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How do you know if you're undereating?

glasscastglasscast Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
I've been eating 1200 calories a day, more or less. I'm starting to wonder if it's too little? Eating 1200 calories I've been starting to get very tired, and when I stand up I get a bit dizzy and sometimes my vision darkens for a bit. I get very hungry at night and can hear my own stomach growling. This is the number MFP recommended me, though. I've been doing this for two weeks now.

I calculated my BMR on a few different websites and it's around 1500 - 1600 calories. I'm female, 5'6, weigh 85 kilos, and am very sedentary (though trying to change that-- being so fatigued hasn't been helping in that regard).

Any thoughts? Should I up my intake? Most of my calories come from protein and fat. Not on purpose, it's just what my macros end up looking like at the end of the day.
edited January 14

Replies

  • glasscastglasscast Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    Those symptoms are concerning, and could be from eating too little, eating less carbs than you are used to, or something more serious that needs medical attention.

    If you set yourself to lose 2 lbs per week, that is far too aggressive considering your weight. Switch to 1 lb per week and start eating those extra calories right away. If you are eating less than 50g of carbs, and have't increased sodium, it could be an electrolyte imbalance or your system just may not react well to very low carb.

    To be honest, I would make a doctor appointment as well, just in case it's not something that a couple hundred more calories can fix. Dizziness especially is nothing to mess with.

    oh, i definitely have reduced my sodium-- i stopped adding extra salt to my meals. and some days i do eat less than 50g of carbs. i had no idea that could cause electrolyte disturbances!
  • pinuplovepinuplove Posts: 11,072Member Member Posts: 11,072Member Member
    @kimny72 also gives great advice. My most recent bloodwork came back with ferritin at half the minimum normal level, which explained why I felt like poo (partially, anyway). Now I'm supplementing with iron.
  • glasscastglasscast Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    Yes, you're under eating. Fatigue is a big warning sign, so is lightheadedness.

    I lost most of my weight at 1500-1600 (PLUS exercise calories, so most days I was eating 1800-2000.) I also started out at 1200 but it was too low.

    I would suggest you set MFP Goals to "Lose one pound per week." Then add in your (purposeful) exercise when you do it (enter it in the Exercise tab.) Eat more on those days.

    Always listen when your body protests. That's how I found a more reasonable approach, too.
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Everything you described is how you tell you're undereating. Excellent advice above. Also, you said you get most of your calories from protein and fat, which is fine if you feel good on that, but since you aren't feeling great you may want to experiment with more carbs to see if that helps your energy levels.

    Thank you both of you! I thought that was the case, but was wondering if maybe I just needed time to adjust to a lower intake. As for carbs, I do like carbs! I've mainly been eating less of them because it's been hard to meet my daily recommended protein intake while staying under 1200 calories.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 10,687Member Member Posts: 10,687Member Member
    glasscast wrote: »
    Yes, you're under eating. Fatigue is a big warning sign, so is lightheadedness.

    I lost most of my weight at 1500-1600 (PLUS exercise calories, so most days I was eating 1800-2000.) I also started out at 1200 but it was too low.

    I would suggest you set MFP Goals to "Lose one pound per week." Then add in your (purposeful) exercise when you do it (enter it in the Exercise tab.) Eat more on those days.

    Always listen when your body protests. That's how I found a more reasonable approach, too.
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Everything you described is how you tell you're undereating. Excellent advice above. Also, you said you get most of your calories from protein and fat, which is fine if you feel good on that, but since you aren't feeling great you may want to experiment with more carbs to see if that helps your energy levels.

    Thank you both of you! I thought that was the case, but was wondering if maybe I just needed time to adjust to a lower intake. As for carbs, I do like carbs! I've mainly been eating less of them because it's been hard to meet my daily recommended protein intake while staying under 1200 calories.

    Well there you go - eat some extra carbs to get your calories up, don't worry too much about salt if you don't have a medical condition, and if both of those don't fix the problem in a day or two, get some blood work done :drinker:
  • MichelleSilverleafMichelleSilverleaf Posts: 1,530Member Member Posts: 1,530Member Member
    glasscast wrote: »
    Yes, you're under eating. Fatigue is a big warning sign, so is lightheadedness.

    I lost most of my weight at 1500-1600 (PLUS exercise calories, so most days I was eating 1800-2000.) I also started out at 1200 but it was too low.

    I would suggest you set MFP Goals to "Lose one pound per week." Then add in your (purposeful) exercise when you do it (enter it in the Exercise tab.) Eat more on those days.

    Always listen when your body protests. That's how I found a more reasonable approach, too.
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Everything you described is how you tell you're undereating. Excellent advice above. Also, you said you get most of your calories from protein and fat, which is fine if you feel good on that, but since you aren't feeling great you may want to experiment with more carbs to see if that helps your energy levels.

    Thank you both of you! I thought that was the case, but was wondering if maybe I just needed time to adjust to a lower intake. As for carbs, I do like carbs! I've mainly been eating less of them because it's been hard to meet my daily recommended protein intake while staying under 1200 calories.

    Are you sure 1200 is even necessary? Maybe your weekly rate of loss is too aggressive.
  • MarkConnolly709MarkConnolly709 Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    You might want to up your carb intake. Feeling tired and dizzy is a symptom for low blood sugar. Like others said it might be best to see your doctor if this continues.
  • MichelleSilverleafMichelleSilverleaf Posts: 1,530Member Member Posts: 1,530Member Member
    glasscast wrote: »
    glasscast wrote: »
    Yes, you're under eating. Fatigue is a big warning sign, so is lightheadedness.

    I lost most of my weight at 1500-1600 (PLUS exercise calories, so most days I was eating 1800-2000.) I also started out at 1200 but it was too low.

    I would suggest you set MFP Goals to "Lose one pound per week." Then add in your (purposeful) exercise when you do it (enter it in the Exercise tab.) Eat more on those days.

    Always listen when your body protests. That's how I found a more reasonable approach, too.
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Everything you described is how you tell you're undereating. Excellent advice above. Also, you said you get most of your calories from protein and fat, which is fine if you feel good on that, but since you aren't feeling great you may want to experiment with more carbs to see if that helps your energy levels.

    Thank you both of you! I thought that was the case, but was wondering if maybe I just needed time to adjust to a lower intake. As for carbs, I do like carbs! I've mainly been eating less of them because it's been hard to meet my daily recommended protein intake while staying under 1200 calories.

    Are you sure 1200 is even necessary? Maybe your weekly rate of loss is too aggressive.

    I think you're right. I set it to 2 pounds per week, but I think 1 pound per week would be more reasonable. MFP recommends 1450 calories per day for that.

    Yeah would likely be a lot easier on you. I'm the same height as you and have been doing 1lb from the start, it's definitely easier and more manageable. Hopefully more food will lead you to feeling better quickly.
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