Drenched in a diet culture, women learned to focus on how to get smaller, how to lose weight and/or inches and other useless endeavors.
Articles and posts about diets and “how to suppress your appetite”, “how to lose 5 pounds in 2 days” and similar BS are everywhere.
But what’s with the other side of not eating? What happens when your (not really yours, if you think about it) dreams about “perfect body” start to really mess with your health? What happens when your full schedule, stress and endless To-do lists lead you to skip meals when you’re actually hungry?
These situations often lead to either forgetting to eat, or eating way too little. When you’re under a lot of stress, you may have hormonal disbalance which leads to suppressed appetite (which makes perfect sense – if you’re chased by a bear, your body will not actually be focused on food/digestion).
However, our bodies need to have enough food to function. Not eating enough creates chaos in the whole body, including metabolism, digestion and hormonal balance. You may not notice the consequences right away, but after a while, you will definitely notice signs you’re eating too little.
Another important thing to remember is that our bodies require certain amount of fat in order to be able to function normally. So, getting enough food (calories and nutrients) is essential for normal functioning of your body.
When you’re in need for more food, you body will send you a lot of signals. The ones I talk about here are not the only ones – we are all unique and you need to see how your body responds to hunger. Which you will learn once you dive into your food freedom journey. But thee 6 signs are a great place to start, as they happen for a lot of us, when needing more food.
6 important signs you need more food are:
1. Lack of energy
Of course, lack of energy is a great sign that you need more food. (Yes, food, not coffee!). If you’ve been feeling kind sluggish and tired for days, or even weeks, and getting out of the bed gets harder every day, maybe it’s time to have bigger meals.
Although counting calories makes no sense at all, knowing that we need enough and that they give our body energy to survive and thrive is important.
However, what you’re going to benefit from in this case, is also making sure to have balanced meals, following the principle of gentle nutrition. You want to include nourishing foods such as protein rich foods, fiber rich foods and healthy fats in your meals as well. When you add veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes and protein to your food world, you will give your body all of the nutrients it needs to have healthy metabolism and a lot of energy.
Please notice how I said ADD to your food world, not take anything away. Loving nutrition is about having ALL the foods you enjoy, not about restrictions of any kind.
Have you ever noticed how bitchy and easily mad you can become when hungry? That’s being HANGRY. When we’re hungry, blood sugar levels are low which affects our mood.
Low blood sugar can also cause migraine, headache or feeling weak.
Avoiding these symptoms is easy – eat something.
Just as with lack of energy issue, here too you will want to create balanced meals. You want to have balanced, steady blood sugar, without big ups and downs.
To avoid low blood sugar levels, it’s important to eat regularly. Eat your meals and snacks. This will help you keep your blood sugar stable and your family members safe from HANGRY bi… 🙂
3. Brain fog
If you keep on forgetting when you’ve left your phone, or what you were about to do.. It may be time to visit your fridge.
Although, there are different reasons why one may suffer from brain fog, it is often because of stress, lack of calories and nutrients, and because of unstable blood sugar levels.
Therefore, effective way of avoiding brain fog is eating regularly, balanced meals that give you enough energy.
Which means, if you notice that your productivity levels are down, that you’re forgetting what you talk about, make sure to eat enough. Meals and snacks.
Balanced meals and snacks – include all the lovely foods in your food world, including ones rich with protein, fiber and nutrients.
Foods that are especially good for your brain are ones rich with B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
4. Feeling cold
Your body needs a certain amount of energy to keep you warm while you’re doing other stuff. So, if you’re often cold without particular reason, your body may be signaling you that it needs more energy.
Without enough energy (ie. food) and nutrients, thermogenesis (your body’s production of heat) gets really hard.
In extreme cases of malnutrition (like with eating disorders, such as anorexia), your body will produce lanugo hair. When it lacks fat, which is essential for survival, body creates lanugo hair to protect itself from cold.
5. Brittle nails, losing hair
When you’re consuming too little food, your body is forced to be very smart about its energy use. Which means it’s going to use energy firstly for organs of vital importance, such as heart, brain, lungs etc. Hair, nails and skin don’t make this list.
If you notice your nails are weak, your hair is falling out more than usual (a little bit of hair falling out daily is normal), your skin feels thin and weak, EAT. You need to have enough food!
Some of the foods that would be nice to include are fish and eggs, oats, spinach, walnuts, chia seeds, legumes..
6. Missing period
Although missing period can be sign of some other issues, like too much stress, big changes in your eating habits and hormonal disbalances (which all can be related to dieting, btw.), amenorrhea happens often to women who don’t have enough fat on their bodies.
Not having enough energy (food) can stop your body from ovulating and menstruating. Of course, that means – hormonal issues.
You see, when your body doesn’t have enough energy (food) to function normally and do ALL of it’s daily stuff, just like hair, skin and nails, your period is not going to be a priority. Which makes perfect sense, biologically speaking – if your body is struggling to survive (which it does when you don’t eat enough), it’s surely not going to think it can reproduce and sustain creating another human being, right?
Mostly, the cause of amenorrhea is disordered eating, eating disorders and women who often suffer from it are professional athletes.
If you’re interested in learning more about period stuff, how to nurture your hormones in a loving way, with a non-diet approach, and also how to sync in with your period to unlock your magic, check out Self-love, Period. If you feel like you could benefit from SLP, join the waitlist. I’d love to meet you there!
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be in tune with your body. Listen to it. Your body knows exactly how much and what foods it needs. If you don’t supply it with enough of what it needs, your body will send out signals. It’s your job to listen, to trust your body and take loving care of it.
I know it may sound totally challenging – after all, you may have spent decades desperately trying to ignore all of these signals, but it’s important that you acknowledge and remember – your body WANTS to be alive and healthy. It’s here for you, it works every day, all day to keep you alive and healthy.
It only makes sense to trust it.
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We need more women who are free from diets and have enough energy. How else are we gonna take over the world? :))