If someone asked you how your diet is, what would you say? Do you feel ashamed, confident, unsure? It’s often a very confusing topic due to all the hype of KETO, Intermittent Fasting, Paleo, Weight Watchers, etc. etc.
Most people want to lose weight and feel good in their own skin. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, everyday life has become so busy that food is sometimes the last priority. MANY people chronically under eat in hopes to slim down or by default because they “don’t have time to eat.” Others grab what’s most convenient and don’t realize the consequences of the food they’re putting in their mouths. Here are a few indicators you could be missing the boat on your nutrition.
We will look at biofeedback (sleep, digestion, energy, and hunger) and how it relates to poor nutrition.
How is your sleep? Do you fall asleep easily and stay asleep during the night? If the answer is no, you may want to check your food intake. Sleep is when every living cell in the body including sore and damaged muscles, recover. It is also a time when the body produces more white blood cells so the immune system can work it’s magic on wounds and fight off infection. So how does food affect sleep? When a person chronically under eats, the body is put under a great deal of stress. This stress can alert the adrenal system and cause problems with your circadian pattern which results in poor sleep. Inadequate amounts of sleep (7 hours or less a night) can then lead to a slew of problems with leptin and ghrelin hormones and their ability to properly tell the body when it is hungry, full, or when it needs to burn calories or store fat.
How is your digestion? Do you go to the bathroom every day? Is it difficult, loose, infrequent? If you aren’t going to the bathroom 1-2x per day with solid, non-strenuous visits, it’s no bueno. Digestion and gut health are directly linked to symptoms such as; depression, anxiety, acne, migraines, moodiness, and everything in between. Eating a diet low in fiber and micronutrients can lead to digestive issues. Constant gas, bloating, and stomach pains are indicators you may have gut issues that need to be addressed.
How is your energy? Do you wake up groggy? Is getting out of bed extremely difficult? Do you feel a midday crash that is almost unbearable? Not eating enough OR eating an unbalanced diet (too many carbs, not enough protein, fat, and micros) may be the culprit. Eating an abundance of simple carbohydrates can lead to excessive blood sugar spikes and crashes to follow. If you rely on copious amounts of caffeine this may be you!
How is your hunger? Do you feel hungry for each meal? Can you go all day without eating much? Are you craving sugary foods? Lack of hunger and intense food cravings can often indicate an unbalanced and/or too low of calorie diet. Not feeling hungry often means metabolism functions have slowed to conserve food instead of burning food as fuel. The body is smart and as a means of survival it will store food as fat to protect it from future famine (think of Cavemen time). The body doesn’t know you have access to more food than ever necessary, it just knows to store fuel when it isn’t given proper nutrition. Intense sugar and carb cravings can be a signal from the body meaning give me more food.
Many people experience several of the above symptoms on a day to day basis. It becomes the norm and often overlooked. It’s important to know that poor sleep, irregular or infrequent digestion, low energy, and lack of hunger can all be signs your nutrition is lacking. Learning how to properly fuel your body is more than shedding inches or improving blood pressure. It’s about feeling good on a day to day basis and not dealing with chronic fatigue, sickness, or weight gain.