The Low FODMAP Diet Can Revolutionize Your Waistline

A typical low FODMAP breakfast. A spinach and feta omelette with sauteed seasoned potatoes is typical for me. Eating low FODMAP does not have to be tasteless.

A few members of my walking club have been doing the low FODMAP diet since mid October and have all managed to lose considerable amounts of weight.

Update: It's now mid January and one of the ladies is down 60 pounds. That's 60 pounds lost in three months!

There are a lot of food lists online that tell you what you can and can't eat, but if you start to compare them you'll find that they conflict one another. I don't think that the majority of them have really have any idea what they are talking about.

I was lucky that early on I was able to find the official low FODMAP diet book on Amazon that was written by the doctor that actually did the research and performed the clinical trials. There's a large list of foods in there that you can eat and a lot of recipes that don't feel like dieting.

Why It Works So Well

It works great as a weight loss diet even though it was designed to help people with irritable bowel syndrome identify foods that are triggers for them. It works because it helps you to identify your own personal problem foods.

No diet has ever helped me lose weight faster or taught me more about how my body responds to what I eat. By following the program I found that wheat was causing most of my weight gain and that it was the main reason for me feeling tired during the day even when I had gotten plenty of sleep.

Head Of Cabbage

I also learned that I had a pretty severe allergy to raw cabbage even though I could eat cooked cabbage without any trouble.

The basics of the diet are that there are certain kinds of carbohydrates that are more difficult to digest than others. The specifics of why certain sugars, starches, and fibers are more irritating to people with IBS gets a little complicated. But since fat burn is our goal we aren't terribly concerned.

FODMAPS are found in certain grains, vegetables, dried peas/beans, milk products, fruits, and prepared foods and beverages. All FODMAPS are thought to cause IBS symptoms in the same way: they cause too much gas and water in your large intestine. But they can also cause digestive issues and inflammation that can lead to weight gain.

How To Get Started

The diet starts with what's called the elimination phase. You simply remove foods that contain high amounts of FODMAP's and then slowly reintroduce them (one at a time) while paying attention to how your body feels and looks as you do so.

Obviously, the elimination phase of the FODMAPS diet is not intended to be permanent, it’s a way to reset your body’s digestive system before you introduce each category of foods containing FODMAPS. This way you can identify which foods are making you lethargic, gassy, bloated, giving you  minor cramps etc.

Ideally, each of these reintroduction phases lasts a week or two, during which you learn what you tolerate and in what amount.

Let me stress this: you aren’t meant to remain on a zero FODMAPS diet for the rest of your life. However, knowing that raw onions can give you gas or that you feel more energetic by eliminating wheat from your diet, you'll become more aware of what you're eating and exactly how those food effect not just how you feel but your waistline as well.