Deciding what to eat can be tricky, as it's hard to know if what you're eating is nutritious and wholesome or is sucking away your energy. Knowing if it's time to change eating habits can be a blessing, as you can then take the proper measures to switch up your grocery store purchases and menu orders to make better, healthier changes and boost energy, mood, and productivity. Taking diet into account and how it influences your lifestyle is so important, as it's really true when they say, "you are what you eat."
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on eating nutritious meals that boost wellbeing and happiness and understanding how and when the body is not responding to the foods you're eating, in an effective and positive way. Certain things should be off about your body and your ability to be productive during the day if eating habits are not where they should be. Being mindful about what you're consuming will help you get in touch with your body and make better choices moving forward. Greater longterm health will be achieved through daily steps towards a healthier eating pattern. Here are 10 ways to know if you need to change your eating habits.
1. You're Tired — Even With Adequate Sleep
Over phone with Bustle, running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer says that if you notice you wake up feeling chronically tired on most days, even with adequate sleep of between 7-9 hours nightly, then it might mean that your eating habits are messed up and draining you of energy. Eating foods high in energy-boosting nutrients, like iron and magnesium, can help.
2. You Have Trouble Sleeping
Lemmer also notes that if you have trouble falling or staying asleep in the night, your hormones might be out of whack due to the food choice and poor eating habits. You should also be careful eating prior to bed, and to avoid caffeine, sugars, and other stimulants that might mess with your digestion before bedtime.
3. You Can't Workout As Well
Lemmer explains that if you notice you're not able to carry through your workouts as efficiently and as powerfully as you're used to, then you might not be fueling yourself properly. Lemmer recommends eating healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs for a great ratio, and to specifically make sure that you're eating enough overall in the day to repair sore muscles.
4. You're Drained
Over email with Bustle, certified healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines explains that if you're mentally and physically drained in the day, you might need to eat differently. Eating foods that don't power you will cause you to drag and be sluggish in mood and energy levels, advises Traines.
5. You're Bloated
Traines says that if you're bloated, it might be due to high-sugary foods. If you notice that you're eating a lot of junk food lately, or are feeling stressed out, it will influence the belly. Eating foods that are high in nutrients, like magnesium, calcium, and healthy fats, to calm down the nerves will decrease bloating, advises Traines.
6. You're Stressed
If you notice you're stressed, it could be due to what you are eating, as certain foods can exacerbate stress and cause tensions to arise within the body, advises Traines. If you are particularly stressed out, reach for a handful of nuts, leafy greens, fatty fish, avocado, or a nice piece of fresh fruit to reduce inflammation.
7. You're Craving Unhealthy Foods
Traines says that cravings for packaged, salty, and sugary foods is normal when a diet is high in those foods to begin with. Thus, if you notice you're craving these types of foods, and it's getting out of control, then you need to re-evaluate your diet and what foods you should be eating for greater health and energy.
8. You Binge Eat
According to registered dietitian Cassie Bjork of Healthy Simple Life over interview with Eat This, Not That!, binging on food can be a sign that there are nutrition deficits in your diet, preventing you from managing your cravings and feeling satiated. If you find yourself overeating, think about what's missing from the diet and try to fill the void.
9. You're Grumpy
Not eating the right foods can affect mood and make us feel more grumpy and irritable, explained registered dietitian Isabel Smith over interview with This, Not That!. Feeling more irritable due to sugar and poor fats is very common, as the foods do not uplift us and make us feel at ease, as do healthier options, like whole grains, fruit, protein, and vegetables, as noted.
10. Your Digestion Is Off
Traines says that having poor digestion can come from food choice, as well as predisposition for food allergens or sensitivities, such as gluten, dairy, fish, and nuts, among others. If you notice you have trouble with regularity or feel bloated and in pain after eating, consider getting tested or speaking with physician about next steps.
Looking for these signs can help you understand if you need to change your eating habits, in order to boost performance, sleep, metabolism, and greater quality of life. Be honest with yourself when getting in touch with your body, and change your dietary lifestyle accordingly.
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