[Article originally published in Breaking Muscle]
How often have you finished a delicious meal, only later hours later to be plagued by uncomfortable bloating or an upset stomach? Perhaps your favorite treats routinely cause your stomach and digestive system to feel distressed, or maybe you notice a decrease in your energy levels during workouts after eating particular foods. We’ve all experienced unintentional consequences due to the consumption of specific foods—some of us more than others.
Naturally, when this occurs many of us want to fulfill our inner detective and uncover the mystery. It’s a bit trickier to do this than it might seem at first. When the cause of the problem is unclear, most people begin by eliminating what they believe to be the culprit. However, without an accurate way to evaluate exactly what this problem food is, you may not discover whether the food you eliminated was actually the solution to your problem—instead of some other confounding change you made to your diet in the process.
What follows are some guidelines to help you perform your own dieting experiments, accurately and effectively, to help uncover any food mysteries that might strike. It will be helpful for those plagued by constant negative side effects from their eating, as well as for anyone who simply wants to maximize their performance in the gym.
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