When you go on a juice cleanse or a drastic crash diet, you know you’re not getting enough calories, but they only last for a few days. However, plenty of diets can restrict calories too much, especially if you have an active lifestyle.
Discover the signs you’re not getting enough calories and make sure that you’re increasing your calorie intake to avoid any health issues. Even if you’re not super strict about calories, you might also be running on a deficit, so the signals should make you reconsider your weight loss plan.
1. Despite Dieting, Your Weight Is Stable
Once you subject your body to calorie restrictions for too long, your metabolism basically goes into hibernation, storing everything it gets as fat.
It may sound counterintuitive, but when you’ve been dieting and exercise without any results, you should eat more for a couple of weeks to reset your metabolism.
2. You’re No Longer Hungry
When you power through hunger pangs or only eat foods that provide you with very few calories, you might end up not feeling hungry at all after a while. It doesn’t take extreme dieting to mess with the balance between ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”, and leptin, the “satiety hormone”. Lack of hunger shows that these hormones are out of balance, and it’s one of the signs you’re not getting enough calories.
3. You Get Really Tired After Exercise
Even if you’re in good shape, getting really tired and lacking energy after just 15-20 minutes of exercise are big red flags that your body just doesn’t have enough energy to sustain your workouts. Your body doesn’t start burning fat as soon as you begin exercising, so if you’re not getting enough calories, you might not have enough energy to get to the fat-burning phase.
4. Your Skin Is Suffering
If you’ve noticed any new skin issues after a lot of dieting, they might be caused by the lack of calories, especially if you’re on a low-fat weight loss plan. Dry and flaky skin can be signs you’re not getting enough calories, but if you’re noticing that your skin is getting duller, that’s can also be caused by nutritional issues.
5. You’re Dealing with a Lot of Cellulite
While most women get cellulite, noticing a sudden increase or getting it on weird areas is a big red flag when it comes to nutrition. Cellulite can be linked to your lowered metabolic rate and hormone imbalances that are also caused by getting too few calories.
6. You Have Trouble Focusing
If tasks you’re used to suddenly get harder and you’re having a hard time when trying to focus, make sure that you’re getting enough carbs or fats in your diet. Focus issues are one of the signs you’re not getting enough calories, whether you’re on a low-carb weight loss plan or on a low-fat diet. Make sure that you’re counting your calories correctly and that you’re not under-eating.
7. Your Menstruation Is Getting Irregular
Hormonal imbalances caused by getting too few calories can also affect your estrogen levels and mess with your period. When you notice that your menstruation is getting irregular, while you’re dieting and exercising a lot, you might not be getting enough energy and your body is suffering because of it.
8. Your Hands and Feet Get Colder
While you’re not likely to notice this red flag in the summer, it’s definitely one of the signs you’re not getting enough calories. Your body temperature gets lowered when you’re under-eating, and that can affect extremities, like your hands and feet, in the most noticeable way. Low fat diets can be responsible for this, particularly in the colder months.
See also: Eat These Foods for a Smaller Waist
9. You’re Tired All the Time
If you just feel like sleeping instead of being active, your energy issues may stem from the limited amount of calories you’re getting. You could also be facing important mineral deficiencies, so take a break from your weight loss plan and focus on your health.
10. You’re Always Constipated
There are plenty of causes for constipation, but it can also be one of the signs you’re not getting enough calories, particularly if your weight loss plan is low in fiber. When you’re not eating enough, you may experience less than three bowel movements per week, which is not good for you in the long run.