I’ve met many people who are overweight or obese and tell me they don’t eat much. This may be the case because they are purposely withholding calories, or because food is not readily available. Here is an article about scientists who are studying this phenomenon.
I think of it as the body going into panic mode if it doesn’t know when the next meal is going to come. This can happen when people follow extremely restrictive “diets,” for some that is less than 1000 calories a day, but there’s not necessarily a magic number. Instead of losing weight, their bodies may actually hang onto it. The body adjusts its calorie needs based on how much it is getting. This means that when the person does eat, their body converts the calories to fat at a higher rate.
Another problem with not eating enough is that when food is available (or when we go off the “diet”) there is a tendency to overeat. It can turn into a vicious cycle. The trick, therefore, is to consistently eat the right amount for our bodies. This can be difficult if we don’t consistently have the funds to purchase food, let alone healthy food. It can also be difficult to eat consistently when we are faced with a busy life, stress, or depression.
Diabetes professionals are constantly looking for ways to help and support people with all aspects of managing the food part of diabetes. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. By working together we can share ideas, information and support.