Under-eating happens when your calorie intake is too low as compared to the recommended amount required for the body to function properly.
Limiting the daily calorie intake is the most common approach for achieving weight-loss goals, but you should be careful not to allow your daily calorie count to dip too low, as your body will suffer when you don’t consume enough nutrients. In fact, extreme dieting could cause one to experience malnutrition and other related health problems.
Here are some signs indicating that you could be under-eating:
1. Feeling lethargic or fatigue
Calories provide energy for your daily activities – naturally, you’d feel a lack of energy if you’re not eating enough. Constantly feeling fatigued while going about your day is a clue that your body requires more “fuel”.
2. Sticking to your diet most of the time, but completely losing control otherwise
Depriving yourself of something often causes the temptation of it to become even stronger, as with the case of food. While on a lower-calorie diet, you should still be eating healthy and flavourful meals, in order to satisfy both your hunger and your palate.
3. Your weight stays constant
Slashing the amount of calories you consume might work for quick weight-loss, but it does not benefit you in the long run. As you consume less calories, your body might go into ‘survival mode’, where it tries to cling onto the small amount of calories it has access to, instead of burning it at the usual rate, causing your metabolism to slow down considerably.
Other common symptoms one might notice while suffering from malnutrition include nausea, hair loss, weak immunity, headaches or feeling irritable.
Besides cutting your calorie intake, a weight-loss plan should include regular exercise and ensuring the food you consume is nutritious and healthy for you. However, exercising while on a low-calorie diet could bring undesirable results, depending on your fitness goals.
For those looking to build muscle mass, exercising on an empty stomach could reduce your protein stores, stopping you from building up more muscle during your workout. If you’re training for an upcoming race or marathon, you’ll find that you won’t be able to work out as hard or as long, due to the lack of energy provided from a low-calorie diet.
Those wanting to lose weight should note that people who exercise before eating reportedly burn more fat than those who exercise after meals. However, the actual amount of a calories burnt between the two methods were not significantly different. Nevertheless, those who refrain from eating before exercising might find themselves hungrier after a workout, leading to a stronger tendency to overeat or binge eat, and doing so could replace the calories you burned altogether.
Overall, avoid looking for quick shortcuts if you’re looking to lose some extra pounds and do not expect to see results overnight. Fuel yourself up with an adequate amount of nutrients, carry out regular exercise, and be disciplined! Remember, in the race to weight loss, it’s about going slow and steady.