In this bumper Easter edition, How to Crack Easter without adding pounds to your waistline; would you like to discover your Snacking Personality? And why 10 is the magic number for stress!
Spring into March 2013
Practice Mindful Eating & Lose Weight
What is your Snacking Personality? Take the quiz & find out here!
Why 10 is the magic number for Stress!
How to have a Cracking Easter Without Adding Pounds
Practice Mindful Eating and Lose Weight
One of the most powerful pieces of advice I can give you if you are wishing to lose weight is to start eating “mindfully”. So what does this actually mean?
Well basically it means two things:
1) Slowing your eating right down and actually chewing your food and
2) Paying attention to what you are eating, not focusing on anything else or being distracted.
For many people who are overweight, it is so easy to rush through meals, eat whilst on the go or whilst engaging in some other activity and then not actually realise exactly what you have put in your mouth or how much! When you eat like this you are not paying attention to what you are doing and you cannot hear your own body’s signal to tell you that you are full up! So what happens is that you don’t know how much you have eaten and your eating becomes out of control and you probably end up overeating.
Now the 5 tips that I am going to share with you today will help you to start eating more mindfully but my Diet Buddy Programme “How to Eat Chocolate and Still Lose Weight” will take you through a whole mindful eating process that you can easily adopt into your daily life, to support you in getting the results that you desire for your weight loss. If you would like more information about this very affordable, habit changing, on-line coaching programme, which is designed to support busy women who can't come to see me 1-1 to lose weight, then do contact me at email@example.com
In the meantime, you can start the process of eating more mindfully right now with these 5 mindful eating tips:
Slow down your eating. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing.When you give yourself a chance to eat slowly, you actually get a chance to notice and enjoy your food a lot more.
Tune in to your feelings: Eating is a way to get a quick “feel good “fix for many of you. However, if you reach for foods that are unhealthy too much of the time, you will probably end up feeling a sense of instant gratification, followed by a feeling of disappointment or guilt. Next time you get the urge to eat for comfort, tune in to how you are feeling first and see if there is another alternative to dealing with your feelings other than reaching for that big slice of cake that you don’t really want!
Lower stress: Stress hormones often stimulate the appetite and at the same time the stress hormone cortisol encourages the body to store fat, especially around the middle of your body. Try to keep your stress levels from increasing by practising meditation or breathing exercises. Physical exercise is also a good remedy for managing stress.
Disconnect the distractions: It’s important to actually engage in the whole process of eating and paying attention to what you are eating. If you are watching television or eating whilst working on your computer, your focus of attention is on that rather than your food. Turn off the TV and step away from your computer. If you eat at your desk at work, you are more likely to snack later in the day.
Concentrate on your food: focus on the activity of actually eating. Notice how much food is on your plate; notice how it tastes in your mouth; notice how you feel as you eat your food. Are there tastes that you don’t like? If you can, sit down at a table to eat and do this regularly. Training yourself that this is the place to eat ie at a table, will help you to stop grazing throughout the day.
You will be amazed at how these easy steps will transform your eating and it’s worth really putting these into practise. Remember you are in the process of creating a new habit and it will take some repetition. You may want to bear this in mind: the more you pay attention to your food, the more you enjoy it, the more satisfied you will feel and so you will eat less and the result is that you will feel full, enjoy what you are eating without deprivation and lose weight!
What Type of Snacker are You?
If you just take a stroll through your local town centre on a day during the week, you will notice how many cafe’s, restaurants, and food selling shops there are. More interestingly, you will also probably notice how many people are eating on the run: munching their way through crisps, sweets, and chocolates whilst waiting for a bus, or walking around the shops. Snacking really has become a part of our everyday lives. In fact, having a healthy snack at the right time of day can provide a much needed boost of energy, maybe mid-morning or mid-afternoon, when we most need it but when it is too early to eat a full lunch or dinner.
However, if you are overweight, it may be that your type of snacking is part of the issue and could do with some tweaking. Take the fun quiz below to find out what type of snacker you are and then read the “transformational tips” to help you create a healthy snacking habit!
Take a look at the snack scenarios below and tick all that you do regularly:
A) I regularly skip breakfast and then find myself grabbing whatever I can find a bit later in the day.
B) When I dish up the kids tea, I often have a little taster myself
C) In the evenings, whilst watching television, I often eat a packet of crisps or some chocolate
A) I often go for long periods of time without eating and then up feeling dizzy or wobbly and need something immediately to eat
B) If someone offers me a sweet I’ll have one
C) During the day I will fancy chocolate or something savoury like crisps or salted nuts
A)I don’t tend to have regular times that I eat in the day
B)At the end of a meal, if anyone has left anything, I may pick at what’s on the plate
C) If I’m not hungry I will still eat a piece of cake
A)I don’t tend to plan ahead regarding food, meals or shopping
B)When walking around the supermarket, if there is a sample to be had, I’ll take what’s on offer
C) After my dinner,even though I am full up, I often fancy something else to eat
So let’s find out what type of snacker you are and how to tweak your snacking habits to help you lose weight more easily!
If you ticked:
Mostly A’s – You are anInvisible Snacker!
