One of the main things we see with our clients is that they under eat and usually the worst offenders are those trying to lose weight, It’s true we have been preached to by the diet industry for years saying that we should eat less and move more to shed the lbs, but in my experience this works for a short time and then continued dieting becomes chronic under eating and then a whole new set of problems emerge.


Here are 7 issues that may be caused by under eating


1. Low Energy – Pretty obvious I guess, but if you are not consuming enough calories then you’re going to run out of gas and no amount of motivation will make you go and exercise when you are constantly tired.

2. Sleep Issues – You either can’t fall asleep or suddenly wake at 3am and maybe have to use the washroom. Our blood sugar levels are very closely monitored by our brains and if the level in the blood drops then the brain will signal the release of glycogen where it is stored the liver. The hormone that is sent to stimulate the production of glycogen is the same hormone that is also sent to wake us in the morning, cortisol, so glucagon dieter eatingis released and as an added bonus, hey presto there you are wide awake for no apparent reason!

3. Constipation – Stools are made up of waste food products and dead gut bacteria. So it makes sense that if you’re not eating enough then there is less bulk in the stool and less fibre in the diet and so the system gets plugged up.

4. Hair loss, brittle nails etc – The body has a laundry list of tasks to complete to keep us healthy, there are some that are prioritised and some lower on the totem pole. Obviously keeping the heart beating and thinking rank pretty highly up there, but growing hair healthy hair and smooth strong finger nails, not so much!

5. Feeling cold, even in summer – Carrying on from the last point the body uses some of the calories we eat to generate body heat, this is called thermogenesis. If there aren’t enough calories coming in, then this bodily function is also affected.

6. Need to constantly snack – The diet industry told us to eat less and then sold us a myriad of new snack products, coincidence? I think not and if you are not eating enough at meal times then the need to snack is created. (Note: Snacking may be required if a person has blood sugar regulation issues and suffers from hypoglycaemia)

7. Unable to lose weight – Here is the one that people really can’t wrap their heads around; you have to eat to lose weight! It is an oxy-moron I know but I see it all the time, the body will cling on to every calorie it can and be as efficient as it can with the ones it consumes if there is not enough coming in.


So what to do……


Firstly, only eat whole foods packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins and avoid anything processed.

Secondly, as I’ve stated before in other articles, we shouldn’t need to count calories every day, your body should know how to self regulate, but if you have been chronically under eating then we need to start somewhere and that somewhere is at our base calorie level. Our base calorie level is the minimum amount of calories we need to just survive, no real exercise or movement. So this number is your “ideal weight” times 10. (For example, if you weigh 180lbs and your “ideal weight” is 140lbs, then it is 140 x 10 = 1400 calories/day). So if you have a really sedentary job then this is your absolute minimum number of calories day. If you exercise, then add those calories on and eat them too. If you have an active job, on your feet lots then multiply your ideal weight by 12 and also any exercise on top. If you don’t exercise one day, then don’t add the extras, eat for your “ideal weight”.
Note: I keep putting ideal weight in inverted commas because this doesn’t take into account muscle size or bone structure, so as I said this is a base level to start from, so be prepared to adjust a little if required to see results. Here is an ideal weight calculator. (opens in new window)


2016-03-07 17:21:29