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How To Tell When Your Diet Isn’t Working – by Frederic Patenaude
Let me start off by asking you a simple question: do you feel you’re getting the best results from your current food program?
After all, we all want the same things: increased energy, a fit body, to live longer and healthier, avoid and heal health challenges, and attain a sound nutritional approach to the way we eat and live.
Sometimes it happens that you may be doing well for a while with your diet, but imperceptibly you move away from the results you’re looking for, and sooner or later you realize, “this diet isn’t working for me anymore!”
Nobody wants to have to go through this experience, so here are some warning signs to watch out for and what to do about them.
It’s perfectly normal to experience cravings for cooked and processed foods when you transition to a mostly raw or all raw diet. The problem comes to be when these cravings persist and don’t go away, or they are so powerful they are difficult to control.
In my experience, there are two causes for cravings: nutritional and emotional. I will review nutritional causes now, as emotional causes are much more complex and beyond the scope of this article.
However I will say that emotions and your food do go hand-in-hand, and identifying the emotional triggers and reasons why you eat what you do can help you attain a healthier, more conscious approach to eating.
Nutritional causes are fairly simple: if you’re not eating enough calories from fruits and vegetables, you *are* going to crave cooked and processed foods. At least eventually.
The trick is to be able to consume enough fruits to get your calories, without consuming more fat than you need to (and at the same time consuming enough greens for minerals).
Eating enough vegetables and other nutritionally-dense foods is important as well.
Some cravings stem from the body’s cry for minerals or certain nutrients. Everybody has a much different history and intake of specific vitamins and minerals in their lives, and our body’s all have varying amounts and stores of them.
So follow your intuition if you’re craving something for a nutritional reason, which only you can decide for yourself.
Eating too much fat also has a tendency to slow the body down and cause cravings, typically for starchy or sweet foods.
Just eating enough calories on a daily basis to support your body is usually enough to keep cravings away, but if you find yourself craving something particular over a period of time, use your own head.
2. No Energy to Exercise
If you have no energy to exercise, or are not making progress in your fitness program, it’s likely because you’re not consuming enough calories and/or you are consuming too much fat/not getting the right minerals.
An energy deficit will be obvious when you follow a fitness program. If you’re barely consuming enough fruits and vegetables to meet your dietary needs, you can’t expect to have extra energy to exercise.
People often tend to “under-estimate” the amount of fruits and vegetables they need to eat to support themselves, and “over-estimate” the amount of fat that they need to eat. This combination leaves people feeling sluggish and tired.
3. Waking Up in the Morning Tired
Waking up in the morning still tired is also a sign that your diet may not be balanced.
Many people experience this on a raw food diet after overdoing the avocados and nut butter. So if you’re experiencing the morning fog, I recommend you look at how much fat you’re eating and if it’s in the right amounts for you.
You may experiment with eating just low-fat fruits/vegetables for several nights, and finishing your meal several hours before bed, and see if that has on impact on your energy levels.
Chances are that you’ll start waking up in the morning much more refreshed and energetic!
4. Inability to Maintain Weight
Two things can happen here. Either you haven’t been able to *release* the weight you were carrying around in excess, or you’re getting thinner than you’d like to be.
In the first case, if you’re still struggling to reach your ideal weight, even though you’ve transitioned to a raw food diet, you may simply have the wrong nutritional and lifestyle approach.
Releasing excess weight is a taxing process on the body and needs to be allowed the proper amount of time to happen.
Everyone will need to eat slightly different combinations and amounts of foods to feel their best too, so I encourage you to trust your body and not invest everything into a “guru” to tell you what to eat!
If you’re getting thinner than you’d like to, know that the best thing you can do is to combine strength training (basically lifting weights or high-resistance bodyweight exercises) and eating plenty of food. More than you may be used to.
If you wish to gain significant muscle mass, you can, even on a raw food diet.
But you’ll need a good training program and to consume the right amounts and combinations of calories and nutrients to get the results you want.
5. You’re Confused
Another sign that you may be heading towards a diet “disaster” is having the feeling of confusion and doubt. Eventually, that feeling may intensify and lead you to either give up entirely or spend all sorts of time and money trying other programs that won’t work either.
The solution to this is to gain sufficient knowledge to avoid this confusion, go to the root of emotional issues behind food, and find a group of people for community and support that can provide you with constant encouragement and inspiration to continue on the path of radiant health.
And ultimately if you still find yourself confused, listen to your own needs. You know them better than anybody.
What have been your experiences with changes in your diet, cravings, or any other roadblocks you faced in your diet journeys?
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