Diets are always a hot topic and rightfully so. It’s about subscribing to a certain eating pattern and lifestyle that’s geared to help you look and feel your best, with the added heavily-sought after benefit of weight loss.
Most people though jump on a diet with weight loss solely in mind or as the main goal. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, numbers on the scale aren’t the best or most accurate way to indicate your health. Digging deeper past the aesthetic benefits of a diet, know that a diet that you adhere to is actually a lifestyle and long-term commitment, and finding one that genuinely works goes far deeper than how much weight it can help you lose.
So forgo the numbers on the scale and intuitively assess if the diet you’re working so hard to stick to is actually working for you.
You’re not starving
A diet that genuinely works for you ensures that you feel full and satisfied. A proper diet doesn’t by any means encourage starvation as this is unhealthy and harmful both mentally and physically.
A diet worth subscribing to is a diet that you want to do or can easily follow, without having daily battles with yourself just to stick to it.
If following a certain diet is stressing you out, know that the cortisol caused from the mental stress is enough to make your body inflamed, store fat, and slow metabolism. Stick to a diet that you actually want to follow and that makes you feel good without being overly restrictive.
Contrary to the misconception that diets are primarily for weight loss, proper diets firstly and foremostly are made to make you feel your best. That means your body is fed with the necessary amount of nutrient-dense calories to help get you through your day and performing physically at your best.
A diet is clearly too restrictive if it leaves you feeling lethargic and weak. A good indicator of this is if you find yourself out of breath from exercise that you usually excel at, you’re sleepy regardless of getting a full night’s rest, you find it difficult to concentrate due to lack of energy, and you find yourself wrestling with yourself over hunger pains and food cravings.
Restrictive diets, such as a calorie deficit diet, raw food diet, low carb diets etc. all have their place, but feeling hunger pains is not ideal nor recommended. To make a diet that initially leaves you feeling tired work, you’ll either need to ease into it gradually or reassess if you’re following the right diet to begin with.
Your head is clear
No matter how healthy your diet may be, if you experience issues such as brain fog, depressive moods, and general difficulty focusing, many of these issues are closely linked to too much or too little of something in your diet.
There are numerous dietary reasons why your head may feel bogged down such as:
- Food intolerances to certain foods such as nuts, seafood, nightshade plants, dairy etc. All these foods are by all means ‘healthy’ but the reality is, no matter the nutritional benefit, if your body can’t tolerate it, it’s best to cut it out.
- Allergies, which are very similar to food intolerances, can cause indigestion and eventual damage to your gut lining and cause brain fog. Watch out for gluten and soy, which are common culprits behind food allergies, regardless of the quality of the gluten/soy containing food.
- Lack of bioavailable nutrition such as low iron levels can manifest in feelings of lightheadedness. If you follow a vegan diet full of iron-rich leafy greens yet you still find yourself light headed from low iron levels, you may want to consider a more bioavailable form of iron in a supplement or through animal protein such as pork.
Your blood sugar is stable
There’s not a single diet that will work for everyone and a good indicator to know if a diet is working for you or not is to monitor your blood sugar levels.
Stable blood sugar levels are quickly becoming an important health indicator. As people are learning, insulin issues aren’t reserved just for diabetics, but for people with hormonal and weight issues. This is because of insulin’s vital role in our body which is closely linked to proper sugar metabolism, how we store fat, handle inflammation, and even hormone balance.
This is why, for example, vegan diets, which contain a lot of healthy carbohydrates work so well for some people while it doesn’t for others. Some people metabolize carbohydrates, even healthy ones like sweet potatoes, very differently.
If you follow in the traditional sense, a ‘healthy’ diet, yet you feel energy spikes and falls, you may want to assess how the food you’re eating can potentially be affecting your blood sugar levels.
A healthy diet always has good nutrition in mind. No matter your diet, ensure you plug nutritional gaps with Nature’s Health Complete Multivitamin which covers your daily need of vitamins and minerals in easy-to-take vegetarian capsules.