Constantly Changing Your Diet May Cause Mental Fatigue


Man standing looking at contents of fridge

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There’s an overwhelming number of diets that claim to help with weight loss: Atkins, keto, Weight Watchers, and plant-based. And it’s not uncommon for dieters to jump from one buzzy plan to the next after they get tired of a particular style of eating. But this strategy can leave you with major diet fatigue, says Abby Langer, R.D.

“You could be emotionally grinding yourself down,” she explains. “If it’s so bad that you can’t even sustain it for a week or two that says a lot about the diet, right?”

What’s more, restricting foods may leave you dreaming of pasta—or brownies, or chips.

“You’re more likely to hyper focus on it [food],” says Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital. This could trigger binge eating because you zone in on how good the food tastes. Physically, you likely won’t do any damage, says Boehmer. “The human body is amazing and it can tolerate all of the things you throw at it,” she explains.

Still, she says it’s best to avoid switching between extremes, like going from the high-fat keto diet to a low-fat diet. That’s because at this point you’ll be going in and out of different metabolic states.

“Your body is changing from predominantly using fat to predominately using carbohydrates,” says Boehmer.

This abrupt change could leave you fatigued, moody, and hungry.

Even non-keto dieters may experience gastrointestinal problems like bloating and gas if they jump to a high-fiber diet, says Langer. She warns that constantly changing your diet may leave you tired and undernourished if you’re not eating enough calories or nutrients.

So what should you try? Langer recommends thinking about your goals and expectations before starting any new eating style. Then, give yourself three months to track progress and whether or not you actually enjoy the new plan.


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