You are playing a dangerous game when you are not intaking enough calories. Everyone requires a different amount of calories depending on their body types, metabolism, and fitness goals. Food should be treated as fuel for the body and not just something you have to eat for survival. Most people resort to cutting back calories to help them lose weight.
If you are not eating enough and sweating buckets 6 days a week, you will not only plateau but also create major health problems for yourself. It is so important for your body to get the right amount of food it needs to function properly. You might not even realize that you are not eating enough. My tip is to start counting your macros (carbs, protein, and fats) for a week just to see if you are overeating or undereating. Here are a few red flags that you need to up your calories.
Effects of Not Intaking Enough Calories:
Have you ever lost your temper with someone after your stomach started growling? This is called being hangry and it’s caused by having low blood sugar. Your body requires fats, protein, and carbs to be broken down into glucose to be passed through the bloodstream. Your blood sugar drops when you aren’t supplying your system with these nutrients. As a result, your body goes into starvation mode and you start losing your self-control.
You Have Zero Energy
Think of your body as a car and carbs as gasoline. When you run out of gas, your car stops working. Consequently, when you don’t nourish your body, it will crash. Your body stores carbohydrates and vitamins inside the muscles so that it can use them as energy. If you are not eating enough, chances are you are not getting enough B vitamins like B-6 and biotin. This can cause a major energy crisis.
You Can’t Get Pregnant
Eating a low-calorie diet can even cause irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. In order for the ovaries to produce eggs, the hypothalamus is responsible for releasing hormones from the pituitary gland. When you are not receiving enough food to break down into energy, your body can actually stop this process completely. Many former crash dieters have a hard time gaining back their fertility. Don’t ever limit your diet or try to lose weight while you are or trying to become pregnant.
You’ve Hit A Plateau
How is the scale reading the same number when you have decrease your caloric intake and increased your training? A lot of people make the mistake of drastically cutting back carbs and calories. But your metabolic system does not like change. In fact, when you start a restricting diet, your body stores fat because it doesn’t know when you are going to eat next. If your body doesn’t have any carbs to use, it will resort to attacking muscle tissue.
You Can’t Sleep
If you aren’t eating enough, your liver will not be able to store the glycogen it needs to balance out your blood sugar levels. The decrease in calories and carbs causes your glucose levels to drop and your stress levels to spike. And when your body releases too many stress hormones, it can keep you awake at night.