Just as being overweight can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health, so can being under.
You may be calorie deficient if you are suffering from one or more of the following:
Do you struggle to get to sleep and then can’t seem to get enough rest even when you manage to drop off? This may be down to your low-calorie diet. Studies have shown that those on a diet have problems falling asleep and spend less time in deep sleep too.
Personal trainer Melissa Lorch explains the dangers of lack of sleep.
“Long term sleep deprivation puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease & diabetes. It’s also been shown to decrease life expectancy. Adults need around 8 hours a night to function properly.
“A good indication that you’re not getting enough sleep is if that you wake up tired and spend the day feeling like you want a lie down.”
The sun is shining but you’re still shivering. This could be because you’re not taking in enough calories to make heat and maintain a comfortable body temperature.
Your body believes you are starving and goes to a lower resting metabolic rate.
f you’ve been steadily losing weight but have now hit a plateau it may be that you aren’t eating enough. “Your metabolism slows down and your body goes into starvation mode if there aren’t enough calories coming in,” says Melissa.
The Weight Watchers Research Department explains further. “Restricting calories during weight loss lowers metabolism because the body becomes more efficient, requiring fewer calories to perform the necessary daily functions for survival.”
If it’s really, really hard to stick to your diet, there’s a chance you are pushing yourself too far. The right diet shouldn’t leave you starving.
“Make a lifestyle change towards healthier foods rather than a deprivation plan,” says Melissa. “A play on words I like is EDIT don’t DIET.”
When you don’t consume enough food your body has to decide what to do with the few nutrients and proteins it is getting. Since your hair simply isn’t as important as your vital organs it sends the life saving nutrients to them. That results in thinning hair because your body is prioritising.
Most of us are familiar with the word ‘hangry’ – when being hungry makes you angry! It happens to us all and we even laugh about it, but it’s not funny when you feel irritable, fatigued and crabby most of the time.
The National Center for Eating Disorders explains: “Mood is badly affected by under-eating. Many of the nutrients in food affect the emotional centres of our brain and reducing these nutrients or affecting their balance has an adverse effect on mood. Under-eaters generally feel depressed, low, and prone to be easily irritated or enraged.”
A good exercise and diet plan should put a spring in your step not make you feel you’ve not strength at all. “Food is energy,” Melissa says. “Without energy your body can’t function properly.”
So if even the simplest of tasks feels like you’re climbing a mountain it could be a sure fire sign you need to eat more.