Lose Fat

Test Your Blood for Cheap With the Elimination Diet

Find out which specific foods may be hindering your performance and overall well-being.


If you’re a dedicated dieter, you will have no problem tackling this at-home, low-tech approach to weeding out allergens and gastrointestinal issues. An elimination diet is a reverse-engineered food experiment that can give you similar results to testing your blood without having to pay big bucks for it. All you have to do is eliminate foods over a period of time and re-introduce them to see their effects on your system.

The science

To oversimplify, two things happen when you take a bite out of something. 1) Your body converts the food into fuel, and 2) as the food gets broken down, chemical messages are sent throughout your system via the intelligent, yes intelligent, gastrointestinal tract. The GI is home to nearly 70% of your body’s entire immune system replete with neurotransmitters, enzymes, and bacteria. If your GI tract is not in good health, it can throw off a number of things in your body, including not being able to adequately break down what you’re eating, which then leads to food sensitivities and a slew of other unwanted symptoms.

The reasons

If you're experiencing any digestive discomfort like bloating, gas, indigestion, or even post-meal fatigue, your body may be telling you it’s time for a tune-up. Some people, like Joe Manganiello, have had seemingly unrelated symptoms clear up on an elimination diet, such as skin conditions, migraines, arthritis, asthma, and allergies. Manganiello even reported improvements in his focus, mood, and motivation when allergens were removed from his diet.

The mechanics

The elimination diet consists of two phases: removing foods and re-introducing them. The more restrictive you are the better your results. Yes, you could go spend the money and get tested for allergies, but some experts argue that the at-home experiment is the way to go as it’s more thorough and practice based. You will monitor firsthand how every single food item interacts with your system. Also, there are degrees of sensitivities that some blood tests don’t accurately convey, which means that you could end up doing away with more unwanted symptoms doing the elimination diet than you would otherwise.