Ever found yourself in that position where you're energy just seems to be zapped from your body? You've eaten a small breakfast and lunch, but still feel lethargic? It can be confusing, but it could also be ruining your gym results, here's how underrating can affect your fitness lifestyle!
So after maybe having some initial weight loss, as you continue to under eat, your body will start to adapt and puts itself into a ‘starvation mode’. Sounds bad right? Well it's just as detrimental for weight gain as over eating is. Your body decides it no longer wants to burn body fat, and instead holds onto the fat that we're desperate to burn.
Not only this, but your metabolism (calories you burn to keep your body functioning) slows down – the opposite to what you want to happen! And it's get worse! Your body will begin to breakdown muscle as an energy source instead, so now your not only no longer burning body fat, but your also burning that muscle you worked so hard to gain too.
Affects on your mood
Think under eating only affects you physically? Wrong! It massively affects your psychological state as well. Your mood is badly affected as a lot of nutrients in the foods we eat affect the emotional centres of our brain, so by reducing these then causes an adverse effect. You'll find yourself more prone to being easily irritated but you'll also find yourself even feeling low and depressed. This certainly is not ideal when positivity is what we should strive for.
How do you work out if your under eating?
So now that you understand what under eating does to you, I'm sure your next question is: How do you work out if you are under eating? Well this is all based around our BMR (Basel metabolic rate). This will give us the calories we need just to function at rest. The greater levels of muscle mass you have, the higher your BMR is, along with genetics, gender and other factors. So there's plenty of online calculators you can use to work your BMR.
This will give you an approximate BMR which you can then work out your calorie needs depending on goals, activity levels and type of training! Remember though, you need your BMR in calories just to function, so don't go under eating or following the 1200 calorie myth!
How to make sure your not under eating
Hopefully by now you've worked out your BMR, from this you can work out your calorie needs based on your goals and activity levels, for this you can also use an online calculator. You will then have the calories you need to consume every day. Ideally you then split this across 4-6 meals per day to continuously fuel your body with nutrients, and to keep your metabolism through the roof, burning away any of that unwanted body fat, whilst putting on that lean muscle we all desire!
Crazy right? Theres many negative affects to under eating, so make sure you apply some of the tips to ensure you continue to make great progress in and out the gym. Remember, there's no point busting your backside in the gym if your not fuelling your body with the nutrients you need!