I’ve had clients tell me they tried an elimination diet on their own with no results. But it turned out most of them unknowingly made mistakes. For example, some eliminated wheat products like bread and pasta, but continued to eat other forms of wheat, such as cous cous, farro, and spelt. Others eliminated more foods than they needed to, which made them feel exhausted and famished. And since many forgot to check ingredient lists, they ended up eating a ton of soy or dairy additives without realizing it. To do the test right, it’s important to choose your foods strategically, follow through consistently, and make sure you’re getting balanced nutrition for the duration of the diet.

Health.com: The Gluten-Free Trend Is On the Rise, Even Though Celiac Disease Diagnoses Aren’t

5. Seek out expert guidance

An elimination diet can be an effective tool for discovering foods or beverages at the root of chronic health problems. And the results can truly be life-changing. But this kind of dietary shift is a big commitment, and needs to be executed correctly. So here’s my best advice: Don’t do it on your own. Seek out a registered dietitian nutritionist who is experienced with elimination diets, and allow him or her to guide you. For more tips, check out my post 6 Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist.

Do you have a question about nutrition? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning @goodhealth and @CynthiaSass.
Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her newest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This article originally appeared on Health.com