Check Out 12 Signs to Know If You’re Not Eating Enough

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12 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough

Some people skip meals when ill, while others try their best to resist food in order to stay fit. Then there’s the other category of people who completely forget about eating due to their busy schedules or chuck eating because of stress. No matter what your reason may be, the point is you’re not eating enough.

Unfortunately, most people think that undereating is fine. It gives their system a break and helps promote thinness, which is somehow equated with fitness. However, just like overeating, it’s really not okay to undereat. The consequences of it for your body can be major (1).

That said, it’s not always easy to realize you are not eating enough. Especially when you’re caught up in life and all its struggles. So, to help you know if you’re eating as much as you should or not, we’ve listed 12 signs of undereating.

The 12 Signs That You’re Eating Way Lesser Than You Should

 

The 12 Signs That You’re Eating Way Lesser Than You Should

Before we get into the whys and how of undereating, it’s vital for you to know the signs of it. These’ll help you realize whether your body is getting the amount of food it should. Here are 12 signs as pointed out by nutritionist, Steph Lowe, founder of The Natural Nutritionist (2):

  1. You always feel exhausted. Your energy levels are low and you just don’t feel like doing anything.
  2. You feel constipated on a regular basis.
  3. You also experience constant hunger, always craving to eat something.
  4. Mood swings are common and you often find yourself getting irritated easily.
  5. Your concentration levels are poor and you find yourself unable to focus on anything for too long.
  6. You occasionally feel dizzy and weak.
  7. Your menstruation cycle doesn’t function normally and you even miss periods.
  8. Despite trying for some time, you are unable to get pregnant.
  9. You feel thirsty all the time.
  10. You feel cold all the time, even when temperatures are high.
  11. You experience noticeable hair loss and your nails are brittle.
  12. Your complexion is pale and lacks color.

Of course, weight loss is also an obvious sign that you’re not eating enough, but that comes with a lot of caveats, which is why it is not part of the 12 vital signs listed above.

With that being said, Lowe stresses that the human body is very smart and is capable of giving off signals when it’s getting the amount of food it needs to stay healthy as compared to when it’s famished.

She explains her point with an example stating that when the body is nourished with the help of real food, you’ll instantly feel energetic; you will be able to concentrate on the tasks at hand and will not experience any sort of food cravings as you’ll be completely satisfied (3).

However, on the other side of the fence, Lowe says, you will frequently experience heartburn, fatigue, major cravings, and also suffer from weight fluctuations. All of which, obviously, point out that you’re not getting sufficient food.

But What Causes Undereating?

But What Causes Undereating

Let’s delve in and find out why you’re not eating as much as you should.

Performance dietitian, Jessica Spendlove says that eating lesser than you should can be caused by a couple of reasons (4). These include putting restrictions on the number of calories consumed or exercising in excess all the time but not meeting your body’s increased energy requirements by upping your calorie intake.

She mentions that failing to meet your body’s energy requirements can be a deliberate attempt as well. For example, when you try to lose weight, you consciously reduce your calorie intake. It can be unconsciously as well though. Take for instance when you increase your exercise sessions but forget to match your energy requirements to the demanding workouts, resulting in undereating.

Besides these reasons, even following fad diets can lead to undereating, says Lowe. Spendlove adds that a low-calorie diet, even though rich in nutrients, can still cause you to eat less.

So, What Do You Do To Fix This?

So, What Do You Do To Fix This

 

The first and foremost thing you should do if you experience signs of undereating is fix up an appointment with your doctor, says Lowe. Consulting a dietitian or nutritionist (with the help of a simple blood test) can help you figure out whether your undereating is a result of an underlying deficiency.

Apart from that, you should focus on improving your diet and even taking health supplements to get nutrients you don’t normally get from the food you eat.

Both Spendlove and Lowe agree that you should try increasing your energy intake to deal with undereating, which means having foods rich in healthy fats. You could munch on snacks that are both nutritious and energy-rich to stay healthy. Such snacks include smoothies full of nuts, a small bowl of raw nuts, rice cakes, or Greek yogurt with fruit or granola.

As long as you are able to meet your daily energy requirements, you won’t fall prey to the consequences of undereating. So, stay vigilant!

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