Calories: Is under just as bad as over

  • When trying to maintain an 1800 calorie plan. Is it detrimental to come in under the allotment consistently even though the meals are good meals?
    I have found that I have a healthy breakfast, a snack 2 to 3 hours later, 3 hrs later lunch, 2-3 hrs after that a snack and dinner at around 6PM, and consistently come in UNDER 1800 calories. I don't over portion my food, maybe I should up my portions on breakfast and lunch.
    Also please if anyone has suggestions for meals on the go... I would be open to hearing them.

    GaryK   by: GaryK
  • 4 votes
    jipsybird  almost 2 years ago by: jipsybird

    I'm no expert, but I think the side effects you list by being under nourished calorie wise happens when calories are severely restricted. Many people would say that happens when under 1200 calories are consumed. I think those side effects depend on the nutrition of those calories and how severly the calories are restricted. From the information you have given, I think being 200 under your caloric goal of 1800 should not be that detrimental. However, if you feel your body is crying out for more nutrition (you obiously by now have an idea of what those signs might be) by all means, eat more of your nutritious food.

    Have a great day and good luck with your goals.

  • 1 vote
    misssandy  about 2 years ago by: misssandy

    How far under are you? What are your goals? Weight loss, gain? How tall are you? How much do you weigh? What's your BMI? How physically active are you! How demanding is your job? Please answer these questions then we can help you.

    • GaryK
      GaryK about 2 years ago

      On average I am under approximately 200 calories, that is if the app on my phone is correct. According to several web sites, My BMI is 25.2. I do A Daily Burn work out once a day every day, Twice three times a week (Minimum) My job is sedentary

    • misssandy
      misssandy about 2 years ago

      That's really nothing especially when you consider that no calorie counter is 100% accurate. And most people underestimate how much they eat by a couple hundred.

  • 1 vote
    GaryK  about 2 years ago by: GaryK

    Although I appreciate the response... I really needed the answer to the question. Just a small amount of research supplied a very important answer.
    Not enough calories can have adverse side effects...
    Your body relies on calories from food to provide energy. In fact, calories are considered a measurement for energy in your body. When you do not eat enough calories, your body begins to use energy stores in your body to power your body functions and help you feel alert. However, continuing to eat too little calories without energy stores, you may experience side effects like feeling lethargic. This is because your body cannot spare extra energy from its daily functions -- like keeping your heart beating -- to provide you energy for movement, such as exercise.

    Increased Bone Breakdown
    Not eating enough calories affects your body's ability to produce estrogen, a hormone necessary to maintain healthy bone levels. While both men and women have estrogen, this effect can especially affect women. If women restrict their calories to a level at which they no longer have menstrual periods, they are more likely to have lower bone density levels. This makes bones more porous and increases the risk for bone fracture. As you age, your estrogen levels will continue to drop, further increasing your risk for bone wasting diseases such as osteoporosis.

    One of the most common side effects of malnutrition is iron deficiency that leads to anemia, according to Kids Health. Iron deficiency can result when you do not eat enough red meat, egg yolks, fortified flour, grains and cereals. Without enough iron in your body, you are not able to manufacture red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen and immune cells in your body, meaning their destruction can have very harmful effects. Ultimately, prolonged anemia can lead to extreme fatigue and can place extra strain on your heart, which must work harder to pump healthy blood cells through the body.

    Cachexia is a condition whose symptoms include wasting of muscle and fat tissue in the body. When you do not eat enough, your body takes fat and muscle tissue to use for energy. Severe undernutrition can cause you to lose as much as half your bodyweight. In addition to physical symptoms of muscle loss, cachexia causes symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea, irritability, always feeling cold or unresponsiveness. Cachexia can lead to a shutdown in your immune system, which can increase your infection risk. Your body's systems, including your cardiac and respiratory systems, ultimately can stop working.

    • tragicallyjuliet
      tragicallyjuliet almost 2 years ago

      this is all true but again that is if you are under eating and malnourished. men should maintain on average 1500-2000 cal/day. if you are over 1500 i would not worry about it. Anemia is a condition caused by low iron, cachexia is a starvation condition not a problem if you are eating even a small amount day, bone break down would be caused by a lack of calcium or vitamin D, again if you are eating healthy and are not a women over 50 this should not be a concern. the fatigue is the only one of these symptoms likely to effect you if you are under eating by only 200 cal. if you feel fatigue you may want to try and up your cal but if you are eating your fill and are under your cal/day your body is telling you something there... i would also look over your choices of food. if you are eating a lot of fiber and veggies that might be why you are coming in low but feel full. if you are trying to bulk up you might try more protein...other wise listen to your body.

  • -1 votes
    slshaw23  almost 2 years ago by: slshaw23

    Special K has some great on the go meals.

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