How To Lose Weight Without Under-Eating
You don't need to under-eat to lose weight!
As you're probably aware to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Meaning that the calories you're consuming from food and drink need to be less than the calories you're burning off during daily activity and exercise. However, it is all too common for people to be eating way too little and not fuelling their bodies correctly. Under-eating can lead to several health and wellbeing issues. Read on to find out about the dangers of under-eating, to make sure that you're keeping your body and mind happy and healthy.
Everybody has a unique BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is essentially the calories needed to keep you functioning at rest, for things such as breathing, blinking and keeping the ticker beating. The majority of your calorie needs will be used for this function. Your BMR is based on characteristics such as age, gender, height and weight. You mustn't eat under your BMR value, this will compromise your body's ability to function normally.
On top of your BMR, your calorie needs are bumped up by your daily activity and exercise. In essence, the more active you are, the more calories your body requires to keep plodding along.
Once you've worked out your calorie needs with our calorie calculator. You need to adapt this to your goal. For weight loss, we recommend a calorie deficit of no more than 500 calories per day. So if your BMR was 1600, but you're a reasonably active bean, you may be required to eat 2200 calories to maintain your weight. To lose around 2lbs per week (0.9kg), you should aim to eat about 1700 calories a day. This means you're in a sustainable deficit of 500 calories, but above your BMR - the sweet spot.
Now for a lot of you, this figure may seem way too high. But trust the science, not the influencers. So let's see what happens if you were to start under-eating.
There is a multitude of health issues related to under-eating, from sleep issues to hormone changes. Under-eating is just not great for the body.
Under-eating essentially means you're not getting enough nutrients into your body. This means you will become malnourished, increasing your risk to lots of health conditions such as osteoporosis and even infertility. Not only that, but you may experience hair loss, extreme fatigue, constipation and poor sleep. For women, the irregularity of periods can happen.
Your immune system will also be weakened massively. During the current situation, where we're in a global pandemic, prioritising your health should be top of your to-do list. With a deadly virus circulating the world, it is essential to be fighting fit. Under-eating seriously weakens your immune system, meaning that your body struggles to fight off illnesses.
As well as causing all these severe health issues, under-eating can actually cause your metabolism to drop or slow. Creating a vicious cycle. You eat less, your body requires less, so you eat even less to counteract this, and so on until you can potentially become seriously ill. So keep your metabolism boosted, eat the amount you require. Feed to fuel your body, losing weight doesn't mean you need to compromise your overall health.
Along with a mass of health-related issues under-eating brings, your mentality will also suffer. For example, all the health issues listed above aren't going to have you feeling your most sufficient self. If you're not sleeping, losing hair and are always weak, we doubt you'd be a bundle of joy.
Any fitness journey should be maintainable, and if it is not enjoyable, it's not sustainable. As much as losing weight is a stress on your body and mind, it should not be at the detriment of your physical and mental health. You need to be feeling refreshed and happy with the changes you're making to your life. If your diet is making you miserable, STOP IT.
Whilst most people jump on a fitness pursuit to change their physical health, your mental health needs to be a priority as well. Dropping pounds should not mean a drop in mood. Keep your body and mind happy and healthy, eat those damn calories. You'll thank yourself in the long run.
So to sum it up. Under-eating = very bad. We are aware that the desire to lose weight can be powerful, but feeling good on the outside needs to stem from feeling good on the inside. Your body is a magnificent machine, fuel it properly.
Calculate your calorie needs with our calculator. Try eating this amount whilst exercising, and we're sure you'll lose the desired amount of weight.
If not there is wriggle room to bump the calories up or down, keep an eye on your health, if you notice that you're not feeling your fittest self or your mood is low, increase your calories. Whether that be just an extra snack a day, you'd be surprised how much that can boost you up.
Lose weight whilst keeping health and happiness high. Feed to fuel yourself.