Dieting isn’t easy. And, nothing is more frustrating than when you’ve been working hard on your fitness and trying to eat healthy, but you aren’t seeing the results you want. If you feel like something isn’t right, listen to your body and your intuition. Here are some common clues that your diet isn’t working for you.
#1: You Crave Everything All the Time
In the first few weeks of your diet, particularly if you didn’t eat semi-healthy to begin with, you will experience cravings for carbs, junk food and sweets. That’s why many people slowly wean themselves off these unhealthy options instead of quitting them cold turkey. The problem arises after it’s been a few weeks and you’re still having cravings that don’t go away.
The reason behind these cravings makes sense, and is fairly simple to understand. Long story short, if you’re not eating enough calories and getting your fill of nutrients, you’re going to crave the unhealthy foods. On average, women need between 1,800-2,500 calories daily, while men need between 2,500-3,000.
#2: You Feel Drained
Whether you always hit a midday slump, wake up feeling exhausted regardless of how long you’ve slept or you can’t find the energy to exercise, feeling drained or without energy can be a sign that your diet isn’t working for you. The culprit lies in the fact that you may be consuming too much fat or too few calories in general.
Try writing down what you eat and when you eat it so that you can analyze where you might be going wrong. If you’re eating lunches high in bread and grains, you’re more likely to experience a midday slump following a blood sugar crash. If you’re feeling sluggish, try incorporating more healthy fats into your diet to boost your energy levels. If you’re feeling overall tired, you may need to introduce more lean protein into your diet. If you always wake up feeling tired, try to avoid eating late at night and see if that resolves the problem.
#3: You’re Always Hungry
Restricting calories typically does more harm than it does good. Hearing stomach growls can be an indicator that your metabolism is off balance. It’s very likely that you aren’t getting enough macronutrients, which is causing your hunger. Look to foods high in fiber and protein, to help you quell your hunger without overdoing it on calories and carbohydrates.
#4: You’re Confused or Unable to Focus
Not eating enough calories or eating the wrong types of foods can result in you feeling confused or unable to focus. You can also feel like you’re in a bad mood all the time. These feelings can be attributed to not eating a diet that’s balanced for your metabolic type. Be sure to review your eating plan and make sure that it’s rich in vitamins B12 and D, which are two vitamins that help your brain function properly.
#5: You’re Not Seeing Results
This is the most obvious sign, usually, that your diet isn’t working. Picture this: you’re sticking to your diet plan, working out, and the number on the scale doesn’t change. Worse yet, your clothes are actually getting tighter. This typically means that something is off with your diet.
The first step is to evaluate your eating habits. Are you following your diet plan properly? Are you eating good throughout the day and splurging at night? What about the weekends? Remember, in order to lose weight is you must have a calorie deficit. If you’re eating well throughout the day, but splurging at night, you’re not going to see progress. If that’s the case, you need to rethink your diet plan and reorganize it so that it works better for you.
The diet plan you’ve selected in general may not be working either. Fad diets often require you to cut out specific food groups. When you do this, you’ll lose initial weight, because you’re not eating certain food groups, but once you start adding these foods back into your diet, the number on the scale will increase quickly. Other diets encourage just water weight loss, which can be very misleading. Instead of choosing a fad diet that promises fast results, choose a diet involves making healthy lifestyle changes. Look for a diet that focuses on eating high protein, good fats and complex carbs.
Dieting isn’t easy—if it was, everyone would do it. While you can’t always expect to see immediate results, if you don’t ever see results, or if you stop seeing results, it’s time to take a look at your diet, as it may no longer be working for you. Whether you’re constantly hungry or tired, confused, experiencing cravings or just not seeing results, all of these are telltale signs that your diet may not be working. Take some time to reflect on your plan and see if there are changes to be made.