How you feel physically and not how your clothes fit is the indicator of an effective nutrition plan. Is your current diet working well for you? Oftentimes, people obsess so much over losing weight and getting that perfect summer body that they tend to lose track of what’s really important: getting the right nutrition.
Remember, the wrong diet will not sustain you. Your body will not have enough energy to get you through the day. An inadequate nutrition plan will prevent you from performing at your best, and you won't reach your goals. Assess yourself. The nutrition plan you’re sticking to may not be right for you. Here are some signs that your diet is off.
5 Red Flags Your Nutrition Plan is Off
1. You're Always Tired
You’re yawning often, you feel tired all the time – even after a full eight hours of sleep – and you can’t seem to muster enough energy to do your regular tasks. You might not be getting enough protein and carbohydrates – our body’s main sources of energy.
Some people who make nutrition plans are scared of carbohydrates. The “carbs will make me fat” misconception is the culprit that leads some people to eliminating this important macronutrient from their list of foods to eat.
The truth is carbs are not the enemy. There are good carbs (vegetables and fruits) and bad carbs (processed food). The key is to eat more of the good and less of the bad. Bananas, sweet potatoes, and carrots are some excellent sources of healthy carbs.
The source of your protein also matters. There are many packaged foods in the supermarket aisles claiming they are protein rich and healthy for you, but good protein is found in natural sources like grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs, all-natural chicken, wild-caught seafood, and from organic vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
2. You Have Brain Fog/Trouble Concentrating
Did you know that fats – omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids — are essential to brain development? Not getting enough of these may result in learning problems and trouble concentrating. A fat deficiency poses health problems, and experts say it may even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fat has had a bad reputation in the fitness and nutrition industries, but just like with carbs, not all fats are created equal. It’s all about the source. You can get your body’s fat requirements from healthy foods like avocados, cage-free eggs, fatty fish like wild caught salmon, and dark chocolate.
3. You're Always Hungry
Another sign your nutrition plan is off is you feel hungry most of the time. A good diet is not just about balancing calories. It’s about eating the right kinds of food. Choosing to eat a 100-calorie chocolate chip cookie over a 100-calorie salad will not yield the same results. The right food will make you feel satiated. It will help prevent that craving for snacks and will keep you full for a longer period.
4. You Can't Gain Weight
Building muscle mass requires you to consume more calories than what your body can burn through your daily activities. If you’re not gaining weight, then your nutrition plan needs to be revised. Eating more protein – like eggs and fish – and carbohydrates – such as sweet potatoes and bananas – before and after your workout can help.
5. You Can't Lose Weight
Your goal is to burn fat and lose weight. You’re working out consistently. After a month of hard work, you weigh yourself and find that the number on the scale is still the same. This is another sign your nutrition plan is not right for you. The possible cause: you might be eating too many carbs. Cut back on your carbohydrate consumption and focus on consuming the good kinds of carbs – those you can get from fruits and vegetables.
Remember: your carb intake should reflect your activity level. Someone who trains five times a week will need more carbs than someone who is mostly sedentary.
Another possible cause of your weight struggles: you’re not eating enough protein. Did you know protein can boost your metabolism? If you want to lose weight, then consuming enough protein is a must. This macronutrient also helps reduce your cravings for snacks.
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