That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever had to write, I think. It was even harder to wrap my head around it than it was to write it, but it’s something I’ve come up against at least twice so far, and I’ve come face-to-face with it again: you have to eat enough to lose weight.
In the past, I was able to allow myself to starve to a certain point and continue to lose weight. Heck, I learned to embrace that hungry feeling because it was a constant reminder that I was being, “Good” and that my body wasn’t being overfed. My logic reasoned that the result would be lost weight. Only, there are two problems with this.
- If you don’t eat enough for an extended period of time, your body goes into a starvation mode where it reduces your metabolism to hold onto all the fat/spare energy it can to keep you alive in what it considers a lean time for food intake, and;
- What I was thinking and feeling are what leads to anorexia nervosa.
Yep. Anorexia freaking nervosa. There are two types: Binge/Purge Type, and Restricting Type. No, I don’t have anorexia nervosa, but reading about it made me really think about what I do and how I do it and to look out for warning signs. Contrary to popular belief, men can get anorexia nervosa, too.
While I work hard at being healthy and fit, I try to keep an open mind and a healthy perspective. I think that’s why I don’t see myself slipping into anorexia nervosa and that while some of its symptoms overlap into what a healthy person believes, I am not obsessed with it. I don’t tell myself I’m fat after losing weight. I allow myself to eat a little more every now and then and I don’t purge afterward (I never even consider it; ewww!).
Back to my weight; my weight had returned to normal after the holidays but had once again stalled. I thought about it and realized that I was going through the days feeling a bit hungry. Not starving, mind you, but my stomach would growl every now and then an hour or two before a regular mealtime. This weekend, I decided to eat a few nuts or a small Paleo graham cracker that Sherry made for our New Year’s Party (leftovers!) and I made a point to watch what happens on the scale. What I found confirmed my suspicions: I wasn’t eating enough. My weight is down and I even feel slimmer (if that’s possible).
I know it’s still a bit early, but I plan on keeping up with the eating a tad bit more this week to see if the trend continues. I weigh myself every morning, so it’s easy for me to get quick feedback on what’s happening. I also gauge how my clothes feel (and today, they felt GREAT).
Don’t think that starving yourself or depriving yourself of feeling satisfied after a meal will always result in weight loss. You could very well be keeping your body in starvation mode. If I learned anything on my Whole30 experiences is that you should eat until you are no longer hungry (but not stuffed!). Eat slow enough so you can recognize when that feeling comes, and then stop. I need to keep that in mind again and eat until I’m no longer hungry.