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Overeating is easy to do, especially when you’re indulging in an unusually delicious meal. It’s also easy because there are many factors that cause us to overeat, including stress and noshing too fast—both of which we likely experience or do on an almost daily basis.

Fortunately, there are many tactics you can use to stop overeating once and for all, from slowing down to learning your body’s hunger cues. Use these tips to get your eating on track so you can feel fueled and satiated instead of full and frustrated.

Look Ahead

If you’re surrounded by unhealthy food all the time, it can be easy to eat all day long, whether or not you are hungry. Here’s one way to avoid this temptation: Think about how you’ll feel after you eat too much—like those times when you know you’re full, but there’s still food on your plate.

A similarly powerful tactic is thinking about how you’ll feel if you don’t eat the food. In almost every case you feel proud, happy and more satisfied than if you’d indulged unnecessarily.

Stop Once and For All: Before you grab the doughnut from your office kitchen—especially if you’ve already had a full breakfast—think to yourself: How will I feel when I finish this? Better yet: How will I feel if I walk away right now? Make this a habit, doing it every time you reach for an unnecessary snack; sometimes you’ll want to indulge and that’s okay. But you may find that you say “no” a lot more often than you say “yes.”

Eat Slower

It takes time for your stomach to tell your mind that you’re full because the process of feeling satiated takes time.

“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine,” explains Ann MacDonald, a contributor to Harvard Health.

This process of sending signals from your gut to your brain can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes, which is why it’s important to eat more slowly. Eating too fast is a surefire way to overeat because we get this cue well after we’ve already eaten too much.

Stop Once and For All: The next time you eat, set a timer for 20 minutes and see how long it takes you to feel full, paying close attention to the cues your body is sending you. This will give you an approximation of how long it takes your body to feel full, which you can use to stop overeating in the future. Continue eating slowly until you notice that “I’m full” feeling. Note that those with type 2 diabetes may not get these same hunger cues, which makes this tactic less effective.

Eat Mindfully

In our on-the-go world, we’re often eating breakfast in the car, rushing through lunch at our desk, and half-heartedly noshing on dinner while watching our favorites shows. In all of these situations, your focus isn’t on the food you’re eating. It’s on driving, working or watching television, which can lead to overeating.

When you’re not paying attention to your body, it’s easy to miss the “I’m hungry” cue—just like when you eat too fast.

Stop Once and For All: Make a rule to eat at least one meal a day without doing anything else. Notice the difference in recognizing your satiation (feeling full) cues and how satisfied you are. Slowly increase this to two meals each day and eventually to all three.

Get Your Stress Under Control

It seems as though there’s always something stress us out, whether it’s a meeting at work or a family issue. This stress not only wreaks havoc on your body physically, causing everything from chronic high blood pressure and diarrhea, to headaches, chest pain and more, it’s causing you to overeat.

When stressed, your body releases cortisol, which also happens to increase appetite. Whether you’re hungry or not, your body is craving food, and to quell that “hunger” you eat. In many cases, you end up eating high-fat, sugary foods, making the overeating even worse.

Stop Once and For All: If you can’t reduce the amount of stress in your life right now, the next step is to recognize the potential for overeating and stop it before it starts. When stressed, rely on portioning your food, and when you go out to eat, get half of your meal put in a box for later before you even start eating. If you’re hungry for a snack, when you normally aren’t, check in with yourself: Is this stress or am I really hungry? Take Michael Pollan’s advice: If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re probably not hungry.

Eat Before You’re Hungry

This idea may sound odd, but think about these two scenarios:

  • You eat dinner a little early, not because you’re very hungry but because you know you’re going out with friends and don’t want to order out—or you wait until you’re starving and eat post-drinks. You pour a glass of wine, browse the fridge, take your time making dinner, eat until you’re relatively full and then head out.
  • You decide not to eat before going out because you’re not hungry. You wait to eat dinner until 8pm, after you’ve gone out for drinks. Now you’re ravenous. You dive into your cabinets looking for whatever is easiest to make, and dig into the first thing you see. You eat so fast, you don’t realize how full you are—and now you’re stuffed and wishing you hadn’t eaten so much.

In the second scenario, you’re so hungry that you may be experiencing slight nausea or a headache from the hunger. But you may even eat unhealthier foods because you’ll likely eat one of the first things you find; forget about taking time to make a healthy dinner.

You may have similar experiences if you wait too long to have lunch at work, or eat breakfast late in the morning.

