Are you looking to try out a low FODMAP diet? Have you heard it can help you manage your IBS and want to see what it’s all about? Maybe you are already following this approach, but are looking for some guidance on how to make sure you get the most out of this protocol.
A well-executed low FODMAP diet can help you achieve your nutrition, health, and wellness goals including alleviating IBS symptoms and other GI conditions.
However, if not done properly, you may be missing out on key nutrients, which can impact both your short-term and long-term health. Additionally, you may not get the most out of the protocol if not executed correctly.
We all want to be and stay healthy - so, optimizing your eating within your low FODMAP lifestyle is the key to successfully managing your IBS.
But, what if you aren’t exactly sure how to execute it? What if you feel like you need more support?
This is where a nutrition coach comes in.
Nutrition coaches, like myself and my team at OnPoint Nutrition, are educated and trained to help you follow a low FODMAP approach to manage your IBS via diet and other healthy lifestyle practices.
In this article, I’ll outline the main goals for a low FODMAP approach including:
- Finding relief from your IBS symptoms
- Identifying your personal food triggers
- Promoting balanced nutrition to optimize health
We’ll also dive into how a nutrition coach can help you achieve your FODMAP goals by addressing:
- How to execute each FODMAP stage
- What to eat
- How to meal plan
Low FODMAP Goals
Find Relief From Your IBS Symptoms
The low FODMAP approach can be the foundation for a successful, sustainable IBS diet.
IBS is generally associated with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms including cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation. The two main types of IBS include IBS-C, which tends toward constipation, and IBS-D, which tends toward diarrhea.
However, everyone’s IBS is different, which means specific symptoms, frequency of symptoms, and severity of symptoms varies person to person.
However, studies have shown that certain types of carbohydrates found in foods, nicknamed FODMAPs, can trigger IBS symptoms in many people.
Working with your nutrition coach to follow the low FODMAP approach can help you achieve and maintain lasting relief from your IBS symptoms.
Identify Your Personal Food Triggers
As we said above, everyone’s IBS is different. Similarly, everyone’s IBS triggers are different. The low FODMAP approach helps you identify what specifically triggers your personal IBS symptoms.
Additionally, it helps you identify high FODMAP foods that don’t trigger your IBS so you don’t have to live in the elimination phase forever and can eat a more diverse diet.
The identification process involves multiple steps, which your nutrition coach will walk you through to help you find relief and control your IBS.
Promote Balanced Nutrition To Optimize Health
Over time, uncontrolled IBS can be harmful to your overall nutritional health.
While there are many eating patterns that are suggested to help manage IBS, low FODMAP is trusted by many practitioners and widely accepted as one of the most effective.
Working with a nutrition coach is key to finding the optimal nutritional balance for you within this approach.
How A Nutrition Coach Can Help You Achieve Your FODMAP Goals
How To Execute Each FODMAP Stage
The FODMAP protocol involves three phases:
First, all high FODMAP foods are eliminated from your diet. Next, these foods are reintroduced to your diet one at a time, over a few-week period, with careful consideration for your GI symptoms throughout the process. Finally, you and your nutrition coach will use the information you get from the process to build a healthy, well-balanced eating plan just for you.
One common misconception is that a low FODMAP diet should be followed low term. This misses the point of the protocol, which is ultimately to identify what your specific triggers are and personalize your IBS diet to you.
As we said before, your nutrition coach will walk you through each stage so you can truly learn the most about your body possible.
What To Eat
FODMAPs are carbohydrate-containing foods that cause GI discomfort in individuals who are sensitive to them. However, eliminating FODMAPs isn’t as simple as removing a food group or two. There are both low and high FODMAP foods within each main food group.
For example, there are low FODMAP fruits, vegetables, and grains, but also high FODMAP items within each of these food groups. We know this may seem confusing, which is why a nutrition professional is your key to success here.
Your nutrition coach will be able to provide you with clear guidance on what foods to eat and avoid during each phase of your FODMAP diet.
How To Meal Plan
Planning ahead is a key to success for any eating pattern. However, when it comes to following a low FODMAP diet, planning your meals and snacks with your nutrition coach will help ensure you are always prepared.
Planning ahead, and utilizing your nutrition coach’s expertise, will help make sure you don’t find yourself in a pinch, unsure of what is safe to eat.
You may also be experimenting with new foods and new recipes so having a plan to follow makes these changes less intimidating. Your nutrition coach will also help you find low FODMAP recipes for all meals, including:
Your nutrition coach will also support you through grocery shopping for what you have meal planned. Additionally, they can help you navigate challenging situations including going out to eat and eating in social settings while following the low FODMAP diet.
Your nutrition coach will help you plan for success.
Where To Go From Here
If you are ready to take control of your IBS symptoms using the low FODMAP approach, you are in the right place.
At this point, you know that finding relief from your IBS symptoms, identifying your personal food triggers, and promoting balanced nutrition to optimize health are the goals of working with a nutrition coach on a low FODMAP diet.
You also know that when you work with a nutrition coach you will learn how to execute each FODMAP stage, what to eat, and how to meal plan for success.
If you’re not 100% sure if you have IBS or not, and if this approach may help you, try taking our IBS Quiz to give you a little more insight.
If you are ready to dive into nutrition counseling with a nutrition coach, we are here for you.
Our team of dietitians and nutritionists has helped over 3,000 people, just like you, achieve their nutrition and health goals.
If you’re interested in finding out more about OnPoint and the experience we provide to our virtual, one-on-one nutrition counseling clients, learn more about our client experience here.
When you are ready to take the leap, schedule your free consultation.
Liz has been reading nutrition labels since she learned how to read. Growing up with severe peanut and tree nut allergies she learned that it’s important to know what you are putting into your body. She made her first big lifestyle change as a freshman in high school, when she decided to become a vegetarian. However, it wasn’t until she took a food class in Italy as part of a study abroad program in college that it clicked in her mind that she wanted to make food and nutrition her career. Liz graduated from Penn State University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, as well as a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She completed her dietetic internship with Aramark in Philadelphia, and her master's degree at Northeastern University shortly after.