I’ve mentioned before that I get to talk to a lot of women who are in all different stages of their wellness journeys. And I love it! But something that I hear all too often is “I feel like I’m eating right, but I’m not seeing any results…” or some variation of that statement. And my number one answer is “It could be that you’re not eating enough.” Then from there we take a look at what a typical day looks like, and we work on it together.
I know the nutrition thing is complicated that’s why I love being able to work with other women to figure it out. And I know that most people will tell you that the solution is simple…Eat less, exercise more. But more often than not, it’s just really not that simple. So I wanted to dig in to what happens when you don’t eat enough so that if you’re like many of the women I talk to you can start serving yourself a little better.
Your Body’s Response When You’re Not Eating Enough
Whether it is in fear of gaining weight or just not making time to eat, not eating enough is more dangerous than most people think. When you have a calorie deficit that is too low, it causes a lot of negative metabolic changes.
1.) Slowing your thyroid production. (Responsible for fat, carb, and protein metabolism.)
2.) Decreasing muscle mass. (Muscle BURNS fat.)
3.) Lowering testosterone. (Important for women also, for putting on muscle; this will NOT make you “bulky.” )
4.) Decreasing leptin. (Regulates energy.)
5.) Storing fat in starvation mode in fear of not getting another meal.
How to Know If You’re Not Eating Enough
So how do you know if you’re not eating enough? Well, that can be a little tricky too, but these are the general guidelines I go by.
1. ) Low energy (This is the #1 indicator that you’re not giving your body enough fuel.)
2.) Constant hunger
3.) Disrupted sleep
5.) Frequent illness
Yes, there are other issues that could be at play if you’re experiencing several of these issues, but honestly, my first line of defense when I or someone I know is experiencing one or several of these symptoms is to up the food intake. Now of course, that’s not to say just eat whatever you want, but what you can do is add in an extra snack or two (on top of your normal intake) of whole fresh veggies or fruit with a little nut butter or cheese and see if it makes a difference. If it does, you likely weren’t eating enough.
I struggled with figuring out that balance of how much (and what to eat) too, so that’s why I’m so passionate about helping other women get it figured out too. If you’ve been struggling with either aspect of that issue, send me an email, and let’s chat! We’ll work together to figure out if undereating may be an issue for you too, and we’ll come up with a plan to help you get closer to your goals! And, if you’d like to join a community of other like-minded women who are working on their wellness, come be a part of our FREE Living Contently Wellness Community! We’d love to have you!