The low FODMAP diet is a nutritional approach to help those with IBS manage their symptoms. It is designed to help you identify your specific food triggers, and is best done under the supervision of a dietitian to ensure it is done properly and you are still getting all of the nutrients your body needs.
From working through the diet myself and helping others do the same, I have noticed 5 key mistakes that most people are making. These mistakes can lead to frustration, because you may not see relief from symptoms.
Not following a strict elimination of high FODMAP foods. Many people try the elimination phase of the diet with a focus on only a few foods, usually wheat and dairy. Many times, other top triggers like onion and garlic have not been eliminated, which can lead to symptoms and cause frustration.
Skipping the challenge phase of the diet. The low FODMAP diet must include a challenge, or reintroduction, phase if you want to find your unique food triggers. If you skip this phase, you will most likely burn yourself out from being strict and give up on the diet altogether. The point is never to be super strict with your diet, but it is to help you find which foods cause symptoms and in what portions.
Not reading food labels. Many times people grab gluten free products, or products marketed for gut health, but never read the labels. High FODMAP ingredients are readily found in these types of products, so you could be triggering symptoms without knowing it.
Not measuring moderate and high FODMAP foods. Portion sizes are key when it comes to FODMAP content. Take time to learn which portion sizes of foods may become high, and be intentional about measuring these out to avoid symptoms. Same is true when you are challenging foods back in.
Forgetting about the rest of your lifestyle. Food is not the only part of your life that can be triggering your symptoms. Sleep, stress, water intake, and movement are all key factors that should be addressed to prevent symptoms. If your plan doesn’t include a focus on these, you won’t find long term success.
Stop making these mistakes today by getting help! In my IBS Management Program, I help you avoid these mistakes by guiding you through the entire low FODMAP diet with support and resources. I also teach you how to manage symptoms by modifying the necessary lifestyle behaviors. You’ll leave the program CONFIDENT in your plan to manage IBS long term.