I can't tell you how many times I've been asked the question, "What's the 'best' diet??"
And I'm willing to bet, in the midst of the hailstorm of information out there, you've asked yourself that very same question.
I too have been in that spot, tearing my hair out trying to decipher truth from fiction as I hear a million different things from a million different experts.
Which is why I wanted to write today's post, to help you decipher the diet that is best for you. Because, as I've told you before, what works for one person won't necessarily work for another.
Which means we have to be ok doing some experimentation, listening to our bodies, and not expecting an expert to hand us the answer we're so desperate for.
Remember, you are the expert of your own body.
And if you don't feel like you are, that's what today's blog freebie is for. A food journal to help you decipher how different foods are affecting your weight, skin, mood, energy, and the like.
So, without further ado, here are the top 5 ways to tell if you're on the right diet for you.
It seems that we all come to assume at some point, that with age comes fatigue. And we give into a life of slow, dragging energy, without much of a fight, because hey... that's "normal."
Accept that it isn't. If you wake up after getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep and your butt is dragging all the time and caffeine is your life force, that is your body telling you something is not right.
You may be eating the top rated diet by every expert out thee, but if it's filled with foods that your body doesn't like, whether because of food sensitivities, or simply your genetic make up, you're energy is likely going to suffer.
As someone who suffers with acne, and knowing many who suffer from conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and the like, I know how frustrating having an unsightly or uncomfortable skin condition can be.
And as much as it sucks, I have to try to view it as a blessing, because the skin is a quick and sure fire way to know if something is off balance in the body, and it is largely connected to your diet (do not let a well-meaning but ill-informed dermatologist tell you otherwise).
I struggled with acne for years, and it wasn't until I discovered the Whole30 diet that I was able to get it under control. And guess what, I've gotten loose with my paleo diet, and the acne is coming back. Not fun, but it is a quick and obvious warning sign from my body that I've gone off track. For my full acne-healing story, you can read all about it here.
This one may seem obvious, and it is if you eat something and immediately have a bad gut reaction. But for those who have chronic gut issues like gas, constipation, bloating, and/or diarrhea, you may be forced into a deeper exploration of different diets to see which one is best suited for you.
This one is hugely important given the massive connection we're now discovering between gut health and the health of the rest of the body. Chronic gastrointestinal issues have been linked to diseases ranging from autoimmune diseases, to mood disorders, to skin problems, and even cancer.
What is "normal" when it comes to your digestion? Check out the infographic below from Precision Nutrition.
As I mentioned above, your gut is largely connected to your brain and they're beginning to find more and more how anxiety, depression, and mood disorders are tied closely to your gut health, and therefore closely to your diet.
Also, on a lighter and easier-to-fix note, eating a diet high in processed sugars that spike and plummet your blood sugar levels is highly correlated with mood swings. Want to know how to eat a diet to balance your blood sugar (and weight)? Click here.
Now before you get crazy with statements like, "Well if I have to eat veggies, I won't enjoy it, does that mean I don't have to eat vegetables??" let me say this... it does take time for your taste buds to adjust to a new way of eating. If you tend to eat high sugar foods, things like green vegetables will taste significantly more bitter.
But give it some time, lots of experimentation with different foods and different recipes, and approach your diet with an open mind, and you should be able to find some joy in the way you're eating. Because realistically, that's the only way you're going to remain consistent with it, and that is the ultimate key to a successful diet.
So there you have it, 5 ways to tell if your diet is working for you. If it's not, try not to get frustrated. Instead just take it a day at a time, experimenting, maybe trying out a food journal like the one below to draw some clearer lines between your diet and symptoms so you can find the diet that is best for your body.
Trust me, as someone who has gone through a 15 year process of this, it is worth the time and effort when you finally experience how good your body is supposed to feel.