A Different Kind of Elimination Diet
I was listening to “Episode #1670” of The Joe Rogan Podcast with guest David Sinclair. Something Joe mentioned was that no diet is one-size-fits-all. It got me thinking, that there seems to be a diet for every type of person. Yet, when a “new” (there’s nothing new under the sun) diet comes (or returns) to market, every type of person tries it.
One of the diets he mentioned was an elimination diet. Ultimately, there are different types of elimination diets, but the premise is the same. An ED is a diet where you eliminate certain foods for some time and slowly reintroduce them, monitoring your body for reactions or symptoms.
The “best” ED will eliminate the greatest amount of foods. The more restrictive the better. If you suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort or issues, an ED may be extremely useful to you. It may help identify foods that keep you from looking, feeling, and performing at your best. Because of this, even those without GI issues have taken an interest in an ED. Foods eliminated on an ED may include:
- citrus fruits
- nightshade vegetables
- nuts and seeds
- beef, pork, and eggs
- alcohol and sugar
Here’s something I find interesting. Save alcohol and sugar, I’ve helped dozens of clients look, feel, and perform better by adding these foods to their diet, NOT removing them from it.
I’m not pooh-poohing on an ED. If you’ve GI issues, a food allergy, food intolerances, or suspect that you might, an ED like the example above might be right for YOU. The problem becomes when it’s “advertised” as being right for EVERYONE.
Although there is no one diet for everyone, some diets can benefit more than others. I wanna propose this version of an ED. One that can benefit more people than any other. Items eliminated on this ED include:
- donuts and pastries
- breakfast cereals (regardless of the health claims, if a box has a cartoon character on it, eliminate it)
- fruit juices
- chocolate, cookies, and candy
- chips, cheesy puffs, and crackers
- boxed and instant foods (foods that require you to “just add” something or that end in “-roni”)
- ice cream, sweetened yogurt, and frozen yogurt
- fruit, cereal, and granola bars
- fast and fried foods
- sweetened condiments and salad dressings
- soda, energy drinks, and other sweetened beverages
- processed meats
- chronic dehydration
- a few hours spent binge-watching television shows
- poor sleep habits
- unimportant tasks that rob you of your workout and family time
- constantly checking your social media accounts
- toxic relationships
- excuses for why you “can’t” (my Uncle Jack used to say, “Can’t means you don’t want to.”)
Something else that makes this ED different from others is that instead of eliminating everything at once and then slowly reintroducing them, you eliminate just one thing at a time, reintroducing it rarely, if ever. Instead, you replace it with something better.
Ultimately, if you remove something without replacing it with something else, you'll simply go back to filling the void with what's familiar, easy, and comfortable. Some things to consider replacing the old with the new are:
- lean proteins such as lean cuts of beef and pork, poultry, fish, plain yogurt, and beans
- colorful fruits & vegetables
- smart carbs such as oats, brown and wild rice, quinoa, potatoes, lentils, and beans
- healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and natural nut and seed butters
- drinking zero-calorie beverages, e.g., water and green tea
- practicing a sleep ritual
- stress-reducing activities such as prayer, meditation, breathing, yoga, etc.
- making time for family and friends who encourage you
- reasons you can
Unlike many diets, this one doesn’t need to be done perfectly to be effective. NO diet needs to be done perfectly to be effective . . . even if you fall out of ketosis. (I wanna let you in on a little secret. You probably were never in ketosis. You simply stopped eating an excess of foods that made you look and feel bad.)
Ultimately, I think Joe and I agree—there is no one-size-fits-all diet. But some fit better than others. We don’t like wearing restrictive clothes. And we don’t do well on restrictive diets. Whether clothes or a diet, you simply need to find something that fits YOU.