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Diet Plans

What Is The Elimination Diet? How And Why You Should Start It

An elimination diet is not for weight loss. I think that is the first thing you need to know.

If you’re trying to lose weight, an elimination diet is not the diet plan you should be going for. Instead, you can try weight loss diet plans like the popular ketogenic diet, atkins diet and the nutritarian diet just to name a few.

The elimination diet however is for identifying food intolerances and allergies.

Today, it’s estimated that between 2-20 percent of people in the world suffer one food intolerance or more, making it very common in people today.

The elimination diet helps to identify these food sensitivities and intolerances so people can identify and rule out foods that are not good for them.

How the elimination diet works

An elimination diet involves two phases which usually lasts from 5 to 6 weeks. One is the elimination phase and the other is the reintroduction phase.

The first phase which is the elimination phase involves removing all foods which you suspect that your body can’t tolerate from your diet.

While the next phase which is the reintroduction phase involves slowly reintroducing the foods you’ve eliminated from your diet back into your diet while watching for symptoms.

Some of these foods includes foods containing gluten, seafoods, pork, wheat, nightshade veggies, corn, nuts, soy and eggs.

Here are some of the symptoms you should watch for.

Bloating

Rashes and skin changes

Fatigue

Headaches or migraines

Joint pain

Changes in bowel habits

Difficulty sleeping

Changes in breathing

Stomach pain

Cramps

During the reintroduction phase, when you reintroduce a food group back into your diet, if you experience no symptoms, then you can assume that it is good and you can move on to introducing the next food group into your diet.

On the other hand, if you experience any negative symptoms, then you have successfully identified food group that isn’t good for you. One which you should remove from your diet.

Other Types of elimination diet

Apart from the traditional elimination diet described above, there are other types of elimination diet which you should be aware of.

Here are some of them:

Few foods elimination diet: The few foods elimination diet involves eating a few foods which you don’t eat on a regular basis. One example of the few foods elimination diet is the lamb and pears diet which is common in the United States.

Low-FODMAPs diet: this elimination diet removes FODMAPs from your diets. These FODMAPs are short-chained carbs which some people can’t easily digest. The low-FODMAPs diet eliminates these FODMAPs.

Fasting elimination diet: fasting elimination diet should only be administered under your doctor’s supervision. It involves drinking water only for up to 5 days and then reintroducing food groups one after the other to determine anyone causing unusual symptoms.

Rare foods elimination diet: in this diet you only eat foods that you rarely ever eat to identify anyone that cause symptoms that your body is not able to tolerate.

Benefits of the elimination diet

The main reason for an elimination diet is that it helps you discover and single out foods that cause symptoms that your body cannot tolerate.

If you’re experiencing symptoms you feel are being caused by your diet, then trying an elimination diet can help you discover the foods causing those symptoms.

An elimination diet however should only be done short term. It’s not a permanent diet. It basically lasts between 5 to 6 weeks.

It’s should not be administered to children as well, unless under the supervision of a doctor or dietician.

Infographics: 5 Things You Need To Know About The Elimination Diet

Pin this infographics for easy reference. 

What Is The Nutritarian Diet? Can It Really Help For Weight Loss?

There wasn’t any word like Nutritarian until Dr Joel Fuhrman introduced it in 2003 in his book “Eat To Live”.

As the book name suggests, when you eat the Nutritarian way, you’ll live longer, along with experiencing a host of other health benefits like weight loss.

The nutritarian diet emphasizes the eating of plant-based, gluten-free, low-fat and low-salt foods that supplies your body with abundant micronutrients.

The diet stresses that for you to have good health and have the ideal body weight that you want, the ratio of nutrients to calories in your food has to be very high.

It discourages or limits the eating of highly processed foods in favor of whole plant-based high nutrient foods.

In return for eating like this? You’ll lose weight, your aging will be slowed down, increasing your life span and the diet will even prevent and reverse chronic sicknesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Well, how true is this?

Can the Nutritarian Diet really help you lose weight?

The simple answer to that question is yes. There are several reasons why the nutritarian diet can help you lose weight.

Eating as a nutritarian means eating calorie-rich foods such as meat, eggs, dairy, high-sugar processed foods, salts and oils are a NO-NO or greatly limited.

These naturally restricts your calorie intake which is essential for weight loss. This is the first reason why the nutritarian diet helps in weight loss.

