While calorie needs differ based on activity level, goals, and gender, most women should consume at least 1,200 to 1,500 calories daily, according to the National Institutes of Health. Once you dip below that number, it becomes difficult for the body to perform basic biological functions that keep us healthy. Not sure if you’re hitting that number—or the number that’s right for you? Here are a few signs that you may not be eating enough to see the scale tip in your favor.
1. You think about food all the time.
Can’t get through your afternoon to-do list because you’re getting distracted dreaming about dinner? You’re probably not eating enough. Reaching for healthy snacks between meals can help to increase your daily caloric intake and keep you focused on things other than food. To stave off hunger and overeating, Young suggests pairing a protein-packed food with something rich in fiber. Cottage cheese or a small handful of nuts with a piece of fruit fits that nutritional bill.