Even if you have a chronic illness, dieting harder is most likely not the answer.

I shared my post on the 30-Day AIP Protocol.

A woman commented,

Yes and it helped but didn’t solve my gut issues. Turns out I have a sucrose intolerance. But AIP helped give me some answers to get closer to that conclusion.

To which I responded,

Glad you figured it out. I think that’s so true in general. People tend to do FAR more, diet wise, than what they need to be doing. If an answer isn’t found, “dieting harder” is usually not the answer:)

And she ended with,

Yes, after 29 days, my GI said if this hasn’t solved your digestive issues, it’s not the answer and it’s way too restrictive-time to re-evaluate. I can see how ppl could get sucked into further cutting things out though to try to find a solution.

Dieting Harder

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Dieting Harder agutsygirl.com

A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut is just 21 days of removing all the things to help you begin to find the answers you might have been seeking. 

It is not meant to be anything that carries out months and months. 

I truly believe that if you have never tried changing your diet and lifestyle to begin finding answers to lingering gut issues, then this is the perfect place to start.

But I also believe that if you have no answers after those 21 days then dieting harder is definitely not your answer.

And here’s why.

The very first time I ever had huge success with a diet that changed my gut status was in 2009 on the GAPS Diet. Day 1 was on August 3, 2009.

You can read about it via my old blog HERE. But even on day 1 I had zero bloat, and I would stay like that the entire time on the GAPS Diet. 

I knew I was onto something then, but later when I added more things in, I felt the bloat again. 

I wouldn’t learn until 2014 that it was SIBO.

And here’s the thing, after the GAPS Diet, to be perfectly honest, there was absolutely, positively no way I could have gone through with dieting harder to get better results.

If you know anything about GAPS and/or have done it yourself, you know that it’s as stringent of a protocol as they come. 

Dieting harder would have never gotten me to the SIBO answer. Only testing could do that. 

If you’re not interested in following a templated diet, but instead want to learn to create your own based on your unique situation, then you’ll love my book, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut. In it, you’ll find 100+ Creations. Grab your copy on Amazon HERE.

Or, have this book at your fingertips instantly by downloading the PDF now.

Two Reasons Dieting Harder Isn’t the Answer

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Two reasons dieting harder is not the answer agutsygirl.com

If a gut-healing protocol/diet helps you feel better, then you know you’re onto something. But you sure as h#$% don’t have to engage in dieting harder to solve every last outstanding problem.

And there are two main reasons for this:

  1. If you haven’t been appropriately tested (not via Dr. Google), then dieting harder makes no sense. In other words, “What are you dieting harder for?” Isn’t the point of a diet to solve a problem? If you don’t know the problem, you can’t solve it.
  2. Dieting harder won’t change all the other lifestyle factors. If there is one thing I have learned during these past 10 years of going through all the motions, it’s that diet, while critical for healing, is far from being the only healing variable. Maybe there is something else keeping you sick and miserable. Stress levels? Too little/much activity? Not enough sleep? Poor relationships? Using skincare and makeup that contain hormone disruptors? Your environment? Etc. 

The “One Thing” for Gut Healing

The dieting harder willpower you do or don’t possess will not be “the one thing” in the end that makes or breaks your path to long-lasting healing.

There is a huge percentage of the chronic illness population who have this willpower, and if simply dieting harder were the answer, almost everyone would be healed.

Dieting harder would never take me from feeling 95% well, 85% of the time to 100% well, 100% of the time.

Focusing on all the things outside of diet is my main prerogative these days. If you’ve never tried it, start today.

p.s. Have a lot of weight to lose and are dieting? I also don’t believe that dieting harder is your answer, either. And that’s a whole other topic for a different day.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. 28-day gut healing journaling system
  2. What is the best diet for gut healing?
  3. Do you need a gut healing journal?


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  1. My collagenous colitis is STILL active (10 months and counting… sigh) and I’m truly getting soooo tired of doing the diet thing… UGH! I’ve omitted / added and so far, very little matters. I HAVE cut right down (just this side of totally omitting) on wheat but I still get the “belly bloat” from fruit? I’m not even eating a lot of it! I’m so confused but I’m not willing to go to my GP because he’ll just send me to another specialist… which I’m truly tired of by now… sigh. The drugs they want me to take means that in a week or so… I’ll have to take a laxative of some type to BE ABLE to go. It’s such a wicked round-about!!! I’m pretty much just finished with doctors and all.
    But I still love watching you and the kids… omg… they are just. so. freakin. cute!!!
    I love and totally appreciate that you and your Ryan are such upfront and totally honest parents. I love you both for just this fact alone… non-judgmental!! You rock!! And because of the two of you… thankfully, the world will still live and survive! <3

  2. I’ve been hopping into different diets since I can recall.
    I know I have parasites AND other pathogens living in me . I’ve done a Mild cleanse but I don’t think it was enough. I’m eating just meat AND veggies AND good fats but im feeling worse every Time.
    I do drink greenn tea AND yerba mate because ,seriously, i get depressed if i don’t. I’m feeling lonely and hopeless with my gut stomach issues.
    I’ll be doing bioenergétic therapy un a few weeks though. I’m counting on that to help a bit.

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