Congratulations! You have started a sensible diet and training program, way to go! Unfortunately, very quickly you begin to experience some things that are uncomfortable. These are signs that your diet is working! Here's a few tips and tricks to manage these uncomfortable symptoms and stay on track.
1. Hunger (actual and emotional) - this will probably be the first thing you notice!
A certain amount of actual hunger is appropriate at times throughout your day. Most of us will never know real starvation hunger, so no need to panic! The key is to notice the sensations your body is feeling, accept them and focus on everything else in your day. Drink lots of water, herbal or green teas can help too. Know that this hunger is a GOOD THING! Every time you feel hungry, think to yourself, "Relax, my body is letting go of un-needed fat"
Emotional hunger is a different (but very real) thing. As you begin to change your eating habits, you will become aware of occasions that you like to eat for other reasons than to fuel your body. Eating for other reasons in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing -- but if what you were doing before was not producing the results you want, then of course this needs to change.
Eating is an enjoyable experience! We eat to celebrate, we eat when we are stressed, we eat together with our families and friends as a part of enjoying each other's company, etc. Now when you have a plan you are following, you need to be prepared to know what to do when different occasions come up.
If everyday you feel stressed or overwhelmed at some point and you reach for something sweet, starchy or salty -- then this of course is not a habit that promotes health and wellness. So what do you do? First, acknowledge you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and then you CHOOSE not to let your emotions dictate your behavior. Easier said than done at first, I know -- but I promise you, you will not die if you do not eat that bowl of cereal or whatever it is you want :) Instead, chamomile tea is an excellent choice at that time -- it will promote relaxation in your body and help you to be calm and feel good -- and that is what you were trying to do with the emotional eating anyway! Over time you will retrain your brain to know that when you are stressed or overwhelmed, you need to calm down - not dive into a box of thin mints. It is about letting go of the stress - not trying to fight it.
2. Muscle Soreness
This is something you will adjust to, and like the hunger, a certain amount of muscle soreness is appropriate. You do NOT need to workout so hard that you are in serous pain the next few days! Your muscles should feel tight and somewhat sore - but if it is unbearable, you over did it. Next time back off a bit.
Here's some options other than Tylenol or Advil that will help:
Epsom Salt (use 2-4 cups) baths for at least 20 min will help relax spastic muscles.
Calcium/Magnesium supplement will help relax spastic muscles.
Turmeric is an awesome anti-inflammatory.
No one likes to feel tired, and when you are losing weight at times you will feel a bit tired. This is ok as long as you are not experiencing extreme fatigue. When you are tired it is NOT a sign that you need more coffee or energy drink! Moderate caffeine intake is fine - but if you find you are needing more to get through the day - This is a sign that you need to take it easy and back off.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep and you are not over training or eating in too much of a caloric deficit. If you are so tired that you could drink a cup of coffee and take a nap, you are over-doing it! If you are so sluggish that while grocery shopping you feel like you are walking through sand -- you are really over-doing it! Take steps to rest and recover, re-evaluate your plan and make appropriate changes.
4. Frequent Urination
Gotta pee all the time, especially at night? This is a good sign that your body is ridding itself of excess water and fat! Annoying, yes - but keep up with drinking lots of water and following your plan - It is working!
5. Changes in Body Temperature
You know your metabolism is running high when you are hotter than usual. Sometimes there's a surge of heat later in the day after you worked out in the morning. Then on the other side - if you get really lean, you will be colder than normal because of less bodyfat. For a healthy lean person this is not a problem. If you are experiencing coldness, extreme fatigue, hairloss, trouble losing weight etc - then you need to get your thyroid checked, those symptoms could be hypothyroid.
Here's 5 Uncomfortable Signs you are on your way to reaching your goal! The more you accept them and are ok with them - the easier this journey will be.