Top tips for starting the low FODMAP diet

Lottie picnic

Starting the low FODMAP diet can seem very daunting, confusing and even a little bit lonely. But I promise you it does get easier, and here’s some of my top tips to help you navigate and survive the low FODMAP life!

#1 Download the Monash low FODMAP app

Honestly, it’s the best £7.99 you’ll ever spend. I’ve written a full review on the app here but it really has been my bible for the past few years. It’s the only app that is completely up-to-date and it was created by the founders of the low FODMAP diet so it’s absolutely reliable and accurate. It has loads of advice on navigating the diet plus a complete library of food and safe portion sizes. You can download the app on Apple’s app store here.

#2 Work with a dietitian

If possible, I would really recommend working with a dietician when starting the low FODMAP diet. It’s not essential, and the above app is really helpful but with so much science behind the diet it can be a little confusing so this will definitely make things easier for you, especially when it comes to the reintroduction phase.

#3 Make sure you reintroduce

Don’t panic too much about never being able to eat your favourite foods again as the elimination phase is not for life, and many people are able to successfully reintroduce a lot of foods back into their diet. This stage is really important, not only so you can shorten your list of unsafe food but also because research has shown that being on the low FODMAP diet long term can actually reduce your good gut bacteria, so it would actually most likely worsen your symptoms!

#4 Get creative in the kitchen

Being on the low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean you have to just stick to plain foods. Despite the list seeming vast at first, there are loads of amazing foods you can still eat. Check out my list of low FODMAP foodie swaps, or my low FODMAP recipes and get creative in the kitchen!

#5 Watch your portion sizes and “FODMAP stacking”

FODMAP stacking is when you eat two or more servings of food from the same FODMAP group in one sitting, even if both foods are “green” on the Monash app. Doing this can then push your meal into the high FODMAP bracket and trigger your symptoms. Avoiding stacking can be quite tricky but personally I have tried not to focus on it too much as I found it stressful so instead I just try and ensure i have a good variety of foods and take note of anything that does cause me issues.

#6 Be careful of drinks

It’s not just food that can be high FODMAP, FODMAPs can also be found in lots of drinks. personally I stay away from anything that contains fruit juice, caffeine, dairy or a lot of sugar. I pretty much strictly stick to water, peppermint tea or gin and tonic so I’m happy! However do also check tonic water as some contain fructose!

#7 Adapt your favourite recipes

There’s lots of amazing low FODMAP recipe books, websites and Instagram accounts now, however it’s also pretty easy to adapt regular recipes. I absolutely love The Body Coach recipes as they’re so quick and simple, so I often follow these but just make some simple swaps to make them Lottie friendly!

#8 Plan ahead

Eating low FODMAP isn’t always the most convenient when out and about so where possible, always plan ahead. Research restaurants in the area in advance (you can find my top tips here) and pack LOTS of snacks!

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