Mind over matter can also help you push through that weight loss plateau that you may be struggling through. In fact, sometimes food on the brain is a good thing. So bring on the cravings! These tips are all you’ll need to be a more mindful you and ultimately more slimmer you.
1. Harness Your Feminine Power
As women, we are naturally in tune with ourselves, our feelings etc. So it’s time to really put that feminine power to use ladies. This ability to tune into how our bodies feel at any given moment is dope, however this same super power somehow gets wonky when it comes to recognizing hunger.
For whatever reason, we tend to disassociate our physical signals with emotions. When we are tired and cranky we think more coffee please, or “I must be hangry…feed me!” And while both may be true, often times these cravings are a result of out of whack cortisol hormones. When we are tired, (read: sleep deprived) fatigue sets in and stress levels skyrocket, leading to crazy high cortisol levels – the appetite trigger. Long story short, the more exhausted you are, the more you want to eat.
2. Retrain Your Brain
When it comes to our diets, we have to figure out how to turn down our emotions (peace out emotional eating) and retrain our brain. Mindfulness when eating can change your entire diet game beauties. I’m not saying that you should cross your legs and chant inspirational mantras before every meal, however taking 10 seconds to be cognizant before the first bite can change things tenfold.
Do you really want that pint of ice cream or are you craving this “sweetness” because your boss was the opposite of sweet when she humiliated you in today’s meeting? Maybe a kickboxing class to help release this anger is what you really need. Those 10 seconds or 10 deep breaths will help you figure this out before any calories pass your lips.
3. The Numbers Don’t Lie
So if you’re thinking that you can’t master this “think to shrink” theory then know this – studies have been done hun and the numbers don’t lie. According to the journal Complementary Theories in Medicine, individuals who practiced mindfulness techniques for six weeks noticed some pretty noteworthy changes. There was a 26% decrease in depression, 35 percent decrease in anxiety, 39 percent decrease in hunger and 43 percent decrease in binge-eating incidents. Yeah, about that pre-meal meditation, let’s be about that life.
4. Slow & Steady Betty
Listen sis, you’re not going to be this diet master mind over night, so the key is to start slow. One simple adjustment you can make while eating is break what I call the “feasting frenzy.” Because many of us are on the go and running nonstop when we finally do eat we partake in meals like it too is a rat race. However you can slow your roll by simply putting your utensils down every once in awhile. Simply put your hands in your lap, chew, chat if you’re not dining alone, pick up the utensils again, eat and repeat. This may feel crazy if you are used to acting like a hoover vacuum when you eat, but over time this granny speed will feel natural.
5. Presentation Is Everything
Focusing on presentation whenever I eat has really help me not only eat less, but enjoy my food more. There is something more romantic and sensual about serving dinner on beautiful dishes as opposed to paper plates. You are creating an experience, so don’t be afraid to whip out a measuring cup to mold that brown rice into a perfect mound (this is my favorite) or slice your cucumbers into cute little hearts (complicated but fun). Plus snacking can get in on the power of presentation too lady.
Next time you’re tempted to rip open a bag of chips and go to town, stop, drop and pour out a single serving into a cute bowl. This will not only teach you what an actual serving looks like it will also train your brain to slow down. That’s right, polishing off bags of chips in one sitting will soon become an extinct experience for you.
6. Eliminate Distractions
Multitasking is deemed as gold medal worthy and since we as women are master multi-taskers this next tip may be the most challenging of all. You don’t have to text your bestie, feed the baby and eat your lunch all at the same time. In fact eating while sending emails, working or doing other tasks undoubtedly makes you eat more. Not only are you unaware of how much you are consuming you also are so disconnected from your food that this dissatisfaction can lead to future cravings.
In fact, a recent study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who played solitaire during lunch felt less full than eaters who are not distracted and in turn ate significantly more when offered cookies just half an hour later.