Stop Once and For All: Most people tend to eat around the same time every day. Set an alarm on your phone for an hour before you’d normally eat each meal so you remember to nosh earlier than usual. You’ll quickly find that you’re more likely to make rational healthy choices about what you’re eating and how much.

Give Yourself Time

How many times have you looked down at your plate, knowing that you’re full, and finished it anyway? When you’re done, you feel full and mad at yourself: Why did I eat the rest of that? I didn’t need it and now I feel like crap. It’s hard to resist food in the moment, thanks to our need for instant gratification. But giving yourself time to decide whether or not to finish the plate may be exactly what you need.

Stop Once and For All: The next time you’re in a moment where you would normally eat more, but know you shouldn’t, stop for 10 minutes. Give yourself time to decide if you want to eat the rest of the food on your plate. Almost every time, you’ll be happy to toss or save the rest of the food when your 10 minutes is up.

Pay Attention to All Your Hunger Cues

If you’re waiting for your stomach to growl, you may be setting yourself up to overeat, because we don’t all experience the same hunger cues. Sometimes it shows up as a headache or a bad mood that comes on suddenly. A nutritionist once said, “I always know I’m hungry when I’m happily working on something and all of a sudden I’m annoyed by what I’m doing.”

Knowing how hunger can show up in your body is key to recognizing it before it’s too late and you’re starving. Other potential hunger signals include:

  • Growling stomach
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Low energy
  • Suddenly irritable (“hangry”)

Stop Once and For All: Make note of which hunger cues you experience each time you eat. Slowly you’ll discover what means “I’m hungry” for your body, allowing you to eat right away rather than waiting until later, when you’re ravenous, and therefore more likely to overeat.

Stop Overeating

It can be so hard to say no when food is right in front of you—and so easy to ignore that full feeling and eat until you’re so full you literally need to lay down because it hurts to sit or stand. Stop the cycle of overeating once and for all with these simple tips. Test each one to see which works best for you and then stick with it. Once it becomes a habit, you’re more likely to say no when you’re full and indulge when your body needs the fuel.

JESSICA THIEFELS

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is the owner of Honest Body Fitness. As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, she specializes in HIIT and circuit training, teaching small groups and working with clients one-on-one to reach their fitness and weight loss goals.

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Benefits of Workplace Yoga ClassesIf you have heard of the movie, The Secret, you have heard of the Law of Attraction, as well. The Law of Attraction is not something that simple comes your way; you have to put a little effort into, as well.

The law of attraction states that every positive or negative event that happened with you was attracted by you. You may or may not buy that completely, however, I will say There are techniques that you can use in order to make the Law of Attraction work for you so that you can get what you want out of life.

Learn How to Meditate Using Creative Visualization

First and foremost, if you are interested in utilizing the Law of Attraction to its fullest potential, make sure that you begin each day with meditation. Meditation is important as it brings your focus toward what you desire and what you expect for that day. Meditation will increase brain power and have your mind at that relaxed state.

Creative Visualization is a powerful tool in creating the feelings behind the desire. It is not enough to just meditate on something you wish to attract into your life, visualizing brings it to life.

Creative Visualization takes it one step further by incorporating the feelings you are feeling as you see yourself.  It has been successfully used in the fields of health/wellness, fitness/exercise,  education, business, sports, and the arts for many years.

As you embrace the feelings of joy and happiness, you will see that more joy and happiness will enter your life. Creating visualization makes this happen by using your emotions as triggers.

Learn the Art of Being Grateful

Being grateful means truly understanding how much we already do have without asking for any more. When you are in a state of gratitude, so many more things to be grateful for come our way.

Take a look around you, there is so much to be grateful for, but you need to stand up and take notice. When you start to understand the simple blessing such as butterflies or flowers that envelope your life, you will feel more joy. Once you feel more joy, you will manifest more joyful events in your life.

Write Your Own Thoughts

If you really want to get the most out of the Law of Attraction, then you must consciously control your own thoughts on a daily basis. Sometimes you must control your thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis.

If you find yourself going into negative or self-sabotaging thoughts, you need to take responsibility in several ways.

  • Think positively
  • Concentrate on all that you are grateful for
  • Give yourself positive affirmations

Focus as often as you can on what you DO want rather than on what you don’t want. For example, if you want to be healthier, or lose 25 pounds, focus on the results and the solutions you would like to see.

Start creating your thoughts to show up as you wish.  Remember, this is the first day of the rest of your life.  Focus on joy, happiness and success.  Start creating your own victory!

