I think it’s safe to say that if you’re trying to lose weight, the first thing you’ll hear from media, Google, or even a friend – is that you have to eat less. Traditional diet advice will say you have to cut calories, exercise more, and limit your favorite indulgences if you’re looking for successful weight loss. While improving your overall health is important, calories in vs calories out is outdated advice and each person’s calorie needs are different based on their activity level, goals and gender.
The physical and mental hindrances on your health can ultimately be detrimental if you’re severely undereating and not receiving the basic calories needs your body needs for survival. If you find yourself eating too low in the amount of calories you take in, it can become difficult for your body to perform the basic biological functions that keep you healthy and energized. Very often, the body will hold onto fat and turn to your muscle stores for energy, which can slow your metabolism and halt any weight loss desired.
Severely cutting calories or thinking about everything you are eating can also hinder your relationship with food. It’s important to think of food as a delicious, well-deserved and nourishing thing that supports your metabolism and energy. When you’re eating enough for weight loss, the body first uses food for fuel and then turns to the fat it’s been holding onto for energy. But when you restrict calories too severely, your body goes into “starvation mode” and breaks down your energy stores.
If you’re not sure that you’re eating enough, here a few signs that it may be time to eat more for weight loss:
4 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough:
- You are constantly thinking about food
Do you find yourself dreaming about food or constantly feeling hungry? Counting down the hours or minutes until you can “have” another snack or meal? This may be a sign that you’re not eating enough. Make sure to have snacks between meals! Check out my handy snack guide for easy high-protein snacks you can make for home or on-the-go!
- You’re skipping meals altogether
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, or surviving on coffee and “low calorie foods” is not how you should approach weight loss. Routinely skipping meals and snacks can lead to fatigue, brain fog, extreme hunger and even binge eating. It can also diminish the mind-body connection.
- You hit a wall at 2pm
When you take in too few calories over the course of a day, you may find that you just don’t have the energy to keep going without getting sleepy or even just foggy. Make sure to eat snacks or a meal every 3-4 hours to keep yourself from feeling tired, deprived or cranky and keep your blood sugar stable! Here are some of our favorite snack options.
- You’ve lost your period
Rapid weight loss and undereating can lead to disruptions in your hormones and you may even lose your period. If you notice changes to your cycle or you lose it altogether, consider that you may need to eat more!
Are you ready to make sustainable choices towards your health and weight loss? Take this FREE quiz (takes less than 1 minute to take) and you’ll learn what Nourished Eating Personality you are, receive guidance on how to build balanced eating habits that are realistic so you can feel good, and how to start feeling in control of your food choices, at all times!