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4 Signs You’re Eating Too Little When Trying to Lose Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s pretty cut and dry, right? Cut as many calories from your diet as possible. Unfortunately, it’s possible to eat too little, which not only makes it harder for you to achieve a healthy weight, but can also cause other health problems.

The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Why do I want to lose weight?” This seems simple. It’s usually to fit into smaller clothes or to look better. But these reasons can cause you to make decisions that aren’t necessarily in your best health interest. Eating below your needs is just one example of that and, unfortunately, it can backfire big time.

Everyone has a set amount of calories, or energy, they need to simply be alive. Consistently eating less than this can cause your metabolism to slow down and your body to begin preserving what it can to survive. Hunger and feeling full aren’t the only indicators of whether you’re fueling your body appropriately. In fact, if you aren’t eating enough consistently, you may notice some of these other signs as well.

1. YOU’RE TIRED

Our bodies are fueled by the foods we eat, so if we don’t eat enough, our energy levels can also wane. Whether you’re skipping meals or limiting the types of food you eat, eating too few calories also means you’re taking in too few nutrients. Research shows you need all the macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – for sustained energy. That said, vitamins and minerals are also essential in regulating the production of energy. When you skimp on calories, it becomes much more difficult to get all these important elements your body needs to function properly.


READ MORE > ASK THE DIETITIAN: SHOULD I EAT BACK MY EXERCISE CALORIES?


2. YOU’RE CRANKY

Feeling more irritable than normal can be another key indicator you aren’t supplying your body with enough fuel to get through the day. Skimping on carbohydrates can be particularly problematic when it comes to mood stabilization. Without enough carbs, your blood-sugar levels may dip too low because the body doesn’t have enough sugar, or glucose, to use as fuel.

3. YOU’RE CONSTIPATED

To help preserve energy, your digestive tract may move food through your system more slowly when you restrict your intake below what your body needs for an extended period of time. This can cause constipation. In addition, not getting enough fiber regularly — which is challenging to do even when you do eat enough to meet your needs — can also increase the likelihood of constipation.

4. YOU CAN’T LOSE THOSE LAST FIVE POUNDS

More isn’t necessarily better. You usually lose weight when you run a calorie deficit — burning more calories than you’re consuming — you can actually hold on to weight for a period if you’re creating too large of a deficit. If you’re finding you just can’t lose those last few pounds, it’s possible you’re either training too hard, eating too little or some combination of the two. Smaller deficits (think 250-500 calories) are all you really need to see longer-term weight loss. Plus, this won’t trigger your body to go into self-preservation mode, which may provide you with quick weight loss in the beginning, but set the stage for you to gain it back in the future.

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5 Ways Mindful Eating Can Help You Lose Weight

Snacking while cooking dinner, eating while writing emails, munching on the drive to work. Multitasking might save time, but when it comes to eating there is also a cost: distraction.

Multitasking while eating makes it challenging to be mindful. Ever sat in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream and magically, the food vanishes before your eyes and you wonder what that last bite tasted like? Or maybe you find yourself at 10PM with calories remaining for the day so you go for the cookies, despite still feeling full from dinner. Whether eating is a result of physical or emotional distraction, both have the same end result: mindless eating.

Mindful eating is being aware of the taste, texture, aroma, presentation, and your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Getting to know your hunger and fullness is the secret to losing the weight for good and keeping it off.

1. EAT WITH BALANCE

Eating a variety of foods at each meal not only provides balanced nutrition, it can also help with meal satisfaction. Make sure that your plate has 3 foods: Fiber, Fat, and Protein. These three ingredients take the longest to break down causing a slower release of energy and keeping you fuller for longer. Find fibers through fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Opt for healthy fats like avocado, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and olive oils. Get protein from a variety of sources including meat, fish, poultry, tofu, tempeh, beans, and nuts.