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion

Further Reading

How to Eat Mindfully: Learn to Appreciate Every Bite

How to Find Your Exercise Motivation

 

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Fitness buffs start year with boot camp at Lakeland YMCAIt can be difficult fitting exercise into the daily grind. People come up with so many excuses to keep them from a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Becoming one of the “fitness faithful” may seem out of reach, but guess what? It’s actually a lot easier than you think! Exercise has to become part of your daily and weekly habits and once it is, it’ll become second nature and just another part of your routine. Here are 4 easy ways to make exercising into a sustainable habit, instead of feeling like an occasional chore.

1. Have a Partner

You know those days where you just don’t feel like getting up and stepping out of the house? It becomes more difficult when you have a friend waiting outside, ready to go! Having a workout buddy helps to create a fun atmosphere and gives you someone to share your workout journey with. There are even websites, like sparkpeople.com, where you can get a virtual workout buddy and log/track your progress.

2. Create a Routine

Consistency is the key to creating workout success. Pick at least three days a week at a specific time where you are dedicated to your exercise program. Make sure not to cancel those trips to the gym on a whim, unless it’s something very important. But this should be the exception rather than the rule. If you have to cancel, reschedule for the same day at a different hour or the next day. Planning your workouts into your calendar, just as you would a dinner date or business meeting, will help form and reinforce a habit, leading you to overall fitness success.

3. Make Yourself Accountable

There are many different ways to hold yourself accountable to your actions, so the idea is to find one that is realistic for you. As mentioned above, having a buddy to go with you provides motivation on those days you feel less than motivated and can help keep the energy high. Does money motivate you? There is a website, stick.com where you create a commitement contract to yourself towards achieving a certain goal. If you don’t meet the goal, it costs you money, which you can designate to go to a charity if you chose. Another way is to create a daily reminder. Most phones have free apps that ask you if you have fulfilled a certain activity for that day. Or you can be traditional and just use a calendar. Either way, when faced with a “yes” or “no” question, it’s harder to skip your workout.

4. Reward Yourself

Come up with small rewards for accomplishing your goals and you will be more likely to succeed. Everyone likes positive reinforcement and a reward system will give you something to look forward to for accomplishing your workout goals. Pick something you like and reward yourself with it for good behavior. Say you like going to the movies. After every two weeks, if you haven’t missed a day, take yourself out to see a movie. You will begin to associate hitting your goals with getting to see the next blockbuster, which will help with overall success.

Habits can seem very difficult to form and break, but if you chop them up into smaller activities, they become easier to achieve. Follow these tips and you will be able to form new, healthier habits that will lead you to a life of good health and fitness!

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

Further Reading

Lack of Workout Time? Fitness Dilemma Solved!

Preparing for a Lifestyle Change

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Working Out BWThe fresh start of a new year inspires lots of people to make New Year’s resolutions. Some of the most popular wellness resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, dieting, quitting smoking and stress reduction. Here are some tips to help you stick to those resolutions for 2014:

  1. Find Your Motivation. Make sure you REALLY want to make the change. What is your motivation for making a change? Don’t just do it because someone else told you or you need to fit into a new dress. Find your intrinsic motivation and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Maybe you want to lower you cholesterol or reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Only when you feel this intrinsic motivation, this reason inside of you with the true desire to make a change, then your chances to succeed are high.
  2. Set Goals. You must break the old habits and replace them with new ones. Instead of a rush of activity in a one-time effort, consistency is the key to success. You need to do things regularly to achieve challenging goals. Make a realistic plan to reach your goals. Resolutions are really just annual goals. But like all goals, they should be SMART: 
    • Specific- your goals just identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
    • Measurable- as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
    • Actionable- every resolution should start with a verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.)
    • Realistic- you have to be careful here. A good resolution should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
    • Time-bound- every resolution needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that resolution? It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (March 31).
    • With SMART goals, you now have a visual reminder of your plans and a way to measure your progress.
  3. Make Your Plans Public. Tell your family and friends what you are committed to achieving. If you’re accountable to someone else for your work, you might be more likely to stick with it. Better yet, find someone with similar resolutions and buddy up. A co-worker or friend who is interested in going to the gym will often make it more likely that you both will go.
  4. Measure Your Progress. Measurement allows you to visualize your progress. It will give you something to look back at and be proud of. If you have a feeling of accomplishment towards your goal, you will most likely continue to strive. Even if each day’s effort doesn’t feel like much, it adds up to a big change.
  5. Reward Your Success. Rewards are a great motivation to keep going so celebrate the good stuff you’ve done. If you’ve reached a mini-goal or you’re stuck with your resolution for a month, treat yourself to something special. But, try not to use food as a reward.
  6. Don’t Give Up. Be ready for setbacks along the way. Nobody’s perfect. Forgive yourself and get back on track as soon as you can. Plan ahead for how you’ll deal with setbacks so you won’t be surprised if it happens.

