There are many signs your diet is imbalanced you might not be aware of. I blame this on the fact that we hear so much about certain foods, diet trends, and styles of eating that will help us lose weight or redeem our perfection, we often forget about what health is: the result of a healthy lifestyle, where balanced food is part of that. One main reason for a lack of nutrients in our diet, or trouble with obtaining quality foods, is due to the many animal food production practices and conventional farming of produce within the food industry. These foods aren't harvested and produced in the best manner, therefore it makes the challenge to be sure you maintain a balanced diet even more challenging. Don't lose hope though, because it's not impossible. Instead of getting caught up on the latest trend of dieting or worrying about everything you eat, start aiming to eat a balance of nutrients, from a wide range of healthy foods. As long as you stay aware of these typical signs that your diet is imbalanced, you'll have a good handle on you health.
1. You Overdo Your Macros
Carbs, fats, and proteins are all the rage when we think about obtaining a balanced diet, but focusing on these nutrient sources alone is one of the major signs your diet is imbalanced. When seeking a balanced diet, don’t forget minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, just to name some of the most popular. Also, don’t forget phytonutrients, which are the amazing nutrients founds in plant foods that produce multitudes of enzymes needed for all functions of your body. Not getting enough phytonutrients leads to aging, chronic hunger, fatigue, and even multiple health disorders.
2. You’re Diet-obsessed
Fearing fats, carbs, and even too much protein can make you very sick in a very short amount of time. I know, because I went through this myself. I’ve feared all three main sources of calories at some point in my life, and suffered the consequences every time. Neither fats, carbs, or protein are the enemy, nor are any of them the holy grail to health. A nice balance between all sources of nutrients is the golden ticket to health. Being diet obsessed will quickly deplete you of a balance of all these nutrients if you're cutting yourself short in one area. This is especially true if you’re eating processed diet foods like diet bars, shakes, or frozen meals, which are not true food.
3. You Eat on the Go
Eating on the go, such as from fast food restaurants, convenient store foods, or overall processed food period, is one of the worst ways to eat, and not just in terms of calories. For one, it doesn’t give you a balance of nutrients needed. This can cause a wide range of problems ranging from poor blood sugar, to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, and even depletion of minerals. Most of these processed foods and junk foods contain ingredients that deplete your body’s natural stores of vitamins and minerals. No matter what the marketing says, stay far, far away from these foods.
4. You’re Protein Obsessed
Along with diet obsessing, another trend right now is loading up on protein, to either build muscle or lose weight. I’m guilty of this one myself in former days, so I'm not judging anyone here. I do agree that protein is one of the most important macronutrients for maintaining a lean weight, low blood sugar, and preventing overeating, along with depression, but fats and carbohydrates should not be forgotten either. Overdoing protein can lead to kidney problems, especially if your protein sources come from animal sources. It’s best to eat a balance of protein, carbs, and fats, and then adjust as necessary once you see how each one affects you. Overdoing any of them can not only lead to an imbalance of nutrients, but even weight gain.
5. You Lose and Gain
Losing and gaining weight multiple times a year, more than 5 pounds or so, can be detrimental to your health and metabolism. It can also be a sign that your diet is imbalanced. When your diet is balanced, you usually maintain the same weight most of the year. This will of course change if you cut or raise your calories by extreme amounts, but that too could lead to nutritional deficiencies whether from too much of one nutrient, or not enough of another. It’s much healthier for your body to maintain its natural weight, without losing or gaining too much in the course of a year or two. Your body’s natural weight is where it settles when you can eat enough healthy foods to not feel hungry, and when hunger naturally creeps back up every few hours.
6. You’re Overexercising
When you exercise, you aren’t just burning calories away, but also burning away natural stores of vitamins and minerals. Be sure to replenish your cells after you exercise with plenty of leafy greens and vegetables, low glycemic fruits, moderate amounts of protein and carbohydrates from grains and starchy veggies, and moderate servings of healthy fats. This will ensure your body gets refueled properly, and you aren’t exercising away your health.
7. You’re Always Tired
If you’re always tired, this is a dead giveaway you’re either not getting a balanced diet, or not getting enough fuel overall. It can also signal poor nutrient absorption, even if you eat enough. You should aim to eat balanced meals every single day, and consider taking an enzyme supplement if you don’t feel you’re digesting your food properly. Poor digestion can often lead to nutritional deficiencies since your body can only absorb what it digests.
The best way to prevent an imbalance in nutrients is to eat a mostly plant-based diet from organic foods, and if you choose to eat animal foods, be sure that you focus on buying from organic and certified humane sources. Consuming a variety of foods, free from additives, sugar, trans fats, and too much sodium, will also greatly help your endeavors to eat a balanced diet. Can you think of any signs your diet might be imbalanced?