Possible Side Effects & Symptoms
*NOTE: Most of the time, our clients report feeling energized and better than they did prior to starting this program however, if you are ill or do not feel well, see your doctor. Unless your doctor says otherwise, you should be able to continue on plan, as most symptoms experienced are temporary. Whenever you change your eating habits in any way, sometimes the body may react.
If you have questions, talk to your Health Coach.
Some individuals may experience leg cramps on the program. If you are on medications you will want to have these monitored and adjusted accordingly throughout your weight loss program.
· Try having bouillon or a PCMR Soup, or zero carb/calorie sports drink to replenish sodium and electrolytes.
· Make sure to keep well hydrated
· Do not arbitrarily add potassium to your program without first consulting with your doctor. You will want to have labs done to determine how much (if any) potassium should be added. Adding inappropriate amounts of potassium can potentially affect heart rhythms.
· Add veggies high in potassium like tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli. Salmon is also a good source of potassium.
Preventing nighttime leg cramps:
· Stretch your calf muscles before going to bed. Press your toes against a wall, hold for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat.
· Keep blankets and sheets loose at the foot of the bed to keep your toes from pointing downward while you sleep.
· Consider taking a calcium supplement before bed.
· If you get a cramp in your calf, flex your foot up (toes toward your head) and hold until the cramp stops. Apply heat to the affected area, or massage.
Preventing cramps when you exercise
· Stretch and warm up for 10 to 15 minutes before exercising.
· Don’t overdo your exercise: 30 to 45 minutes is adequate when you’re in the weight-loss phase of the Program.
· Drink plenty of water. Excessive perspiration can cause you to lose sodium and potassium, resulting in a cramp.
· Don’t exercise on a full stomach.
Dizziness, light-headedness, Fatigue
· If you feel dizzy, light-headed, or extra tired, try having a PCMR Soup, bouillon, or zero carb/calorie sports drink to replenish sodium and electrolytes.
· Make sure to keep well hydrated and have medications monitored while doing the program.
· Please contact your physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms after your first few weeks on the program.
· If you have struggled with being hypoglycemic, ask your coach about adding protein to your meals.
Rapid weight loss may cause an increase in the level of estrogen in the bloodstream. This in turn may possibly affect menstrual cycle regularity, change PMS symptoms, and/or increase fertility. Please contact your Ob-Gyn if you have any concerns or questions.
Individuals may experience a headache at the onset of the program. This is a result of getting into the fat-burning state. If you consume a lot of caffiene, do not quit cold turkey. This could cause more headaches because your body will have withdrawals. Instead, taper off or use 0 calorie diet drinks or tea.
· Tylenol or aspirin can help relieve pain symptoms
· Make sure to get in at least 64-ounces of water, 100-ounces if you can.
· You should not experience a headache beyond Week 1 of the program
· Sometimes because urination has increased, more salts may be needed. Drink a cup of chicken or beef boullion, or zero carb/calorie sports drink to replenish sodium and electrolytes.
Some individuals may experience loose skin on the program (due to weight loss). Your skin has natural elasticity and will adapt to your smaller size given time. Stay well hydrated, keep getting great nutrition and use moisturizer. It may take 6 months to a year to see full improvement but it will happen in most people.
Incorporating exercise into the program can help improve muscle tone. The skin however lies over the muscle and is separate from it, so it will not be affected by muscle tone. Check with your physician if you don’t see improvement after several months at your weight goal.
Some individuals may feel cold on the program – a result of the lower caloric intake. Try one of our hot products, and make sure to carry around a sweater or jacket.
Some individuals may experience a rash, perhaps due to one of the following:
1. an allergy to an ingredient in the products, or
2. the increased consumption of protein
Benadryl or Cortisone cream may help get rid of the rash. If the rash persists, it is likely due to an allergy – and use of the contributing products should be discontinued in this case.
Some individuals may experience gas on the program. Generally this will go away after incorporating an antacid such as sugar-free Rolaids or Tums.
· Gas can sometimes result from a change in diet and some have this more than usual during the first week of the program.
· Certain individuals may experience gas due to lactose intolerance. If an individual is lactose intolerant, Lactaid may be incorporated along with the program.
· Drink all of your water!
· The soy can also cause a reaction like any bean product might – use an enzyme like “beano” with each soy meal. Probiotics may also help to reduce digestive problems….
· Try using the digestive health product you can order with your food- ask your coach.
