When you're starting a program of eating healthy, but start to feel bad after a few days, it may not be a coincidence. Your cells have a lot of projections coming off them that actually makes them look like pin cushions. The pins or projections are actually receptors that affect the cell behavior. They tell the cell whether to make or or less of a chemical, create a health risk or determine how you feel. The chemicals the receptors receive determine it. They may be nutrients, hormones or neurotransmitters. If you're ingesting substances that aren't good for you, the chemicals might include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, sodium or food additives. Switching from junk food to a healthy diet changes the cell's normal situation to one that's abnormal.
If you've ever given up sugar and then eaten more than a little at one sitting, you know how it feels.
When you have a lot of added sugar throughout the day, it's your normal. However, if you've never had sugar, or don't eat much, then really overdo with candy bars, colas, cake and ice cream, you've probably experienced a sugar buzz, maybe even get a little sick. If you do it two days in a row or follow the sugar low that you eventually get, that buzz and sick feeling isn't as bad. Little by little your body adjusts and too much sugar becomes the normal. Your cells change how your body functions and you need that sugar high to feel normal.
Take that sugar away and now you how cellular conflict.
Your body has worked hard to feel normal, even though you're not feeding it everything it needs and too much sugar. It's made the changes to allow your poor eating habits to be interpreted as feeling good. Now that you've quit, there's different information to the cells and change the way respond. It doesn't feel normal and you don't feel good. It takes a while for the receptors and cells to change over and recover, as much as a week, but once they do, you'll start feeling good again. The same occurs when you go on a keto diet. Your body takes time to make the switch.
There are other reasons you might feel sick.
Cutting alcohol, dairy, gluten and sugar from your diet might make you feel like you have the flu. It could be from the change at a cellular level as noted previously, or from a change in your microbiome. Your microbiome are the critters in your body, which include candida, a fungus, that normally appears in your body, but it can get out of control and overproduce for a number of reasons, one of which is overuse of antibiotics. Candida-die-off, also called Herxheimer reaction, comes from too many yeast dying at once, releasing endotoxins, which creates inflammation and an autoimmune response.
- Candida-die-off releases 70 different toxins and produces symptoms that include foggy brain, fatigue, sinus problems, insomnia, digestive issues, anxiety, dizziness, fever, chills and even swollen glands.
- Some people suggest a water fast for a day or two before switching to clean eating as a system reset. You'll still go through a bad feeling, but you can blame it on the fast, not healthy eating.
- Smokers and addicts of all types undergo the same withdrawal symptoms, but often longer. Nicotine, alcohol and drugs are their normal and going without makes them feel bad.
- People who switch to a keto diet often have the Keto-flu when they first switch. It comes from the change of burning glucose to burning fat. It lasts up to a week. Drink plenty of water, exercise and sleep to make it easier to transition.