25 Things I Wish I'd Known About the FODMAP Diet When I Started
If you're just starting out on the FODMAP Diet and feeling lost or overwhelmed, this blog post is dedicated to YOU.
I've been building the Calm Belly Kitchen Community for about a year and half, and it's full of wise, supportive, strong, funny people who've been in your shoes and lived to tell the tale.
I asked them this question: What's the one thing you wish someone had told you when you first started FODMAP?
What follows are their answers. I hope their words of wisdom feel like a big, comforting hug. Especially if you've been hopelessly searching for help with FODMAP and feeling even more confused and hopeless than when you started.
That confusion and overwhelm ends here! Everyone who contributed to this post knows what you're going through, and they've got the advice you need to hear right now.
It truly does get easier. But don't take my word for it...keep reading!
Psst >>> Are you ready to test FODMAPs and learn your unique IBS triggers (a.k.a. the Reintroduction Phase)? I've created a FREE Test Food Tracker to make it simple!
25 Things I Wish I'd Known About the FODMAP Diet
"First, don't freak out!!! It is not nearly as hard/restrictive as it may seem. Make a shopping list - try to find as much variety as you can at your local stores and check online too if thats an option - you don't want to get bored."
"Find groups to check out and join to make the research much easier."
What this means for you: There are online groups for FODMAPers where you can get support and help. Sure I'm biased, but the Calm Belly Kitchen Facebook group is one of the best! Click here to join my email crew, and I'll send you a bonus cheat sheet and an invite to the Facebook group.
"It gets easier as time goes on."
"Food is for nourishment....your body talks to you...listen. It may feel like a struggle at first, but eventually you'll find foods that you will love AND your body will love!"
"Readjust your thinking on eating unlimited fruits and vegetables. Many times they are triggers to digestive problems. Watch portion sizes and carefully monitor which ones you eat. Until you know your tolerance be careful eating fruit late in the day."
"I wish I had realized that portion size was so important during my elimination days. This has been one of the most important things I have learned and has contributed greatly to my success."
"Portion size is critical - I jumped right into the low FODMAP diet but I was clueless to the fact many low-FODMAP foods become high-FODMAP beyond a certain serving size. I also wish I had been told to purchase the Monash App ASAP as there is nothing as useful and it is worth every penny."
"It's not going to be a diet you can follow overnight. You will find some conflicting information, have to weed some of it out, and research more information. Try to find some Facebook groups. You will find others that are having similar experiences and will discover some good ideas. Take it one day at a time."
"Take a deep breathe and clear your mind of all you just read. Then take it one baby step at a time and you will reach your goals."
"It seems completely hopeless and overwhelming at first. It feels like there's absolutely nothing you can eat. But none of this is true! You can eat so much better than you even did before! Get the Monash app, join a support group, and you'll be feeling in control in no time."
"Meal prep is even more important than it used to be, and carry a snack because you can't just grab something if you're out and get hungry."
"You're not alone. And it does get easier the longer you do it. So don't give up."
"Go easy on yourself."
"How to survive without garlic and bread."
This blog post will help with that: Ultimate Guide to Flavor Without Onion & Garlic
"Without a doubt, the need to pay attention to quantities using the Monash app & the art of combining higher FODMAP foods with lower FODMAP foods (the bucket or threshold concept)."
"Three things: Take it easy, it does confuse you until you get used to the FODMAP groups and what foods are in them; stick at it as it takes some people a week or two to feel a bit better but can take others longer to feel the benefits; remember you are a unique individual and what is working for some not be for you. Hang in there, it will be better soon."
"That it would get easier. I really had a hard time for months. It got better after I found you guys."
"You will be continuously surprised at how adaptable you are and how flavorful your food can STILL be when doing the Elimination Phase."
"Start by eliminating high-FODMAP foods. Meal planning is then modified for you personally once re-introductions [testing your tolerance levels for each FODMAP group] are complete. Listen to your body and go at your own pace. Meal planning is essential for your continued successful health!"
"When I began the FODMAP elimination I thought that I would never be able to eat these foods again. what I've learned is that you eliminate FODMAPs for a short period of time, then slowly introduce them back into your diet to see which ones are definite triggers, and which ones are ok in small quantities."
"That FODMAPs are water soluble."
What this means for you: If you simmer onions, garlic or other high-FODMAP food in water or broth, the FODMAPs will soak into the liquid even if you remove the solid food. But you can flavor oil with onion or garlic because FODMAPs are NOT fat soluble.
"That there are many great foods in the world that I have been ignoring and can help me get healthier."
"Portion sizes are important, but a bigger issue is that you have to eat less overall in one sitting to let your body process food and give it time between meals. Thus, an eating schedule is beneficial."
"I wish I would have known about Julie, her Facebook page, and her blog. It would have made things a lot easier to have support."
[Aw thanks, Lisa!]
"Don't be afraid to start. You'll feel so much better."
Don't forget to grab the FREE Test Food Tracker so you can stop policing every bite and start loving food again!