7 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough
7 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough:
1. You’ve been sitting down all day long.
2. Your face looks pale and tired.
3. You feel like you haven’t eaten anything since lunchtime yesterday!
4. You have no energy left in your legs or arms at all!
5. If you were walking around with a backpack full of food, it would weigh more than your body weight!
6. You are so hungry that you could easily eat half a loaf of bread right now!
7. You think you might be getting too fat to continue exercising regularly!
What causes these symptoms? Are they caused by something else? Is there any way I can fix them?
Check out the infographic by scrolling down to the bottom of this article.
What can you do to solve these problems? Eating more should help, but what else?
Check out the infographic by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
How do you know if you need to increase your calorie intake?
Here are some questions that you might like to ask yourself:
Do you find it hard to finish a meal, despite feeling very hungry?
Do you find yourself snacking between meals, despite not feeling very hungry?
Do you ever feel too full after a meal?
These four questions will give you an indication of whether or not you are eating the right amount of food.
If you answered yes to the first two questions, then you are probably not eating enough. If you answered yes to the last two questions, then you are probably eating too much.
If you answered yes to all four questions, then you are eating just the right amount and you can skip ahead to the next section of this article!
Those of you who are not eating enough should try to eat more.
But how much more? How do you know how much to eat?
It is very difficult for someone else to tell you the exact amount that you should be eating. In fact, nothing in this world is certain. The one thing that I can tell you for certain is the following: if you are not eating enough, then your body will let you know. You will feel hungry all the time.
You might feel scared by how hungry you feel, but there is nothing to worry about. Our bodies are extremely good at keeping us alive.
You might even be eating less than a person who lives in a developing country. If you keep eating less, then your body will make up for this by slowing down your metabolism (a process of turning food into energy). As a result, you will need even less food each day to survive. This is only a temporary solution though and soon you will find that you are not getting any energy from your food.
If you ever reach this stage, then you will most likely find it impossible to exercise. Your body will be so weak and undernourished that doing anything other than lying in bed will be out of the question.
Unfortunately this is also the point at which some people start to give up on their fitness goals. They think that it is pointless to exercise because they are too fat and weak. But this is not true at all! You just need to eat more! It might be difficult to do at first, but your body will quickly adjust and it won’t feel so hard to eat more. Soon you will notice that you are back to feeling hungry just a few hours after each meal.
If you are used to eating very little, then this hunger might feel strange at first. Stay strong!
It is a sign that your body is finally getting what it needs and soon you will start to feel much better. I can assure you that when you get to this stage, it is a very nice feeling and you will feel much more motivated to exercise.
So how do you eat more?
Add 200 calories to each of your meals (equivalent to one cookie).
Add 400 calories to each of your meals (equivalent to 1.5 sandwiches).
Eat 800 extra calories per day (equivalent to 3 sandwiches and 2 snacks).
I would suggest that you do not eat the most (3 sandwiches and 2 snacks) because this might be too much for your body to handle at first. Eating this much can also cause weight gain instead of weight loss due to water retention (which results in temporarily looking fatter, but not any healthier).
I would instead recommend that you eat the least amount (200 calories) each day.
Most likely you will feel so much better after eating this amount, that you will naturally start to eat more over time. Your body will crave the energy that it is now getting and you will feel much stronger when exercising.
As your weight starts to fall off, your metabolism will also speed up which will make losing weight easier and easier. Within a few weeks, you should be able to increase your calories and perhaps try eating the equivalent of 1.5 sandwiches and 2 snacks each day.
This is definitely the healthiest way to lose weight and it is perfectly safe too. There are no drawbacks or side-effects to gaining weight in this way (except for one which will be explained in the next section).
The main risk of this approach is that you might eat too much. If you overeat, then you are at risk of gaining weight instead of losing it.
But as I said earlier, your body will let you know when enough is enough. As long as you eat slowly and stop when you feel full, then you should be fine. I have never heard of anyone overeating to the point where they felt sick or had serious digestive issues. If this does happen though, then please see a doctor immediately because something more serious is probably going on inside your body.
The only other risk of this approach is that it takes a bit more willpower to stick with. Some days you might not feel hungry and you might wonder if you should skip a meal.
But remember that your goal here is to lose weight so you need to force yourself to eat even if you aren’t feeling like it. Eating when you aren’t hungry is difficult but it is well worth the results in the long term.
Safety: This approach to losing weight is completely safe. You are simply eating more than your body really needs which will result in the pounds melting away.
There are no health risks or negative side effects to gaining weight in this way.
Speed: If you weigh yourself every morning and then graph your weight over the course of a month, your weight will go up and down during this month. This is completely normal as water retention can cause your weight to change significantly from one day to the next.
