So, you’ve made it through the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet. You’re feeling fantastic. Now it’s time to start the challenges, so you can work out which FODMAP groups you are actually intolerant to.
You’re looking forward to finally knowing the cause(s) of your worries. But you’re also feeling a little anxious – you definitely don’t want your symptoms to return. And let’s be honest, life is too short to stay home worried about your symptoms. There’s dinner’s to attend and socialising to be had. Herein lies perhaps one of, if not the biggest challenge when it comes to the FODMAP challenges!
It’s very possible that the place you’re headed will not provide only low FODMAP food, or even safe foods. The more you put these challenges off, the more challenging you will likely find the whole process, so working around these situations as much as possible is recommended. You don’t want to sabotage the challenges, but you also don’t want to miss out. It’s all about finding a balance between the two.
So what do you do?
Managing the eating out experience mid-challenge
- When eating out, know the best local places to go where you can easily find low FODMAP options. This way, you’ll still be able to know exactly how much of the challenge food you’ve had.
- If there’s an occasion that has no definitive way of working around your challenges, either plan for it to be at the end of a challenge, or have a few days break from challenges either side of the meal.
- Know when the meals away from home will be, as much as possible. This helps reduce surprises, and helps you stay on track.
- Take snacks in your handbag/backpack/car, as a last resort - Check out my guide to low FODMAP snacks here.
- Keep you food diary as detailed as possible, to make it easier to track any unexpected triggers.
What strategies do you use to stick to your challenge?