A second reason is that the diet discourages snacking. Without snacking, you’re obviously still eating fewer calories as a result.

The diet encourages the eating of plant-based high nutrient foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

These foods are all high fiber foods which helps to reduce hunger and cravings, helping you to eat even less calories, and thus helps you lose weight.

Apart from weight loss, the nutritarian diet also benefits your health in other ways such as fighting and reversing of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.

The diet is low in sugar, rich in fiber and promotes low-glycemic foods which are less likely to spike blood sugar levels and help to stabilize blood sugar.

How to start the Nutritarian diet

The nutritarian diet is designed in a way such that you consumed nutrient-densed whole foods. Although it doesn’t restrict your calorie intake, it emphasizes the need for you to take eat more micronutrients per the amount of calories you eat.

In that way you’ll lose weight permanently.

It has a simple equation like this:  H= N/C

Where H is Health, N is Nutrients and C is Calories. The higher this ratio, the better health you’ll have.

So, how can you start the nutritarian diet.

Dr Fuhrman recommends 4 steps.

The first step is for you to eat Your G-BOMBS. This G-BOMB is just an acronym that stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms and Seeds.

These foods are superfoods and are very healthy for you. Eating these foods is very essential in the Nutritarian diet.

The second step is for you to eat at mealtimes only. Eating at meal times only means that there’s no snacking in this diet.

You only eat at meal times. When eating during these mealtimes, you have to eat until you’re satisfied, but you also have to stop before you feel full, so you don’t overeat.

After your last meal of the day, you have to leave about 13 hours between your last meal and your breakfast the next day.

This period will help your body enter into a catabolic or fat-burning stage before you eat again.

The third step is for you to say a big NO to sugar, sweeteners, salts, processed baked goods, products made with white flour and oil.

These foods are disease-causing according to Dr Fuhrman, they cause depression and are very addictive. So you should avoid them at all cost for you to have good health and lose weight.

The last Step of this diet is for you to replace one meal a day with a salad. Eating salad every day is a requirement if you want to eat the Nutritarian way.

You have to eat a large salad made up of lettuce, tomatoes, raw cruciferous veggies shredded on top, onions and scallions.

To go with the salad, you can use a healthy dressing made with nuts and seeds.

Those are the steps you need to take to start the Nutritarian diet.

Nutritarian diet recipe books to help you get started

To get an even better understanding of the diet, why not pick up the Eat to live book by Dr Fuhrman. It will help you learn about the Nutritarian diet from the man behind it himself.

Or if you just want to just dive into eating the Nutritarian way, you can pick up these nutritarian diet cookbooks, to help you with recipes and instructions on what to eat and what not to eat on the nutritarian diet.

These cookbooks will show you what eating nutritarian is all about. These two below are written by Dr Fuhrman himself.

The first one contains 131 delicious nutritarian diet recipes that will help you start eating the nutritarian way and effectively help you lose weight, reverse illnesses like diabetes and have a better overall health.

The second book contains 200 nutritarian diet recipes that are also going to help you lose weight and achieve optimum health.

Why Healthy Dietary Fiber Might Just Be the One Nutrient Desperately Lacking In Your Diet

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that women eat about 25 grams of fiber per day, or 21 grams if they’re over 50 years.

For men, they recommend a daily fiber intake of 38 grams or 30 if they’re over 50. They recommended that for several health reasons which you’ll learn about shortly.

In reality though, do you know the average amount of fiber that American adults both men and women consume in a day? 15 grams!

That’s far less than the recommended average. No wonder Irish physician and fiber enthusiast Denis Burkitt said years ago that America is a constipated Nation.

The result of not eating enough fiber has more adverse effects than constipation. It changes the way your gut functions, affects your metabolism, might cause you to gain weight, and may even shorten your life span.

Importance of eating fiber

There are many examples that highlights the crucial importance of eating fiber today.

A good one of note is a study in the 80’s which found out that rural Japanese dwellers lived longer than their urban counterparts, just for one single reason.

They ate more fiber than the urban dwellers. Their diet were rich in fiber.

Another study in 2017 shows that the amount of fiber you consume on a daily basis is directly connected with the amount and variety of the bacteria in your gut or intestines.

Eating more fiber allows the bacteria in your gut to thrive and increase in number and kind. This increase in number of bacteria in your gut also results in the thickening of the mucus wall.

