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So you want to know how to lose a little bit of the muffin top and stress without the headaches of a strict diet?  You got it! 

Disclaimer: Keep in mind this isn’t the magic and it may take additional changes (such as if you’re eating a cupcake a day along with a side of fries and a coke… this may not work for you).  BUT, if you are already paying attention to what you eat and taking the proper path, this is going to be a great addition to what you’re already doing to achieve your goal. 

Alright so what is this great piece of advice?  It’s called MINDFUL EATING.

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Tip 1: Most people eat for entertainment and/or for comfort.  I guarantee most of the time your just binging.  Get home from work and first place you hit is the kitchen, scrounging around the cabinets and fridge for a snack.  Maybe you’re too tired to cook, so you want what you can grab and go (most likely its a big date you have with the TV)… the snack is usually cookies and chips.  Sound familiar?  Don’t deny, we are ALL guilty of it! Including me.  So what do you do?  Learn to ask yourself “Am I REALLY hungry?”  If you ask yourself this your are tapping into the present moment.  When you are in the present moment, you can make better decisions about what is good for you and your body NOW.  Because you’re not thinking about circumstances, issues, dilhemmas, sadness, anxiety, etc… from the future or past.

Tip 2:  Are you bored?  Maybe just lazy?  This goes hand in hand with comfort food.  Find activites that you love.  Go outside for a walk, listen to music, read a book, go out with friends.  I love this quote by Larry Winters “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”  Basically, get a life and have fun!!! I know that’s blunt, but just being honest as I always will be. 🙂

Tip 3: Also, when we eat, we are absorbing the energy going on around us.  Which brings me to my next tip.  Are you eating while chatting away, on the phone, reading, watching TV, surfing the net? On and on… When we do this, again we are taking ourselves away from the present moment.  All of a sudden it’s like “WHO ATE MY FOOD?”  We scarfed it down so fast, it’s like we never ate and our body didn’t even have time process it was eating. What happens now? We eat more to fill that space in our tummy.  That’s when we go from comfortable to stuffed! 

Tip 4: Do you find yourself eating in loud, crowded, hectic places?  With all the busy bee’s and workaholics around, most likely you do eat in this insanity.  when we eat in these environments, we are taking in that fast pace stress and energy yet another reason we feel the need to shove food down our throats.  I am not saying don’t eat out at restaurants or lunch with friends, I am just saying pay REALLY close attention when you are in these settings to HOW you are eating.  STOP. SLOW DOWN.  Maybe this will cause you to be 5 minutes late heading back to work, but you know what… you can’t put a price on your health.  YOU come first.  If you are no good, you’re no good to anyone else either. 

Tip 5: CHEW YOUR FOOD.  We take two bites and swallow.  Talk about bad for the digestive system!  All digestion brings in the mouth. The more we chew our food, the more we are breaking down the food, the easier it is for the body to process. Try chewing your food at least 20 times before you swallow.  To help with this, put down your fork with each bite or put the fork in your other hand to slow down.  This allows your body time to digest and realize it’s being nourished so you feel comfortable at the end of your meal.

Try out at least one or two of these tips this week and let me know how feel!  You will be amazing at the results of how much more satisfied your belly feels as well as how much less stress you are putting on your body.  Plus the BONUS, if weight loss is a goal of yours, this is inevitable when you are REALLY applying these tips, because you will eat less, digest better and feel SATISFIED.  The EXTRA bonus? Less stressed because you’re feeling better about yourself! Want an EXTRA EXTRA bonus? Every meal will taste SOOO much better because your will be able to appreciate and savor every flavor & bite.  🙂

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