Just focus on the bigger picture and try not to let these minor fluctuations get to you.
If you do this right then you should see a downward trend and you will eventually see your weight loss stabilize to a certain number (this will differ from person to person, but it is usually around the range of 1-2 pounds). Once this happens, just try your best to maintain that new weight.
It probably won’t fluctuate by too much and as time goes on, your body should adjust to this weight and it will become easier to maintain. If a year goes by and you still feel like your weight is stable, then you probably don’t need to lose any more.
As I said earlier, it is better to be slightly underweight than overweight. The human body was not designed to carry too much extra weight and prolonged health issues can occur if the excess weight isn’t taken care of.
On top of that, those “funny” little health issues will become less of a laughing matter when they become big serious ones. Your body is a machine and needs to be treated as such. Give it the right amount of fuel and everything should work smoothly.
If this sounds a bit like hard work then you could always try my third and final approach…
III: The Easy Way
This approach isn’t for everyone. In fact, I really only recommend it if none of the other approaches fit your lifestyle.
With this approach, there is virtually no planning or preparation. You simply go with whatever you feel like eating that day. You might be what some would call “a cookie monster” and just eat a bunch of sugary snacks throughout the day. Perhaps you are more of a “junk food” person and fill your belly with all the fat and grease that you can get your hands on. Perhaps you have a more refined palate and prefer all the delicate flavors of fine cuisine. It doesn’t matter because you are not restricting yourself in any way with this approach.
Now granted, it probably won’t be long before weight starts to pile on if you continue down this path. At some point, you will need to start putting more thought into your eating habits.
You may reach a point where you simply can’t fit into any of your clothes and need to buy all new ones (this has happened to me on several occasions…). You may have problems with your blood pressure and your heart start to weaken. There are a whole host of potential problems that can crop up if you continue on this path, but the good thing is they can almost always be fixed…if you care enough to do something about it and don’t just give up and accept that this is how you are now destined to live forever.
The difficult thing about this approach is it’s not something you can just switch off. It requires a certain mentality.
Some people can easily maintain their weight while eating whatever they want and then there are others who can’t. I’ve never really been able to do it myself, though I have certainly tried many times. Whenever I start gaining weight, it’s like my brain just switches to “survival mode” and I suddenly find myself not caring about what I eat at all. It’s very hard to stop this process once it starts. This isn’t something that’s going to be a problem for everyone, but if you find yourself struggling with it, there are a few things you can do. These are:
Get a Pet
Obesity has become quite a problem in the western world and this is mostly due to a lack of exercise and an abundance of high-calorie food. Something that people don’t seem to realize is that pets need to eat too.
In fact, they need to eat more than a lot of the food that their owners eat (they need the nutrients to sustain their active lifestyles).
If you get a pet, you will be more likely to pay more attention to what you are eating and hopefully this will counteract any urges you may have to over-indulge. It’s not going to deter you from ever eating your favorite foods, but it should at least encourage you to eat healthier most of the time.
Another thing you can do is exercise. This one should be pretty obvious because it’s something that most people try at some point or another to shed a few pounds.
If you are trying to lose weight then exercising would certainly help, but as I mentioned before it’s not really a long-term solution to the problem. It’s probably not going to deter you from eating something that is particularly tasty either.
If You’ve Tried Everything Else…
The final way to solve the problem of keeping your weight under control is to go under the knife (so to speak). There are several operations available now that can help you lose weight or at least stop you gaining any more.
The most common ones these days are gastric bypasses and gastric bands.
These are both quite serious procedures and not to be entered into lightly, but if you’re finding your weight is starting to cause serious problems then it might be worth looking into.
Personally I think it’s best to try and solve the problem from the inside rather than the outside (literally in this case), but if nothing else has worked for you then it may be time to look into something like this. It’s a serious operation and not something to be entered into lightly, but surgery is usually a last resort for a reason.
Whatever youdecide to do, remember that if you’re eating because you’re bored or depressed, then you really do need to sort out your reasons for feeling like this in the first place, because it isn’t going to help in the long run.
Thanks to Aristocra123 for the Featured Image.
Thanks to Jordan Bell for the Quality Image.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Are You Eating Enough? (WTOR MORE – therenegadenp.com)
- But sometimes you’re not part of the story: Oral histories and ways of remembering and telling (A Errante – Educational researcher, 2000 – journals.sagepub.com)
- The wandering mind: What the brain does when you’re not looking (MC Corballis – 2015 – books.google.com)
- Reading is not eating: Mass-produced literature and the theoretical, methodological, and political consequences of a metaphor (JA Radway – Book Research Quarterly, 1986 – Springer)
- The diagnosis and management of fever at household level in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana (IA Agyepong, L Manderson – Acta tropica, 1994 – Elsevier)