What you need to know
- Eating under your required calorie intake slows down, and damages your metabolism. This causes your body to store fat and hinders weight loss indefinitely.
- Under eating causes the body to consume important muscle tissue and organs to fuel your body.
- Nutrient deficiency caused by under eating causes hair loss, insomnia, and hypoglycemia. (low blood sugar)
Under Eating inflicts severe damage to your body, and is counterproductive to your weight loss goals.
To calculate your daily calorie intake you need to figure out your Base Metabolic Rate. This is dependant on your age, weight, height, and activity level. You can calculate your Base Metabolic rate here.
Once you have your base metabolic rate, you know to maintain your current weight to eat at the the base calorie level. and to lose/gain weight eat under/over the maintenance level.
The secret to progression is consistency over time, to reach your goal. Crash dieting damages your metabolism and causes you to fall off track, as well as cause you to lose motivation.
Effects of consistently under eating
- Nutrient deficiencies in Calcium, Iron, zinc, Vitamin B, D and protein
2. Slow Metabolism
- The Body switches to energy conservation mode and stores body fat as a line of survival. This mechanism is done, as the body does not know when it is going to regularly get fuel.
- Feeling fatigued
- Eating less causes the body to hang onto body fat tissues, and use muscle tissues as fuel. Since muscle tissue burns calories by just being on the body, every bit of loss causes metabolism to slow down
3. Lose valuable muscles and organs
- Undereating causes glucose levels to drop, since red blood cells are fueled by glucose, and to maintain minimum glucose levels the body starts breaking down muscles and organs to keep you alive.
- When the body is breaking down tissue it doesn’t distinguish between essential tissues (kidney and blood cells), and less essential tissues (skeletal muscle) which ends up weakening and damaging vital organs.
4. Under Active thyroid hormone
- Causes hair loss
- Shuts down sex hormone production
- Stress hormones like Cortisol rise, which leads to leptin and insulin resistance. This can stall weight loss and cause body fat retention.
5. Fertility Problems
- Low calorie dieting and low body fat lead to infertility and amenorrhoea (absence of a menstrual period) in women.
6. Hypoglycemia- low blood sugar
- Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below normal, which happens when you don’t eat enough in balance.
- Symptoms; hunger, shakiness, anxiety, dizziness, sweating, weakness and confusion.
7. Mood is unpredictable
- Volatile emotional state caused by inadequate food intake.
- The Brain requires blood sugar to function, and when it drops below normal the first function to suffer is the cognitive processes, which is self-control.
- Blood sugar drops overnight, to keep blood sugar steady the liver releases stored glucose, if you didn’t eat an appropriate calorie and carb intake the liver won’t have the glycogen stores it needs to keep your blood sugar stable and your body must release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to promote gluconeogenesis (creating new glucose), which causes you to stay up all night.
9. Chronic constipation
- Under eating causes decrease of T3, the active thyroid hormone. Therefore, when T3 decreases it slows down gut motility, which then leads to chronic constipation.
10. Always Cold
- Eating insufficient amount of calories causes body temperature to drop, the body needs certain amount of calories to create heat.
Overall, undereating works against your health and weight loss goals. To survive your body needs certain amounts of nutrients to help you function, it’s true to lose weight you need to cut calories but you have to eat enough in the right balance to keep your body, healthy and strong. Dont forget to fuel your body!
Le, T. (2016, April 6). Why Undereating Won’t Actually Help You Lose Weight. Retrieved from http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/why-undereating-wont-actually-help-you-lose-weight/
Schoenfeld, L. (2015, June 2). Are You An Under-Eater? 8 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough. Retrieved from https://chriskresser.com/are-you-an-under-eater-8-signs-youre-not-eating-enough/