There are many sources offering nutritional advice today. Many of us make modifications to our diet based on tips we have read or heard about from others. We may even reduce the total amount of food we eat as we are led to believe this is healthy. However, our body requires a balanced intake of many nutrients. If we cut down on food without proper consideration, we could be putting ourselves at risk of mineral deficiencies and other conditions. Alternatively, we may eat lesser food than usual because we say we don’t have the time or the appetite. But doing so frequently can also endanger your health. Sometimes, you may not even realize how this is affecting you. Here’s what nutritionist Nmami Agarwal has to say about this topic:
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How Do You Know You’re Not Eating Enough? 5 Warnings Signs To Watch Out For:
1. Sleep problems
According to the nutritionist, “Undereating has been linked to poor quality sleep, including taking longer to fall asleep and spending less time in deep sleep.” If you are hungry, chances are your body won’t be able to rest naturally. You may get sleep but may wake up in the middle of the night due to your unsatisfied hunger pangs. Thus, not only is it important to eat before sleeping, but also eat right – by being mindful of what you eat before bedtime. Click here to know which foods can help you sleep better.
2. Hair fall
“Hair loss may occur as a result of inadequate intake of calories, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals,” says Nmami. Your hair requires not just external care, but also a consistent intake of nutrients to maintain its growth. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and selenium are said to help combat hair fall. Click here to know more.
3. Low energy levels
According to Nmami, “Eating too few calories can lead to fatigue due to insufficient energy to exercise or perform movement beyond basic functions.” Food is our fuel and there is no denying this fact. Eating insufficient food can lead to diminished energy and feelings of sluggishness. Foods high in protein and iron can help keep up your energy levels, especially nuts, dry fruits and seeds. For a sustained boost, you can opt for healthy drinks too, like these ones.
4. Feeling irritated
“Prolonged low-calorie intake and restrictive eating patterns have been linked to irritability and moodiness,” states the nutritionist. We sometimes make jokes about people being “hangry” – i.e., the condition of being angry because of hunger. While we may joke about this, it doesn’t make it less true. If you are not getting the required amount of nutrients, your body is being denied what it needs to function properly. This can immediately affect your mental and emotional state too. Some people opt to snack to avoid this problem. Here’s what you need to know about snacking.
5. Feeling hungry often
Nmami says, “Undereating can cause hormonal shifts that increase hunger in order to compensate for inadequate calorie and nutrient intake.” If you find yourself craving food at unusually frequent intervals, it is possible you are not eating enough during your meal times. At the same time, you must take care not to stuff yourself to your limit. Eating fibre-rich foods can help keep you satiated for longer. Read more about a fibre-rich diet here.
How To Recover From Not Eating Enough? Steps To Follow For A Healthy Diet
We have already discussed a few basic steps you can take to ensure you get enough nutrients on a daily basis. Apart from these, there are a few general tips you should keep in mind:
Don’t blindly follow fad diets
Whether you want to lose weight, address a particular condition or simply avoid health problems, you may find many diet plans promising quick solutions. But blindly cutting out foods from your diet can sometimes do more harm than good. For instance, here’s what happens when you have zero sugar. Hence, it is important to rely on reliable resources and consult experts before making any rash decisions.
Pay attention to portion sizes
How much you eat matters just as much as what you eat. Portion control is not solely applicable to those who want to lose weight. Practising it can help you follow a balanced diet and appreciate your food better too. Click here to know more about it.
Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar
High-sugar items tend to provide you with a quick energy boost, but this does not keep you sustained for long. Spikes in your glucose levels can lead to further problems. Certain processed foods and drinks with too much sugar are also known to disrupt your sleep and/or cause digestive issues. Hence, it is best to stay away from them.
Also Read: Believe It Or Not! Even 1 Soft Drink A Day Could Be Harmful – Here’s Why
Eat foods at the right time
Most food items are best consumed at specific times. For instance, contrary to popular practice, coffee or tea on an empty stomach in the morning can worsen acidity problems (Read more here). Similarly, it is often advised to eat fresh fruit as a mid-morning or evening snack rather than dessert (after meals). Hence, along with portion size, you should also pay attention to timing.
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So, remember to eat well and follow a balanced diet for holistic and long-term well-being!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.