After cutting out food for weeks or months, your body is a lot more sensitive to digesting those foods. In my coaching experience, these sensitives are a lot more apparent after months of dieting, too. Does this mean you’ve created a whole list of food sensitivities and you’ll never digest food the same? Certainly not. There are a few steps I take with my clients to incorporate more food variety back into their diet.
First, we’ll identify what foods might be causing the specific GI distress based on journaling and food recalls. Next, we’ll only add in a few small servings of X food back into their diet per week. There seems to be a threshold to how much people can tolerate, meaning it’s often not the food or food group itself, but the amount that might be triggering the distress. From there, see how you respond with the small, targeted additions of the food or food group. Over the course of a few weeks, clients will generally see a huge relief in any distress based symptoms like bloating and overall slow digestion.
The best way to stop this from happening is to consume a wide variety of foods on a weekly basis. A varied diet will have the widest array of micronutrients, especially if we’re talking about fruits and vegetables. However, I previously mentioned having too much variety can be a bad thing when trying to diet. But having too much variety can also psychologically be much more straining than limiting the variety in your diet. We call that a good ol’ dichotomy.
Too much food variety has been shown repeatedly in the scientific literature to promote overeating. Why? There’s a little known phenomenon known as sensory-specific satiety that basically acts as our dessert stomach. Once your taste buds get tired of one flavor profile, they’ll be done. But if there’s a new and exciting flavor profile, even if it’s comparable i.e. savory to savory, those taste buds are not tapped out per se. They’ve shown this in research with things like different flavored yogurts and sandwiches, but think of it in more realistic terms in your life.