Why I’m Giving Up Elimination Diets: Caffeine

Several years ago , elimination diets were popular. I remember when I came out into the post college world and noticed that I had a few extra pounds I opted to do an elimination type of diet. Elimination diet you would choose some food category that you thought was your main problem why you were gaining weight and eliminate it from a couple to a few months. Some people simply became comfortable and just permanently eliminated the food from their diet. In my case, my problem was caffeine and I decided for two and half months to eliminate it from my diet to encourage weight loss. Sounds like a good idea? I know I thought it was because I was thinking about tea, chocolate and soda. Eliminate it and possibly loose some pounds. Well, it turned out to be a little tougher than what I thought about a regular diet. The following are three reasons why it failed with me:

  • 1. Not An Easy Diet. Even though I decided to eliminate three items: tea, chocolate and soda, I found there was a lot of reading with a non-caffeine diet. Yes, I was reading ingredients labels because there was a lot of items that I was used to eating or drinking that had quite a bit of caffeine in it. I’m not just talking about that occasional afternoon candy bar or container of chocolate milk. According to the National Institutes of Health, caffeine is a naturally occurring element which is in more than 60 plants ( NIH, 2005). So, even though I thought I was eliminating the major part of caffeine in my diet, I was still getting caffeine just not as much. I also learned that your body naturally makes caffeine.
  • 2. Water Can Also Be Suspect. I found drinking regular water or bottled water without flavoring was okay. However, sweeten water or energy water is also a source of caffeine as well. Especially those with gurana which is made from a Brazilian plant which is a natural source of caffeine.
  • 3. Many pre-package foods have caffeine . While reading labels, I discovered that many pre-packaged foods have caffeine. I also found that caffeine is also used in foods to encourage weight loss. However, because I was doing a non-caffeine diet some of my favorite weight loss pre-packaged foods were now on the off list. I decided I would be better off to transition to home cooked meals with plenty of green vegetables.

Two and a half months and seven pounds off later, I was frustrated because I thought I would’ve lost more weight which didn’t happen. However, what did happen was that I became more knowledgeable about what was in the food and beverages that I consumed. More importantly, I learned that an elimination type diet doesn’t work well without exercise. The eliminating part was just a part of the puzzle.


Caffeine In The Diet. Retrieved from Medline Plus on November 25, 2013. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002445.htm.

Yoquinto, Luke. January 27, 2012. The Truth About Guarana. Retrieved from Live Science on November 30, 2013. http://www.livescience.com/36119-truth-guarana.html

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