Oftentimes, people use makeup or plastic surgery to make themselves look and feel better. However, sometimes, the secret to our physical and emotional well-being lies in our grocery cart, our refrigerator and our lunch bag. If you haven’t been feeling like yourself lately, chances are you need a diet makeover. Here are a few ways to tell if your diet needs an overhaul.
Your Skin Is a Big Mess
The last time I went on a vacation, I didn’t drink enough water. Instead, I consumed a belgian waffle, loaded with syrup, for breakfast. Soon thereafter, I was blessed with some acne and a listless complexion. Typically, my skin is pretty good so I knew my diet was the culprit. According to prevention.com, eating too much sugar can cause wrinkles and dull skin. Likewise, sugar consumption can damage your collagen and elastin production. Overall, drinking plenty of water and eating a diet rich in whole foods can help improve your complexion.
Do you wake up tired and then feel lethargic all day? It’s likely your diet is partly to blame. If you are starting your day with white carbohydrates or too much sugar, you may experience an energy “crash.” Dr. David Katz, founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center, says “research shows that choosing a breakfast with either soluble fiber or insoluble fiber — the kind in whole-grain breads and waffles — actually protects against blood sugar spikes and crashes later in the day.” Also, don’t forget to grab healthy snacks every few hours. I eat fruit and nut bars with less than 5 grams of sugar to keep my energy up throughout the day.
You Feel like Oscar the Grouch
Feeling cranky? Are you easily irritated or find yourself snapping at people? A diet change can probably help. When you skip meals, this can make you irritable. The good news is there are certain foods that can help improve your mood. Web MD suggests eating foods “rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid.” One example of a mood-boosting meal is a spinach salad topped with grilled salmon.
You Are Gaining Weight
Metabolism, genes and hormones play a role in weight gain. However, if you are gaining weight, a diet makeover can help keep the pounds off. Eating a diet free of processed, fried and sugary foods is the first step. Another mistake is drinking high calorie coffee drinks or soda. Drink water, eat healthy snacks often and try to consume plenty of green leafy vegetables.
You Keep Getting Sick
While stress and lack of sleep can lead to illness, I believe a healthy diet is one of the best types of “medicine” that can be prescribed. One of the easiest ways to remain healthy is to stay away from processed foods. Prevention.com also lists some “power foods” that give your immune system a little lift. Probiotics are an amazing tool for helping your “gut” be healthy. However, be careful about purchasing yogurt high in sugar. Also, choose a yogurt with “live and active cultures.” Unfortunately, I loathe yogurt but I eat my probiotics in a supplement form. Infection fighting garlic, selenium-rich shellfish and, yes, chicken soup also made the list. Green or black tea and the zinc in “lean beef” can also help fight off viruses. Finally, mushrooms are said to “increase the production and activity of white blood cells” which gives your immune system a boost.
A diet makeover can change your lifestyle for the better!
More from Melissa:
Eating My Way to Better Skin
Five Methods to Even Out Your Skin Tone (With or Without Makeup)
My Clean Eating Weight Loss Success Story