IBS: Struggling to Maintain a Restricted Diet

It’s quite challenging to stick to a restricted diet. It’s even more challenging when your meals and snacks are repetitive because numerous dietary restrictions leave limited options.

I know these restrictions are beneficial. These restrictions have mostly eliminated the symptoms of IBS, helped me lose weight, and have many health benefits. As much as I know how beneficial it is, after 3 months I am craving something different from the limited items on my menu.

Coping with a limited menu

Let me say this. I have adjusted to eating foods that fit my dietary restrictions. I don’t miss greasy, fried foods. The exclusion of these things is not what bothers me. I am perfectly fine with this healthier diet.

The problem is I have found a limited amount of foods that fit into my diet, and I have eaten those foods so much that I have grown tired of them. I need something new on the menu.

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A very limited menu due to multiple restrictions

I already had several restrictions, thanks to IBS. Recently I started a low-calorie, low-sodium diet which added more restrictions.

Eating foods that aren’t high in calories isn’t extremely challenging. There are lots of low-calorie options now. Finding things that are both low calorie and low sodium is a lot more difficult.

Finding ways to spice up a limited menu

Since I limited foods fried in grease some time ago, I don’t crave them. Using an air fryer helped me stop eating greasy foods. After a while, I couldn’t stand the taste of something fried in grease.

I used quite a bit of salt and sugar in so many of the foods I ate, and that was a little harder to give up. Using a sugar substitute and replacing the salt with other seasonings helped. I found several seasonings with 0 calories and 0 sodium and I now use those instead.

A limited selection and repetitive menu are boring

This is the third month of sticking to my healthier diet, and I need more options. I don’t need foods that don’t fit in my diet. I just need more foods that do. So far I haven’t found anything to add to my list of foods I can eat.

I feel like I am eating many of the same foods over and over again. Much of it is similar, just prepared in a slightly different way. Since the same ingredients can only be prepared in so many different ways I tend to eat the same thing several times a week. It’s quite boring.

IBS and dietary restrictions

If you have IBS you likely know watching what you eat is a challenge. So many foods, beverages, spices, and condiments are troublesome. The idea of spending a lifetime eating foods bland enough to be confused with cardboard is a definite turn-off.

An IBS diet for many, including myself, was a ‘buy now, pay later’ sort of thing of eating whatever now and dealing with the fallout later. The consequences of throwing caution to the wind and eating whatever we want quite often end in pain.

Overcoming temptation and sticking to a restricted diet

I spent many days and nights in pain because I refused to change my diet. I still wouldn’t have started eating differently if there weren’t other factors pushing me to make changes.

How do we manage to maintain a restricted diet? It doesn’t matter the reasons or the restrictions. It is difficult to do. My issue right now is boredom. I’m bored with the foods I’ve been eating frequently over the last 3 months. This has made foods I don’t need more tempting simply because I am looking for some variety.

If you’ve ever been on a restricted diet, how did you manage the challenges of maintaining it? Did you find it easier or more difficult over time? I would love to hear about your experience. I would also love any suggestions for surviving the challenge of food boredom.

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