Elimination Diet August 11, 2010Posted by Jen in Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, facing fear, Healthy Eating.
For years while I was binge eating I would put myself on a new diet every other week. Who am I kidding? Every other day! Said diet would inevitably end in crash and burn fashion when, two hours or five hours or 12 hours into it, I felt overwhelmed/happy/sad/guilty and ate everything within arms reach. However, that never stopped me from planning my next diet as soon as I was through binging.
The diets I wasn’t attempting weren’t crash diets, no, I knew those could backfire. But they were usually restrictive in some way or another; not much fat, more protein than I normally like, no eggs or dairy, no sugar, only foods that start with b. You get the gist. I don’t even think it was necessarily the restrictive nature of the diets that got me binging again, I think it was that I was always dieting to lose weight, therefore always telling myself I wasn’t good enough, therefore providing myself more fuel for the binge-fire. In other words: people with eating disorders and disordered eating shouldn’t diet. EVER.
I know, I know, if you suffer with compulsive overeating or binge eating it’s probably really tough to convince yourself of that. However, dieting in that state just makes things worse. Much, much worse.
Even though I’m recovered from BED (not that I don’t sometimes struggle) I still don’t diet. I live a lifestyle that means I mostly eat whole, real foods with only occasional junk foods, but I don’t tell myself I can or cannot have something. So why am I embarking on a three-week allergen elimination diet starting next week? I’ll tell you this: It doesn’t have anything to do with weight loss. (But I am going to the beach in a few weeks, so if my body wanted to make my butt a little smaller before then, I’d be okay with that.)
It has to do with my health. Not health as a code word for weight loss, but my genuine health. For the past few months I’ve been having, um, well, let’s just say that the old Poop Factory isn’t working as well as I’d like. It’s working frequently enough, but the product it’s outputting is not always what it should be. I really didn’t know how else to say that. If Dr. Oz can talk about poop, hopefully I can, too!
Anyways…I’ve read sometimes imperfect BM can come from a food allergy or sensitivity. Common food allergens: Dairy, eggs, gluten. I personally don’t think it’s eggs, as I don’t eat them very often. However, starting next Monday I’m eliminating all of these products, plus caffeine and alcohol (which I consume once in a blue moon) for three weeks. The idea is to see how my body reacts without these foods and then slowly add them back separately in after the three weeks is up.
The hardest thing for me is going to be the gluten. I eat oatmeal like it’s my job. I’m sure I can live on quinoa, brown rice and millet for three weeks, though. I don’t eat much bread to begin with, but I’ll have to careful about things like soy sauce and alternative milks. I never realized how many things gluten can be in! I suspect my problem may be dairy, since my family has some lactose intolerance, but I’m really not sure. Also, it could be none of these things. This could be stress-related. It could be IBS. Who knows? However, the only way to find out is to try a diet shift and see if it helps.
Why am I even writing about this here? Because I have a pretty strong no-diet rule. And I am interested to see if these rules cause any friction in my happy state with food, and I thought it might be fun to talk about here, too.
Have you ever tried an elimination diet? Did it help or harm you?