This article isn’t going to be a typical article about 5 fat burning foods, or how to lose the winter bulge. This is more of a personal piece of difficulties I have faced in dieting when realising I had some serious dietary constraints.
For years I would find myself constantly in stomach cramps, bad stomach, bloated, tired, and fatigued, blood sugar fluctuating, lack of energy. The worst thing was the crippling need to go to the toilet at a minutes notice! You won’t find many articles like this as not many people feel comfortable speaking about their own experience of having a ‘bad stomach.’ Truth is it happens to a lot of us. I’m not embarrassed to talk about it. It wasn’t my fault. Now I have control of it through trial and error with my diet. My stomach has been fine for months, I’ve found I’ve got leaner, stronger; less bloated and have more energy.
Here is a personal account of what upset my stomach, what I’ve cut out and some foods you may want to cut out if you are having any of the problems I listed above.
I started every morning with a black coffee; about 30 mins later I would be rushing for the nearest bathroom. I did some research and found that a lot of people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) find caffeine to be an irritant and it ‘goes straight through them.’ Couldn’t find the science behind it, but who cares, fact is, it upset my stomach that’s all I needed to know. So I cut coffee out, along with tea, ice tea, coke, diet coke and all other caffeine based products. Stomach got better straight away!
Literally over night mornings were no longer a problem, eating out got easier as I cut diet coke out of my meal. I thought the problem was over.
A few months later my stomach got worse again. It really started running my life, I wouldn’t eat out in public, any time I went to a new place I would be on a scan to see where the nearest bathrooms were. I’d be in awful situations with new people where I was in loads of pain but couldn’t excuse myself from the conversation.
I’m not sure at what point I decided I’d had enough, but I did. I started looking into different diets, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, organic etc… I looked at practicality first and decided I didn’t really want to try a dairy free diet, due to my use of whey protein after training and I use milk on oats, so I was hoping I didn’t have to cut out diary.
The first thing I cut out was wheat. I stopped eating bread and pasta and swapped those meals for rice and potato. I saw a small improvement in my digestion and stomach pain but not a significant one.
I researched further and tried cutting out gluten. This was much harder than I had anticipated as gluten is in so many different foods, especially prepared foods, (and chocolate, not happy about that) The science behind what gluten is, is far beyond my comprehension so look at http://whatisgluten.net/ for that info. All I can tell you is that it does not like me.
I spent ages in supermarkets and online looking into foods with gluten content. Every packet of anything I was going to buy I studied. Luckily though, most packs of food now have allergy advice labels so it’s easy to see if a food contains gluten.
A fairly certain way to ensure you eat gluten free is just to eat fresh food. Meats, veg, fruit, rice (basmati rice seems to work best as opposed to frozen packet rice) sweet potato, eggs.
Eating fresh is healthiest anyway but here is the additional benefit if you think you may be having adverse effects to gluten.
You can go to the doctor to get tested to see if you have celiac disease, however, the way I see it, if you stop eating gluten and your tummy gets better, then you start eating it and it gets worse you don’t need a doctor, use common sense, stop eating it!
I have found several foods that I should avoid, I don’t understand why but I do. Like I said before, this isn’t going to be a paper littered with science and studies like my other articles; this is personal experience that I hope will help other people.
Other foods include
Sweetened drinks (cheap juices)
These foods are easy to exchange. There’s really no need to get prescription gluten free foods, I was at a chemist once and a guy was genuinely kicking off because he didn’t have his prescription gluten free cake mix, I was in a good mood that day or I think I would of ripped into the sad bloke!
There is gluten free bread and pasta available in all supermarkets, but I really don’t think they are necessary with all the healthier alternatives.
NB – some people can eat oats on this diet, some can’t. I don’t know why, try cutting them out and see what happens!
So, if you are getting stomach problems, bloating or lack of energy, don’t resign yourself to a life of pain and suffering. Try a few of the tips above and let me know if any of it helped.