Weight is a sensitive issue for most people. Only a small percentage of women in the western world say they are at their ideal weight – and most of those who aren’t blame their lack of willpower and the cost of healthy foods.
Similarly, most men are frustrated by what they see on the scale; either they’d like their weight to be lower or they wish to increase muscle mass.
Even though I promote eating a healthy, raw food diet, there are some practical lessons I’ve learned throughout l my years of studying nutrition and natural health that I believe will have a great impact on your health and your weight.
Once you understand and incorporate these habits into your daily life, they will help balance your weight over time, as well as your mental health.
Please note, these habits are not numbered according to importance. All of them are equally valid.
- Avoid Eating When Emotionally Upset
We usually turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward; but sadly, emotional eating doesn’t fix your emotional problems, in fact, it usually makes them worse.
Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for eating appallingly bad food choices.
Some people over eat fat and under eat simple carbohydrates, such as fruit, and this is a mistake.
The speedy consequences of eating too few carbohydrates include emotional instability, intense cravings, and feeling lethargic, among other sicknesses. These symptoms may contribute in making you gain weight over time.
I found out that the most effective way to deal with emotional eating is by fasting!
Through fasting, our minds become clearer and one’s ability to think and solve intricate problems is enhanced.
Fasting will empower you and help you lose weight while restoring your overall health.
- Eat slowly – practice mindfulness
Scientists have known for some time that a full stomach is only part of what causes someone to feel satisfied after a meal; the brain must also receive a series of signals from digestive hormones secreted by the gastrointestinal tract.
By chewing slowly, you allow enough time to experience pleasure and satiety, as well as giving your brain enough time to process the communication signals coming from hormones.
It has been proved that people consume smaller meals if they eat at a slower pace ,  . By contrast, foods that are eaten quickly tend to be consumed in larger portions  and  and have lower expected satiation levels.  .
In most cases, the speed at which we eat also reflects our anxiety level and the emotions we experience at any given time. We need to slow down, chew our food more thoroughly, and be less distracted while we eat.
If you watch the way Buddhists eat, they do it slowly as they employ mindfulness.
By practicing mindful eating, we reconnect more deeply with the experience of eating, enjoy our food more, and take more control of our well-being.
- Intermittent Fasting for Emotional Balance
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 10 to 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, once or twice per week.
In the mainstream media, IF is presented as the latest trend supposedly used to control obesity and improve your health, however I don’t completely agree with this view.
I only suggest the practice of intermittent fasting in order to achieve emotional balance.
I feel IF is incredibly effective when dealing with stages of emotional volatility, or more simply, if you feel anxious, stressed, or nervous, skip your next meal.
- Don’t drink water with meals.
Water will neutralize the PH of your stomach acid, which makes it really hard for your body to break down foods.
If the stomach acid is diluted, the body will not effectively digest the food.
It’s a good practice to wait at least 2 hours to drink after eating a meal, but if you can’t wait, take small sips to minimise the adverse effects.
- Wake up early
I’m a natural night owl, but changing my rhythm by waking up at around 7 a.m. every day has made a significant difference to my energy levels, productivity, and mood.
By waking up early, you are not only more productive but you are also less likely to blow off a workout.
Night owls find it more difficult to schedule time for fitness and stick to it, according to a study presented at SLEEP, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.
The study also linked waking up late to being more sedentary, which in turn contributes to putting on weight.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
Eating the correct diet will result in improved health and balanced weight, but it’s important to point out that it is the body, not the food, that creates health, hence it is essential you get a good night sleep.
When you’re short on sleep, it’s easy to lean on stimulants to get moving. You might be tempted to skip exercise because you are too tired and get takeaways for dinner.
A study done at the University of Chicago demonstrated that sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours. I have been there many times and I am sure you have too.
- Alternate your exercise routine
I have been lifting weights since the age of 18, but I realised over time that the more varied my physical activity became, the less tendency I had to become lethargic.
If you follow the same exercise routine without any change for a long period of time, it can become ineffective because our body adapts to those specific movements.
In turn; your activity becomes boring, you feel sluggish and tend to gain weight as a result.
I believe the best exercise routine is having no routine at all.
A varied approach to exercise is almost always better than having a routine.
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