If you’re like many people on the journey to lose weight and get in shape, cutting calories is a factor in this. The fact is though that you can’t just go HAM and strip the calories right down to a bare minimum! Sorry folks, it just doesn’t work like that.
If you’re still not quite sure if you’re feeling different, or out of sorts from the cut down in calorie intake, here are some of the most common signs you’re not getting enough calories on board…
An abrupt reduction of calories can do more harm than good. Basically, the message you’re sending out to your body is that you’re wandering the desert, lost and without food when in reality, you’re just trying to look hot for your holiday snaps!
What the starvation of calories does is to switch your body into a “starvation mode,” which will then mean it hangs on for dear life to every calorie available. Doing this just makes it more difficult to shed the weight you’re looking to lose, due to the fact that it puts the brakes down your metabolism.
You only have to try adding an extra couple hundred calories to your diet and see how that works out for you.
Ya’ Workouts Just Ain’t Right
Just like driving a car, if it’s running on empty, you shouldn’t expect to get far in it. The same can be said for your body during exercise.
If you’ve begun to see a drop off in your stamina or intensity of your workouts, turn to the foods you’re eating – or not eating, in this case. Mostly look at what’s on the menu pre and post workout. Look at carb intake before your session and then the carb and protein blend after you’ve exercised to boost recovery.
That Hangry Life
Even if your personality is made up of you feeling a bit hangry constantly, if this is intensified and you’re getting more touchy after a cut in calories, it’s usually a sign that you’re just not eating enough.
Consider upping the substantiality of your meals and look to get a solid balance of the following:
- Protein – Soy, white meat poultry, seafood
- Complex carbs – Oats, green veggies, whole grains
- Healthy fats – Edamame, olive oil, avocados
A combination of these types of foods will give you the calorie level to sustain stable energy and live healthily.
Got Focus Issues?
Falling short of calories leads your brain to feel a little jaded and disconnected. Is that 95-calorie, fat-free yoghurt not seeing you through the first part of the day without a struggle? Toss some nuts, such as pine nuts, in with it too, and that should send you out of the red zone.
Alternatively, you could go for a heartier breakfast, a salmon and spinach omelette, perhaps? Or avocado on wholegrain toast with a poached egg. This almost certainly will see you through the morning without needing a leg up in the nutrition department.
Feeling Fully Zapped
Calories have picked up a pretty awful rep in recent times, and there’s plenty of confusion around them. But when we strip it right back, calories are essentially our body’s energy source.
When you aren’t hitting the level required in terms of calories, you’re opening the door to that feeling of being exhausted. Are you finding yourself getting wiped out noticeably earlier than you were before you started cutting calories? Is rolling out of bed getting tougher too? If you’ve ticked one or both of those boxes then get then take a closer look at your diet. What are you eating during the day? It might be worth keeping a food diary and writing down some comments on how you felt that day to establish what the issue is (it’s likely that you’re lacking calories).
Hopefully, this will help anyone out there struggling, and you get back to 100% in no time!