Want to know a surefire way to feel lethargic, grumpy, freezing cold, and constipated? Restrict your calorie intake. Take it from someone who, unfortunately, has been there.
I remember thinking that the 2,000 calorie per day FDA recommendation was the law. And if that was the law for “normal” people, then I wanted to be “special” and eat less. I am sorry to say that I wasted so many precious minutes of my life calculating calories and then fanatically logging them into an online tracking app. At the time, I thought counting calories helped me control my anxiety around food, when in reality the practice was controlling me. It ended up digging me into an even deeper hole of anxiety that was very, very hard to escape.
While I no longer count calories (praise the Lord because that took up a LOT of mental energy that I can now use for more worthwhile endeavors), I am certain that I eat way over the seemingly arbitrary 2,000 calorie “recommendation,” and I feel approximately one million times better than I did in my days of restriction.
Calories = energy.
Restricting calories/energy from your body restricts its function and performance. That’s why so many people with eating disorders have thin hair that falls out in clumps, dry skin, brittle nails, low body temperature, and the list goes on. During my path to recovery I had to remind myself multiple times a day that the more I ate, the better my body was able to function. In fact, I still remind myself of that often!
When you find yourself stressing over calories, take a step back and remember that you need them to function optimally. You need calories to be healthy and happy. Honestly, the stress that comes from obsessing over calories is probably going to do more damage than just eating whatever it is you’re stressing about! So try to reframe your thoughts. Your body knows exactly how to process the food that you give it. Calories = energy = happy body. 🙂