7 Ways on How to Reintroduce Food after an Elimination Diet

7 Ways on How to Reintroduce Food after an Elimination Diet

If you’ve been searching for how to reintroduce food after an elimination diet, you have landed at the right place. But first of all, congratulations on completing your elimination diet. We understand how hard it must have been to leave your favorite things behind or control your cravings for all those gluten-containing foods. Because let’s just agree that choco-chip cookies are the best thing ever.

But now that your diet is over and you are ready to reintroduce your favorite foods (of course, only the healthy ones) back into your diet, you are not sure how to do that, right? Well, we are here to help you do all of that but with proper guidance. So, here are some things you need to pay attention to and the things you need to avoid to begin your journey.             

What is an Elimination Diet? 

But let’s just rewind here a bit and start from the beginning. What is an elimination diet? For those who don’t know, an elimination diet is a type of diet plan that helps you understand what types of allergies or food sensitivity you have from which food or food type. 

And today, this type of diet is trendy and can help you determine what kind of food is affecting your health and how. It can help you understand what food triggers your allergies or the different types of foods you are sensitive or intolerant to. It can tell you which food is making you feel nauseous, tired, or causing brain fog and inflammation.  

Why Do You Need To Start Reintroducing Foods After An Elimination Diet?

However good this diet sounds, there are some significant drawbacks to it as well. It is not a diet plan you can follow for a long time, as it can lead to several health issues. To avoid these issues, you need a well-balanced diet that provides your body with all the essential carbohydrates, fats, nutrients, and proteins. 

One example of this is fiber-rich foods. We all know that fiber-rich foods are good for maintaining good bowel health, but these foods can also cause diarrhea, bloating, and even gas. So, during the elimination diet, people generally reduce their fiber-rich foods. But one problem with doing that for a long time is that it can lead to bad gut health, weight gain, and digestive issues. 

Similarly, that is the case with every important nutrient, vitamin, carbohydrate, and everything your body requires. You cannot starve your body of anything it requires to function properly. And this is why, after completing your elimination diet, you need to start introducing essential foods into your everyday diet.   

When to Start Reintroducing Foods into the Diet? 

The best time to introduce food into your diet is when you are in optimal health, and all your food-related symptoms are better. The elimination diet generally lasts thirty days, after which you can start introducing new and old foods into your diet. It is because when you introduce new things to your diet, you can quickly identify all the adverse reactions or symptoms of the food you are eating. 

And after trying each food, you can note down the symptoms and effects of the food in a journal. It is a great way to track your progress and help a dietician or medical practitioner understand your diet. 

If you go on for a longer time without eating specific foods, you will only develop further sensitivity or intolerance towards the food you have avoided. Which can then lead to nutrient deficiencies, bad gut health, and limit the number of foods you can eat.   

What Foods Should You Add To Your Reintroduction Plan?

When you begin to reintroduce foods after your elimination diet, there are certain things that you should and should not include in your reintroduction plan. That is because some foods can flare up your symptoms to a new high or cause severe food allergies. Even though these foods can be different for everybody, here are some that are easy to introduce and good for your health. 

  • White and brown rice
  • Chocolates
  • Almonds
  • Decaf coffee
  • Occasional goat cheese (raw) 
  • Egg yolks
  • Coconut
  • Legumes and grains
  • Sugar
  • Vegetables 
  • Meats 
  • Fruits 

Read More:- Which Pattern of Eating is Best for Weight Management?

Stages of Reintroducing Food in Your Diet

When you add food back to your diet, you cannot just pick any food and add it to your diet. To make the most out of your elimination diet, you should start your reintroduction program with the least inflammatory foods. So, here are the four stages according to which you should try and add nutrition back to your routine. 

Stage 1

Foods in the stage 1 category are the least inflammatory foods, and these foods can help you transition more easily:

  • Chocolate or cocoa
  • Legume sprouts 
  • Ghee (grass-fed)
  • Egg Yolks
  • Coffee at times
  • Seed-based spices, fruit, berry
  • Nut and seed oils
  • Green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, etc. (Legumes and peas with edible pods)

Stage 2 

The second stage of the process includes foods like:

  • Egg whites
  • Seeds
  • Limited amount of alcohol 
  • Nuts
  • Regular coffee
  • Butter (grass-fed)
  • Chia seeds

Stage 3

The third stage of the reintroduction process now includes the nightshade family foods (potatoes).

  • Peeled potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Chickpeas, lentils, and split beans
  • Sweet peppers
  • Paprika
  • Dairy (grass-fed)

Stage 4

This stage gives you the space to add all the things you are sensitive to so you can also build tolerance for them. 