7. Appreciate What’s On Your Plate
This may sound cheesy, but wonder what would happen if you actually took a moment and thought about where that cheese on your turkey sandwich came from. Imagine the cow grazing her grass-fed environment, her owner milking her, the milk being homogenized etc. By simply appreciating how your food made it to your plate instantly makes the experience more whole. Plus the reverse can happen when you partake in processed food. By simply imagining the gross process it took to make that honey bun you may be able to curb your craving toward a cleaner option.
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!
15 Must-Buy Grocery Items To Keep Your Waist Snatched Forever
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1. Keep These In Your Fridge For Healthy Eating
If you're like me (and you need pointers in order to eat healthy), this list is going to be your saving grace! Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I end up buying things I don't need or forgetting things that I need for the week.
So I tapped George Zoitas, CEO of Westside Market NYC to give me a few tips on what to keep on your grocery list in order to eat healthy everyday. Check out what items made the list.
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2. Ready-To-Eat Green Salad
Use a high-nutrient spinach as the base of a salad and top with cherry tomatoes, beans and nuts. Transform this side dish into a meal by adding grilled chicken breast, cooked shrimp or any of your faves!
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3. Whole Wheat Pita Pocket Or Tortilla
These are associated with a variety of health benefits including weight control. You can pack the pita or wrap with all of your healthy faves and eat it on the go. Everything that you like on your salad–wrap it up!
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4. Low-Fat Dairy Foods
The options here can be yogurt, cottage cheese or a reduced-fat cheese which provide both calcium and protein. Dairy products are also great for snacks or used within meals. These products stretch and can keep you healthy for multiple meals and multiple days.
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5. Prepared Pesto Made With Olive Oil
Olive oil has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and this pesto is a great way to work it into your diet. But don't just stop at pesto; use on snacks or main dishes too!
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6. Almond Butter
Almond butter is considered a “smart fat,” which helps in lowering cholesterol and enhances the immune system. While almond butter has many great properties, make sure you follow the portion size, as it's still high in fat, even though it is the healthy kind. You can use this yummy treat as a snack or you can get creative with it in your main dishes.
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Hummus is an easy protein-rich snack that fights hunger and balances blood sugar levels. Yummy on it's own, with your fave veggies or on a pita, hummus is a savory snack worth keeping in your fridge.
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Salsa actually low in calories, when you skip the tortilla chips. Use the healthy snack on brown rice, flax or sesame seed crackers instead of the chips and you'll find yourself snacking without the guilt. In the morning try it on your eggs or put it on your salads at lunch or dinner. It's a great condiment no matter what time of day it is!
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Some believe that while dieting, eating only the egg whites is best, but it's not; you to leave out all the protein, which is found in the yolk. The yolk protein helps stimulate the release of glucagon, which aids in fat-burning specially belly fat.
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10. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and iron, all which are great for weight loss. You can put these in smoothies, on your salad or use them to bread your chicken or thicken your soup.
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This is a gluten-free grain, which can be savory or sweet, depending on what it is mixed with. As a complete protein source, quinoa is packed with amino acids and vitamin B. Hello health! Cook this up as a side or add some texture to your salad, either way, you're packing in a lot of benefits with one little ingredient.
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12. Lean Protein
Having lean protein in your fridge is important because it helps keep you full. Excellent sources of this include skinless poultry, edamame, crab, fish fillets and pork tenderloin.
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Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber and can be added to other nutritious foods that aid in dieting, like oatmeal and almond butter. This is one of the best snacks to always have on-hand.
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Mushrooms are is often overlooked when dieting, but these "fun guys" help to tide you over in between meals. They also can act as a side or even the full meal, especially if you like portobello mushrooms.
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Blueberries are on the top of the list for the fruits with the most health benefits. They have 40% more antioxidant capacity than strawberries, are high in vitamin C and strengthen the immune system! Keep these around to put in your yogurt, on your salad or just to have as a snack.
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16. Bell Pepper
Red, yellow or green, bell peppers help in improving the looks of hair and skin, as well as eases aches and pains. Also, due to the high water content, this low-calorie food assists in weight loss. Keep these around for snacks, or cook them up in your meals.