If you’ve followed my journey for a while, you’ll know I’ve struggled with gut health for some time now. Basically since I had some routine surgery for endometriosis result in the perforation of my bowel in 2010/2011 (more on that here), my digestion has never been 100%. I’ve worked for years to fix this and get it to an optimal place, and whilst some things have worked, it’s still not perfect - so the quest continues! This time, I’m trying the Low FODMAP diet, I’m going to be sharing what I’ve learned, if it helps my gut and how exactly I’m doing this with my calories and macros!
What symptoms should I look out for?
Poor digestion can include a number of symptoms. Bloating, loose stools, gas, changes to bowel movements, constipation, burping, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, brain fog, food intolerances and probably a lot more! I suffer from the first two, which makes me feel like I’m not actually absorbing any of the nutrients from the amazing food I’m eating.
What’s Low FODMAP?
FODMAPs are found in many foods and are short-chain carbohydrates (or sugars) that our gut is unable to properly absorb creating IBS like symptoms listed above.
Fermentable: Gases produced by the gut bacteria fermenting undigested carbs
Oligosaccharides: Fructans and GOS commonly found in garlic, wheat, onions and more
Disaccharides: Lactose found in dairy products
Monosaccharides: Fructose found in fruits + corn syrups
And Polyols: Sorbitol + Mannitol from some fruits, vegetables + artificial sweeteners
The idea of the Low FODMAP diet is to eliminate foods high in these FODMAPs, and after a period of time (2-6 weeks) re-introducing 1 FODMAP at a time to figure out which groups + foods trigger your symptoms the most. Everyone will respond differently to each group, there may be some foods within the group that don’t trigger you and others that do - it’s a whole lot of trial and error!
A day on my plate:
I’ve had to change things up because my diet consisted of large quantities of vegetables, which are the main offenders (as well as fruits) when it comes to foods high in FODMAPs. I’ve also had to adhere to my daily calorie and macro goals, so it’s been an interesting switch - there are some foods that you can eat unlimited, some you can eat up to a certain amount of and others you have to avoid entirely. I’ve been using the Monash University FODMAP Diet app as they’ve got a boss Food Guide of the foods you can have and in what quantities. Here’s an example with rough quantities of what I might eat in a day:
50g rolled oats
50g almond milk
10g chia seeds
12g powdered peanut butter
100g egg whites
10g peanut butter
Almond milk cappuccino
100g red pepper
75g green beans
100g basmati rice
20g organic ketchup
300g white potatoes
40g rolled oats
50ml almond milk
10g peanut butter
As you can see, there aren’t heaps of different things i’m using - I rotate these foods every day, the only things I might add are different proteins (White fish, chicken, turkey etc), but the above is essentially what I’m working with each day. I find it really hard to stick to a diet if it’s boring, so herbs, spices and butter have been saving my taste buds and helping me stay on track!
How’s your gut going?
So far I’ve noticed a small change - I’m still getting bloated but not as frequently, my stools are harder more regularly but still not all the time, I have days where it feels like it’s done absolutely nothing, and days where it’s feeling on track. It’s a long term game though - so sticking to it consistently is key. I had a week in Melbourne where I went a little off track (at my sisters hens it was harder to stick to Low FODMAP eating out) so I have been at it for about 2.5 weeks so far. Once my symptoms reduce more, I’ll be re-introducing groups one at a time in small quantities.
Important to note: we shouldn’t stick to a Low FODMAP diet forever, a maximum of 12 weeks is ok, but make sure you’re re-introducing these foods (other than anything you know has a really bad reaction with you).
I’ll check in again once I’ve finished the elimination phase and start on the re-introduction phase! Hope this helped! :)
Wanting to build some lean muscle and shred fat alongside your FODMAP diet? Check out my 8 Week Lean Out programs - gym OR home based available :) x