Think about it for a minute …
Have you ever tried a way to eat that someone recommended, be it a specific diet or even a guideline?
After trying it out, have you ever stopped checking in to yourself and asking, “Will this work for me and my particular needs?”
It can be so difficult to navigate through all of the dietary recommendations and be sure that the way you feed yourself is really supportive.
Each of us is so different, and eating haits that work really well for one person may not be supportive for another person.
Because of this, one of our main focuses here at Nutrition Stripped is helping you understand your unique body and lifestyle so you can feel confident about what works best for you.
In this article, you will discover some signs to look out for in order to determine if a particular eating habit or way of eating is right for your needs.
8 signs your current eating habits are not supporting you
Whenever you try a new eating habit, set a time to ask you about how it works for you and to see if any of these signs have occurred.
If you notice any of these signs, it is a strong indication that it is time to adjust your eating habits and try something new. We’re always here to help!
1. You are not feeling well physically
Let’s start with one of the most obvious signs that your eating habits are not supporting you. You may be low on energy, digestion shut down, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, or other related symptoms.
Food plays such a big role in how we feel every day. Bringing your mind to check into your physical body gives you insight into what works for you and what doesn’t.
If you find yourself feeling less than your best on a regular basis, it is likely a sign that your eating habits are needing to adjust to work better for your unique body.
2. You are constantly stressed or thinking about food
We hear from so many of you in the Nutrition Stripped community that you find yourself feeling stressed about food or thinking about food all day long.
It is normal to feel a bit of stress when you change your eating habits. The first few days will feel a little different as you learn to practice your habits and try new things. However, if you experience this regularly, it is an indication that you need to make adjustments.
There are so many different causes of food stress. Whether you’re overly restrictive with your eating habits, changing too many things at once, or maybe not eating enough, the list goes on and on.
We guide our members to adapt their eating habits to what feels best for their lifestyle so it doesn’t get stressful. We’ll make one change at a time and teach them how to adjust as needed.
3. You feel powerless and out of control over food
We all eat too much sometimes. This is normal – we are human! But if you feel out of control over food that you cannot physically stop eating, it is a sign of unhealthy eating habits.
It may seem counterintuitive, but usually this type of binging behavior is the result of overly restrictive eating habits. Perhaps you have marked certain foods as prohibited, you are following strict portion sizes, or you are restricting yourself in other ways.
Every time we engage in this type of restrictive behavior, a lack of mentality arises and there is food force over us, which makes us feel uncomfortable.
4. You have to “get back on track” repeatedly.
Do you keep finding that you cannot maintain the eating habits that you have established for yourself? Do you always start on Monday or do you get going again? Are you maintaining your eating habits during the holiday season? On holiday? When are you particularly stressed or busy? On the weekends?
This is a sign that your eating habits are not supporting you. Daily life in terms of food and nutrition should be seamless, it should feel right and comfortable. It shouldn’t feel like a part-time job.
When you have to constantly think about food, plan your meals, and plan your mealtimes, something is just wrong. Your eating habits need to be supported every day, and if they don’t feel sustainable every day, take this as your cue to adjust.
5. You feel guilty about some of your eating choices
No way of eating should make you feel guilty about your food choices.
Sometimes we overeat, sometimes we make choices that we later discover were not the best choices for us at the time, and sometimes we want to enjoy food for pleasure rather than nourishment. There is nothing wrong with these things, but so many people feel guilty about these reasons.
Guilt is not supportive and can potentially lead to unsupportive and potentially disordered eating habits.
If you find yourself feeling guilty, take it as a sign that your eating habits are a little too rigid and you need to find a more balanced approach.
6. You are not allowed to “eat” your favorite foods
I’ve said this before, and it’s really important to repeat it several times. Eating is food and it’s also enjoyment, culture, tradition, a way to connect with others, comfort and more.
You should be able to fully enjoy your favorite foods with your eating habits. The only exception is if you have a medical condition or allergy and it has been advised against it. If so, you should work with a nutritionist like the one on our team to find satisfactory alternatives to these foods.
By avoiding foods that you enjoy, you are practicing a more balanced approach to eating that allows you to mindfully enjoy all of the foods you love.
7. You tend to avoid situations, especially social ones, in which you may “slip”.
Do you ever skip situations that primarily focus on food – like a birthday party or girls’ night out – because you fear that you will “slip”?
Food is food, but food is also connected to others, pleasure, tradition, culture and much more. It’s important to honor that.
You should feel like you have the right balance between eating for nutrition and eating for pleasure, connection and tradition.
Eating should be a part of your life, not a controlling factor in your life.
The fear of “slipping” indicates that you may not yet have the right level of balance to feel confident and empowered to make the right decisions for yourself.
8. You no longer enjoy eating
Eating well should be fun. That means the nutritious foods you eat should be both satisfying and delicious. The eating habits you have should be fun and enjoyable, too, most of the time!
If you feel that you are not even enjoying your food, or that your cooking and sitting experience is not a pleasant one, it is a sign that your eating habits are out of sync.
One of our members, Chantal, was cooking dinner for her family one evening when she realized she was not enjoying food. She was so negative about her relationship with food that she didn’t look forward to sharing a meal with her family – something that should be a nice part of her day.
It was then that she discovered that her eating habits had so much more influence than she did, and that they did not support the kind of life she wanted to live – one in which she could enjoy those everyday moments with loved ones over a meal .
It can be so easy to think of good food as something we must or should do when in reality it is such an important and central part of our lives. Feeding yourself and taking care of yourself should be fun.
Then you will find that your habits come into force naturally because you look forward to them.