Possible Side Effects of Dieting and How to Cope with Them

Since diets are a strict food-management program that demand your complete attention, there are some potential side effects or emotional states that might pop up for you. Many of these suggestions are simply common sense and require only that you take care of yourself and be aware of your emotional and physical states.

Lack of energy

If you find yourself feeling tired in the afternoon, try to schedule a break or some downtime. If you have a choice about when to begin a diet, choose a period where you do not have a lot of stressful demands placed upon you or a lot of activities scheduled. If you need to begin a diet immediately to get ready for a wedding or family event two or three weeks from the present, don’t overload yourself with unnecessary responsibilities. As much as possible, try to kick back and give yourself a break.

Sugar cravings

Whenever you remove carbohydrates from a food plan, you might possibly experience some kind of sugar craving. I always tell my clients, “You can overcome the urge for sugar by eating a few grapes or a couple of pieces of frozen pineapple or banana. Another good strategy is to make flavored ice by filling an ice cube tray with Kool-Aid sweetened with NutraSweet.” One client of mine told me she made a cup of Good Earth Tea when she craved something sweet. It has absolutely no sugar in it, but contains stevia, an herb with a very sweet taste.


Anxiety and being quick-tempered

When a person goes on a low-calorie food plan, he or she often experiences heightened levels of anxiety and quick-temperedness. Part of this is because of the lower levels of sugar in your blood stream from eating fewer carbohydrates and calories and from the stress of having to pay more attention to your foods than you ever have before.

There are several things I can suggest to alleviate anxiety and feeling quick-tempered. First, when you know you are about to say something angry or sarcastic, take a few deep breaths, count to ten, and think before you speak. Make sure that you get at least seven, preferably eight, hours of sleep every night-lack of sleep will make you less able to handle your emotions. Sometimes a person will feel anxious when everything around them seems to be moving too fast. Close your office door for five minutes and take a breather, or find a quiet place to settle down for a few minutes so that you can find your mental balance again.

When you feel on edge, take a moment to tell yourself that this food plan is your choice and that you are doing the very best you can. No one is forcing you to do it. You have chosen this aggressive type of food plan because you know the rewards will be great. Also remember that this won’t last forever, just for a short period of time. The you could begin a food program for your metabolic type and your anxiety levels and irritability will subside.

Increased muscle soreness.

You may notice that your muscles feel a bit sorer than usual after exercising because you don’t have as much food as you usually do to repair them. Again, realize that this is only temporary and that you have the option of pulling back your level of exercise for a couple of weeks if you want to.

Frank Girard

Frank Girard, is a health educator and expert in the field of weight loss and dieting. He over 10 years of experience in writing obesity-related articles in various magazines and blogs. On his personal website his has published 4 simple tips that can help you lose belly fat fast.

One thought on “Possible Side Effects of Dieting and How to Cope with Them

  • March 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Frank, I enjoyed your article. Do you think the paradigm of restrictive dieting is flawed? The success of restrictive dieting is very poor as the reason people have a weight issue in the first place isn’t addressed. Love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks again


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