Nowadays we are tired of hearing how harmful it is to ingest more energy than we need on a sustained basis, but has anyone explained to you the consequences of not eating enough?
Do you know how to detect if this is your case?
When we want to start leading a healthy lifestyle we take for granted that what we have to do is to eat less and many times we do it without getting in the hands of a professional, without criteria, restricting ourselves excessively and this can cause several problems.
There are a series of symptoms that can help us to detect if we are not eating enough and it is very important to identify them in order not to fall into error and to achieve a correct, nutritious, complete diet, adapted to our situation and objective.
Main symptoms that may indicate that we are not eating enough:
- Binge eating or uncontrollable cravings. If during the day you feel the need to eat at all hours, if you are all week thinking about the weekend to eat everything you are depriving yourself and you arrive with the desire to devour everything in front of you, it is very likely that your nutritional pattern is not covering your requirements. A proper nutritional pattern should allow you to be in balance and you should feel satiated.
- Insomnia. A very high caloric deficit can interfere with the quality of sleep. It is advisable to sleep between 7 or 8 hours a day and training, physical activity, nutritional guidelines and mental health are just as important as rest. If we do not sleep well, we cannot perform in the same way. When we are facing a very high caloric deficit, we tend to stress our body in such a way that we may have difficulty resting.
- Irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Very restrictive caloric patterns can intervene in the menstrual cycle, even causing it to disappear and provoking amenorrhea. Long periods of high caloric deficit may be responsible for the disappearance of menstruation in women. The body needs to "save" energy due to the few nutrients that are being provided and one way to do this is to stop menstruating.
- Lack of concentration, reduced physical and mental performance. In order to concentrate and be productive, we need the necessary nutrients. If you feel that you are having trouble concentrating, improving your goals or if your performance has decreased, review your nutritional guidelines.
- Difficulty in reaching physical goals. Not eating enough can interfere with reaching our goals, both in terms of performance, muscle mass gain and weight loss. By not providing the necessary nutrients, we do not perform in the same way nor do we have the necessary nutrients to be able to generate muscle mass. On the other hand, as ironic as it may seem, we do not lose weight either, since long periods of caloric deficit cause our metabolism to become "slower" or "more thrifty", thus preventing us from losing weight.
- Fatigue, tiredness, increased susceptibility, apathy, decreased libido, irritability... may be some indicators.
- Excessive hair loss and brittle nails.
- Constipation. A lower food intake may be associated with a lower intake of fiber, fluids and less physical activity, which may lead to constipation.
The fact that you have any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are not eating enough, but I recommend that, if several of them are met and you are starting a nutritional plan on your own, you put yourself in the hands of a professional.
Remember that, to eat well, it is not necessary to live in a caloric deficit or deprive ourselves of what we like the most. If you are a lover of foods such as nut creams, no matter how caloric they are, you can eat them. Nuts are very healthy foods and very interesting nutritionally speaking, therefore, you just have to know what are the recommended amounts for your particular case, but for nothing, you will have to stop enjoying all of them.
Because as you well know... eating healthy has never been so sweet!
Stop depriving yourself of what you like the most, put yourself in the hands of a professional and enjoy!