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How to Use
Physicians’ Elemental Diet

Initial Use

Before you begin the program, make sure to work with your healthcare practitioner to establish a plan based on your unique nutritional needs. A typical approach is using the program for 2-3 weeks when symptomatic or as deemed appropriate by your healthcare practitioner. Begin your program in the evening before your first full day so you feel relaxed and have adequate time to establish a routine. We also recommend starting the program on a weekend if possible.


Typical dosing is 12 scoops per day, based on an 1,800-calorie diet.††

††Work with your healthcare practitioner to determine your nutritional needs.


Mix each scoop thoroughly with 7-8 oz. water (cold or room temperature, depending on preference). Additional water may be added to the mixture or consumed separately as desired.


Drink slowly over the course of an hour. At first, try consuming your first meal during a one-hour TV show with commercials. Take a sip or single gulp at the beginning of the show and continue to sip or gulp during each commercial break. Repeat as needed throughout the day. 


After opening, store remaining powder in a dry place at room temperature. To save time, you can also premix an entire day’s worth of the diet into containers and store for up to 24 hours.

A person reading


Research has shown that benefits on intestinal function can be measured after a 14-day period, so two weeks is typical, but continuing the diet for up to 21 days is not uncommon.Work with your healthcare practitioner to monitor your progress and determine what duration of use is best for you.

If you’re unsure where to begin and are new to treatment, many healthcare professionals recommend the 14-day program for the dietary management of your condition. 

If you have tried several treatment options without success, you should start with the 21-day protocol.

Length of use can be monitored by breath tests and clinical need, so work with your healthcare practitioner to figure out how long to maintain the diet.


You’ve got this! These helpful tips and tricks will set you up for success.

Make the diet part of your life

If you’re feeling bored, try blending the diet with more ice for a “piña colada” feel. You can also add more water to change up the flavor concentration.

Add Physicians’ Elemental Diet to a fun glass bottle or a mason jar to make it more portable and convenient.

The diet may be consumed a few times a day like larger meals, more frequently like smaller snacks, or some combination of the two, depending on what your practitioner recommends. Change it up until you find a method that works best for you.

Self-Care & Emotional Support

Plan social time around activities like bowling, the movies, an art class, or mini golf, not food.

Give your mind and body time to adapt and heal. If you can take some time off from work or work remotely, it may be helpful as your body adapts to the diet.

Do something nice for yourself, like taking a hot bath, going shopping, reading a book, or getting a massage.

If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, try incorporating meditation or journaling into your wellness routine to help calm and quiet your mind.

Pro Tip: If you experience constipation, adjust the amount of water you’re using.

A person cooking

Transitioning Back to Food

Reintroducing food after an elemental diet requires care and patience to avoid discomfort and recurrence of symptoms. Follow these easy tips.

Work with your healthcare practitioner to establish an eating plan post-elemental diet.  

Reintroduce foods one at a time to establish tolerance.

Begin with something mild, like chicken or veggie broth, to see how your body responds.

It may take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to learn which foods are well-tolerated by your body after the diet. 

1. Pimentel M, Constantino T, Kong Y, Bajwa M, Rezaei A, Park S. A 14-day elemental diet is highly effective in normalizing the lactulose breath test. Dig Dis Sci. 2004;49(1):73-77.