1. Are you drastically decreasing your calorie intake?
If your diet is very low in fat or calories—without adequate nutritional supervision from a physician or nutritionist—it could signal a problem. For a rough idea of the minimum number of calories you should eat a day, multiply 25 calories for every kilogram you weigh. So if you weigh 175, that’s 1,985 daily calories. “If you’re working out hard every day, that’s not a lot of food,” says Dr. Weltzin. “And if you’re eating that little and maintaining your same level of fitness, that’s a problem.”
2. Are you amping up your exercise?
There’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself to better a race time or a dead-lift weight, but you shouldn’t push yourself too hard if you’re significantly restricting calories at the same time. “If you continue to work out at the same level while restricting calories, you tend to lose your strength— even if you can maintain endurance,” says Weltzin. Cut back on calories, or ramp up exercise if you want to shed a few pounds, but you shouldn’t be drastic with both.
3. Are you obsessed by thoughts of food or your body?
If you spend more than half of your day thinking about food, weight, or your muscularity, you may need a wake-up call, says Dr. Weltzin. “If you’re sitting at the gym and you’re panicked about what you’re going to eat that night—or if you can see this muscle or that muscle—and feeling tortured about it, you’re not in a good place.”