We are so busy, so stressed, so rushed and have so many things to do these days that it's no wonder we have lost touch with what our bodies are trying to tell us.
The best way to know what you need is to listen to your body. Get in tune with what and how you feel.
Keep a journal to start, that you can go back and read to learn more about what you need.
After you eat a large unhealthy meal, write down what you ate and how you feel immediately afterwards, then an hour after. Note how you feel a day after as well.
Track how you feel after a healthy light filling meal, immediately, an hour and then 24 hours after.
Keep track of your sleep, what you ate before bed, what time you went to bed, how many times you woke up, and what time you got up in the morning.
Track your exercise, what you do, how you feel afterwards, and how you feel a day after.
You will begin to notice a pattern form. You sometimes won't realize these things because there are so many other things going on in your world to notice.
I recently started really listening to my body. I used to indulge in a diet soda from time to time, and I decided to take notes of the way I feel after drinking a diet soda.
30 minutes after: Little caffeine energy surge, weird small pains throughout joints and in my head.
1 hour after: Pain in my head when I bend down.
2 hours after: Tired and fatigued.
So my little experiment worked because I did this a few more times, and realized that my body was trying to tell me that my occasional indulgence was not sitting well with it, and my body did not want that junk in there.
I highly recommend listening to your body and getting familiar with the little signals that it gives you.
After a couple of times journaling your food, exercise and sleep you will notice patterns that will teach you to better listen to your bodies needs.