Dangers of Undereating You May Not Know
Too much or too little of anything is not a good thing. When it comes to dieting, BOTH undereating and overeating are not your friend when it comes to fat loss and muscle gain. Read on to find out more about why undereating can be detrimental to your progress!
Eating too few macros/calories can cause a loss of muscle mass. This is especially true if you are not getting enough protein! Dieting and exercise are great ways to better your health but when taken too far can actually do the opposite. When you are exercise you are essentially tearing apart your muscle fibers with the intention of them growing stronger during periods of rest. If you are not eating enough this repair is not possible, and the muscles will atrophy. Also, muscle atrophy can also effect the smooth muscles of your heart, which can be detrimental to your health in the long run. Think of it this way: If you lose a pound of muscle, yes you may be one pound lighter on the scale, but if your fat mass has stayed the same, your body fat percentage will have actually RAISED. So you are actually less healthy and have a higher BF% even if the scale makes you believe otherwise.
Dieting and exercise puts your body under stress. Given that your macros/calories and training is appropriate, this level of stress is not dangerous and will generally not cause injury. However if you are not eating enough, your likelihood of getting injured increases. This does not just apply to active people either! Depending on the injury you can be “out of commission” For very long periods of time, which can set you back much more than a couple extra macros ever would.
Mental and Physical Exhaustion
When your intake is too low, your body is not fueled adequately. Your brain, muscles, organs, etc are unable to perform optimally without enough fuel to keep them going. If you’ve ever met someone on a low carb diet I’m sure you know what we’re talking about- they are moody, irritable and just overall weak and exhausted. Also, if you are not eating enough it is harder to exercise in general and your lifts/cardio will probably not be as good as they would be with the appropriate amount of food in your body. Also, you will probably be feeling sorer than you would otherwise which makes it that much more difficult to stick to a workout regime. Getting your intake to appropriate levels will ensure minimal brain fog, and allow your body to work harder and heal quicker.
Your metabolism is directly affected by your intake. The human body is smarter than you think! If you are not eating enough, your metabolism will slow down to meet these lowered energy demands. Think of it this way: if you attempted to drive to Manhattan with your gas tank on empty, do you think you would make it without breaking down? Probably not. Now, if you have enough fuel, you will get where you need to be. On the flip side, if you put too much gas in the tank, it will top off and spill everywhere and you’ll be left with a mess. The lesson? Find a balance.
If you are unsure whether or not your current macros/calorie deficit is still the best option for you, discuss it with your rev nutritionist. Don’t cut calories or change macros without consulting with them first. Especially if it is the beginning of your fitness journey, cutting macros too low can make it harder for your body to cut fat later on.
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written by: Emily Ventura BS Public Health