Our body needs three balanced meals a day, to stay healthy, mentally and physically. When you don’t eat enough food, your body and mind can be significantly affected in various ways. The consequences may vary based on the duration of insufficient food intake, the specific nutrients lacking, and individual factors such as age, sex, and overall health.
Many people neglect their meals frequently. This could be due to dieting or hectic lifestyle, or a subconscious desire to starve themselves because of trending social media body standards. People have started following crazy diets very blindly to slim down but they forget that skipping meals is not the right way.
Following are the common signs when a person is not eating enough;
Fluctuations in blood sugar (Low Energy)
The moment you consume food, the body starts converting carbs to glucose to produce energy. Our body needs a constant supply of glucose to function efficiently. When you starve yourself, glucose levels start to fall, which results in decreasing blood sugar levels. This inadvertently causes low energy levels, headaches, and sluggishness. It also makes concentrating very difficult, and day-to-day activities start to tire you out. Fluctuating sugar levels in the blood also leads to various heart diseases in the long run.
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Starvation simply means that the body is rundown with nutrients, including fiber. Deriving your body of fiber will ultimately lead to constipation and your stool will become infrequent and hard as the food intake amount reduces.
Weakened immune system
This goes without saying that malnutrition weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses. You are likely to also have electrolyte imbalances, which will lead to complications like dizziness, weakness, and heart irregularities.
Insomnia & Cognitive Impairment
When your body starts to lack in glucose, it starts to burn fat as an alternative to provide energy. As the insulin point dips, the body goes into overdrive and increases the creation of an enzyme known as orexin, which gives off a temporary energy. The brain signals the body to ooze excess adrenaline as well, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Insufficient food intake also affects cognitive function, leading to difficulties with memory, concentration, and decision-making.
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Our hair is naturally made of protein. But it needs iron, calcium, and monounsaturated fatty acids to stay healthy. Excessively dry scalp loosens up the hair follicles thereby, resulting in excessive loss of hair loss.
It’s important to note that prolonged inadequate food intake can lead to serious health issues, including malnutrition, organ damage, and even death. In the short term, the body may learn to adapt to the lack of food, but over time, the consequences become more severe.
If you are experiencing persistent dietary issues or concerns about your nutrition, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to develop a balanced and sustainable eating plan that meets your individual needs.