So you’ve decided to clean up your act, gastronomically speaking. You’re ditching the doughnuts, trashing the Taco Bell, and saying farewell to fries. You’re starting a healthy diet. In no time at all you’ll be a lean, mean, green-eating machine…right?
That’s the idea, but it doesn’t happen overnight. What’s more, though you’re changing your diet to change your body, making drastic alterations in the way you eat can have unexpected effects on your mind, as well.
And slimming down isn’t the only physical change you’ll experience when you embark on a healthy meal plan. You’ll likely notice some other new things going on with your body—and some of them might surprise you.
What kind of surprising side effects, you ask? Before you hit the farmer’s market to load up on all the kale a gal can stomach, check out a few below. Starting with…
1. Pooping Issues
It’s gross, but true. But hey, everybody poops! So we’ve got to talk about it. When you suddenly start eating a lot more roughage — fruits and vegetables — your bowels don’t quite know how to process them at first. All those healthy greens are a shock to the system initially. And the way your bowels react can vary quite a lot. All that healthy fiber can make you poop a ton…or it could totally block you up and you’ll suffer from constipation.
2. Noxious Gas
Since we’re on the subject of poop, we might as well talk gas. ‘Cause you might get it—and lots of it. Not only can adding a lot of healthy greens into your diet make you fart, it can also cause bloating and cramping. Just remember: Whoever smelt it, dealt it. That’s your story and you’re sticking to it.
3. Accidental Weight Gain
What’s this now?! There are bad fats and good fats, and healthy foods like avocado and certain nuts are high in good fats. But these kinds of healthy foods are also much higher in calories than you might expect a healthy food to be. If you don’t keep an eye on the caloric contents of the nourishing foods you’re eating, you might go overboard and, conversely, end up gaining some lbs.
4. Withdrawal-Like Symptoms
Okay, we’re not comparing Oreos to crystal meth or anything, but food addiction is a real thing. And when we’re used to having a lot of junk food in our diets — whether it’s salty or sweet snacks — and then suddenly go cold turkey, you can experience symptoms that feel pretty damn close to withdrawal. Allow yourself the occasional cheat. One Hershey’s Kiss isn’t going to kill you.
When you let a little kid eat a lot of chocolate cake at a birthday party, they experience a sugar high—and then, soon after, a swift sugar crash. A similar phenomenon can happen if your body is used to being fed foods that are high in sugar. If you cut it out, it can throw off your blood sugar levels and make you “crash,” resulting in a feeling of fatigue. Try drinking green tea to combat that midday slump.
Let’s face it: Like all things that are good for you, healthy eating can get boring. Being bad is so much more fun! After the initial excitement of starting a new diet plan wears off, you might find that meal planning and clean, healthy eating can start to get a bit monotonous. Try to incorporate recipes with interesting twists into your weekly menus to spice things up…and keep you from falling off the wellbeing wagon.
So Just Remember: Everything In Moderation
If you go too hard too fast, you’re more likely to fail. An extreme change in diet can cause the aforementioned side effects, plus headaches, irritability, and other not-so-fun feelings. Slow and steady wins the race! (And don’t forget a Hershey Kiss a day helps keep the cravings at bay.)