A considerable number of women aren’t eating enough. From my experience, most women I encounter base their nutritional choices on the concept of calories in versus calories out. While this idea influences weight management, fewer calories don’t always translate to improved health or weight loss.
When we restrict ourselves to minimal daily calorie intake, we inadvertently limit our chances of providing our bodies with essential macro and micronutrients. As this pattern becomes routine, our bodies register the deficiency, impacting their ability to function optimally, let alone thrive.
Consequences might manifest as weight stagnation or gain despite “healthy” eating, reduced energy, mood fluctuations and diminished motivation. Surprising symptoms such as hair loss or thinning, persistent coldness and disrupted sleep also might emerge — symptoms not immediately linked to diet.
To ensure our bodies function harmoniously and foster robust metabolic health, women should incorporate a few daily practices.
A transformative shift occurs when we view meal times as opportunities for nourishment.
Transitioning from minimal sustenance to ensuring our meals are nutrient-rich in both macro and micronutrients helps replenish our body’s stores. Once our bodies receive adequate nourishment, they cease compensating, leading to increased vitality and the gradual fading of nutrient deficiency symptoms.
So, how can you adopt a more nourishing approach to eating? Here are some ideas:
1. Opt for high-quality proteins and fats. While not every meal needs to be organic or grass-fed, quality matters — particularly concerning animal products. The food animals consume influences the quality and nutritional value of the meat or dairy we derive from them. Prioritize the highest quality foods that align with your lifestyle and budget when possible.
2. Integrate organ meats. Remember those childhood days when grandma insisted on eating liver because it was good for you? Turns out, she wasn’t wrong. Organ meats often pack the most nutrients among animal products. Incorporating them into your daily or weekly meal plans or even through supplements can offer remarkable physical and mental benefits.
3. Embrace the rainbow. While a cliché, consuming a variety of colors — fruits, vegetables, legumes and diverse plants — provides a spectrum of micronutrients. These nutrients combat inflammation, cancer and aging-related symptoms like cognitive decline.
If you feel like you’re not consuming enough, chances are you’re right. Your body shouldn’t undergo stress due to inadequate calories and nutrients. Shift your focus from starving your body to nourishing it for your health goals. The surprising benefits will astonish you.
Bri Edwards is a holistic health coach at Healthy Foundations in Dubuque.