  • White rice
  • Alcohol in regular quantities
  • Nightshade spices and chili peppers
  • Quinoa and gluten-free grains
  • Foods that you are sensitive to 
  • Tomatoes
  • Soaked /sprouted (traditionally made), fermented legumes  
  • Unpeeled potatoes

Symptoms You Can Look Out For When Introducing New Foods 

The symptoms of reintroducing food to your diet can range from mild to serious. So, to know whether you are having a reaction to the food you are eating, you can check for all the symptoms mentioned below-

  • Dry skin 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Gas
  • Fatigue
  • Change in breathing pattern
  • Dizziness
  • Rashes
  • Cramps or stomach pain
  • Brain fog
  • Extra irritability 
  • Constipation or diarrhea (changes in bowel habits) 
  • Itching 
  • Anxiety 
  • Migraine or headaches 
  • Bloating 
  • Muscle pain or joint pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Sneezing or runny nose
  • Problem in sleeping
  • Chest or nasal congestion 
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling low 

How to Introduce Foods Back Into the Diet?

You may be hesitant or anxious about adding the foods back into your diet (most people are), and it is completely fine. Because after an elimination diet, many people develop a fear of food. So, to make the process easier, here are some tips you can try.   

Plan the Right Time to Introduce Foods

As we told you before, there is a right time to reintroduce foods back into your diet. You need to be calm and relaxed when you start making dietary changes. And the most important thing you need to understand is that introducing food back into the diet can cause some reactions. 

Reactions from the food do not mean that it is terrible for your health. It simply means that your body is getting used to the food again. However, you need to understand the difference between mild discomfort/reaction and an allergy. 

Try the Least Inflammatory Food First 

Begin your reintroduction of foods by choosing the least inflammatory types or cause the slightest reaction in your body. Just select food from your journal, pick the one that is safer than all the others, and add it to your amount in small portions. 

Slowly and gradually, you can start trying other foods from different food groups and let your body get used to them. It will prevent you from giving your body a sudden shock and reduce the chances of flare-ups.   

Be Slow and Careful

When adding new food items, you should always try eating them in small portions and then gradually increasing the proportion. 

It will help your body get used to the food without causing a significant reaction that will turn into a serious problem. 

For example, if you have stopped eating vegetables during your diet, then you are probably lacking fiber in your diet. And the best way to introduce vegetables into your diet is by creating a mash of various types of vegetables and eating it a spoonful or two spoonful’s at a time. 

Take Notes of the Reaction

After noting down the foods that you are allergic to or sensitive to, you need to write them down in your journal and divide it on the basis of the food groups they fall into. It will later help you decide which type of food group is the least reactive. 

And after you are done dividing them, try the food groups that are the least reactive but change them frequently so you can get used to all the things.  

Change the Type of Food You Are Introducing

One of the best things you can do while reintroducing food is to try and play between different food groups. It will increase your food tolerance and help your body slowly get used to it. And the best way to do this is by following a four-day rule. This rule says that if you reintroduce something to your diet, then you should only eat it again after four days. 

Don’t eat the same type of food every day because if you do, it can lead to increased reactions which is precisely what you are trying to avoid. Not only is this rule good for people reintroducing food to their diets, but it is also suitable for every individual’s regular diet. 

Relax Your Mind

As we told you before, you should only start reintroducing food back into your diet when you are entirely healthy. It includes both physical and mental health. Your mind plays a huge role in how your body works. For example, if you are anxious or nervous before starting your food reintroduction, your body will only show you bad results and worsen your reaction to the food. 

So, when you are trying or adding new food back into your diet plan, make sure to keep an open mind. If your mind is relaxed, only then will your body stimulate the digestion hormones. Therefore, before you try your first food, take a deep breath and trust the food reintroduction process.    

Try Not To Follow Your Cravings

How and what food you are adding to your diet makes a lot of difference. Because your body requires all the nutrients and vitamins it has been missing for the past month. 

We understand that when you want to reintroduce something, you want to add something you’ve been craving for a long time. But that is where you need to control your cravings and add foods that are good for your health. 

Therefore, your overall diet should be based on what your body requires instead of what you have been craving throughout your elimination diet. 

Mistakes to Avoid While Reintroducing Food Back Into the Diet

When you begin your Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), you need to understand that there are two phases of this protocol; the elimination diet and the food reintroduction. And you need to follow things as they are to fulfill the aims of both. So to avoid making any mistakes during the reintroduction process, here is a list of things you need to avoid doing.  

Binge Eating 

When you start your elimination diet, you must stop eating all types of food, including the things you love eating. So, when the time comes when you have to start adding foods back to your diet, you get incredibly excited about trying it again that you end up overeating. 

And overeating new foods during the reintroduction phase is possibly the worst thing you can do. Remember, our bodies are not made for handling binge eating anything. Eating anything in large quantities is going to cause problems in your body. 

