Undereating and Weight Gain: Does One Cause The Other?


Nagina Abdullah


January 25, 2016

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I want to introduce today’s extremely important topic with a quick 1-minute video.

Click below to watch me introduce the $675,000 undereating mistake.

Symptoms of Undereating: The $675,000 Mistake

One of my clients, Jenna, would tug at her shirt so that it didn’t cling to her stomach rolls. The extra chubbiness on her thighs made her uneasy when she got dressed and made her hate every pair of pants she owned.

“Why are you so tight?” she would actually say to her clothes as she would dress herself in the morning before work.

She knew it wasn’t the shirt or the pants fault, it was that she had grown too big for them.

What she really hated was the layer of extra fat all over her body – from her stomach to her arms to her back.

The daunting task of losing weight was constantly on her mind, and she decided that the only way to finally change that was to drastically reduce her calorie intake.

Jenna was a successful and VERY busy financial planner. The thought of the red digital alarm clock blinking in at her face at 4 a.m. so she could squeeze in a work out before a long, hectic day, actually made her feel sick.

She had always heard the well-known mantra of “Eat less, exercise more”. She definitely didn’t have the time to exercise more, so she decided to eat less; a lot less.

Jenna hoped that she would finally start to recognize herself in the mirror again, even if it meant suffering through a growling stomach and snapping at her co-workers. She was fed up!

She cut her calories so much that she felt light-headed and dizzy some days. She had a really hard time concentrating at work.

In fact, one day Jenna was feeling really out of it because she had been restricting her calories. Looking over her desk, her heart sank as she took in the piles of work she hadn’t even started on yet and the fact that she didn’t have any energy to do what she had to do because she had been eating so little.

But the consequences of her undereating went way beyond feeling a lack of motivation.  She suddenly realized she made a $675,000 mistake on one of her client’s financials! That mistake almost severely cost her client, her company and herself big time.

It was a huge headache, made her look bad and it was all tied to the fact that she wasn’t nourishing her body and her mind enough to help her stay productive and focused.

To make it even worse, after a miserable week of being distracted by a rumbling stomach, she was completely discouraged when she stepped onto the scale and saw that she had actually GAINED two pounds!

How Undereating Causes Weight Gain

Obviously, Jenna’s story isn’t the way to lose weight. In fact, undereating doesn’t help you lose weight, it actually PREVENTS it.

Let me say it again, you don’t have to torture yourself to lose weight!

Dr. Amy Shapiro explained one part of it in Women’s Health Magazine:

“When you’re not eating enough, you can send your body into starvation mode. Your metabolism slows down because it doesn’t know where its next round of calories is coming from.”

How does this happen?

One way is that your body stresses out about not having the fuel it needs. Stress spikes your cortisol levels and even throws off your thyroid.

If your cortisol levels are high for too long, it can affect how insulin is processed and tip your hormones out of balance, which will keep your weight high or even make it climb, as studies show.

Dr. Chris Kesser talks about how it can be hard to lose weight even eating low carb if you’re not eating enough. Your thyroid, sex hormones and cortisol levels being out of balance contributes to your weight staying high or even rising.

Why Fat-Burning Foods Reduce the Effects of Undereating and Weight Gain

Another client of mine, Rajni, who is a doctor in the Bay Area, told me she can’t believe how full and satisfied she feels from eating delicious foods that are HELPING her lose weight.

She didn’t make it harder on herself than it had to be.

Rajni loves being able to eat a variety of marinated turkey, spiced fish, curried garbanzo beans, and even the occasional piece of chocolate cake!

She goes into the bathroom in the morning, turns the shower on, and as the hot water steams up the room, she actually gets excited about stepping onto the bathroom scale because she’s finally getting somewhere! She loves to see the progress she’s making.

While the digits on her scale go down, she never feels that gnawing, irritating hunger. She doesn’t feel distracted or miss things when she’s going over patient charts and powering through long shifts at the hospital.

She is so happy with the food because it tastes so much better than the healthy food she used to try to eat, and she actually has the energy to get things done after eating it.

To top it off, her husband and in-laws LOVE the meals too! They all sit together at dinnertime and can’t wait to taste what’s next.

She recently told me after she and her family devoured my Smoked Paprika Chicken recipe one evening,

“Nagina, your food is amazing! I feel so satisfied, full and I have no more cravings!

We have a favorite restaurant we used to go to in Manhattan before we moved to California, and they had the best chicken. We were literally going to plan a trip to NY just to have that chicken but now my husband said,  ‘No way! this chicken recipe is even better!'”

My Smoked Paprika Chicken is delicious for the whole family

Rajni no longer feels like she’s living only for the sake of making other people happy because now she has a balance and a system that really works for her.

Part of this is because the food she is eating is so delicious and her recipes are so simple so easy.

She also told me,“Your recipes, and grocery lists take the guesswork out of it and I still feel satisfied; such a good experience! I’ve never cooked fish before EVER and now I did it within minutes. The instructions are so easy.”

Eating MORE of the fat-burning foods, and less of the energy-depleting foods, is what helps you lose weight.

How to Stop Undereating While Trying to Lose Weight — 3 Healthy Tips!

Here are 3 ways to make sure you’re eating enough, but not overdoing it either.

  1. Include a green vegetable, a lean protein and a healthy carb in your meals.
  2. Eat until you feel almost full, but not totally full and like your stomach is expanding or uncomfortable.
  3. If you’re hungry between meals have 20 Masala Mixed Nuts any other unsalted nuts.

How to Feel Satisfied While Avoiding Undereating

Are you feeling starving and hungry all day? Do you hate losing weight because you think it means you have to feel deprived and starve yourself? Do you think it’s impossible to be full AND lose weight at the same time?

How much easier would your life be if you had weekly menu plans and delicious recipes to look forward to? Recipes that keep you feeling full and actually BURN fat as you’re eating them.

I created 10 weeks of fat-burning, delicious and easy meal plans and recipes for you – and an accountability system that works – so that you can lose weight and NEVER feel deprived. It might be hard to believe, but you will actually ENJOY what you’re eating as you lose weight.

As part of my 10-Week Weight-Loss Jumpstart, I’ll provide you weekly menu plans and recipes that free up your evenings so you can come home at the end of a long day and enjoy a foot bath after dinner, instead of spending your whole night on your aching feet in the kitchen.

It’s like having the convenience of ordering take-out, but you wake up the next day you feel light and ready to go instead of painfully peeling yourself out of bed and dreading getting dressed.

Find out more about how you can feel satisfied eating delicious food, have energy to focus and stay sharp all day and STILL lose 10 pounds or more in my 10-Week Weight-Loss Jumpstart.

Find out more about the program by clicking here.

P.S. This issue is really important to me. I just really want you to know that starving yourself is NOT the answer.

Please stop depriving yourself by eating boring grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli that doesn’t really fill you up, has your stomach growling and your mind wandering to the vending machine in an hour. Undereating and weight gain go hand in hand!

Instead, fill yourself up on foods like my Smoked Paprika Chicken with flavorful, warm yellow lentils and spiced roasted vegetables that are super simple to make.

Trust me. You will LOVE this food and it won’t even taste like it’s “healthy”.

Losing 10 pounds or more eating delicious foods you love is absolutely possible and I want it for you too! Click here to find out more.

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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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