Crohn's and Colitis Diet and Lifestyle.
Diet is maybe not the best choice of words as when we say we are going on a diet we are usually thinking short term to get in shape for summer or a family wedding. But with IBD there is no short term options as your crohn's or colitis is not going anywhere anytime soon so if you are planning to change your diet it should be a long term lifestyle change. There is no point in making changes to your diet sticking with it for 2-3 months before reverting back to your old habits. It is hard to stick to a long term plan and we will all go through phases of falling of the diet wagon. But below you will find a few tips that may help you stick it out.
1. Keep it simple
My number 1 rule is keep things simple and make life easy for yourself. When I'm looking over other websites and looking at meal plans and diets for IBD patients I can't help but sigh. For one most of them are written by people that obviously don't have either crohn's or colitis because some of the foods they suggest don't belong anywhere near the plate of an IBD patient. But a lot of suggested meals are way too complicated. Keep it simple oats for breakfast, eggs and toast for lunch, chicken and sweet potato for dinner. For the most part every meal idea you find on my website will be simple and quick to make. If it takes you an hour to assemble meals every day your diet won't last a month.
If you don't like it don't eat it. If its causing your guts to play up shelve it too. Like above with time constraints if your trying to force yourself to eat something you don't enjoy your dietary changes won't last very long. You should be looking forward to meal times not dreading it. So when your coming up with a meal plan just include foods you know you will look forward to eating. An example for me would be green smoothies. I tried and tried but even if I found one I could tolerate I just found they tasted horrendous. I would dread making them so afer 2-3 weeks I simply stopped. So now when I make smoothies I just make fruit smoothies that I enjoy and I have no problem making every day. The greens I take through soups and stocks instead of taking them raw in smoothies.
Don't be afraid to treat yourself. When I first changed my diet I was very strict for the first month. But once I got into the grove a bit I eased up. But as a general rule I tend to be strict 5 days a week and lighten up a bit 2 days a week. Initially I would adhere to my diet Monday - Friday and then pretty much eat what I wanted (within reason and nothing that would trigger my crohn's ) on the weekend. However I noticed I wouldn't feel great on the Monday so I changed it up a bit. So I now I have a cheat meal on Friday evening whatever I fancy takeout, pizza with desert afterwards. And I would also have a cheat day either the Saturday or Sunday whichever day suited me. You really need to keep in mind that this is not a short term gig. If you want to lose weight and improve your health through diet its a permanent change. But Its unsustainable to adhere to a strict diet 7 days a week for 3-6 months never mind 3-6 years and beyond. If you have nothing to look forward to diet wise and you are living like a rabbit 7 days a week you will become cranky, irritable and stressed so you need to have something to look forward too. So a cheat day or two is a must.
The number one reason why people fall of the diet wagon is they become frustrated after 4-5 weeks when they don't see results and throw in the towel. Don't be thinking you will be seeing amazing results after 6 weeks be thinking 6-12 months. The clever marketing campaigns you constantly see gyms putting out there has given everybody an unrealistic view of weight loss. When it comes to weight loss and starting an exercise plan slow and steady wins the race. Sticking with your diet and exercise the results 100% will come. But it will take hard work and patience to get there.
5.Throw your weighing scales in the bin.
The scales are deceptive and can throw you of your game. Usually what will happen when you are exercising is initially you will notice the scales will start to drop every week. That's awesome its starts to motivate you to do more. Suddenly the scales start to increase again you get upset, frustrated and you think the whole endeavour is pointless. However its perfectly normal, as the fat starts to break down naturally your weight reduces but as you exercise more you start to build up muscle and muscle is heavier than fat so the scales will start to tick back up again. The only way to track your progress is the mirror. But even with that don't be constantly checking your progress. Stay positive, stick to your diet, keep up the exercise and the results will come.
6.Falling off the diet wagon.
It happens to the best of us so in all likelihood its going to happen sometime. Don't let it phase or frustrate you its not worth stressing over. Just refocus and go again. If you haven't failed you haven't tried so you just dust yourself off and go again.
**** HOT TIP ****
Keep things simple. Nutribullet is a must for the kitchen. Use it for breakfast, healthy desserts and a host of snacks. Its quick and convienant to clean so never a hassle to clean and put away. I have the pro 600 and 900 series myself I simply couldn't do without it. Not that I'm suggesting you purchase both but I would highly recommend you purchase one. I use them a lot so I just ended up having both
**We are all different and some foods that I can tolerate you may not. A crohn's or colitis diet is highly individual so please experiment and add or replace ingredients that don't agree with you**