Sticking with your New Year diet resolutions in 2014 can be easier when you have a plan. Use some of these tips and strategies to stick with your New Year diet resolutions in 2014 – and beyond!

Happy New Year! …Tiffiny

© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Many people have a goal of getting fit, but do not have a “mental” plan in place to make it happen. Recognizing that the mental part may be more important than the physical part is just another step in the right direction of sticking with your exercise plan. Use these five steps to propel you toward reaching your fitness goals.

1. Feel Emotional
Have you heard the term “emotions create motion?” Feeling disturbed about your health and well-being can make all the difference in the world in making the switch to commit to a consistent exercise regimen.  Try on a few bathing suits or take out an old photo of yourself when you felt good about your body or go get a physical. Make a list of what you want to change and allow your emotions to create the transformation.

2. Make a Clear Decision
Clarity allows us to get to the place we want to go. Rather than just wishing you could lose a few pounds, make a clear decision and a serious commitment to taking action toward your goals. Decide on the body you want and then motivate yourself by thinking of several long-term goals you’re shooting for, like running a marathon or never wearing the size you’re in again. Getting that clear picture in your mind will allow you to take action and commit.

3. Get Focused
The more focused you are while exercising, the more you are likely to challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. Instead of thinking about the pain of the workout, focus on the movement and the energy it takes to move the muscles you are working. Try keeping a mental picture of your goal in your head.  Some people also find that listening to music helps motivate to stay in a zone. Dr. Costas Karageorghis concluded that music is “an often untapped source of both motivation and inspiration for sport and exercise participants.”

4. Get Creative
Getting tired of the same exercise routine is pretty common and results in not exercising at all. Thinking of creative solutions to motivate you to exercise will help.  The trick is finding something you love to do. If you are sick of the treadmill and the same exercises you continually do, then it’s time to make the switch and find something that excites you.  Try incorporating kayaking, karate or ball room dancing into your weekly routine. Once you discover what you enjoy doing most then exercise will start to feel less of a chore and it will become more fun to do.

5. Be Realistic
Realistic, well-planned weight-loss goals keep you motivated and focused. Unrealistic and overly aggressive weight-loss goals can be difficult, even impossible to meet. For example, losing 25 pounds in four weeks in time for your high school reunion can surely undermine your efforts. And if your weight-loss goals are beyond reach, you’re more likely to be discouraged and feel frustrated and give up altogether on your weight loss plans.

Being mentally ready to stick with an exercise and healthy eating program is an important, if not, the most important step to reaching your goals.  The more you practice these five steps to your mental plan, the more ready you will be, and the quicker you will reach your goals.

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There’s an old saying about when most diets start – tomorrow. It’s easy to understand why diets can be put off, over and over again, until they never happen. Even people who understand that diets shouldn’t be temporary and should be a lifestyle change experience this phenomenon; after all, thinking of all the food you’re not planning to have ever is a daunting task.

But getting started on a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be that challenging. It’s all about your attitude and your determination. Most healthy people who used to be a lot heavier or less active, when asked about what finally worked, will tell you that they simply made a decision not to live the way they were anymore. Planning is important of course and keeping your motivation up is necessary, but knowing that it is in your control to make the changes is a powerful tool.

Think realistically about your motivation for getting in shape or losing weight. Is it event-based like a family vacation or class reunion? Maybe it’s because your doctor told you to do so. For many of us, it’s when we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. Sometimes, we try to lose weight because other people want us to – parents, significant others, etc.

In reality, none of these issues are going to make you successful unless you own them. If your doc said “Lose it!”, you aren’t going to lose weight for your doctor, but you may lose it when you commit to having a healthier body because you want to live longer for your kids and grandkids. Maybe your class reunion sparked a desire to fit into a smaller dress, but it will only really work when you realize that how you look to people you haven’t seen for 20 years is less important than how you see yourself every day.

Many people find that once they start down the road to a healthier lifestyle – if they make it more about the lifestyle and less about the scale or dress size – that they actually start feeling better about themselves almost immediately. You don’t have to reach some imaginary end for it to feel good; you’ll start to feel great simply because you are loving your body and showing it by doing good things to it. That is the key to making a real change.

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