Is Mindful Eating Stressful for Busy People?

Mindful eating as a practice is great.  Mindful eating can reduce stress by slowing down to pay attention to what you eat. Is mindful eating stressful for busy people?

If mindful eating just another goal that you are too busy to attempt it can create more stress.  How you approach mindful eating makes it simple or stressful.

Why is it so difficult to slow down and pay attention to your food?

Grab and go has become the standard when you run out of time. Fast food has drive through windows for the busy person who can eat while driving to the next appointment. Schedules are hectic, so you are busy doing other things while you eat. Feeling bad about what and how you eat just creates another stress factor.

What is Mindful eating?

Mindful eating is simply paying attention to the food that you eat. Treating your meals as a specific activity that requires your full attention.  Paying attention to how you feel, how food tastes and how you react to specific food choices.

What are the benefits of Mindful eating?

You slow down your eating time. That allows your brain to catch up and signal you when you are full. You give yourself a break by avoiding multitasking for a short period of time each day.

  • You learn to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full
  • You learn to appreciate the taste of food, which leads to thoughtful choices about what you eat.
  • You pay attention to how you feel based on the types of food you just ate.

Consider taking just one small step towards mindful eating. Pick a meal or time that you can commit to paying attention to your food. Be consistent even if you only choose one meal a week. This will lead to success instead of stress.

  •  Eat only when you are actually hungry
  • Listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full
  • Give eating your full attention: Avoid eating in front of the TV

Mindful eating can help you make better choices for healthy options. Pick one aspect of mindful eating to focus on at a time. Be consistent so that you develop the habit of  food awareness. Keep it simple. Enjoy what you eat.

Contact Coach Gwen for more tools.   Schedule a coaching call

Your first strategy coaching call is free.

 

 

 

Use your brain instead of willpower to lose weight

 

Use your brain instead of willpower  to lose weight. Your brain is the secret key to eating healthy and losing weight. It is not a lack of will power, motivation  or being lazy that stops your from losing weight. Your subconscious mind makes 90-95 % of your decisions for you. Which means most of your food choices are based on your habits and past patterns. You make those choices because it is easy, not because you lack motivation or willpower.

The secret key to eating healthy is to use your brain to create a system with a step by step plan that makes it easier for you to choose the heathy options.  Set up all of your food choices early in the day.  Avoid making decisions about food at the end of the day when you are tired and hungry.

Plan ahead.

Plan out menus, have a list before you go to the store. Make your lunch the day before. Prep for dinners ahead of time. Anything you do that creates a system for making the healthy choice simple. Ask for help from family or friends to support your new system.

Motivation for eating healthy is reinforced by hanging out with other people who eat healthy.  Encourage others who want to be healthy. Make social plans around walks instead of pizza and beer.

 You have a limited amount of willpower

Willpower lags over the day based on how many decisions you have to make. If you look at a doughnut 5 times, you are more likely to eat that doughnut. So keep food that is not part of your plan, out of sight. I have never understood the rationale for keeping a dish of candy on your desk. I even consider it a bit mean to other people around you, because you are asking them to use energy to avoid or make a food choice every time they walk by your desk. Why would you encourage others to eat candy, if you are committed to cutting back on candy yourself?

Set small goals

Pick one food type to eliminate or pick one meal to make healthy. Make your goal easy enough that you can be consistent in achieving it. That consistent behavior creates the system that makes your brain automatically support that habit. Keep it simple. Simple builds success.

Why is making a change so difficult? It is easy to fall back on your past habits. It requires a focused effort to create a new habit.

Need more help setting up your brain for success?  Contact Coach Gwen for more tools.

First strategy coach call is free.

Contact Coach Gwen   Schedule a coaching call

 

 

Join the 10-day Healthy Eating Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a 10 day Healthy Eating Challenge? It is a 10-day commitment to be mindful of your eating habits and focus on healthy eating. It forces you to read labels and be mindful of your daily choices. The value of evaluating what you are eating on a regular basis supports making a few changes that will improve your habits as a lifestyle change. This is not a diet. Diets don’t work. This is a wake up call to pay attention to how you fuel your body.

 

Why take this 10-day Healthy Eating challenge?

