For Real: 16 Signs Your Diet Isn't Working

You're eating right by cutting out refined sugar, limiting salt and eliminating foods you know aren't good for you only to discover that something is not right. Sometimes what you think is the correct way to eat turns out to be a different story. Healthy eating often takes some careful planning and strategic shopping in order to get it right. If you aren’t sure if your diet is working the way it should, these 16 tell-tale signs are a good indicator that it is time to make some adjustments:

woman weighing herself on bathroom scale

1. Weight gain: Right off the bat, if you're gaining weight on your diet, it is definitely not working. You may need to start tracking what you eat to see where you may be overdoing it. Don’t forget that what you drink counts just as much as what you eat.

2. Lack of energy: No diet should ever leave you feeling listless or tired. If that is the case, you aren't eating the right foods. Food, in general, is what gives your body the nutrients it needs to live and that includes keeping your energy at a normal level.

3. Constant hunger: Some women think less is more and end up eating far fewer calories than they should which also means they are hungry all day long. If your diet leaves you famished most hours of the day, you definitely need to start eating more—just make sure it’s healthy.

4. Hair Loss: Yes, this can happen if you are depriving your body of some very important vitamins and minerals. It can also happen as a result of eating too less. As soon as you notice that kind of change, see your doctor and let him or her know about any changes you have made to your diet.

woman on a diet tempted by sweets5. Difficulty avoiding temptation: This is another sign that you are depriving your body too much. If you're completely cutting out all treats, no doubt when the opportunity presents itself, you are going to indulge—a lot—and undo your hard work.

6. Obsessed with food: If you spend most of the day thinking about your next meal and what you will eat, obviously what you are eating now is not doing the trick. Again, this is most likely the cause of not eating enough.

7. Eating in secret: Not only is this a sign that your diet isn’t working, but it can also be the start of an eating disorder. If you feel the need to eat in secret, something is seriously amiss and you may want to seek professional help to get to the root of the problem including a reevaluation of your diet.

8. Complaining about your diet: Do you find yourself complaining about the foods you have to eat rather than enjoying them? Maybe you don’t need so many restrictions on what you eat or maybe you need to swap out some of the foods you are tired of eating on your diet and find new ones to enjoy.

woman having trouble sleeping

9. Difficulty sleeping: If you're up half the night trying to fall asleep, this can be an indication that you're missing some much needed nutrients in your body that help regulate your body’s sleep cycle. It can also mean that something you're eating is causing the sleep disturbance.

10. Always sick: A healthy diet should not make you sick. When you're feeling unwell more often than usual, you need to take a step back and see if what you are or aren’t eating is the cause.

11. You’re not happy: Any diet that makes you feel sad or depressed is not worth it. It’s one thing to cut out foods in an effort to lose weight, but if you aren't happy, losing weight may not necessarily remedy that.

12. Mood swings: Happy one minute and then lashing out the next is not normal behavior. This could be a sign that you are hungry or just don’t feel well from your diet. You may want to include foods that can actually boost your mood so you don’t go from one extreme mood to another.

woman experiencing stomach pain

13. Digestive problems: Some diets exclude food groups which can impact your digestive system. If you notice that things are not exactly running smoothly like they used to, you may want to switch the diet you're on or modify it by reintroducing some of the foods you completely eliminated.

14. Food intolerance: Finding new foods to eat is always exciting, but not when they have an adverse effect. Anyone can develop a food intolerance at any point in their life. If your new diet means eating something new and you start to experience negative effects, eliminate it for a week and see if the symptoms go away. If they do, stay clear of it.

15. Sudden breakouts: You don’t have to be a teenager to experience breakouts. However, at this stage in your life, it may be due to the foods you're eating or the ones you all of a sudden gave up while on your diet.


16. Exercise is a distant memory: Usually a healthy diet coincides with starting an exercising program. But if your diet is not working for you, you're most likely going to give up on the exercise part and throw in the towel. Don’t do that. Stay on track with the exercise and find a better diet that you're happy with and can stick to for the long-term.

Whether you're on a diet to lose weight or just to eat better, you should never experience any negative side effects from it. If that is the case, you may want to revamp your diet or find a different one that is manageable and easier to follow. Since there are so many diets out there, you need to find the one that works best for you and only you!