diet isn’t about restricting and punishing yourself, it’s about discovering which foods make you and your body feel best.
- More Mindfulness
The elimination diet is a positive and mindful way of thinking about what foods you’re putting into your body. When you eat vegetables, fruits, and other nutrient-dense foods, you will be feeling positive and happy about the fact that you are nourishing your body with wholesome foods. It is not a restriction and a punishment, but rather a way of giving your body everything that it deserves.
The AIP Elimination Diet
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet emphasizes eliminating unwanted inflammation from the body by eliminating food-driven triggers. It is a powerful and popular diet approach that focuses on the following elements:
- It eliminates the foods that cause inflammation so that the immune system of the body can be reset properly
- It focuses on restoring healthy gut function and improving the gut microbiome
- It focuses on consuming a nutrient-dense diet.
This diet needs to be followed strictly, in order to see results. To achieve positive outcomes, one needs to follow the autoimmune protocol diet for at least 30 days. After the elimination period, foods are reintroduced to the diet.
Benefits of the AIP Diet
Is the autoimmune protocol diet beneficial? Well, it definitely is. One study showed that the Autoimmune Protocol diet reduces inflammation and encouraged remission in 78% of the study participants. I make no claims that the Autoimmune Protocol will work for everyone, but it has certainly been a benefit for many of my clients.
Why Do You Need Support?
The Autoimmune Protocol is a specialty elimination diet and is best executed with a solid plan and lots of support. I talk to women regularly who have tried this diet and failed (repeatedly) because they were trying to go it alone. While there is a lot of information out there on the AIP diet, it is a complex protocol and can be difficult to sustain if you are not on a set plan. If there was ever a time to work with a professional health coach – it’s to set up the AIP.
The Autoimmune Health Restoration System
I created The Autoimmune Health Restoration System as a convenient and simple way to provide you with a personalized AIP gameplan with me alongside you as your coach. It’s designed to help those with autoimmune disease take better control of their health using the best of MY successes with the AIP and my training as a certified autoimmune coach.
The Autoimmune Health Restoration System help you identify exactly which food choices and lifestyle habits are contributing to the symptoms that are ruining your life. You’ll build a nourishing group of foods and lifestyle habits that make you feel strong and healthy and restore a sense of hope for a better quality of life. I support you every step of the way. You deserve to live a life of freedom from your symptoms!
Learn more about this amazing group program and join the waitlist for the next session.