The food we eat affects our physical and mental wellbeing in more ways than people realize. When people think about food in general, one of the first things that come to mind is weight gain – which, admittedly, is directly linked to eating habits.
But diet plays a bigger role in the body than just weight. Food affects your energy levels, cognitive function, skin condition, productivity, and a lot of physiological processes that impact your day-to-day life. To help you keep track of your eating habits, we’ve listed here five warning signs that your diet is working against you.
- You’re gassy all the time
It is quite normal to feel gassy once in a while, especially after a heavy meal, but if you’re feeling bloated every time you eat, it could be a problem with your diet. One major cause of gas is lactose intolerance, which affects a surprisingly large number of people.
Sometimes people develop a mild intolerance to dairy products and it might go unnoticed for a while, but if you’re getting gassy after eating cheese, then your digestive system is getting disrupted and it’s wise to pay attention to the signals your body sends.
- You’re constipated
Are you having trouble in the toilet? Abnormal bowel movement is a major sign of diet problems. Sometimes constipation occurs when our diet lacks fiber, which is essential in maintaining proper bowel function.
If this is happening regularly, check whether you’re eating enough whole grains and adjust your diet to incorporate foods that are rich in fiber. Get more oats and beans from your grocer and drink enough water to keep the digestive process running smoothly.
- You’re always hungry
This can be a problem when you’re trying to go on a diet but can’t stop eating snacks. Binging is one of the ways the body tells you that it’s not getting enough nutrients from your diet, but filling yourself with snacks or drinks won’t stop the hunger.
To avoid overeating, make a point of getting all essential nutrients from healthy, home-cooked meals and avoid eating deep-fried foods like chips because they take longer to digest and don’t have much value in terms of nutrients. Instead of buying sugary snacks or fatty food, eat more fruits to satiate hunger; this way your body will get the nutrients it needs without making you fat.
- You’re always in a bad mood
People don’t realize this but diet can have a big impact on your mood. Feeling cranky all the time is not normal and may be caused by malnutrition – or just cutting back on essential food groups like carbs. A low-calorie diet can lead to irritation and low blood sugar, which interferes with normal functioning and may lead to more serious conditions. Cutting carbs from your diet doesn’t make you healthier; it only makes the body crave more of it.
The solution is to find a good balance of carbs, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fats. The body needs all of these to function and when there are enough carbs in the diet, hunger pangs reduce significantly – what’s more, the body releases more endorphins, improving your mood in the process. Quantity is important too, so keep carb intake limited to avoid gaining weight.
- You’re fatigued
Do you get up feeling tired and fatigued? If you’re carrying on every day feeling exhausted, it is likely that you’re not eating right. Any nutritionist will tell you that bad food will lower your energy levels and keep you feeling tired all day. A lack of nutrients means the body won’t be able to maintain proper energy levels and if the food you eat doesn’t have enough protein, then you’re going to feel it.
Food is converted into energy, which you need to be productive, and nutrients like fats and complex carbs keep you active and focused. Without eating these nutrients, the body will be forced to reduce energy expenditure and this will lead to lethargy, feeling fatigued, and a general lack of interest.
Remember, food affects you both mentally and physically, and watching your diet is the first step in keeping your mental and physical health intact. This is absolutely essential if you want to look and feel good. Talk to a nutritionist about changing your diet if you experience these symptoms, and throw in some exercises to stay fit. Good luck!