3 Signs You Aren't Eating Enough
When it comes to weight loss, the formula is pretty simple: energy (food) input, needs to be less than energy output. With this in mind, when people want to lose weight, the "go-to" method is to hop on a diet, start restricting, and greatly reduce intake.
But the truth is-this is typically unsuccessful. Let's talk about success-because there tends to be a lot of confusion here. Success is not losing 15 pounds in a month, if you proceed to gain it back. Success is looking at the longterm; seeing results and having the confidence that you can and will maintain them without your quality of life being negatively impacted.
So how do you know if you're not eating enough? There are several indicators, but I'm going to review three.
You're always hungry. You're constantly thinking about the next time you're going to eat, you'll likely be having larger-than-necessary portions when you do eat, and reaching for sneaky handfuls of pantry snacks. Why? Ghrelin-the hunger hormone. Grehlin is released in the stomach and let's us know when we're hungry. When we drastically reduce intake, Ghrelin levels shoot up-making us hungry all the time!
You are MOODY. Hangry (according to the dictionary) means bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger. We all experience this from time to time, but if you're noticing that this is a common feeling for you, it's a pretty classic sign that you are not eating enough.
Stress and sleep issues. Cortisol is our stress hormone-because it's released in response to stress! Constantly limiting intake increases stress. As for sleep; in a study of dieting women, participants were found to have more difficulty falling asleep and less overall deep sleep than when they were not dieting. Lack of sleep is also stressful on the body. An elevated cortisol level not only alters metabolism, it may cause water retention-which is going to make weight loss difficult.
So you might be wondering, "You're saying I need to eat less than what I'm burning, but that restricting won't work either." That's right! In order to lose weight, the number of calories we consume does need to be less than what we're expending, but this does not necessarily mean that we need to eat less.
By focusing on real, whole foods, the quanitity of what you're able to eat-while still working toward wieght loss goals, may surprise you. I challenge you to shift your focus: rather than thinking only of weight loss, make your priority creating healthy habits. Rather than giving into fad diets and the seemingly endless cycle of undereating and then overeating, begin eating more whole foods, that provide way more vitamins, nutrients and VOLUME than processed foods, and far fewer calories. Not sure where to start? Take the first step and book a Free Nutrition Intro with one of our Nutrition Coaches!