Is my diet broken or do I have a nutritional deficiency?

When it comes to dietary changes, weight loss or achieving new wellness goals, many people assume a big overhaul is needed. Questions such as, “Do I need to go Paleo, Keto or eliminate sugar altogether? What about Whole30?” often come up. 

But you might be surprised to learn that it’s the small changes that make the biggest difference. As a wellness coach, I find that tackling small or low-hanging fruit is often the key to success in our diet. 

If you’re having trouble achieving a wellness goal, identifying what factors might be in the way and removing the obstacles can help get results quicker. One such obstacle is nutritional deficiencies. In this fast-paced world, most people probably have one or more. In fact, more than 80 percent of the population has at least one.

Related: Plant-based diet 101: What to consider before going vegetarian or vegan

I believe that until nutritional deficiencies are removed, the body simply won’t function properly — and that makes any health or fitness goal a lot harder to reach. So, let’s start out by looking to see if there are any nutritional deficiencies that might be occurring right now in your diet. 

So, what do we address when tackling or eliminating nutritional deficiencies?

  • Protein: Overall, most people simply do not eat enough quality protein daily.
  • Vitamins and minerals: These are always the puzzler. Most people believe that if they eat just fruits and veggies, they will keep sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals in their bodies, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
  • Healthy fats: These are referred to as essential fatty acids or EFA for short.
  • Water: If you think you’re drinking enough water on a daily basis, you’re not.

Looking at the list, it seems like a no-brainer that all of these are achievable. And you’re probably telling yourself there has to be something bigger than this as to the reason for your lack of results. Unfortunately, in most cases, the four nutritional deficiencies listed above are the “primordial soup” for all other nutritional strategies to spawn and become successful.  


Make sure you’re getting a balance of all of the above elements in your diet. Once nutritional deficiencies are addressed and met daily, you can start to focus on things like food quality and portions. I want you to remember: this process isn’t slow. Rather, it’s systematic and necessary. Let’s focus on the things that are in your way right now. Once they’re eliminated, progress happens fast.

Looking for someone to coach you toward your goals? Get started today.

About the author

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Coach Chris Brumley is a strength and conditioning professional at the Baylor Tom Landry Health & Wellness Center.

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Is my diet broken or do I have a nutritional deficiency?