A thick mucus wall is good for our body because it helps to prevent inflammation. Not only that, the increased amount and types of bacteria in your gut also helps to improve and aid digestion of food in it.

All this is as a result of simply eating more fiber.

What is more? Eating fiber is also connected to weight loss, because fibrous foods keep you filled for long, making you eat less.

Eating too much fiber however has its disadvantages. It can cause digestive distress, intestinal blockages and gas.

However, in this our modern age, it’s quite difficult to eat too much fiber today, especially since most people are not even eating enough.

6 tips to help you eat more healthy fiber and get the most out of it

eating healthy fiber in restaurant

There are two types of fiber you can eat, and according to high fiber enthusiasts, you need both of them as they both have their function in the body.

These two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble fiber. Eating meals rich in these two fibers will allow the bacteria in your gut to thrive, which in turn will lead to other important health benefits like easy digestion of meals and weight loss.

With that said, the following tips will help you include fiber in your diet and reap the health benefits.

1. Add fruits and veggies to your diet

This is a no-fail way to start eating healthy fiber immediately. Fruits and vegetables are naturally rich in fiber.

So, eating fruits and vegetables regularly will naturally add more fiber into your diet. Studies have shown that just eating a piece of apple before meals is a very healthy way to add more fiber to your diet and improve your gut health.

2. Reduce processed foods

Processed or refined foods generally has lower fiber content. In fact, juicing also reduces the amount of fiber you get from your fruits as it removes the insoluble fiber from the food as well as the benefits you stand to gain.

So try to add more whole foods that contain whole grains and whole wheats to your diet to get the full fiber content, not just some.

3. Always add fiber to your breakfast

If you haven’t noticed, traditional breakfasts today most likely lacks fiber. As I mentioned above, you can add fiber just by eating a piece of fruit or even some nuts.

4. Try to eat what’s in season

Fruits and veggies that are in season usually tastes better and are likely richer in fiber than those that are out of season.

They’re even less expensive. So, try to eat more fruits and veggies that are in season.

5. Always try to meet your fiber goals for the day

eating healthy fiber in restaurant

As I mentioned earlier, women needs to consume 25 grams of fiber per day, 21 grams for women older than 50 year.

And men need to consume 38 grams of fiber per day, 30 grams for men older than 50. Always try to reach this goal every day.

If you’re eating at restaurants, be thoughtful, check the menu and try pick fiber rich meals that will help you reach your daily goal.

Pick meals that contain fruits, veggies, beans and legumes to help you achieve this. Your gut will thank you.

6. Don’t eat too much fiber

Going to the extreme on anything is usually not recommended. Try to make sure your meal is balanced with all the necessary nutrients your body needs, rather than just focusing on one (fiber).

Tracking your daily fiber intake is also recommended to help you know if you’re reaching your daily goal or if you need to reduce or increase your daily intake to help you feel better.

Overall, try to make sure your meal contains very little processed foods, and favor whole foods and plant based healthy foods like fruits and veggies.

These will not only help you stay healthy, but will also help you control your weight and keep a happy gut.

Keto Diet vs Atkins Diet | Differences and Similarities

The Atkins diet and the Ketogenic (keto) diet are both low carb diets, which stress the drastic reduction of carbs in our foods, including processed foods like sugary drinks, legumes and potatoes in favor of foods rich in protein and fats.

Both the Atkins and keto diet are very similar and they both have similar health benefits as well such as weight loss and reduction of blood sugar, just to name a few.

However, apart from the difference in their names, there are a few other differences which you should be aware of so that you can be able to know the one that’s suitable for you.

First, what is the Atkins Diet?

Although, rejected by mainstream authorities at first, the Atkins diet is now the best-known diets all over the world. It’s a low-carb diet that involves eating food with low carb content, moderate protein content, and high fat content.

The Atkins diet has evolved into a variety of plans buth the original version which is currently known as Atkins 20 is still the most popular and effective version of the Atkins diet.

It’s broken down into 4 phases. Phase 1 involves carb intake of 20 to 25 grams per day until you’re about 15 pounds or 7kg from your weight goal.

Phase 2 involves 25 to 50 grams carb intake per day until you’re 10 pounds or 5 kg away from your weight goal.

Phase 3 involves 50 to 80 grams carb intake until you meet your weight goal and maintained it for a period of 1 month.

Finally, in phase 4, you can consume between 80 to 100 grams of net carbs per day to keep maintaining your current weight.

