Diet fatigue is real and it can hit you at any time, especially during the holidays. For me personally, it hit several times during the 3 years it took for me to reverse my fatty liver. Once, it hit me right after the doctor told me I was doing great and my vitals had improved. Twice, it hit me when I got gravely injured/sick. The fact is, once you hit dieting fatigue it is very tough to get back into the grove and continue on your fatty liver journey. Often, you realize you have been doing badly after your next set of test results come out poor. Depending on which stage of fatty liver you are in, that may be detrimental. Hence, I am sharing some lessons I learned and the plan I followed to get back on the path to improving my liver.
This book on discipline really helped me keep my diet in check. I highly recommend it: The Power Of Discipline
1. Read the signs of fatty liver dieting fatigue
Believe it or not, while on a fatty liver diet, dieting fatigue sneaks up on you. Think of it as a burnout. You have been exercising so much for so long that your body and mind start craving something different. You find “loopholes” in your diet plan and slowly start sabotaging your diet. An extra snack here, additional meal portion there – it all starts adding up. It is essential to realize the signs that you are in diet fatigue and that your body and mind are craving something different.
Next step: Ask yourself – are you facing a Fatty Liver Diet Fatigue?
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2. Different doesn’t mean un-healthy
Something different doesn’t always need to be something bad. However, we tend to anchor to what we have known all our lives, and that “different” ends up being what we used to love sweet/fat/fried, etc i.e comfort food as we know it. However, craving something different could mean trying a different cuisine, spicing up your diet, changing up your meal plan, and adding different flavors. It could also mean giving yourself a tiny bit of a break to recover from burnout and manage your cheat schedule. When you “know” what you are doing, you have much more control over the outcome.
Next step: Dont confuse different with bad – try healthy different.
3. Note your weight don’t just monitor it
This is a defensive technique that quickly identifies when you may be going off-track. Weighing yourself on Sun/Tue/Thu is a great way to keep track of where you are headed. But DO NOT stop at just weighing yourself, NOTE down that weight every time. It helps you see trends that you may miss if you are only just observing the weight and recalling from memory.
Next step: Dont just weigh yourself, note your weight
4. Manage your cheat schedule during fatty liver dieting fatigue
Cheat schedule! Depending on where you are in your journey, you may be assigning yourself a cheat schedule. Once a week (which is where I am currently), once a month, or once every 6 weeks (which is where I started), etc. However, if you realize you are at burnout, changing up your cheat schedule (that could mean, changing the cheat day from a weekend to a weekday, or changing the frequency of cheat days) will help reduce the burn-out you feel and give you a much-needed reprieve from your diet grind. Since you are in control, you can always dial it back up after a month.
Next step: Increasing your number of cheat days for a few weeks may help reduce fatigue
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5. Remove distractions and add flavor to healthy items
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Remove all distractions – snacks, candies, drinks, sodas, and jams from your eyesight. Replace them with nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, and liver-friendly items. This becomes difficult for those with kids because kids eat all kinds of snacks, however, the more the not-so-good are out of sight, the more they will be out of mind. Add flavor to the healthy items with herbs, spices, yogurt, and peppers.
Next step: Mind is a muscle, so is willpower. Having them tested 24×7 will result in diet fatigue. Hide or throw all unhealthy foods, snacks, and sweets etc. and mix your food up with herbs, nuts and spices.
6. Note down what you did on your bad days
During your diet fatigue, there will be days when you just give up! You will eat everything in sight, overeat your meals and just plain go nuts. IT IS OK! Let’s move forward, but let’s please note it down so you can see how often you are doing it. Realizing and accepting you are on the wrong path is the first step to getting back on track. At least you will have a history of where you went wrong, and what kind of foods trigger your fatigue.
Next step: Forgive yourself. Share with a community (like Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook).
7. Review your notes every weekend
Don’t let those notes go wasted. Review them every weekend. Understand trends, find your triggers and see which items are repeat offenders (for me, it was fried spicy peanuts for example, out they went from my grocery list for the next 6 months).
Next step: Review your note on a Sunday and plan for the next week. Set clear goals
8. Manage holidays differently and be realistic
Holidays are a time for having fun. It is ok to let go a bit during the holidays and relax. However, remember that “quality” over “quantity” is the mantra. Just because you are letting go, doesn’t mean you can pig out. Eat the not-so-good stuff in moderation and make notes to keep yourself in check.
Next step: Enjoy holidays. Remember, cheat day means you can eat un-healthy food WITHIN moderation. Do not overeat.
Recommended Read: Are Protein Powders Too Processed For Fatty Liver Diet?
9. Listen to what your body is telling you
You know that feeling of bloatedness, tiredness, that pain in the side, that general tiredness – keep listening to your body. If you start seeing these symptoms, you know you have dialed it down too much and need to take immediate corrective actions.
Next step: If your Fatty Liver symptoms are returning. Take a deep breath and get back to a stricter routine.
10. Keep exercising and seek help
Finally, exercise doesn’t have to go away completely. You can reduce the intensity but keep at it. If you are having a tough time coming out of the fatigue, talk to someone. Depending on your situation, an experienced person can provide some tips and tricks to get back in shape. Do not wait too long before seeking help to beat the fatty liver dieting fatigue as the dieting fatigue can worsen your NAFLD.
Next step: Find ways to do exercise. Gentle to heavy exercises are ok.
How are you beating your dieting fatigue? Please Share with us.
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