We live in a world where we are constantly exposed to ‘mira-cle’ weight-loss plans, fads and extreme diets that promote chronic under-eating.
We live in a world where we are constantly exposed to ‘miracle’ weight-loss plans, fads and extreme diets that promote chronic under-eating. These quick fixes tell us that all we need to do to lose weight is create a big caloric deficit I.e eat very little and move a whole lot more.This is not true. Not consuming enough macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) and calories causes many health problems and drastically impedes your ability to lose weight.
Below are 8 signs that demonstrate that you may be under eating and sabotaging your weight loss.
1. You can’t seem to lose weight.
If you are not eating enough and creating a caloric deficit that is larger than 500 calories a day your body will adjust it’s metabolism. It’s simple, your body doesn’t like drastic change and responds to it by adjusting your caloric output which means it’s holding on to that weight you’re trying to get rid of! Aim to create a deficit between 200-500 calories a day.
2 You can’t get pregnant
Not consuming enough calories can lead to infertility and amenorrhea in women. A woman who suffers from amenorrhea experiences menstrual irregularity, meaning that she is not releasing an egg during her ovulatory period (it doesn’t always translate into a missed period). If this is happening due to under-eating, she may experience adrenal fatigue and euthyroid sick syndrome. If you are experiencing any difficulty getting pregnant and have a history of dieting your eating habits may be causing infertility.
3, Your blood sugar goes up and down.
People who under eat are likely to have low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar is generally defined as anything below 70 mg/dL. Common symptoms include dizziness, weakness, confusion, hunger, shaking, mood changes and sweatiness. In order to ease these symptoms people will often eat sugary foods, which causes their blood sugar to go up and down drastically. In order to lose weight sustainably, you need to be consuming a diet that keeps your blood sugar and hormone levels stable.
4. You are hangry
Hangry (a combination of hungry and angry) is a slang term that describes that feeling you get when you’re famished. This happens because (as previously mentioned) when you under-eat your blood sugar drops, which results in your brain not being able to function at it’s best. This effects your ability to cope with stress, resist impulsive and aggressive behaviours, control your attention and regulate your emotions. If your mood fluctuates from happy to angry or you have developed a short fuse, it may be attributed to your extremely low calorie diet.
5. Your sleep pattern is all over the place.
Struggling to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night s another symptom of under-eating that is caused due to low blood sugar levels. When you fall asleep at night, your blood sugar level naturally drops. To stabilise it, your liver kicks into gear and releases glycogen. If you are not consuming enough calories your liver won’t have enough glycogen to release and will release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline instead in order to promote the process of making new glucose. If these stress hormone levels are high enough, you will wake up. Eating enough calories will prevent this from happening and will allow you to get a full night of restful sleep.
6. You’re always constipated
Under eating causes constipation for two reasons. The first reason is there may not be enough food in your system to produce waste and hence regular bowel movements. The second reason under eating causes constipation is due to low levels of your active thyroid hormone (T3) which occurs when you’re not consuming enough calories. When T3 drops, your gut doesn’t function as it should causing constipation. You should be having a bowel movement every two days. If you aren’t, you may be under eating.
7. You’re always cold
A low calorie diet can cause your body temperature to drop for a few reasons. Your body requires a certain amount of calories to generate heat, which means if you’re not ingesting enough calories your body temperature will also drop. Low insulin and hormonal changes (symptoms of under eating) also causes your body temperature to drop. So if you’re always cold, even when the sun is out, it may be a sign that you are not eating enough!
8. You’re losing hair
Losing your hair is one of the first signs you that you are not consuming enough calories and or protein. A drop in sex hormones progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen, which happens when you under eat, also causes hair loss. In order to stop the hair loss, you must ensure that you are eating enough calories and a protein-rich diet with lots of nutrients.
So How Much Should You Be Eating?
COME SEE US! At NutriEats we teach you how to find the perfect equilibrium for your body in terms of nutrition. We give you the tools and skills you will need to teach you how to eat properly. We calculate your caloric and macronutrient intake for you, giving you the right amounts of food you should be eating. As everyone is different, we take an individualistic approach meaning your diet will be personalised to you and for you.
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