5 Signs You're Undereating
Diet culture tells us that in order to lose weight, we need to restrict. Weight loss does come down to a simple equation: calories in need to be less than those we expend (or "burn") however, when are you in too much of a calorie deficit? Here are 5 signs that you are in fact, undereating.
You're sleeping well, but you are always tired. Food is fuel! If we are running on fumes all of the time, all of the sleep in the world will not make us feel rested. If you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, yet still are not feeling rested-your nutrition may be the blame. WHOOP users; are you getting good quality sleep, but recovery is never in the green? Time look at your intake.
You are always sore...and irritable. We can't recover from workouts effectively if we aren't supplying our bodies with the appropriate means to do so! If your calorie deficit is too much, your body will prioritize what needs to be done. I'm sorry to report; muscle recovery is not at the top of the list. As for the irritability; hanger is a real thing-and living in a constant, severe calorie deficit is going to make it part of your daily mood.
You have constant cravings. Cravings can be an indication that we are lacking some pretty important nutrients. When you're body is lacking a particular nutrient, it naturally craves foods that are rich [in that nutrient.] For example: chocolate cravings are often tied to low magnesium levels, whereas cravings for meats and cheeses may indicate low iron or calcium levels. Begin balancing meals with protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates and enjoying veggies at least twice a day and see what happens to your cravings!
Your performance is suffering. You can't hit the lifts you used to, you're taking longer to complete benchmark WODs. You're frustrated [understandably so.] This can be a sign that you are undereating (and perhaps: over-exercising!)
You have hit a training and weight-loss plateau. While plateaus are completely normal, if you've seen no progress for several months then undereating may be to blame. When you are in too much of a calorie deficit, your metabolism slows. Slower metabolism = slower weight loss. If you're trying to break through the plateau by reducing calories further OR by increasing the amount of your training, you will only create more stress on the body and make it that much more difficult to reach your goals.
Do any of these sound like you? You can experiment with logging your food for a week, and evaluating your intake vs. your output. Still unsure? Book a Free Nutrition Intro to meet with a nutrition coach!