Dating can be an exciting, yet challenging experience for everyone. But this can be especially difficult for those following the Low FODMAP diet as a way to manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Having dietary restrictions during a romantic dinner or date night requires thoughtful communication, meal planning, and sometimes a bit of creativity. In this blog post, we'll discuss the Low FODMAP Diet and why it might make dating more challenging while providing you with useful tips to keep the sparks flowing while still adhering to your restrictions. We'll also look at ways FODZYME® can help you embrace dining out with confidence - all without missing out on quality time together!
What is the Low FODMAP Diet?
The Low FODMAP Diet is a traditional and proven way to manage symptoms for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This diet can help manage symptoms like gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.
This diet eliminates certain carbohydrates found in everyday foods such as wheat, dairy, garlic, onions, and legumes that can cause gastrointestinal distress for some individuals.
Date night doesn't have to be complicated when you're avoiding FODMAPs
Date night doesn't have to be complicated when you're avoiding FODMAPs. With a bit of planning and creativity, it can still be relaxed and enjoyable! One great way to make sure your evening goes well is by doing some research ahead of time for restaurants that offer low-FODMAP options.
It also helps to communicate your dietary restrictions with your date, so they know what's safe for you to eat.
Last but not least, why not add some extra romance with homemade low-FODMAP treats like low-FODMAP brownies or lactose-free ice cream? Date night doesn’t have to mean surrendering all the deliciousness - just get creative and plan ahead!
Challenges while dating with dietary restrictions
The biggest struggle is likely finding restaurants that offer dishes within your dietary restrictions while still allowing you to enjoy quality time with your partner or friends. Additionally, it can be difficult to know how to explain your situation without feeling embarrassed or judged by those who don’t understand the need for such a restrictive diet. Thankfully, there are strategies available to help make dating easier even when following a special diet – just remember that having these restrictions doesn’t have to stop you from having meaningful experiences together!
When seeking a new romantic partner, individuals often engage in social behaviors that are oriented toward food, most notably dining out at restaurants.
The pressures of balancing adherence to a diet while pursuing a romantic relationship may pose unique challenges that incite a range of emotions, including elevated anxiety.
Individuals may develop increased levels of social anxiety, decreased quality of life, and less adaptive eating attitudes and behaviors.
This may result in different perspectives on dating, and even foster different approaches toward finding a partner.
The biggest struggle when dating on a low FODMAP diet is dining out, according to 37% of people*, followed by bathroom habits, which can be awkward and disruptive.
People also find it difficult to open up without feeling embarrassed or judged by a romantic partner who may not be familiar with the extent of discomfort your dietary limits can bring.
Some of us feel embarrassed to discuss our dietary restrictions with our romantic partners, others are afraid of making themselves seem high-maintenance.
When asked about how often they felt uncomfortable disclosing their dietary restrictions, 65% of people agreed that it happened a few times*.
Here are some tips and tricks to make FODMAP-friendly date night a breeze
1. Communicate with your partner
The pressures of trying to balance diets and dating can be overwhelming, especially if you have food sensitivities or allergies. It’s difficult enough to navigate a new relationship while also managing dietary restrictions – whether that’s following a vegan diet, avoiding gluten-containing foods, or adhering to the Low FODMAP Diet.
Not only do you feel pressure to choose restaurants where both of your dietary needs will be met, but it can also be embarrassing explaining why certain dishes are off-limits without coming across as high-maintenance or picky. If either person feels like their dietary needs aren’t being acknowledged or respected by the other partner, it can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and resentment which may eventually cause strain in the relationship.
To start, consider explaining your condition or dietary restrictions prior to the date to get that out of the way and off your chest. It is important for couples who have different eating habits to communicate openly about what works best for them when dining together, so there isn’t any miscommunication or hurt feelings.
By having honest conversations about expectations and respecting each other's boundaries when it comes to food choices, couples can work together towards finding common ground that allows them both to enjoy their meals without compromising on health goals and personal values. With patience and understanding from both parties, relationships involving special diets don't have to suffer from added stress caused by conflicting nutritional requirements.
