Diet Decisions – 5 Ways To Test If Your Nutrition Plan Is Working For You
Starting on a new nutrition plan is an exciting time. You’re hopeful that you’re going to feel better, look better, and turn a positive corner. What are the correct ways to determine your nutrition plan is truly working for you? After all, what works for one person may not be the correct plan for another; we each have a unique predisposition to deficiencies and potential ailments. With that in mind, here are a few ways to test if your nutrition plan is working for you:
How Do You Feel Physically?
The first few weeks of change are usually difficult. You might be hungry, experience reduced energy levels, and even flu-like symptoms. This is especially common if you are removing highly processed foods from your diet as your body has to readjust to eating well.
Once you are over this initial teething stage, you should feel energized and satisfied. It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. Milk products, gluten, sugar, and preservatives tend to be vilified, but for many people, they’re perfectly safe when used in conjunction with a healthy eating plan.
Are You Satisfied?
After a few weeks, you should no longer feel hunger pangs. In fact, hunger pangs are a sign that your meal plan is too restrictive. A great diet should aim to increase your metabolic rate without causing weight gain (unless this is what your plan is specifically targeting).
A diet that is good for you will increase your volume of food but decrease your caloric value of consumed foods. This means that although you may be eating fewer calorie-dense foods, you should be eating a larger quantity overall and not experiencing any hunger pangs.
How Are Your Energy Levels?
Do you feel strong, empowered, and energetic? Are you lethargic, tired, and finding your limbs feeling heavy? The former indicates your nutrition plan is working for you. The latter suggests you’re not eating enough.
If you experience a sudden drop in energy levels on a new diet, you’re impacting your metabolism and your body’s long term ability to maintain a healthy weight. Find healthy foods that you can enjoy in abundance and ensure you’re eating enough of those so that you are nourishing your body with life-giving nutrients rather than simply filling up.
Test For Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies
Blood tests will determine whether you’re getting what you need from your diet. A bone density test is always a good idea if you’re over 35 years of age. You can also monitor your thyroid function, request a full panel of nutrient tests, and check your hormone function (especially in females).
Ask your doctor to explain the results and how they compare with what’s optimal. Many people experience symptoms of deficiencies when their levels are still within the normal range. By aiming for optimal as opposed to adequate, you can look and feel much better.
Test Your Blood Glucose
There’s far more to diabetes than testing your blood sugar. You want to establish your body’s insulin sensitivity. The newest research has indicated that a diet high in fat is not helpful for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and those with insulin resistance. While removing carbohydrates from the diet can reduce blood glucose results, it negatively affects your body’s insulin resistance levels.
A diet that is too restrictive will leave you feeling unsatisfied and unlikely to sustain your efforts. A great plan, by contrast, will inspire a sense of empowerment and give a new lease on life. If you are experiencing negative health effects, it’s best to consult with a trained dietitian or doctor.