As you change your habits, you’ll experience discomfort.
It’s bound to happen to some degree.
Learning to face and deal with discomfort is key to sticking with your plan.
If you have recently made drastic or even minor changes to your eating habits, you might be experiencing various levels of discomfort that could send you rebounding back to your old, unhealthy ways. While some of the discomforts could be physical, some could also be mental or emotional. If you want to lose weight successfully, then understanding and learning to live with various sources of discomfort is necessary.
Dealing With Physical Discomfort
If you change your diet to include more healthy foods and less of the fatty, sugary, salty choices that caused your weight gain, then it can take time for your system to adjust to this new way of eating. For example, eating more fiber from fruits and vegetables can lead to bloating and uncomfortable gas. Don’t give up, though!
Your body just needs time to adjust to the increase in fiber, and once it does, your digestive system will work more efficiently, and you won’t have these types of discomforts any longer.
When you make changes to your diet, try introducing new choices slowly and gradually, to give your gut microbiome time to adjust. Instead of dropping a whole lot of new foods and tons of fiber on your body all at once, build up to it, adding a few new things every day. And drink plenty of water, to help your system adjust to the new, healthier fiber and nutrient levels and flush out the chemicals and sugars from your old diet.
Giving up or cutting back on caffeine or sugar is another familiar habit change people make when trying to improve their health. Cutting caffeine cold turkey can lead to blinding withdrawal headaches, and cutting out sugar can lead to physical withdrawal, as well. Again, patience is needed and drink plenty of water. Within a few days, these temporary discomforts will pass, and you’ll start feeling better.
Adding exercise into your healthy routine also leads to a whole host of new aches and pains, as you start to use muscles that have weakened or grown apathetic over time. In this case, some pain is good. It tells you that you’re working the right muscles and have more work to do.
What About Mental and Emotional Discomfort
There are other reasons, though, why you may feel bad or uncomfortable when you try to make major changes to your way of eating. When you eliminate foods, especially those high in sugar, salt, and fat, you are depriving your brain of dopamine, which is that “happy or feel good” neurotransmitter that’s released when you eat foods high in these substances.
You’ve become addicted to this response over time with an unhealthy diet, and you’re likely to experience some intense cravings and responses when you cut these from your diet.
To curb these cravings and eliminate some of the moodiness and depression that can be associated with changes in your dopamine levels, you should make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep, spending time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, and getting some gentle exercise, like walking. Replace unhealthy snacks with healthier, whole-food options like fruit and plant-based proteins like nuts, to give your body the natural sugars and fats it needs to satisfy cravings.
Emotionally, you can become uncomfortable with significant changes in your diet and health routines for a wide variety of reasons. You may fear failure, you may lack the self-esteem to feel worthy of success, or you may not have the right mindset about what it means to be healthy and lose weight successfully. All of these can make you feel uncomfortable and resist continuing.
The key to dealing with all these sources of discomfort is patience and time. Change is hard, and it takes hard work and discipline, which is going to come with obstacles and create friction in your life.
Learning to become comfortable with this discomfort is necessary for staying the course and sticking to your goals to achieve successful weight loss.
Keeping your mind on the healthy, bright, vibrant vision of your future self will give you the strength you need to keep going!