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!