2. Plan a cooking night together
With a little creativity, date night can be fun and enjoyable for everyone. You can offer to cook or suggest a cooking night together - it will make it easy to comply with the low FODMAP diet while having fun. For example, why not plan an indoor picnic or dinner in the living room? You can still make it romantic by lighting some candles and putting on your favorite music.
There's always a way to work around it - just prepare low-FODMAP dishes that both of you will love. And don't forget dessert - try making gluten-free brownies with lactose-free ice cream for an extra special treat. Date night doesn’t have to mean giving up all the deliciousness - just get creative and it'll be sure to be an evening that no one will ever forget.
3. Plan ahead of time
With a bit of planning, dating on the low FODMAP diet doesn’t have to be a challenge. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions of restaurants with menus that accommodate both of your diets – this way neither person has to miss out on their favorite meals.
If possible try and plan ahead for dates involving food – you can plan a picnic and bring snacks or meals packed in advance. This will allow you to stay in control of what ingredients go into each dish and eliminate any surprises.
If your partner suggests the restaurant, you can skim up the menu ahead of time so there are no surprises. Alternatively, you can call or email the restaurant ahead of time.
If all else fails, you can always get to the date early and speak with the restaurant staff to avoid the tedious conversation later.
4. Use FODZYME® with confidence
You can use FODZYME® to enjoy foods high in GOS, lactose, and fructan. Its formula brings instant results by breaking down FODMAPs that can trigger abdominal pain, excessive gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
FODZYME® enzyme blend can be a great help when it comes to date night and following a low FODMAP diet. This enzyme blend breaks down certain indigestible carbohydrates, so they don’t cause digestive distress.
Bringing some FODZYME® along with you to the restaurant can give you peace of mind that whatever food you decide to enjoy won't trigger any unwanted symptoms. On top of this, these enzyme blend stick packs are convenient and easy to carry, which makes them perfect for taking out on the town!
With FODZYME, your date night can still be enjoyable while staying within your dietary restrictions, as well as being a fun ice-breaker.
The bottom line
Keeping the sparks flying when you’re on a restrictive diet can be challenging - but it doesn’t have to be! One way to make sure your relationship stays exciting and vibrant is by getting creative when it comes to planning dates.
Instead of just going out for dinner or grabbing takeout, try something new like cooking together at home using ingredients that fit within your dietary restrictions. Not only will this help you both bond over a shared activity, but it also gives you the opportunity to experiment with different flavors and recipes that are still healthy – all while being mindful of each other's dietary needs.
Another great idea is trying out fun activities outside of mealtimes such as taking a dance class or visiting an art gallery – this can be especially helpful if one partner has more restricted eating habits than the other. Diversifying date night options will keep things interesting for both partners. Plus, finding mutually enjoyable ways to spend time together without food as the focus shows how much effort you’re willing to put into making your relationship work even with any dietary restrictions present.
Last but not least, using FODZYME® can help you enjoy any meal that contains lactose, galacto-oligosaccharides, or fructan (think pizza, pasta, dishes rich in onion and garlic, wheat products, and much more) without the fear of the unwanted symptoms. Instead of creating any awkward feelings by interrogating the waiter, just sprinkle the contents of a single-dose FODZYME® stick pack on your meal, stir, and enjoy.
There are the pressures of balancing diets and dating, communicating your dietary restrictions with your partner, and navigating the difficulties of going out to eat. However, by understanding what is involved in a low FODMAP diet and utilizing tips for dating while on the diet you will be able to make more informed decisions when it comes to balancing both relationships and dietary needs. Furthermore, with products such as FODZYME that make it easier to go out to restaurants while following a low FODMAP diet, there are options available that can help keep the sparks flowing even when you have dietary restrictions!
This article is based on the content of a live webinar, How to navigate dating on a low FODMAP diet, hosted by Kiwi Biosciences in partnership with Jessica Lebovits, RD, CDN.
For a full list of tips and valuable insights, you can get our handout here.