You’ve been trying to make healthier food choices. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, boost your energy, improve your mood, or ease the symptoms of a preexisting medical condition. You’ve been on this journey for several weeks or months now, but the problem is, you aren’t seeing any real results. Is there something wrong with you? What mistakes are you making? Before you give up on your diet altogether, consider some of these underlying reasons why it might not be working the way you’d hoped.
When it comes to diet and nutrition, there are a lot of recommendations, expert opinions, and programs offering advice on what you should and should not consume to achieve the results you want. While these are all great resources to consider, what must not be forgotten is that everyone is different. Eliminating certain foods may be ideal for one person but ineffective for another.
The key to getting the results you want from your diet is having a clear understanding of how certain vitamins, nutrients, and minerals interact with your body’s natural systems. Discerning this information can be done with a DNA test or through effective research and monitoring. Keeping a food journal and paying attention to how your body responds to certain foods can make it easier for you to determine which foods are essential to your health and wellness.
Another reason your diet may not be getting you the results you want is that you have an undiagnosed medical condition. From rare genetic disorders to thyroid disease, there are so many conditions that can impact your weight, nerves, mood, muscle and bone structure, and hormones which could explain why you’re not reaching your health goals.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to a doctor, perhaps it’s time to schedule an appointment to get checked up. Using various exams, screenings, and bloodwork, your doctor can assess whether or not you could have a medical condition that needs to be treated.
For those who have preexisting medical conditions, it is also quite possible that the medications you’re taking are causing an issue. In many cases, medications have side effects that include weight loss or gain, mood swings, fatigue, and even appetite changes. This doesn’t mean you should stop taking these medications. If you believe your medicine is having a negative impact on your health and wellbeing, talk with your doctor about alternatives or instructions on how to safely wean yourself off the meds.
Too much stress on the body isn’t good for a lot of reasons. However, what you may not realize is that too much stress can also make it difficult for your diet to be effective. When the body remains under a lot of stress it goes into fight or flight mode. Your body believes it is under attack and will put all of its reserves into the necessary systems to stay alive. Unfortunately, your digestive system slows as a result of this making it difficult for your body to absorb key vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need to see the results you’re looking for. Stress also depletes certain vitamins and nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and B, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium.
Last, but not least, your diet could be ineffective due to the lack of sleep. If you’re not getting between 7-9 hours of consistent sleep each night, you tend to crave things that are bad for you and/or overeat. It all has to do with hunger signals. You have two hormones that regulate hunger. Ghrelin increases your appetite while leptin decreases it. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin while decreasing the production of leptin. As a result, you end up craving comfort foods that you shouldn’t have or you consume large amounts of foods (even too many healthy foods can be bad for you).
As you can see, there are a number of factors that could be negatively affecting your diet. Despite your best efforts, if any of the above factors apply to you, it can make it difficult to get the results you want. The good news, however, is that there are effective solutions to turning things around so that you can reach your nutrition goals easier.