You’ll know you need a diet makeover when you start showing a few signs of diet burnout, or diet plateaus. Whatever you’re doing might have been working for awhile, but perhaps just isn’t cutting it anymore. Or, maybe what you were doing to lose weight worked great for while, but your body needs something new. I’m not a fan of the belief that one diet works for everyone. Many people try a diet someone recommends to them, only to find out it just wasn’t the best option for their lifestyle, or their personal nutritional needs. To make sure your diet is one that suits you well, and one your body accepts well, be sure you pay attention to a few signs. If you start exhibiting any of these signs below, it’s time for a diet makeover pronto, hun!
1. Uneven Blood Sugar Levels
One major sign you need a diet makeover is if your diet is leaving your blood sugar levels unsteady on a regular basis. For instance, if you eat breakfast and find yourself starving and jittery an hour or two later, you need to rethink what you’re fueling with first thing in the morning. Whatever you do, never skimp on breakfast. Also pay attention to lunch time. If your lunch doesn’t have enough protein, and even a little fat, you might find your blood sugar levels become uneven and all over the place. When choosing meals and snacks, be sure to keep them higher in protein, and low-glycemic for the best diet choices possible.
I’m not a fan of fat-free diets at all, and can tell you they don’t work long term! Fat-free diets may help you lose a few pounds initially, but it won’t take long before you find it’s just not worth it long term. Going fat-free can cause low blood sugar, lower your metabolism, and even make your body store more fat from carbohydrates, which you’re likely overdoing on a fat-free diet. Besides, eating fat is vital for losing weight. When you feed your body fat, it doesn’t feel it has to store fat for fuel, but will instead use the fat you eat for fuel. Be sure to use healthy fats in your diet, not animal sources of saturated fats, or any trans fats.
3. You’re Tired around the Clock
If you find yourself tired no matter how much sleep you get, then it could be your diet causing the trouble. It’s natural to suffer a little fatigue when you first start dieting. For starters, you might be tired because your body is withdrawing from unhealthy fats and sugars. Or, you may have been used to a lot of processed and fast food, and your body is detoxifying from those foods. However, if it’s been up to a month and you’re still having trouble with fatigue, it’s time to take a look at your diet. Make sure you’re getting enough nutrients from lean protein, plenty of vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, healthy fats like nuts and seeds, and healthy carbohydrates from root vegetables, and gluten-free grains like oatmeal and quinoa. These foods will help give your body the nutrition it needs, and also provide you with long lasting energy.
4. Processed Diet Foods
Does your diet come along with processed diet foods, such as bars and shakes? If so, you may want to rethink your dieting approach. Dieting isn’t meant to be a ticket to quick weight loss with a high price tag. And if you’re consuming diet bars and shakes, beware, because they come with a ridiculously high price tag. Your body knows that diet bars and shakes are not food. Those foods are loaded with artificial sweeteners, unhealthy carbohydrates and fats, and synthetic vitamins. All of these ingredients trigger weight gain, more food cravings, and overall poor nutrition. They also leave you hungrier than if you had just eaten a basic meal. Be sure to consume a whole foods diet instead of one that’s processed.
5. It Takes up All Your Time
Does your diet take just as much time as your day job? If so, it might be time to give it a makeover. I’m a huge fan of meal prep, and love to take one or two days a week to make up several healthy meals ahead of time. I’m not a fan of consuming foods that take hours of preparation, day in and day out. I find foods like oatmeal, smoothies, fish and salad, dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, and soups made in batches for the week are incredibly easy, can be made or packaged ahead of time, and they’re not a second job to prepare. I keep cut up raw veggies and raw almonds in the fridge for a quick snack on the go, and call it a day! You can’t get much easier than that, folks!
6. It Leaves You Moody
Does your diet make you mean? I hate to be so frank, but it’s a question worth considering if you just don’t feel like yourself. Any diet that makes you moody isn’t one I’d suggest staying on long term. Many diets that leave your blood sugar low are also ones that make you ill, cranky, and generally moody. Give the people around you a break, along with yourself, and rethink your diet. You might not be eating enough, eating often enough, or you might just be eating too many starchy carbohydrates that send your insulin soaring. Protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs are the best way to keep your blood sugar levels even, and you from getting cranky. Eating too much sugar is a guaranteed way to ruin those efforts and make you moody, tired, and stall weight loss.
7. It’s Obsessive
On one last note, if your diet has you obsessed with nothing but food, it’s time to let go of the control, and dial things down a bit. Becoming obsessed with your diet can quickly lead to an eating disorder, along with ruin relationships with those you love. Be sure you keep the “everything in moderation” rule in mind, and take care of your body, but also your mind. Anything that leaves you fearful of enjoying a night out at a restaurant, or not eating your foods perfectly timed and portioned, isn’t one that’s sustainable or healthy.
Have you ever had a diet that just wasn’t working like you hoped? Did you fix it? If so, how, and what would you recommend to others?