We live in a diet obsessed culture. A culture obsessed with body image. A culture obsessed with pushing the limits. How much can I exercise before it’s too much? How much can I restrict my calories before it’s too much? And that can lead to a slow metabolism.
When our bodies are not getting the calories and nutrients they need all kinds of things start going funky. In reality, our bodies our meant to be energy burning machines. When everything is working correctly and hormones are balanced, our metabolisms works well. Because they have no reason not too. They aren’t scared they won’t be fed again or that they won’t get the calories they need. They’re happy. They aren’t in a state of fight-or-flight where they aren’t getting enough rest and they aren’t getting enough fuel so they’ll happily burn off everything that goes in because they know that there will always be more.
But unfortunately, since we live in a culture where less is more and because we are human we buy into these false claims, and we aren’t eating enough. So since there is much confusion around the question “am I eating enough?” here are four signs that you might need more food.
Most times, you’re eating just because you’re “suppose to.” You’re never really hungry. This is a good sign that your appetite stimulant, ghrelin, and your appetite suppressant, leptin, are out of balance. And one of the ways those can get out of balance is by lack of calories.
2. You don’t get your menstrual cycle or it’s irregular.
You can certainly lose your period for reasons other than under eating, but one of the biggest reasons women lose their menstrual cycles is because they aren’t eating enough. When the body isn’t getting the adequate energy it needs to function the first place it will compensate and shut down is the reproductive system because we don’t actually need it to sustain life. We also need enough body fat, which is different for everyone, to have a period each month.
3. You can’t lose weight despite hard efforts to restrict calories and exercise.
Your body is in, what I call, “metabolic hibernation” and it’s holding onto everything you’re eating because it thinks it’s starving. So essentially, you’re cells have turned into warehouses instead of batteries and no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise the scale isn’t going to budge. Plus it’s just not healthy. You’re body is starving and therefore your metabolism is crawling because the boy is trying to conserve energy.
Our bodies are meant to maintain a healthy set point rather effortlessly when they’re happy and healthy and being fed with the energy and nutrients they need. And when hormones are balanced and your body is getting what it needs, there is no need to follow a low calorie diet or kill yourself at the gym to maintain your weight. There is food freedom! And we all deserve to be happy and healthy and live WELL! If you think you might not be eating enough, are tired and hungry, want to find your set point and find food freedom, email me- I’d love to chat! It’s why I started Nutshell Nutrition. Cheers to eating more food!