Side Effects of Dieting: What Really Happens to Your Body When You Diet?
Diets are like vacation destinations. They’re a departure from normal life, intended to give you momentary bliss. And as badly as we want them to last, they don’t. We always come back to “normal” — not because we want to, but because we have to. While about half of Americans report they’re trying to lose weight, 73% remain overweight or obese.
Why isn’t it working?
The truth is, diets are not sustainable — especially elimination diets. Most people assume they’ll be horrible… and often the side effects are! But diets are not meant to be long-term. In fact, they should be 30-90 days at most.
Short-term fad diets may help you reach your weight loss goal, but once you’ve achieved it, what’s next?
At their best, diets are biohacking processes. They’re a chance for you to learn what works well for you and what doesn’t. If you incorporate diets like Atkins, Keto, and Paleo incrementally in short durations, you’ll avoid some of the negative side effects of dieting and start to figure out what works.
(Or we can test your genetics and tell you definitively what your body needs.)
The goal is to understand what your body needs long-term. Then, you can create a way of eating that works for both you and your body without making you feel tortured.
What Happens in Extreme Dieting?
Extreme diets shock our systems. We naturally create food habits for ourselves — some are good and others are not. Because of these habits, our bodies learn to expect certain foods.
When you take away what you’re used to, your body goes through withdrawals. Wonder why your cravings feel so intense at the beginning of a diet? Your body isn’t getting the refined sugars or harmful chemicals it’s grown used to, but the bad bacteria are still trying to survive. So, they multiply, sending messages to your body that it needs whatever you’ve eliminated, making your cravings increase even more.
It’s the same withdrawal process an addict experiences. These side effects of dieting make your body feel tired, your brain seem foggy, and ultimately cause you to give up.
Stop Dieting, Start Making Incremental Changes
The better alternative to dieting is to make gradual lifestyle changes that give your body time to adapt. As we’ve come to know them, diets are temporary — and so are the results. You can’t sustain an extreme diet and neither can your body. If you want a healthier life, you have to make sustainable dietary changes. Otherwise, the body changes you experience during a concentrated period of weight loss won’t last.
The key is becoming aware and realizing what fuel is best for you. You could do this through:
- Experimenting with multiple short-term diets incrementally to learn which is best suited for your body;
- Learning your genetic predispositions.
OrWe’re all very different, and when we have a genetic understanding of how your body processes fat and turns over cells, we can cheat the experimental process and gradually move to food choices that will work best for your system. For example, if we see that your body doesn’t genetically process fat well, ketosis isn’t going to be a good option for you.
The biggest mistake people make with their food intake is not actually understanding what their bodies want.
To achieve the body changes you want to see during weight loss, you have to feed your body the right foods. You wouldn’t put diesel fuel into your unleaded car and expect it to run well, and the same is true with your body.
With your genetic information, we can better understand how you best metabolize, utilize, and absorb nutrients into the cells. Then, you can fuel it with the food your body needs to run optimally.
NOTE: While diet and nutrition do play a vital role in your health, they’re not the only factors you should consider. Exercise, rest, and hydration are also critical to making positive body changes during weight loss. You can eat well, but you also have to move, go on walks, and breathe fresh air to help your body change in the ways that are best. All of these factors contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Health is about more than food. Just because you eliminate soft drinks or sweets doesn’t mean you’ve solved your problems.
The “Right Diet” Timeline
How long does it take your body to adjust to a new diet? If you gradually introduce positive changes (rather than shocking the system with a sudden all-in experimental diet), you give your body time to adapt.
Following the right diet will look something like this:
The First Week
Once you know what your body really needs, you can focus on putting nutrients back into the body in a sustainable way.
During the first week, your body begins to adapt to these changes. Many people don’t feel a major shift, but everyone will feel a little different. It depends on your starting point.
For most people, the first week is easy. You might start noticing a slight increase in energy and a little more mental clarity. Sleep may improve and you may recover more quickly from your workouts.
Or, you could experience the complete opposite. If you’ve been extremely unhealthy, you may notice more major changes. In fact, this first week could be really tough. You could have extreme brain fog, nausea, and intense cravings. Your body is trying to adjust.
The First Month
After the first week, you’ll begin to notice the sustainability of what you’re doing. You’re getting more done because your energy stays up.
During these weeks, you’ll likely notice more body changes and weight loss. Your body is excited — this is a good change! Energy improves, your mind clears, sleep improves, and you’ll feel great after exercise.
All in all, the first month is fabulous.
After Three Months
At this point, you’re sustained, but you likely won’t see many new changes.
Your body has adapted and is working better cellularly and metabolically. It’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Your body found its new, sustainable norm.
How Long Does It Take Your Body to Adjust to a New Diet?
Give your body a minimum of 3-4 months to find its happy place and for cells to work on a more optimal level. Don’t expect your body to fully heal from inflammation and dysfunction in 30 days. It takes cells in the body 90-120 days to regenerate.
We all want to know when we’re going to lose weight or feel great — but that’s the wrong question. Instead of focusing on when you’ll see results, focus on how to get better at listening to your body.
Everyone wants to see results. If you control the subtle, sustainable changes, results will come in time. Your body will let you know when it’s better. You’ll start to feel good, think clearly, and sleep well regularly. And you’ll learn to recognize when something knocks you back. Maybe you eat a piece of cake and wake up the next morning feeling terrible. Now you know.
The right diet makes those messages a little more clear. Our bodies are telling us what they need. We just need to learn how to be better listeners.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 403-540-0304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the best pricing on Uforia tests and supplements here.
In good health,
Sydney Macleod, BSc.
* Original post by UFORIA Social
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