READ MORE > 9 WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT THAT AREN’T JUST DIET AND EXERCISE

2. TIME YOUR MEALS

If you’ve been dieting or eating sporadically for some time, it’s time to recalibrate your hunger and fullness meter. Many people say that when they begin mindful eating that they don’t really feel hungry or full; that’s likely because your hunger and fullness meter is off. Begin to get back on track by eating food in regular intervals, about every 4 hours or so–paying close attention to portion size. This is enough time for your body to recognize the swings in energy levels without getting overly hungry. Keep in mind if you still are not hungry after 4-5 hours of eating, you might have eaten a bit too much at that last meal. Not to worry though! Simply wait until your body tells you it needs more fuel in the tank before eating again. Check out this article to dive deeper into understanding and listening to your hunger cues.

3. BE PRESENT

It can’t be overstated that to become a mindful eater, the mind and body must be present with the plate. Eat with intention, turn off the TV and shut down the computer while dining at the table. Distracted eating is a major contributor to unintentional overeating. Focusing on your meal or snack will not only lead to greater enjoyment of whatever you’re eating but a greater awareness of your hunger and satiety cues.

4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Becoming aware of the body’s internal cues to hunger and fullness will keep blood sugar stable and increase energy levels. Mindful eating requires trusting the body to know “how much” food is needed and when to stop. When you sit down to a meal ask yourself, “How hungry am I”, and give it a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed. We tend to eat with our eyes over our stomachs; mindful eating is a turn from that norm. Even though mindful eating is a skill we were born with and have lost along the way, it will take some time to relearn. Instead of eating on autopilot and cleaning your plate out of habit, challenge yourself to put the fork down when you are actually satisfied (6-7) vs. stuffed (8-9). Remember to not let your body get overly hungry and eat when you feel a gentle hunger (3).

5. ACCEPT THE HERE AND NOW

So you want to make changes to your body composition and/or lose some weight, first start with loving your body just the way it is. If you find that you cannot accept yourself as you are, this is the first place to start on your mindful eating journey. The confidence that you find from within will keep you grounded and able to trust your body enough to be a mindful eater.

Mindful eating takes guts and can be scary, but on the other side there is freedom from the diet trap. Consider weight loss and improved body composition as a side effect of eating mindfully, instead of the end goal. For some this step can be achieved by finding an activity that you truly enjoy, cleaning out the closet and buying clothes that fit and look fabulous on you, or tossing the scale if it’s defining your self worth every time you step on it.

Lastly, remember to be patient with yourself as you begin eating mindfully. You might not feel good at it at first, but like with anything practice is key. Keep focused on your true goals and weight loss will be a side effect of your new healthful relationship with food.

The post 5 Ways Mindful Eating Can Help You Lose Weight appeared first on Under Armour.

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How Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss?

Find Out How Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss!

Hello All!!!

Weight loss on your mind? You are trying hard but not able to lose weight? The reason can be low hemoglobin levels.

What is hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin are iron containing proteins in the blood on which oxygen travels. Low hemoglobin levels prevent your heart from delivering sufficient amount of oxygen to various parts of the body.

Low iron levels in your body can make you feel tired and fatigued. Thus, it becomes harder to burn calories by exercising. And this hinders weight loss. This is why Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss!

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Causes of low hemoglobin levels

A low hemoglobin count can be due to natural reasons or due to various illnesses. Young women can have a low hemoglobin level during menstruation or when they are pregnant.

Deficiency of iron and eating

A lack of iron in the body will make you develop different symptoms. You may notice that your appetite has decreased and there is an unexplained weight loss. Also, patients with a deficiency of iron can have craving for some unusual foods. This is called pica. You can read about it here!

Pica in Kids and Women How To Handle Pica

Deficiency of iron and exercise

A lack of iron may make you eat less but at the same time it causes you to burn fewer number of calories. When you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, your energy levels are low as your body is unable to make sufficient red blood cells. This can make staying physically active and exercising harder as you will have chronic fatigue. Lack of enough exercise can result in burning of a fewer calories making it difficult for you to lose weight.