Therefore, the best thing you can do is start adding food in small portions to your diet and notice all the symptoms or changes in your body. It will help you understand what foods are affecting your body and how.  

Rushing the Reintroduction Process

The best way to reintroduce foods into your diet can be challenging. So here are some simple steps you can follow to make it easier. These three steps are the easiest way for you to add new foods to your diet.

  1. First, you can take a small portion of food and wait for a few hours. If you don’t see any reaction in your body, you can go to the next step. 
  2. The second step is to eat a normal portion of that food and wait for at least three days to see if your body shows any adverse reactions. And if your body show’s no reaction, then only the stage of the process is left. 
  3. The last and third stage of this problem includes adding the same food to your diet every day in small portions for a week. 

And people often tend to skip at least one of the stages, two or three. And when you rush either of the steps, you are rushing your body to adjust to the food, which is a mistake. 

Following these steps is necessary to know whether a food is causing some reactions in your body. And when you follow these steps, you will notice a response to food in your body in the first stage, or you may start to see that reaction when you eat that food every day for a week. 

So, when reintroducing food into your body, you should follow all three steps to know about the early reaction or the one that starts slowly. The second step of the process will help you understand the foods that you can eat once in a while.   

Choosing the Wrong Time to Reintroduce Foods

Yes, there is a wrong time to reintroduce new food into your diet. When you are highly stressed or lack proper sleep, your body can cause adverse reactions, just as same as new food can. Therefore, when you plan to add foods to your diet, you should avoid choosing a time like this. 

Now the best time to add food to your diet is when you are physically and mentally healthy. Also, it would be best if you changed your lifestyle habits to adjust to your health and diet. And to do that, you can try yoga, meditation, or any hobby that will help you relax.  

Doing Things Too Soon or Not At All 

The elimination process is generally 30 days, but it can be different for everybody. The thing that it mostly depends on is how long it would take for your body to show improvements after you start your elimination process. It is essential because it is the only way you will be able to find out if you are having any reaction to the food you will add during your reintroduction process. 

And the next thing you would want to focus on is your reintroduction process. Now the elimination process may feel too good to some people that they don’t want to come out of that phase. But that is not what you want or should do after your elimination process. When beginning your elimination plan, you should always make up your mind that you will also have to start your reintroduction plan.   

That is because when you stay on your elimination process for too long, you deprive your body of all the important nutrients it requires, which can cause nutritional deficiency or disordered eating patterns. 

Thus, you must focus the most on avoiding ending your elimination process too soon or not starting your reintroduction for a long time. 

Adding Restaurant to the Mix

When you have just been on an elimination diet and want to start your food reintroduction process, you might want to avoid going to restaurants, parties, or even weddings. The reason is that food in all these places will have several ingredients, and you won’t be able to find out the reason behind the reaction in your body.   

Reintroducing food is a scientific process that requires you to eat one specific food or ingredient at a time. The food reintroduction process after an elimination diet is a delicate process, and you need to ensure that all the things you want to add to your diet are good for you or not.  

Why Should You Never Try Reintroducing Foods On Your Own?

Reintroducing foods back into your diet is a delicate process. And to avoid the risk of high reaction, you should take the help of an expert who can prepare a proper reintroduction plan for you. For the doctors to understand what kinds of food lead to what reactions, you can show the doctor your journal. 

The doctor or nutritionist will then make a proper diagnosis to know what will help you get adequate nutrition to keep all your vitamin and mineral levels in check without causing significant fluctuations or reactions. Moreover, an expert can properly guide you on reintroducing foods into your diet after checking your symptoms and medical history.    


If you have been on an elimination diet, then reintroducing food back into your diet is extremely important. Not having a proper well-balanced diet can lead to nutrition deficiencies or eating disorders. But to add foods back into your diet, you will have to be patient and keep an open mind to make the process easier. Also, you need to keep a journal to track all your symptoms, which will help you later. 

However, reintroducing food on your own is not for everybody. You may need an expert who knows about food reintroduction and can help you create a plan that best suits your needs. And one such place you can visit is Apprize Medical. We have specialists who can create a customized plan for you. To book an appointment, visit our website, www.apprizemed.com/, or call us at +1-305-851-2132. 


Frequently Asked Questions

We have curated a list of general FAQs covering all your queries.

Egg yolk is the first thing you should start with after an elimination diet. Not the complete egg, just the yolk to avoid high reactions. However, you should never introduce foods you are allergic to in your new diet plan. 


You can reintroduce food back into your diet after 30 days. However, it specifically depends on how your body works and how long it takes for your body to get back to its best health. After that, you can slowly start reintroducing new food to your diet. 


An elimination diet is a strict diet plan you must follow properly. When you are following an elimination diet, there are no cheat days in between them all. Because if you do take cheat days in between, it won’t even work out for you.