It’s safe to say that the majority of people understand that good nutrition is important, but how many people know how to tell if their diet plan is working?
One obvious method is to simply ask the question, how good do I feel? To ensure your body is getting the nourishment it needs, a healthy diet should consist of lean proteins, grains, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. You should also be eating enough calories per day to ensure you are supplying your body with enough energy to perform. It is recommended that you get a full health check up at least once per year, however there are some signs to indicate if you’re on the right track or not:
Are you within the recommended weight limits for your age, height and lifestyle? Weight charts are quite easy to find online. This doesn’t mean that you should be scared to eat however, a common mistake made by many dieters make is that they do not eating enough. If you live an active lifestyle, you cannot ignore the fact your body needs a healthy amount of calories to fuel your activity throughout the day.
Just like the rest of your body, the brain needs fuel to operate, burning about 10% of a calorie every minute.
Do you feel continuously tired and/or mentally foggy? If the answer is yes, then this may be a strong indication that you are not providing your body with enough calories/fuel. Your ability to respond quickly and precisely in everyday situations will be impaired unless you address this.
Healthy Looking Skin and Hair
The condition of your skin and hair is a great indicator of your body’s level of health. Healthy fats in your diet from foods like nuts, avocados, and olives give the skin and hair a healthy glow and shine, while lean proteins like chicken and turkey assist the body in cell growth and repair.
How clear is your vision? A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of processed foods, keeps the eyes healthy. Foods with high sugar content can cause swelling in the eye and impairs vision. Good nutrition also reduces your risk for developing AMD (age-related macular degeneration) that can lead to blindness.
Processed foods contain a lot of artificial ingredients, as well as sugar, caffeine and salt. A combination of which will hinder the body’s ability to repair itself when it’s in rest mode. Sleep is important as this is the time period when the body heals itself and prepares for the coming day’s activity. Food nutrition will result
in a lot of resting hours being used to process sugar and empty nutrition.
Regular Bowel Movements
Regular trips to the toilet help the body rid itself of toxins. The longer foods stay in the digestive system, the more calories and toxins can be extracted. This results in more weight gain and more damage from toxins from processed foods. Toxins in the colon need to be eliminated daily. Improve your colon health by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber such as artichokes, apples and pears (with skin) dates, figs, prunes, broccoli, chick-peas and lentils to name just a few. You should also ensure you drink lots of water and avoid tobacco. Of course, an over-frequency of trips to toilet may also indicate a problem.
Blood Pressure Level
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery wall, and is important as it forces the blood to move throughout your body. High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney and eye problems, not to mention death. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, nausea, dehydration and unusual thirst amongst other things. The food you eat, such as salt, alcohol, and potassium, can cause a rise or fall in blood pressure. You cannot detect unhealthy blood pressure entirely by the way you feel, but an annual physical will tell you if you need adjustments in your diet.
Healthy bone structure is critical to our health and longevity. Keeping your bones healthy is the first step to a healthy immune system. To ensure your bones are being maintained correctly, you need to ensure you receive enough calcium and vitamin D. Regular exercise is also crucial in maintaining healthy bone structure.
Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a substance made in the liver and is vital to life. Cholesterol can also find its way into the body through the food you eat, but only by consuming animal products (plants don’t create any). The three main purposes of cholesterol are to aid in the production of sex hormones, act as a building block for human tissue and assist in bile production in the liver. Generally, cholesterol is refereed to as either LDL (bad) or HDL (good). You can get your cholesterol levels checked by your doctor.
Good Muscle Tone
Good muscle tone will help to prevent injury, keeps your bones supported and in place ensuring that your body is able to move as intended. Lean proteins, eaten with every meal, provide a steady flow of amino acids in the blood system for the body to repair, build, and maintain healthy muscles.
*The views and/or opinions expressed in the blogs are not necessarily those of Training Nation, but of the author