Is your diet working for you? There's only one way to tell and it has nothing to do with a thigh gap or how our skinny jeans fit. The true indicator of a diet's success is how we feel physically — from the tips of our toes to the crown of our head.
And if we get too obsessed with losing weight, our bodies can suffer. Think: abrupt mood swings, breakouts, low energy, irregular bowel movements, weakened immunity, or worse.
Here are 9 signs to help guide you in uncovering what does and does not work for your body.
YOUR DIET IS WORKING IF ...
1. You're energized.
This is a no-brainer. If you're eating right for your body, you'll have boundless energy. You'll wake up naturally. You'll get through the day without needing coffee or stimulants. You won't need to grab a sugary snack at 4pm. And you'll be able to workout without feeling completely depleted.
2. You're happy.
Yes, your happiness does correlate to the foods you choose to eat! How amazing is that? If your body is nourished, you're going to feel better about yourself … both mentally and physically. You'll naturally give off that glow. By eating a balanced diet, you'll avoid those situations that have the ability to create mental instability, including blood sugar roller coasters and brain fog.
3. Your digestion is great.
A healthy body eliminates regularly and properly. If you're paying attention to your food choices (i.e. taking your probiotics, eating clean, and exercising,) you'll feel fantastic after your morning (and afternoon if you're lucky enough!) bowel movements.
4. You rarely experience reactions from food.
Food allergies are becoming so common that even chain restaurants are starting to offer separate menus for those who have special dietary needs like gluten-free or dairy-free. If you're at a point where you know your body well enough — and you understand which foods work and which foods make your body freak out — undesired food symptoms are a thing of the past.
5. You're at peace with your body.
I rarely (if ever) talk about weight loss with my clients. Instead, we refer to weight and well-being as the "happy place." Your body innately knows exactly where that point is for you. Instead of trying to achieve six-pack abs or thin thighs, why not aim for a place of happiness and stability for your body? In case you haven't heard, strong and confident are in.
YOUR DIET IS NOT WORKING IF ...
1. You're tired all the time.
If you wake up exhausted and struggle to get to your last meeting at 4pm, it's time to take a look at your diet and lifestyle habits. Are you sleeping at least seven hours a night? Are you eating healthful meals that fuel you for the whole day? If the answer is no, you may be deficient in protein, Vitamin D, or Vitamin B12. I've seen many of my former vegan/vegetarian clients feel like new women once they incorporated clean, sustainable animal products back into their diets.
2. You have trouble pooping.
Let's face it. Potty humor is funny regardless of your age. It's not so funny if you're the one suffering from constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). If going number two is a far cry from easy, take a look at what's on your plate in addition to the stressors in your life, which can interfere with digestion. It's likely there isn't enough fat or fiber in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
3. You get sick ... a lot.
Symptoms are the body's way of cleansing toxins. It's OK to feel run down once or twice a year, especially in colder months. But if you're constantly dealing with congestion, headaches, fatigue, or sore throats, you may be eating something that's compromising your immune system. Possible culprits include: processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and other inflammatory substances. Up your water intake and cut out all of the above to give your body a rest.
4. You have really intense cravings.
Cravings are your body's way of telling you that you're missing vital nutrients. If you constantly crave salty foods, for example, you may have a mineral deficiency. If you crave sweets, you may need more protein. Take a look at your meals and make sure you're eating a well-rounded diet, including plenty of plant and sustainably-raised animal protein. If you're vegan and have constant sugar cravings, chat with your doctor and have your protein and vitamin/mineral levels checked. If you're getting enough nutrients but overeating anyway, you may need to "feed" yourself from the inside out (think yoga, meditation, a few hugs, or any method that will help you find peace of mind).
If you're ready to eat in a way that feels good to your body, make sure you download my free ebook "Ditch the Labels: 4 Steps To Designing Your Perfect Diet" here.
The body never lies, my friends. And it's our duty to pay attention, notice when things aren't flowing, and make adjustments until we feel happy, glowing, and at ease. It's really that simple.