The Atkins diet is program in such a way that as you advance through the phases, your daily carb intake also increases, which makes it possible for you to eat different varieties of foods which you are not allowed to eat in the earlier stages.

The point is that the Atkins diet adapts as you get towards your weight goal and allows you to increase your carb intake and eat different varieties of food.

What is the Keto diet?

The keto diet is also a low-carb diet like the Atkins diet, but it reduces your daily carb intake to 20-50 grams to get your body into ketosis and maintain it in that state of ketosis.

Ketosis is a state where your body burns fats instead of sugars release from carbs.

For the keto diet, your daily carb intake will continue to be less than 50 grams to keep your body in ketosis. Your diet will comprise 5 calories from carbs, 20 percent calories from protein and 75 percent from fat.

Similarities and differences between the Keto and Atkins diet

The major similarity between the two diets is that they’re both low-carb diets. They both restrict your carb intake to less than 50 grams per day.

In fact, phase 1 of the Atkins diet is very similar to the keto diet, as it restricts your daily carb intake to about 25 grams. Which means, your body will likely get into ketosis in the phase 1 of the Atkins diet.

Both the Atkins and keto diet also have similar health benefits. They both help you lose weight, and they help control blood sugar along with a host of other health benefits.

What are the differences?

The major difference between the Keto and the Atkins diet is that the keto diet is more restrictive than the Atkins diet.

With the keto diet, your calorie intake for the day can only contain about 20 percent protein, whereas with the Atkins diet, it can contain up to 30 percent protein, depending on the phase of the Atkins diet.

As you go up the phases, you’re allowed to take more protein and to take more carbs. With the Atkins diet, you’re allowed to gradually increase your carb intake as you go up the phases, which will eventually remove your body from ketosis.

This means, you get to eat from a wider variety of foods such as fruits and grains.

However, with the keto diet, your carb intake is always restricted to keep your body in ketosis.

Thus, the major difference between the two is that while the Atkins diet has a flexible meal plan, the keto diet has a restrictive meal plan to keep your body in ketosis (burning fats).

Atkins vs Keto diet. Which is better?

When choosing the best diet for yourself, it’s important to consider and take into account your weight loss goals, your overall health and your dietary preferences.

Both the Atkins and the keto diet are both low carb diets that help in weight loss, heart health, and diabetes management.

The keto diet is highly restrictive, and may be difficult to stick to in the long run. It may also lead to nutrient deficiencies if you don’t pay careful attention the quality of your diet.

Therefore, a low-carb diet with moderate carb restriction like the Atkins diet is usually sufficient as long as you’re eating healthy foods.

The keto diet will keep your body in ketosis continually, which means you’ll keep losing weight as long as your body is in ketosis. However, the Aktins diet increases your carb intake as you approach your weight goal.

That means your body will be removed from ketosis along the line, as you approach your weight goal, and it will be all about maintaining your current weight.

Overall, it’s all up to you. Some people may benefit from a more restrictive diet like the keto diet, while others will prefer the less restrictive diet like the Atkins diet.

Atkins Diet Phase 1 Foods List | All The Foods You Should Be Eating

The Atkins diet is a low-carb diet, hence all the foods in your fridge and pantry should be low carb meals. In the phase 1, your daily carb intake should be 20 grams or less.

A carb intake of 20 grams or less will kickstart the induction phase (first phase) and put your body in a state of ketosis, whereby your body burns fats instead of glucose release from carbs.

Out of these 20 grams of carbs, 12 to 15 grams should be eaten in the form of foundation vegetables. In this post, I’ll be listing some of these low carb veggies, healthy fats, proteins, cheese and nuts and seeds you should be eating on the Atkins diet phase 1 or induction stage.

You may not find some foods that you really like in these phase, because phase one is really selective, as it’s very low in carbs. As you move up the stages, you’ll begin to see these foods, as you increase your carb intake.

For phase one, here are the foods.

Atkins Diet Phase 1 Foods List

For phase one of the Atkins Diet, here are the foods you should be eating.

Poultry

chicken- atkins diet phase one food list item

Poultry foods are a really good source of protein and contain no net carbs. You should aim for 4-6 ounces of protein per day and make sure to get them from different poultry foods.

Here are some of the poultry foods you should eat on the Atkins diet phase 1.

