When you start making changes to improve your health and nutrition, it can feel impossible to measure your success or figure out if you're even on the right track (or far from it). With Google "University" at your fingertips, it's very easy to get pulled in 100 different directions with information that contradicts each other on how exactly to go about reaching the holy grail of health.
How do you even know if what you're doing is healthful or HARMFUL?
When I'm working with clients in my Root Cause Program, I don't like to TELL them they're on the right track, but instead SHOW them, by pointing their attention to changes in the following areas. Here are the most common examples of things to look for that indicate you're on the right (not the wrong) track:
1) Increased energy
Increased energy is one the best clues that you're fueling your body right. It can indicate that your thyroid is becoming more efficient at producing energy because you're actually giving your body what it NEEDS to function optimally! And the best thing about this one is it can happen immediately; within the first few days or weeks of changing your nutrition.
2) Less stress and mood variation during the day (especially important during trying times)
You may be far too familiar with stress.
You know, the kind where you wake up stressed, feel high-strung all day, or get moody regularly at certain times and feel like you have no control over it what-so-ever. You might also have crazy stress at night that prevents you from falling or staying asleep.
This is the kind of stress and mood variation that should dwindle over time with a strategic eating based nutrition plan.
3) Healthier nails and hair
When nails don't grow or if they have white spots on them, this can be a sign of both digestive weakness and nutritional deficiency. Hair that lacks luster and the ability to grow can mean the same! Hair and nails are two easy places to look for an instant "progress report" of sorts on your personal nutrition. However, changes with both hair and nails can take a little longer to see; we're talking several months, not days or weeks.
4) Improved sleep (quality and duration)
Blood sugar imbalance can really screw with your sleep. It can make you too revved up at night to fall asleep or it can leave you waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes unable to fall back asleep.
A solid nutrition plan should support your blood sugar and provide targeted nutrition strategies to start improving your sleep TONIGHT!
5) Less food cravings
Food cravings are your body's way of communicating with you about what it needs. Ignore them and it's a slippery slope to creating dietary habits that work against your body. As you build your nutrition over time, strong food cravings often diminish, since your body has what it needs!
If you want to read more on this, you might enjoy this post about what your body may be trying to tell you through food cravings.
6) Better BM's
While potty talk is taboo for some, it's WAY too important to ignore. The inability to “go” regularly can cause digestive discomfort, reduce your appetite, and it can also severely impact your mood, intimate relationships and even your self-esteem! On the flip side, going too frequently can interfere with your body's ability to absorb nutrients, cause pain and discomfort, and interfere with life's daily activities!
No matter what potty problem is plaguing you, a strategic diet that is targeted specifically to your needs should leave relief right around the corner!
7) Smoother digestion
Bloating, water retention, belching, and digestive discomfort can make for a pretty miserable existence (believe me, I've got past experience with this one)! Your gut health has such a profound effect on your mood, that smoother digestion can literally be a godsend for those who are struggling. Subtle changes in digestion over time should happen when you're really making strides with your health.
You should literally FEEL the progress within the first few weeks.
8) More regular cycles (less PMS)
Subtle cycle changes can happen within the first few months of a rock solid nutrition program that includes hair analysis.
9) Stronger sex drive
If you've suffered with a low libido, kicking up your nutrition should yield some impressive improvements over time. I recently wrote a guest post all about how to increase your sex drive with nutrition that you can hop on over and read here.
10) Increased fertility
Diet has a TON to do with fertility. Conditions have to be right in your body for reproduction as your body must have the "supplies" to make a baby from scratch! Of course when your nutrition isn't right, your fertility will suffer. You can read more on this here.
11) Clearer skin
Skin problems start in the gut. As you get your digestion back on track, clearer skin is usually an additional, but very welcome perk!
12) Changes in weight
Notice I put this one LAST on the list for a reason.
That's because a change in weight is often further down the line than everything else on this list, because you have to be healthy first in order to lose weight (not the other way around)! Weight loss (or gain if you need it) usually happens when the body comes back into balance, so if you've struggled with you weight for years or even decades, it's going to take a while to see any changes in this area.
Just remember that numbers 1-11 on this list are all signs you're well on your way to turning your health around, and your weight will stabilize when it's good and ready! Read more on weight concerns here...
What if you aren't seeing these changes?
If you're on a health or nutrition program and NOT seeing progress in any of these areas over time (typically within the first 2-4 weeks), you might want to question if you're really on the right path or if you could be doing more harm than good.
If you need to find out if you're on the right path, request a free consultation to see if it's a good fit here.
Did you see these things when you changed your diet? Please share in the comments!