· If the program digestive health product is not strong enough, try VSL-3 found at any pharmacy without a prescription. It is about 100 times stronger than the program probiotic.
· You also may try not eating any bars for a week- sometimes these are more gas-inducing than other meals.
· Some vegetables cause more gas such as broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Some individuals may experience diarrhea on the program. Incorporating Imodium can help get rid of the diarrhea. If the diarrhea persists for more than a couple of weeks, we recommend discontinuing the product. Constant diarrhea can affect your electrolyte balance.
· Sensitivity to soy can cause this, please call your coach for help if this is true for you.
· Diarrhea may result from a change in diet, sometimes due to the higher consumption of greens. A few clients experience this during the first few days on plan. Imodium should help in this instance.
· Diarrhea may coincide with lactose intolerance. If an individual is lactose intolerant, Lactaid may be incorporated along with the program. Don’t forget our lactose-free products and our dairy-free Ready-to-Drink shakes!
· Try using the digestive health product you can order with your food- ask your coach.
Some individuals may complain of bad breath or a funny taste in their mouth (usually referred to as a sweet or metallic taste). This is a result of being in the fat-burning state.
· Individuals can use up to 5 pieces of either sugar-free gum or mints to help get rid of the taste
· Sugar-free Listerine strips may help
· Make sure to brush teeth well
Some individuals experience constipation on the program. This can result from lower food intake amounts, which slows down your system.
· Try adding wheat bran to the oatmeal (not wheat germ).
· Take Omega 3 capsules up to 6 per day you can order with your food – ask your coach.
· You can use sugar-free Benefiber to help relieve the constipation (1gr of carb = 1 condiment and you are allowed 3 a day)
· You may try stool softeners
· Try incorporating 1-2 tbsp of canola or olive oil into your diet
· Try using the digestive health product you can order with your food- ask your coach
If these tips do not work, please consult with your physician
If you continue to struggle with hunger beyond the first week or two, your stomach may be excreting more acid than needed for the small volume of food intake. This can create a “gnawing” sensation in your stomach that feels exactly like hunger. If you have a history of having an ulcer or gastritis, you can be particularly prone to this type of hunger problem. To manage hunger that won’t go away, consider taking an acid-blocker medication such as Zantac®, Tagamet® or Pepcid AC®. You will find these in most drug stores or grocery stores – usually in the same location as antacids.
Can I continue with the program if I catch a cold or get the flu?
You may incorporate a sugar free cough drop and/or sugar free medicine. Check out the carbohydrate level, if available. Remember that 1 g of carbohydrate equals one Condiment Choice. You may have up to 3 Condiment Choices per day.
If a person catches a cold or gets the flu, they can continue to follow the plan provided the symptoms are not too severe. Sometimes listening to the body is the best “medicine” and this may entail including “comfort” foods such as crackers, etc. It is very common for people to lose their appetite when sick. If you are so sick that you are unable to keep food down, whether it is the program’s food or other foods, it is best to listen to your body and feed it what it wants and can tolerate – even if it is not on plan.
If you choose to include foods that are not on plan, this is ok. It is just important to know that adding foods “off plan” may bring your carbohydrate intake greater than 100gm for the day and temporarily stop the fat-burning state. Once feeling better, you can resume the plan and achieve a fat-burning state again. This will effect weight loss but only temporarily – which illness tends to do anyway.
I hope this helps. There is no “right” or “wrong” thing to do with your meal plan when you are sick and not feeling well. Our program provides suggestions and wants you to know there is nothing in the meal replacements that is contraindicated for use while sick as they are just food. As with any other day of your life, choosing healthy foods to assist your body in fighting a virus or bacterial sickness/infection is always the best choice. Your PCMR meals are healthy and small portions which typically work well, even when a person is not feeling their best.
If you experience muscle cramps while you’re on the Program, several strategies can help.
· First, avoid getting dehydrated. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water, especially while exercising.
· Second, review your medications with your physician. If you’re taking high blood pressure medicine or a “water pill,” he or she may adjust your dosage.
· Third, consider choosing your PCMR Meals and Lean & Green Meal selections that are higher in sodium, calcium, and potassium (minerals essential to normal muscle function). Here are some examples:
Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, celery, tomatoes, turnip greens, collard greens, summer squash, or kohlrabi
Healthy fat: Green olives
Optional snack: Bouillon or dill pickle spears
Beverage: Sugar-free tonic water that contains quinine (quinine helps ease muscle cramps)
NOTE: We do NOT recommend use of over-the-counter potassium supplements without physician supervision.