How to Power Through Transitioning to a Healthy Diet
If you’ve been patient and consistent enough with changing your diet this month, congratulations! Sometimes people think they’ll feel better right away, but if you’ve had headaches, felt tired, or found it hard to concentrate, don’t worry. It’s totally normal when you start to eat a better diet to experience symptoms that are similar to withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. “Your body needs time to go through a ‘detox’ period,” CrossFit SoBro Coach Roberto Murichi said. “Your body is addicted to those bad foods, and so you go through a period where you crave those bad things.”
One way to deal with the hunger that naturally comes with that is to increase your intake of natural fats to help feel more full until the body adjusts to the absence of carbs. Natural fats include olive, fish and coconut oils, the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds, as well as foods like avocados. “It takes time for the body to learn to burn fat as fuel instead of relying on a constant intake of carbs,” he added.
Here’s what one nutritionist has also said about common symptoms:
The number one thing I always hear about transitioning to a healthier diet is bloating, gas, and having an upset stomach,” says our nutrition director, Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN. Normally, when you fill up on foods high in sugar and caffeine, you feel their energizing effects immediately — they are instantaneous uppers. But as soon as your blood sugar drops, you experience one heck of a crash, meaning you might reach for another chocolate bar or soda sooner.
When you eat healthier, your body will slowly give off more sustained energy over time. Because you’re not getting that immediate boost of energy, you could feel a little more tired than usual, and maybe even have a headache. But resist those chips! You will feel better eventually. And drinking plenty of water can help.
Here’s another link with more ideas on how to cope with the symptoms of detox as you pursue a healthy diet. And last but not least, you should read Mat Lalonde’s experience about pushing through adjusting to a Paleo diet while doing CrossFit, the “sluggish” first two weeks and the fat loss around his abdomen that resulted, along with the gains at his box, in the third week of sticking to the Paleo regimen.
Hang in there!