The FODMAP Diet: What To Expect at Each Stage

What To Expect at Each Stage of the FODMAP Diet (and common pitfalls to avoid!)

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You wouldn't set out on a road trip without a map (or more likely, GPS on your phone).

That's because knowing what to expect and how to navigate along the way can save you from veering off track. 

Same's true for the FODMAP Diet. When you know the common challenges others have faced AND how they've overcome them, you won't get stuck or be tempted to quit.

That's what I shared in this recent edition of Calm Belly TV...

Watch the video, or if you prefer to read there's a detailed summary of the key points below.

I'd love to know what you think of this topic. Is there something I missed?

>>> Just learning about the FODMAP Diet? Read this post first: What are FODMAPs? The Complete Non-Techy Guide to Eating for IBS

What To Expect at Each Stage of the FODMAP Diet (and common pitfalls to avoid)

Here's a detailed summary of what's covered in the video...

The Elimination Phase


  • That it takes time - typically 2 to 3 weeks - for most people to get the hang of the FODMAP diet (understanding portion sizes; spotting sneaky FODMAPs, planning ahead)
  • To learn what non-FODMAP factors play a major role in your digestion

Common Pitfalls:

  • Giving up too soon
  • Expecting your IBS to go away completely
  • Staying in the elimination phase indefinitely

TIP: Move onto the reintroduction phase when you have consistent symptom improvement (50-80% improvement most of the time)

The Reintroduction phase


  • To adapt the testing process to your life, not the other way around (You can take breaks and test at your own pace; this should NOT be a one-size-fits-all process)
  • Example: One member of my Free To Eat program had a stressful job and didn’t want to test during the week so she timed it to only test larger servings over the weekend
  • To quickly learn when to expect symptoms

Common Pitfalls:

  • Worrying about causing yourself major symptoms (strategic testing is the answer)
  • Expecting symptoms to happen right after eating a high-FODMAP food
  • Bringing back high-FODMAP foods before you finish testing (eat a low-FODMAP diet so you get the clearest results from the testing process)

AFTER the Reintroduction Phase


  • To feel proud and excited for learning your IBS triggers
  • To continue doing experiments to discover your best lifetime eating style (For my program I created a workbook full of simple experiments you can do to learn how often you can eat different FODMAPs, how to best combine them, etc.)

Common Pitfalls:

  • Not adding well-tolerated high-FODMAP foods back to your diet
  • Forgetting that this is a long-term lifestyle change (it's okay if it happens gradually)