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

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

elimination diet

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.


Rashes and skin changes


Headaches or migraines

Joint pain

Changes in bowel habits

Difficulty sleeping

Changes in breathing

Stomach pain


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. 

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