Your body is a complex system and will typically try and let you know when it’s not getting what it needs. The problem is, we’re not always great at listening to what it’s telling us. The cues are sometimes subtle or don’t seem related to our diets at all.
Before we get into the signs to watch out for, it’s important to note that not everything we hear is our body telling us the diet is wrong. Some cravings are just psychological attachments or unhealthy patterns we need to learn to control through changes in our behavior.
Knowing what signs to listen to and how to interpret what your body is saying is tough. I’m always here to help you if you have any questions.
With that out of the way, let’s look at 11 signs your current diet isn’t working for you
You constantly feel sluggish
There may be some initial sleepiness at the start of a new diet that has you cutting caffeine, cokes, or foods high in sugar. Replacing sugar-rich foods with healthy greens will initially cause a slight dip in your energy levels.
However, this fatigue should be temporary. Once your body adjusts to the new healthier foods, you should experience a boost in energy.
You are always hangry
Similar to the point above, you will have an early period of adjustment that may cause some irritability. When you experience moodiness, your body is telling you that it’s not getting the stuff it needs – calories, proteins, fiber, or a combination of the three.
If your irritability continues for weeks on end, your body is telling you that this diet isn’t the right one for you. You will not experience the same irritability from a diet that’s right for your body.
You experience a drop in performance
How do you feel after completing your favorite activity? Do you still have the same energy levels as before the start of your new diet? Or do you feel drained, tired, exhausted, or unable to recover?
When our bodies aren’t getting the nutrition they need, we lose our ability to perform. This loss can affect our focus and memory as well.
You crave healthy foods
This doesn’t mean craving comfort foods, like Ben & Jerry’s or your favorite snack. But if you find yourself craving healthy foods your diet asks you to avoid, you might need to listen. When our bodies lack essential nutrients, Vitamin C, for example, we will experience sudden cravings.
If we’re on an appropriate diet, we will rarely experience these physical cravings. You still might experience emotional cravings for comfort foods, but that’s a separate issue and not an indication you’re on the wrong diet.
You are more injury-prone
Do you get injured easily during workouts or regularly feel muscle pain after exercise? You could be overtraining. But if you have only changed your diet and not your activity levels, these injuries could signify your body doesn’t have the nutrition necessary to recover properly.
When we don’t get enough food or the proper nutrients in our food, we can’t recover. We need protein for recovery, carbs for fuel, and healthy fats to keep our bodies healthy.
You regularly experience indigestion
Your body shouldn’t be notifying you constantly about what’s going on as it digests. That is supposed to be a background process. When you’re eating the wrong foods, you get heartburn, cramps, or bad gas.
If your diet is right for your body, you’ll feel lighter, more energetic, and will experience normal, quiet digestion.
You cannot stay asleep
Sleep issues can be tricky to diagnose as many factors can cause them. But stress is one of the biggest causes of sleep interruptions, and our bodies can actually experience stress caused by poor diets.
Falling asleep midday, trouble sleeping through the night, and/or waking up at regular intervals in the night could be signs your cortisol levels are off. This is usually caused by being undernourished or working out too hard without the nutrients needed to recover adequately.
Your hair is thin or brittle
Hair follicles need good nutrition to function correctly, like any other organ. Diets that starve your body of helpful nutrients, like iron, fatty acids, etc., can cause your hair to become thin, brittle, or even fall out.
If your hair is getting too thin or brittle, consider adding more eggs, spinach, pulses, salmon, tuna, and red meats into your diet.
You have terrible breath
We don’t mean the bad breath you get after coffee, smoking, or bad dental health. Bodies that don’t have enough glucose to use for energy will burn stored fats. This causes a build-up of acids known as Ketones. These ketones can make your breath consistently bad.
If your breath regularly smells like nail polish remover, it is probably a sign that you are not eating enough carbohydrates and that your food is not meeting your energy requirements.
You obsess about food
Diets usually have restrictions. This is especially true in fad diets that focus on eating only from a specific food group or from rigid lists of allowed ingredients. These types of diets tend to promote unhealthy binges when someone ends the diet.
If you’re constantly obsessing over foods you can’t eat or find yourself uncontrollable when you do eat; your diet is probably a bad fit.
You fall ill easily
We all fall ill on occasion, but if you seem to be falling ill regularly, there’s a good chance your diet is to blame. Poor nutrition undermines your immune system and can trigger infections and illnesses.
If your diet is low in vitamins a, c, and e, zinc, iron, and folic acids, there’s a chance it can be causing your health issues and isn’t the right fit for your body.
You didn’t fail
Every person’s body is unique, and what works for some might not work for you. This is especially true with diets. Some people have great results from one diet and can’t move the needle with another diet.
Just because one diet didn’t work for you doesn’t mean you failed at the diet. It just means it wasn’t suitable for your body. Now you can try something new, armed with new knowledge about what your body needs.
Again, I am always here to help you in any way you need. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or would like help to find your body’s proper diet.