Psssst… I have a secret for you. It’s a big one.
There are individuals, companies, even entire industries who are trying to keep you from learning this secret. So lean in close.
The secret is this:
Your body is amazing, brilliant and filled with ancient wisdom. You are not inherently “broken” and there is nothing you must buy or apply to “fix” you.
Everything you need to look and feel your absolute best is inside you right now. You just need to tune in and listen to the whispers (or maybe the shouts, if you’ve been tuned-out too long).
From time-to-time we get disconnected from our bodies. It happens to the best of us. If you’re feeling a little less than amazing, chances are your body might need a little TLC to get back on it’s A-game. Healthy food, proper hydration, and down-time are all highly recommended (in that order).
Not sure what your body is telling you? Here are some major signs to look out for:
1. Your Energy is Low
Feeling tired at the end of a long day is normal, but constant run-down exhaustion is not. If you regularly wake up tired, (even after 7-8 hours of sleep) your body is telling you that it needs more support.
Ensure that you are getting enough micronutrients. That means vitamins and minerals – and no, you can’t just take supplements. Real food first. Your body needs vitamins to effectively convert calories into energy. So don’t just count your macros, count your micros too!
Eat the rainbow every day to get the full spectrum of nutrients your body requires. Choose foods that have higher nutrient density - that's more nutrients per calorie.
2. Your Digestion is Crap
I get it, yoga pants are super comfy… but if bloating has restricted your wardrobe to your stretchiest waist bands, your body is trying to tell your something.
Tune-in to your body and look for patterns. Certain foods may be contributing to the problem, common culprits include:
- Processed and Fast Food
To optimize digestion, try actually paying attention to your food! Sitting down, tasting your food, and chewing thoroughly all have huge impacts on digestion.
If you swallow a sandwich without thinking about it as you run to a meeting, it’s more likely to sit in your gut like a brick before your body even registers that you've eaten.
Staying well hydrated throughout the day is also important for digestion, but try to avoid drinking too much water directly before or after a meal as this can impair digestion.
3. You’ve Got Cravings
Do the donuts in the break room start calling your name around 3 PM? Or maybe you have a candy bar stash in your desk for an afternoon pick-me-up? If you go on a sweet hunt during that afternoon slump, you’re likely aboard the blood sugar roller coaster.
Keep your blood sugar stable by eating a balanced combination of protein, fats and carbs about every 3 hours.
The mid-afternoon slump is usually caused by the rebound of a high-carb lunch, so make sure your meals are balanced and avoid reaching for sugar. Always have a healthy snack on hand to pick you up, without dropping you right back down.
4. You’re in a Food Rut
We all like to keep it simple, and most people have a handful of staple recipes they make over and over. However, if you’ve been eating the same 10 meals for the last few months you might be missing out on essential nutrients.
Remember point 1, where we talked about the importance of eating the rainbow? That’s because different foods contain different nutrients, and our bodies evolved to eat a highly varied diet.
Make it a point to try at least one new fruit or veggie every week, and rotate your foods often. If you always put spinach in your smoothie, try using kale or chard for a while. You don't need to learn new recipes to incorporate more variety.
5. You’re Moody
Real talk: when your body isn’t happy, your mind isn’t happy.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or PMS, a healthier lifestyle may improve your outlook.
Hormonal imbalances, lack of proper elimination and nutrient deficiencies can all contribute to a low mood. Plus, the side effects of an unhealthy lifestyle include weight gain and skin issues, which can make you feel self conscious and unhappy.
Show your body respect by filling it with clean fuel, and taking the time you need to connect with yourself. Move often, in a way that feels good to you. Nurture your relationships, and talk about your feelings with the people who love you.
6. You Aren’t At Your Happy Weight
“Happy weight” is the size at which your body feels most healthy, vibrant, energetic, and confident. It’s different for everyone, and is not necessarily defined by a number.
Signs that you are not at your “happy weight” include:
- Recent, significant changes in body composition
- Sore joints during even mild exercise
- Ignoring hunger for fear of gaining weight
- Feeling physically held back by your size
When you are eating well, exercising regularly, and managing stress, your body will naturally find its “happy weight.” You shouldn’t have to work extra hard, or deprive yourself to maintain it.
7. You Feel Like it’s Time For a Change
If any part of you feels like you need to make a change – honour that. If you're craving more structure, better nutrition, more time for exercise, or social connection the odds are that your body is telling you exactly what you need.
But be aware, sustainable changes take some time. Commit a few weeks to learning and getting in the groove, and keep in mind that perfection is not the goal.
It can be tempting to purchase a tea detox, or buy a new diet book promising a quick fix, but now you know the secret. Now you know that real, healthy food is more powerful than any pill.
Simple Ways to Reset
Start incorporating more fresh produce into your diet to boost your nutrient intake.
Get in the habit of prepping healthy meals in advance, so you’re less tempted to stop for fast-food.
Keep healthy snacks on hand, so your blood sugar doesn’t take a nose-dive and send you to the vending machine.
Find healthier version of your favourite treats, so you don’t feel deprived.
Take a break from the scale and focus on how happy your body feels.
Join our 21-Day Real Food Real Quick Program, which kicks off on Monday January 8, 2018. Get all the details here.
Start incorporating these healthy habits into your daily routine, and eventually it will become second nature. You'll learn to notice your body telling you what it needs and the best part is this: when you start listening to those tiny whispers, you may never have to hear the shouts again.