Foods rich in iron

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You need to consume foods high in iron when you have a deficiency of it. Foods high in iron content are dried fruits, lentils, liver, lean red meat, fish, oysters, tofu and green leafy veggies. You also need to include foods that are rich in vitamin C as it helps the body absorb iron better. Include lots of citrus fruits like oranges and sweet lime. You can have strawberries and broccoli too.

Foods that are having a high calcium and caffeine content can hinder with the iron absorbing capability of the body.

The bottom line

Lack of iron can promote weight loss but not in a healthy way as it is only due to a loss of appetite. However, at the same time it may make it harder for you to lose weight. If you think you have low levels of iron, you should consult a doctor. He or she will advise you best.

Hope you liked reading this post on how Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss!

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Meet Your Secret Weapon for Weight Loss: The Lunchbox

Lunch is often an afterthought. Most of our mornings are far too hectic with snooze buttons, workouts, showers and last-minute scrambles to get ourselves, our kids, our pets and our partners fed, dressed and out the door. (Wow, even reading that sentence is exhausting.)

We often spend seconds thinking about breakfast, much less lunch. But if you’re looking to put more accountability into your eating habits, you probably already have a secret weapon in your kitchen.

Meet your lunchbox — or maybe it’s an unused kid’s lunchbox. So what if it’s got “Star Wars” or “PAW Patrol” characters on it? We’re not judging. For about $ 10, you can successfully manage your next meal with this one simple tool that just might be the key to shedding that extra handful of pesky pounds you can’t seem to shake.

YOU’LL PLAN AHEAD

Whether you pack your lunchbox the night before or factor in an extra 5–10 minutes before the morning commute is up to you. Simply having it thought out and consolidated eliminates last-minute drive-thru trips, vending machine lunches and office-cafe crawls, while also saving you calories, money and even time.

A successful weight-loss plan is just that: a plan. It’s knowing what to eat, when to eat it and when to stop. A lunchbox filled with healthy choices answers the what and the when — i.e., at lunchtime, not after a slew of meetings when you’re just looking to shove the closest $ 3 sandwich down your throat. It also tells you when to stop: when the lunchbox is empty.

Once you get into the groove of thinking about how you’ll fill your lunchbox, you’ll naturally start factoring in the time to pack it, adding the contents to your weekly shopping list and saving money, too.  

READ MORE > 9 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT THAT AREN’T JUST DIET AND EXERCISE

YOU’LL ADD VARIETY TO YOUR DIET

Most trendy bento-style lunchboxes have three, four, even five areas for food. Sandwiches, salads and wraps are obvious fillers for the biggest compartment — all are great vessels for whole grains, lean protein and veggies. The smaller spaces work nicely for fresh cut fruit, yogurt, hummus, nuts, popcorn or even a piece or two of dark chocolate. By filling the spaces with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, you’ll be armed with plenty of supplies that allow you to skip the vending machine snacks.

The extra compartments allow for more creativity, too. Some lunchboxes function more like coolers, with cold packs or insulation in case your work space doesn’t have a refrigerator. Those options are great to keep things like salads, yogurt, tuna or chicken salad sandwiches and veggie-packed wraps fresher for a longer period of time, and they offer you more options than the processed, shelf-stable foods that once littered the classic lunch box.

YOU’LL MASTER PROPER PORTIONING

Lunchboxes are not designed to hold an oversize, restaurant-portion feast. The bento varieties naturally limit portions, and even those without dividers limit how much food you’re able to tote in one box. Unlike eating out — where you’ll be tempted to finish an oversize sandwich and fries just because they’re there and you don’t want to waste the hard-earned money you paid for them — packing a lunch enables you to be in control of how much you consume.

The key to successful weight loss can be as simple as arming yourself with the right tools.

Not sure where to start and what to pack?

If quick and easy is your need, start with this lineup of lunches ready in less than 15 minutes. For those organized enough to pack lunch the night before, here’s a list of boast-worthy, make-ahead lunches. And for those who simply want to be the envy of all of your co-workers, here’s a tasty lineup that upgrades your sad desk-lunch to stellar status.

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