Joining a group effort gives you motivation to make changes. 10 Days is long enough to increase your awareness and let you feel a difference in energy levels, sleep patterns and how you feel overall.

The rules are simple. For 10 days you only eat real food. Eat nothing that has added sugar in it. Drink lots of water. Fruit has natural sugar, fruit juice has added sugar, so eat the real fruit. Fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, anything that you can buy in it’s natural state. That means, nothing that is processed or comes out of a box. No drinks that have added sugar. Start by reading labels. You will be surprised how many of your normal food choices have added sugar in them. You will have to plan ahead. Many of our choices are based on time, so grab and go makes life easy.

Why am I doing this? I am doing this because I need to reset my habits. Life has been hectic and stressful lately and I feel like I am off track. I feel better, my skin is looks better and I sleep better when I stick to real food. Pick a date to start, plan ahead with your menu and food choices. If you need some help, reply below and I will send you meal plan for ideas.

So join me this April in a 10-day Healthy Eating Challenge. You will reap the benefits from this simple challenge that creates mindful eating as a lifestyle change.

Got questions?  Contact Coach Gwen below.

Sugar – What you don’t know about added sugar can Hurt you

 

What you don’t know about added sugar can hurt you

The average person takes in 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Yet the recommenced amount by the American Heart Association is just 6 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men daily. This is added sugar, not counted is the natural occurring sugar in fruit or foods with fiber. A typical soda has 8 tsp of added sugar. What you don’t know about added sugar can hurt you.

How does this added sugar hurt you?

Ten reasons why sugar is bad for you

  1. Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity- sugar intakes drives insulin, which is our fat storing hormone. Sugar is addictive and stimulates our appetite to eat more.
  2. Sugar is the biggest cause of Type 2 diabetes- changing lifestyle and eating habits can help someone in the pre diabetic stage to avoid the life long consequences of diabetes. (Type 2 diabetes only).
  3. Sugar is related to cardiac health and high blood pressure. The extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries or circulation system in a way that adds stress to your heart
  4. Sugar gives you tooth decay. Snacks and sweets that are loaded with sugar contribute to tooth decay and tooth lose at any age
  5. Sugar crowds out nutritious foods. When you fill up on junk or sugar packed food, you are eating more food with less nutritious content. Creating a lifestyle of being over fed and undernourished.
  6. Sugar is linked to depression. The state of having high and low blood sugars impacts our moods and energy levels.
  7. Sugar is linked to inflammation- this extra sugar can worsen joint pain
  8. Sugar makes your skin age faster. Sugar attaches to proteins in your blood stream and creates harmful molecules that age your skin faster than normal.
  9. Eating sugar gives your brain an immediate boost with a chemical called dopamine. So you feel good immediately, however you start to crave more sugar to keep that feeling. This is the cycle of sugar addition.
  10. Extra sugar at night means you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

Pick any one of these reasons as good enough to start changing your sugar habits.

Reading labels is key. Eating real food and avoiding processed or fast food will help more than anything.

 

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body

 

Why are you in such a Hurry?

 

 

Do you push yourself to meet every deadline?

Do you consider every task a top priority?

Do you multi-task every thing?

Do you feel guilty when you have free time?

You quality for a new group  of behaviors called excessive- time- urgency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are you in such a hurry? Because you excessively worry about schedules and rush as a habit even when it is not necessary to hurry.

 Why hurry up no matter what?

I realized that my father was rushed and rushing us when going places because he was worried about the appearance of being late. He was stuck on the idea that if you cannot get there on time, don’t bother showing up. That created a lot of stress in the getting ready to go anywhere for all of us.

You might have a friend that is constantly in motion. If there is not enough activity, this friend will make a new project and attempt to pull you into the activity. If you want help cleaning out your closets, invite this friend over. However being around constant high levels of energy can be exhausting when you just want to sit quietly with a cup of tea. So consider your needs and activity levels when you plan your down time. Do you allow yourself down time? Time with nothing in particular planned for you to do?

What are the consequences of getting stuck in this pattern of hurry up no matter what?