  • Chicken

  • Duck

  • Turkey

  • Goose

  • Cornish hen

  • Quail

Fish

fish - atkins diet phase one food list item

You should take 4-6 ounce servings of the fishes recommended here. Fish is a great source of protein and healthy fats which you need in the Atkins diet. Fish also contains vitamins such as vitamin Dand B2, as well as calcium and minerals like potassium and iron.

Here are some fishes you should be ating on the Aktins diet phase 1.

  • Tuna

  • Salmon

  • Flounder

  • HalibutHerring

  • Sardines

  • Cod

  • Trout

Eggs

eggs - atkins diet phase one food list item

Eggs are very rich in protein, vitamin A as well as antioxidants which protects the cells in your body. You can enjoy your eggs in any style you want, and include acceptable vegetables, cheese and herbs to your taste.

You can enjoy your eggs in the following styles

  • Hard-boiled

  • Omelets

  • Deviled

  • Fried

  • Soft-boiled

  • Poached

  • Scrambled

Meet

meat - atkins diet phase one food list item

You can eat meat in the Atkins diet because it’s a rich source of protein and it has no net carbs. It helps to protect your lean muscle mass so that you don’t lose your muscles but lose fat only.

Here are some meat you can eat.

  • Beef

  • Pork

  • Bacon

  • Lamb

  • Ham

Seafood

You can eat shellfish such as clams, oysters, shrimps, mussels, squid, crabmeat and lobsters on the Atkins diet phase one. They are a good source of protein and also contain omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fast and minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium and zin.

Shellfish contains no net carbs as well, but you should limit your daily intake of ousters and mussels to about 4 ounces per day because they have higher carbs.

What Is The Atkins Diet? Is It Right For You?

The Atkins diet was first developed in the early 1970s by the man that bears its name, Dr. Robert Atkins, who’s an American cardiologist.

He even wrote a best-selling book which talks about the diet in 1972.

It’s a diet that encourages people to eat more protein and fats, while drastically reducing carbohydrate intake. It’s a low-carb high protein and fat diet.

At first, the Atkins diet was first demonized and considered to be unhealthy by mainstream authority because it contain a high amount of saturated fat.

However, recent and thorough studies of the Atkins diet have shown that saturated fat is not harmful to the body, but harmless. Despite being high in fats, the Atkins diet does not raise bad cholesterol in our body, though this may happen in a small subset of people.

Just like any other low carb diet, the Atkins diet is very effective for weight loss because it involves high protein intake which leads to reduction in appetite. With a reduced appetite, you eat less without forcing yourself to eat less. But there’s more.

How the Atkins Diet work?

With carbs reduced to a minimum in your diet, your body switches itself from burning glucose to burning the stored fat in your body, which leads to weight loss. This switch is known as ketosis (associated with the keto diet which is also a low-carb diet).

That’s how the Atkins diet helps you lose weight, helps you maintain your weight loss, achieve good health, and also helps lay a permanent groundwork for your overall wellbeing and disease prevention.

The diet is basically split into a 4-Phase plan

Atkins Diet Phase 1 – Induction

The phase 1 of the Atkins diet is the induction phase. This is the early stage when you start the Atkins diet. You’re to eat less than 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks.

You have to eat high protein and high fat meals, with low carb vegetables like leafy greens for 2 weeks. This will induction phase will kick-start the weight loss and put your body in ketosis.

Atkins Diet Phase 2 – Balancing

The phase 2 of the Atkins diet is the balancing stage. You’ll slowly start adding nuts and low-carb vegetables to your meals. You’ll also add small amounts of fruits back to your diet.

Atkins Diet Phase 3 – Fine-tuning

Weight loss will continue in the phase 2, but when you’re very close to your weight goal. You have to start the phase 3, which involves adding more carbs to your diet to slow down the weight loss, so as not to exceed your weight goal.

Atkins Diet Phase 4 – Maintenance

In the phase 4, you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without gaining weight. You shouldn’t go back to eating unhealthy like carbs like refined carbohydrates such as white bread and candy, as these will increase the level of glucose in your body, and your body might return to storing up fats.

Is the Atkins diet right for you?

Whether the Atkins diet is right for you or not depends on your fitness goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, the Atkins diet can help you achieve that as long as you stick to it.

If you’re serious about losing weight using the Atkins diet, you should consider buying one of the Atkins books so you can get started on the diet immediately.

Overall, the Atkins diet is a low carb diet just like the keto diet. Thus it will definitely help you lose weight and achieve your fitness goals.