Nutrition and calorie intake can be really confusing for us all. Each individual is different when it comes to how much they should be eating per day and how their macronutrients should be divided, so many factors need to be taken into account such as gender, age, goals and what they are looking to achieve and activity levels. Whatever somebody’s goal may be, whether its maintenance, weight loss or weight #gain, eating enough is one of the most vital parts in getting to where you want. Calories are not the enemy! Food provides our body with the nutrients and energy it needs to survive, if you are not getting enough food you will not have enough energy to function correctly – especially when we add training in the mix.
If weight or fat loss is the goal, it can be very common to form a pattern of undereating and over training in order to speed up the process. However, under eating can actually lead to a plateau in progression and can also have a negative impact on health overall. It’s common knowledge now than in order to lose weight we need to be in a calorie deficit, but if this is taken too far and become extreme calorie restriction it can cause a slower metabolism and also muscle loss which are both not what we want. The more muscle we have, the faster our metabolisms are which means our body is better at burning fat.
Here are a few signs you aren’t eating enough:
- You have low energy – we get our energy from food, if we aren’t consuming enough food our bodies energy will burn out early on in the day leaving you feeling weak and tired and will also cause dizziness
- Slow or no progress in the gym – our food gives us the energy to train, not eating enough will mean you can’t reach your full potential during workouts. It can also mean your metabolism is slowing down and eating away at your muscles
- You get ill often – food provides us with the nutrients needed for a healthy immune system along with healthy skin, hair and nails. If we aren’t eating enough our bodies will find it harder to fight of illnesses and the nutrients we do have will go to the most important organs such as our brain and heart.
- Trouble concentrating – not being able to focus and having lots of brain fog is caused be the brain being deprived of nutrients and can be a sign that your body needs more fuel
- Slow recovery – when we train, we create tiny microtears within the muscles, having enough food (particularly protein) is vital in the rebuilding of that muscle and making the recovery process and muscle aching as quick and painless as possible