Top 5 Ways to Start the Low FODMAP Diet
and be one step closer to confidently managing your IBS
As a Registered Dietitian specializing in digestive health issues, I often hear from prospective clients:
“My doctor recommended the Low FODMAP Diet to manage my IBS symptoms, BUT I feel so overwhelmed and I don’t know where to begin!”
The FODMAP diet serves as a screening tool that is used to identify foods that trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as: abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.
WHAT EVEN ARE FODMAPS?
FODMAPS are a group of sugars that do not fully digest or absorb in our small intestines, and will pass through to our large intestines where the sugars will ferment causing a gas build up, as well as often pulling more water into our large intestines. This extra gas and water build up can cause the discomfort associated with IBS.
WHO SHOULD FOLLOW A LOW FODMAP DIET?
The FODMAP diet is intended for people who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The tricky thing about IBS is that it can seem like FOREVER before you even get a diagnosis because the symptoms often mimic other digestive issues. So it may take some time to rule other digestive conditions out. Thankfully, most people notice great improvements in their IBS symptoms with dietary and lifestyle modifications to avoid costly tests and exams.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A LOW FODMAP DIET?
Over 86% of people will find improvements in overall digestive issues on the low FODMAP diet.
I don't know about you, but I like the sound of those odds! Just from diet alone, the low FODMAP diet can improve your bloating, abdominal pain, bowel irregularities, and improving your energy level and moods!
Wouldn’t it be great to know what foods cause your IBS symptoms, and in what serving size?
To be able to have more focus and mental clarity to excel at work or school?
To be able to go out with friends or on that date without having to worry about the closest restroom?
I'M READY! HOW DO I START THE LOW FODMAP DIET?
Now that you are liking the odds of the low FODMAP diet, hopefully you are more willing to get started. This is for you if you are new to the low FODMAP Diet, or even if you have tried before but was not able to stick with it. Follow the below tips to get started!
If you have briefly browsed over the low FODMAP diet elimination phase, you probably thought to yourself:
“So……….what CAN I eat?”
This diet is not meant to be long term because it eliminates nutritious foods that your body needs. Specifically, a lot of prebiotics that help fuel probiotics for a healthier gut microbiome, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and vitamin D.
It is essential to have someone in your corner who is professionally trained on the Low FODMAP diet to help guide you, and help you cut through the clutter of information. After all, we know that stress can exacerbate your IBS symptoms and we don’t need the Low FODMAP diet adding more stress to your life!
A Registered Dietitian can help guide you through the diet, provide tools and resources to help you succeed, and review your symptoms to help identify potential triggers. A Registered Dietitian can also help to ensure that you are eating the right food combinations to support your nutritional needs.
2. Organize Your Pantry:
The first thing I tell clients to do is to ease into the Low FODMAP diet. The first main task is to organize your pantry by separating foods that are high in FODMAPs from the Low FODMAP foods that you can include in your diet.
This will help you start to get organized and create an awareness around which foods contain a high amount of FODMAPS.
3. Plan ahead
It can be stressful and difficult to eat on the fly on the low FODMAP diet. It is best to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. This doesn't necessarily mean cook all the meals, it just means to have foods readily available. Planning ahead will help you set up for success. Start by taking a look in your pantry, and develop a meal plan for the week on foods you already have in your cupboard.
Need ideas? Grab a free 7 day low FODMAP Meal Plan.
4. Keep a food and symptom log
Keeping a food log along with monitoring your digestive symptoms will be the best tool to help your Dietitian decode your food triggers. Important things to note in your log are:
Food and beverage you ate (include seasonings)
Time you ate
And any symptoms you had that day (i.e. bloating, cramping, pain, type of stools, bowel movements, etc.)
You can also add in exercise, sleep, mood, and menstrual cycle too that impacts your IBS.
5. Give Yourself Grace
Allow yourself to ease into the Low FODMAP diet. Note that it is not called No FODMAPs. Give yourself grace as you walk through this plan and learn more about which foods impact your body. It is a journey, and the more accurate and consistent you can be working through the Low FODMAP diet, the better you will understand your results.
READY TO TAKE ACTION?
Now that you have reviewed what the FODMAP diet is and the 5 easy tips to get started, don't hit the snooze button here. Take action today!
If you are ready to get started or learn more about the Low FODMAP diet, make sure to check out the Free 7 day Low FODMAP meal.
If you are looking for support or guidance along this journey, and want to see if I could be your guide. Then, set up a free discovery call here.