Experiencing Headaches After Exercise
Unfortunately, sometimes when trying to lose weight, you may start to get headaches. Headaches can be experienced with any dietary changes or low-calorie diets. First and foremost: safe weight loss should not have any adverse side effects. To prevent headaches while losing weight there are a few factors to consider.
Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is a proven cause of headaches. Skipping meals or not eating frequently can lower your blood sugar drastically, leading to headaches. To avoid this, make sure you eat enough calories for your body weight and activity level. You need to fuel your body to lose weight: not eating enough will send your body into starvation mode and actually hurt your weight loss. Additionally, eating smaller meals throughout the day can keep your blood sugar at a more consistent level throughout the day, preventing the dips that cause headaches.
Low Carb Diets
Low carb diets have been proven to boost weight loss. Unfortunately, if you are getting headaches after changing your diet, one cause may be that you aren’t getting enough carbohydrates. You need about 130 grams of carbs a day; otherwise, you risk getting headaches, constipation, weakness, and bad breath. Focus on eating whole grains like lentils, beans, oatmeal, and brown rice. Avoid carbs like white rice, white flour, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
One of the biggest causes of headaches during weight loss journeys is dehydration. When you drastically change your diet and exercise more than you are used to, your body needs more water as you sweat it out. Make sure you are drinking water consistently throughout your day. Experts recommend drinking the equivalent of half your body weight. Drinking water before you eat will help you feel full for longer and help you stick to your dietary changes.
As always, check with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine. Headaches can be a chronic issue so check with your doctor if headaches persist despite drinking enough water, consuming enough calories and maintaining a safe weight loss schedule (~2 lbs per week).