How to Reintroduce Foods
The purpose of eliminating inflammatory foods over the last six weeks was to heal your gut, decrease food cravings, and improve overall health by removing foods that might potentially cause problems.
At this point you've created a "clean slate" that puts you in a great position to reintroduce foods one at a time. Doing this will allow you to pinpoint any problem foods that you may want to continue avoiding, or reincorporate the foods that don't pose an issue.
As you reintroduce foods, pay attention to signs of inflammation:
Gas and digestive changes
Mood changes (yes, food can make you cranky!)
We find the following foods tend to be tolerated well by most people who have stuck to on-plan foods:
Sugar-free dairy (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc)
Legumes (beans, chickpeas, hummus, etc)
Eggs - if interested, you can try reintroducing whole eggs 1-2x a week as your fat source (the yolk is where most of the nutrients are!). 1 egg is roughly equal to 2 tsp of olive oil.
Other treats such as sweets, alcohol, and bread can be introduced in amounts that enrich your lifestyle, but do not interrupt your progress toward your goals. It’s all about weighing the costs versus the benefits.
When you understand how food affects your mood, energy, appearance, and health, you're empowered to make decisions that better balance your goals and your enjoyment.
Factoring new foods into your meals
In your app, click “View macros” to view each meal’s macronutrient quantities. While “View serving sizes” shows food measurements, “View macros” shows the actual amount of protein, fat, and carbs in the measurement of food.
When eating a food that isn’t listed in the app, you can look at the nutrition label (or easily look up the nutrition facts online) and see how a serving of that food fits into your meal.
For example, if your meal’s macros are 30g protein, 20g carbs, and 20g fat, and you want to eat Greek yogurt, you would look at the yogurt’s nutritional label for protein, carbs, and fat quantities. The serving size may contain 20g of protein, 20g carbs, and 5g of fat, which leaves you to find 10g of protein and 15g of fat from other foods.
While some people are perfectly fine doing all this math for every meal (this is what the IIFYM and other similar diets promote doing), for many of us it’s a pain. We recommend sticking to the foods listed in the app for the majority of your meals. If you reintroduce a food that you eat fairly frequently, such as eggs, you’ll soon know off the top of your head how it factors into a meal without having to calculate it each time.
We know this can be confusing if you’re not familiar with macros, so feel free to contact us if you’re still unsure.
How to eat at work events, restaurants, on vacation, and more
How does this way of eating fit into social events, vacations, work events, etc?
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Eating Out for tips and guidelines to balance getting results with having a life!
Try to avoid having an "all or nothing" mentality. Finding the right balance for you might take some practice, but the long-term benefits will be worth it!