Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer Eating Challenge, 3 Intuitive Tips

Summertime - especially at outdoor social gatherings - it's a challenge to keep your weight down. Here are 3 intuitive tips for beating the summer eating challenge.

1. Drink more water. You need it to stay hydrated, plus water will dull your hunger.  Drink between meals and between bites. If you prefer flavor, try putting cucumber slices, fruit slices or mint leaves in your water, or drink cool, naturally sweet fruit/herbal teas (with no additional sweetener).
  • How it works: 
    • Water fills you up by taking up room in your stomach so that you don't feel starved to eat. 
    • Because you sweat more in the summer, you physically need more water. You won't be running to the bathroom too often because your body will absorb the water to replace perspiration.
    • It's easy to confuse thirst with hunger. In fact, when it's really hot outside, your body may be more satisfied with water than a second helping of apple pie. If you emotionally want that 2nd piece of pie, go look at yourself in the mirror, right into your eyes, and think it over. Then do what feels right.
2. Eat smaller portions. Digesting food raises your body temperature slightly. That means, the more you eat, the more likely you are to suffer from hot weather indigestion. Eat less, socialize more.
  • How it works:
    • Eating less means you consume less calories. You feel lighter and your body isn't burdened by the task of digestion for so long. You will feel more energetic.
    • This gives you time to enjoy other physical pleasures like swimming, kissing or just relaxing. This is important because it feeds other types of hunger you have - for activity, for intimacy, for relaxation.
3.  Be kind to yourself. You work hard, you're stressed and you barely take time to reflect on what really makes you happy. Stress makes you look and feel old. Before you eat, take 5 minutes to reconnect with peace of mind. Do this by breathing slowly and deeply in and out a few times, so that you really feel your body - not just your hunger - but also your heart. You matter to a lot of people.
  •  How it works:
    • When you are kind to yourself, people relate to you differently. As a result, for many reasons, you experience less stress at mealtime. Less stress means less emotional eating, less binging.
    • When you're kind to yourself, your body relaxes. When your body relaxes, it's easier to lose weight. When you're stressed, your body 'thinks' you're in danger and it will hold on to, or produce fat, to protect you from famine. 
Use your intuitive tools of determination, tenacity and self-respect to beat the summer eating challenge. Imagine how good you'll look and how good you'll feel emotionally and physically. You  won't have to depend on anyone but yourself to do it!

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