So why does a new diet of good foods make you feel bad?

Even though it seems counterintuitive, switching to cleaner, healthier foods can make you feel sick, at first.

Yes, you read that correctly. No one really likes to talk about it, but a diet change can cause you to feel worse instead of better in the beginning.

In my work, I share a lot of nutritional advice. And what I’ve learned is, slow and steady wins the race. Change takes time.

Let me explain.

We all know a balanced, healthy diet is the foundation we build strong, nourished bodies on. Your diet affects your mood, your energy, your endurance, as well as your ability to act and react in life. The foods you eat regularly can set you up to feel vibrant and alive, or dull and numb.

So why does a new diet of good foods make you feel bad?

The way I explain it is, after you start to eat a healthier diet —or even start juicing or drinking green smoothies — your body begins to take in more nutrients. This means the contents of your gut become cleaner. As a result, your blood becomes cleaner, too.

After years and years of unstable nutritional behavior, you accumulate metabolic waste materials in your connective tissues. Your body, in general, is designed to maintain a balance. In response to a new, cleaner diet, your body will dump the accumulated bad stuff out of your connective tissues into your blood stream for removal. Think of it as taking out the trash.

Your blood carries these waste products to your liver so they can be packaged and eliminated from your body through urine, sweat, or feces.

The more drastic the change you make to your diet is, the more careful you should be. For example, if you suddenly switch to whole foods after years of subsiding on potato chips, soda, and sweets, you’re in for a rude awakening. Your body must work overtime to remove the toxins and wastes.

When you put that much pressure on your detoxification system, which consists of your lungs, skin, liver, kidney, and intestines, you will feel it.

You might experience some or all of the following:
Itching on the backside of your upper arms or on your shins
Nausea or diarrhea (or both)
Skin eruptions
Bladder infection
Kidney pain or infection
Increased coughing

Yes, in spite of all the good nutrients you consume with your new, healthy diet, you will probably feel some form of discomfort at first. That is normal. But don’t push too far.

The itchiness might indicate that your liver and kidneys are working overtime and have had enough. Mild headaches are common, as is feeling tired. The detox process expends a lot of energy.

The good news is, the symptoms should pass after 3 to 4 days. If they remain longer or become more intense, stop and go back to your old way of eating until the symptoms disappear. Then, start again, but take it more slowly next time.

The truth that no one wants to reveal is, a real, deep detoxification process takes month or sometimes years.

And inevitably, you will fall of the wagon. It’s normal. You are only human, after all. The key to transiting to a clean, healthy diet is to start slowly. And when you fail, start again. And again. And again. Never give up on yourself or your health for good.

With time, you’ll begin to notice your cravings change; your tastes change, too. Miraculously, at some point, you start to crave all the good stuff and walk away from sweets without batting an eye.

So remember, the first few days of a new diet are the worst. You will doubt yourself and your new choices. But, don’t give up. Your symptoms will last for short time. Then, you begin to feel amazing.

The best way to proceed is to move slowly. The takes time, so stick with it.

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