Depends on what’s going on with you. If you are struggling with any sort of chronic pain, digestive issue, weight loss plateau, skin issue, brain fog, anxiety depression, fatigue or less than ideal sleep, a food elimination diet might be a great choice for you. Doing something different if you’re not getting the outcome you want is almost never a bad idea.
A 12 to 30 day Food Elimination Diet
to Lower Inflammation
and or Break a Weight Loss Plateau
Not every food is great for everyone. There are some foods that some people are just not going to do well with. For whatever reason their body struggles to digest it and or it elicits an immune reaction (allergies or inflammation). For me that is peanuts and cow’s milk. For my dad it is gluten. For others it could be anything. With this diet we are going to eliminate some of the usual suspect foods that we know are common for people to struggle with for 12 to 30 days. Then reintroduce them slowly one at a time to identify which ones might be causing problems for you.
Identifying a food that causes problems in your body can be life changing. It was for me.
Eating Differently for 2 weeks can help break a weight loss plateau and encourage fat loss
There are a lot of ways to do a food elimination diet but it basically boils down to this. Eliminate all the foods you suspect might be a problem and give your body a chance to recover from them(12 to 30 days) , then reintroduce them one at a time over a 3 to 4 day period. If during that 3 to 4 day period any of these symptoms of primary or secondary inflammation appear or get worse.
- Pain, stiffness or swelling of any kind
- Skin disruptions of any kind, redness, acne, hives and or tenderness
- Fatigue, loss of energy, or feeling demotivated
- Bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhea or any type of type of GI disturbance
- Brain fog, anxiety, depression or difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty breathing, itchiness, elevated heart rate or restlessness
That food might (probably) be less than ideal for you to eat on a regular basis. Talk to us after you’ve identified a food so we can work through what that might mean specifically for you. You can also repeat the process again later to confirm it but at least in the short run avoiding that food is probably going to help you feel better and make it easier to lose body fat.
Whenever you are stuck on a weightloss plateau you want to mix things up.
You want to give your body a completely different metabolic look. By giving your body a different healthy metabolic message you give it a chance to be different and get the fat loss going again.
Okay, so what foods are you going to try to eliminate from your diet for 2 weeks?
Beans (Soy, Kidney, Peas and Lentils)
Peanuts and Cashews are actually beans(I did not know this)
Corn, Wheat and Quinoa
Tomato, Eggplant, Peppers and Potatoes all the nightshade vegetables
Squash, Zucchini and Pumpkin
Chia Seeds, Rice (Except pressure cooked white basmati rice from India)
Cow’s Milk with A1 casein If you love milk learn about A2 casein otherwise just avoid milk
Why did we pick these foods? Because these are the usual suspects for a lot of people. Also because of the Lectin hypothesis. It is a hypothesis put forth by Dr Gundry. I do not know if he is right that lectins are a problem or he just looked at the usual suspects and came up with a way to tie them together to sell supplements/books.
So what is the Lectin hypothesis? Lectins are a toxin some plants make to kill the insects that eat them. They are a plant defense mechanism against their predators. The theory behind why lectins are bad for humans is that they damage the digestive tract and lead to leaky gut. Once the gut is damaged the lectins get into the bloodstream. Your body then treats the lectins as a pathogen and has an immune response. That immune response could lead to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease. Inflammation can interfere with fat loss.
Do I think the average person needs to worry about Lectins? No, not unless you suffer from chronic inflammation, food allergies, IBS, MS, Parkinsons, RA or another autoimmune disease should you really invest any time to learn about lectins. Avoiding them has been shown to help some people with those conditions. I have had a couple of patients with these conditions that have done really well avoiding foods on the lectins list, like a night and day difference in their levels of inflammation, weight loss and symptoms. Is that proof the Lectin hypothesis is correct? No it’s just anecdotal evidence that some people do better avoiding some foods. And this whole exercise is to identify some foods that you might do better avoiding and or help you lose some body fat.
We have lots of Lectin free recipes and some Lectin free meal plans located in patient resources at SlimRxWeightLoss.com
If you are not a patient just send me a message and I will look to help you
There are no cheat days on food elimination diets. We want to completely avoid our suspect foods for 12 to 30 days to give your body a chance to work them out of your system to see if that makes a difference. You do not have to worry about carb grams while you are doing a food elimination diet but do try to be in an eating window and a calorie deficit 5 days a week. One day a week you definitely want to go higher with the calories(more than your BMR), I would do that on your usual cheat day which is Saturday for most people.
So what foods are lectin free that we want to try to eat?
Any pasture-raised animal
Any wild-caught fish or seafood
Macadamia, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachio, and blanched almonds
Apples, Avocados, Berries, Cheese, and Olives
Coconut, Hazelnut, Flaxseeds, Brazil nuts
All cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens
Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Okra, and Asparagus
Red Wine, Vodka and Whiskey
And many other things
Why pasture-raised or wild-caught animal proteins? Animals and fish raised in factory farms in America are fed a lot of corn and soybeans which we are trying to avoid.
How to reintroduce different foods.
Basically one at a time over 3 to 4 days. Eat a serving of the suspect food for 3 days and monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms do not get worse that food is in the clear and move onto the next food.
If you identify a food as potentially being a problem for you let’s get you an appointment with Dr Lovegrove or Amy to talk about what it might mean for you long term.
For the short term just avoiding the food is probably going to be helpful for how you feel and losing belly fat. You can repeat the food elimination diet again and see if you get the same result to be sure.
There are many ways to do a food elimination diet. I think this is a great starting point for most people and should help them lose weight. Cutting peanuts and cow’s milk out of my life made a huge difference in how I felt and looked. It allowed me to get off my asthma medications. It gave me a sense of freedom and control over my body that I want everyone to have.
If you have any questions please shoot me a message
Otherwise thank you for reading and have a great day
Chris Steidinger, DC