You tend to pick at and eat things which you are not even really aware of eating. That piece of toast your husband left, a few sweets from the kids, the odd biscuit left on a plate after the team meeting or that sample of cheese on the deli in the supermarket. You may either be not fully aware of how these add up during a day or you may be thinking that these bits tend to be small so don’t count! However, all these little snacks add up and do make a difference to your weight. Your first step to changing this is to become more aware of what you are actually putting in your mouth throughout the day. Make a note and see how many snacks you have eaten during the week in this way. Keep a food diary as this will help you see exactly what you are eating and when.
Mostly B’s – You are aSurvival Snacker!
You tend to skip meals, be a bit chaotic in your eating strategy, don’t have regular times for eating and go for long periods without food. This leaves your blood sugar levels at an all time low and you starving hungry! In this state, you will just grab whatever you can to boost your sugar levels, get rid of that muzzy feeling in your head, and to stop yourself feeling faint and dizzy. This is an emergency form of eating as your body is crying out for food, so you have to find something quick and easy and usually this will result in unhealthy choices for convenience. You need to start changing this habit by eating regularly and planning ahead. In this way you will create more of an undulating flow in your blood sugar levels and so you won’t end up in that desperate state. Start with having breakfast every day. This kick starts your day and gets your metabolism moving, increases the blood sugar level after an over-night fast. Eating breakfast will increase your ability to concentrate and will set you up to continue your day in the right frame of mind.
Mostly C’s - You are a Unhealthy Snacker!
You snack not because you are hungry but because you are bored, lonely, to change your focus or because you can! It is a habit for you and you tend to choose comforting, unhealthy snacks which give you a quick fix of feeling good, but then tend to leave you feeling dissatisfied afterwards. You need to change this by planning ahead. Ensuring that you carry healthy snack options with you so that when you need to change pace, or feel like a snack you are boosting your energy and feelings with something healthy that won’t harm your waistline. Prepare some crudities and take them to work with you, get some low fat yoghurts in the fridge, snack on fruit – do your research and find healthier options that you will enjoy. Also it is worth looking at your snacking habit to learn different ways to manage your boredom, loneliness, need to change the pace, so that you are not constantly resorting to food.
Now if any of the above resonates with you, or you feel that snacking is definitely part of your weight problem and you are not enjoying looking at the end results, then you may want to consider signing up for my low cost on-line coaching programme called “How to Eat Chocolate & Still Lose Weight!” One of the seven coaching modules in this "Diet Buddy" programme, covers the whole area of snacking and how to transform your snacking habits so that you can lose weight and achieve the body you desire. More details will be following in the next few weeks. But if you would like further information about this effective way of losing weight then do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Why "10" Is the Magic Number if you are Stressed!
For many people who suffer with stress and feel wound up like a spring with it, there is a simple technique that can really help decrease your stress levels. Particularly if your stress is in response to a certain trigger like your boss getting angry with you; your partner shouting, the kids playing you up, feeling overwhelmed with too may tasks to complete, having to deal with a difficult client, or making a tough phone call - these can all raise your stress levels significantly, if you are not prepared.
One of the simplest ways of dealing with this type of stress pattern is to start to "slow down" your reaction to the trigger so that you can RESPOND rather than REACT. (React means behaving on automatic pilot and not thinking before you unleash your stress, whereas respond involves an element of rational thought before acting).
A way of doing this is simply counting to 10. Counting to 10 slowly in your head, gives you time to cool down, so that you can THINK more clearly and overcome the impulse to the react or lash out either verbally or physically.
Count to 10 slowly in your head, breathing deeply at the same time and then if necessary count back down from 10 to 1 to give yourself more time to keep cool, and gather your thoughts, before you respond to the situation.
How to have a Cracking Easter without Adding Pounds!
Easter is just around the corner, and with it comes the temptation of overindulging on all those choccolaty Easter eggs and treats. By all means have a little of what you fancy: as most of you know I am a great advocate for not denying yourself something you enjoy eating. But what if the temptation of Easter may just become a little too much for you?
Well read on for a few tips that may just help you not to sabotage all your weight loss efforts so far.
1) How about asking for alternative Easter presents rather than chocolate eggs? How about some pretty flowers, or plants for the garden? What about a pedicure or manicure voucher, to get your hands and feet looking gorgeous as we are about to start showing them off more when the warmer weather comes!
2) If your family insist on buying you chocolate then share, share, share! Open that big yummy box and take a few that you wish to eat and then keep passing the box around until they are gone!
3) If you are worried about children's chocolate hanging about well after Easter, set up a children's chocolate tin, put all the remaining choccie in there and hide it well away from you. Would you really steal chocolate from your kids?
4) Remember that being overweight and having cravings is actually more about what is going on in your head rather than the food itself. So if you find yourself having a mental argument about eating Easter chocolate, have a little bit and see if you feel satisfied. If the answer is no and you are still dying for more (and you are not really hungry) then ask yourself what is this really about? What are you hoping that eating the chocolate will make you feel or what need do you think it will satisfy. Whatever, comes up deal with it in the best way you can, without eating more chocolate!
So with that said, I would like to wish you all a "cracking Easter!" and hope that the sun does start to shine for the holidays. With warm wishes