When my friends ask me if I’m losing weight on the FODMAPs diet, I cheerfully reply no – because it still allows cheese and wine, and those are the fattening things I like.
And yes, it technically does allow cheese, and wine (and vodka, and whiskey, and cider, and gin. But not beer or rum, because those are made with FODMAP foods). But you’re only supposed to have one glass per day.
Now, I’m a bit of an alcohol prude during the week. I have to get up at 6:30 for work quite often, and I’ve struggled with sleeping deeply and well for a long time. Drinking on weeknights, especially when I’m just at home with my family or my boyfriend, just doesn’t feel worth it for the cost. But I do like to have a couple of glasses of wine at the weekend. Okay, maybe a couple of glasses of wine followed by a couple of rum & cokes.
Since I’ve been on the FODMAPs diet, I’ve been watching what I drink really carefully. And to my astonishment, I think one of the things which has really been bothering my stomach is rum! At a recent party I swapped rum for vodka and drank about the same amount as usual (5 or 6 units), and woke up with a slightly sore head but no stomach ache at all. The same has proved true of the nights I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine as well.
It’s bizarre, because I’ve always believed the scientists who say that although you might feel like tequila and vodka affect you differently, fundamentally they’re all the same and they will all affect you in the same way. But it really does seem like rum is bad for me. So no more rum for Bella – and no coke to go with me. Because that’s the other thing I’ve given up. Diet coke.
I love diet Coke more than is probably normal. I used to drink it for breakfast (to my colleagues’ disgust). I used to drink it for lunch. I used to drink it with alcohol, on its own, in the house, in the pub, at restaurants, on holiday. I bloody love diet Coke. I like how it tastes, I like the bubbles, I like the smell, I like all of it. But since I gave it up and replaced it with mint tea, I have to admit that I’ve felt better.
So, four weeks into the diet (halfway through) and it seems I’ve identified some of the main things that were causing me problems already:
Of course, I’ll need to finish the plan and work out carefully what else might be problematic, because I’m still feeling some discomfort – and fatigue particularly, but I can live without beans and pulses, and if I have to (*sobs*) I can also live without rum and coke.
For the next four weeks, it’s all about making sure I am eating perfectly within the rules of the diet so that afterwards, when I start re-introducing food, I know which foods are causing problems or not.