You will have high stress levels based on your constant whirlwind of activity. Part of your rush is based on getting everything just right. This perfectionism creates unrealistic expectations and more stress. When you hurry you are more likely to make mistakes which leads to rework. Rework adds to an already busy schedule.

You will miss out on the everyday joy around you.

There is no time for self-care and playtime when you life is in hurry up mode.

Why are you in such a hurry? What are you missing out on?

Check yourself  Take why are you in a hurry assessment

How do you break this pattern of hurry up no matter what?

  1. Focus on one thing at a time. Give your full attention to one thing; see how that feels for a change.
  2. Rethink, reflect and prioritize your tasks. Not everything is high priority.
  3. Separate work from play. Allow time to be flexible with your recreational activity
  4. Plan ahead. Planning avoids the rush because you did not think ahead. Set up planning time so you can think ahead without the pressure of instant decisions on what is up next.
  5. Get realistic about your expectations of time. Are you trying to do too many things in too short of a time?
  6. Slow down. Pay attention to life and people around you. Listen first before you jump into action. That alone can save you time by having all the information first.
  7. Allow down time everyday just for you. Start with 10 minutes. Take that time for doing nothing. It might be uncomfortable. Try it and see what happens.

Hurry up no matter what is a pattern of activity that leads to burnout and overwhelm. When you slow down to recognize that you have choices, time can be a gift instead of another stress factor.

What do you have to Give up to find Happiness?

 

Happiness is what we strive for. Many life changes have been made in the pursuit of happiness. How do our daily actions impact our state of happiness? What do you have to give up to be happy?  Happiness is a process not a place. Consider five things that you need to give up to be happy.

 

Give up complaining. The more you complain about something the more power, time and energy you lose thinking about something.

Give up limiting beliefs. Many times we don’t take action or avoid trying something new because we believe we can’t do it or that we might fail or make a mistake. Open up your mind all options and consider if your belief is based on your current reality.

Stop negative self-talk.

How we talk to ourselves has a big impact on our interpretation of events and how we feel about the outcome. Listen to your self-talk for a day to determine how much of it is supportive and positive or negative.

Give up on being perfect.

Perfectionism is a barrier to learning and personal development. Adults learn by trial and error. By expecting to be perfect most people avoid the very things or activities that will help them learn and grow.

Give up making choices to impress other people.

You are the one living your life. It only makes sense that you make the choices that support your own needs and goals.

Robert Biswas-Diener from Portland State University has 3 areas of focus that will improve your happiness factor. How to find Happiness article based on Biswas-Diener

  • Focus on the positive. Be optimistic.
  • Relieve your positive moments.
  • Choose to interpret events in a positive manner

Remember that what you focus on grows. So give up your negative habits to be happy.

I believe that happiness is a state of mind. You deserve to have happiness in your life. What are you willing to do right now to bring more joy into your life?

Is it that simple? Just decide to be happy? Not sure. Try a new plan. You don’t have to make changes alone.

Take assessment: Are you Happy?

 Please contact Gwen directly to get your complimentary  coaching session. Contact Coach Gwen.

 

 

Water up: The hidden benefits of drinking water

 

 

Water is an essential nutrient that your body needs on a regular basis. Fluid losses occur daily through sweating, exercise, normal bathroom habits and breathing. Dehydration occurs when your water intake does not equal your output. High altitudes, hot days, strenuous exercise or too busy to pay attention are all reasons that people don’t get enough water in their system. Roughly 60 % of your body is fluid. Here are some of the hidden benefits of drinking water.

Water can be really helpful for weight loss.

It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary beverages with water. It is a very easy way to cut back on sugar and calories.

Muscle Fuel
Sweating with exercise causes muscles to lose water. When the muscles don’t have enough water they get tired. Water reduces the tendency for muscle cramps.

 

Drinking water helps your brain function

Fatigue and low energy
Water can help with fatigue, as tiredness is a common symptom of dehydration. Your brain is part of your system that needs adequate fluids; so consider adding water when you reach those afternoon brain drain times.

Flushes out toxins- Kidneys are responsible for processing and sifting out toxins in your system, they need enough fluids to clear out what your body needs to pass out and get rid of.

Improves skin complexion
Think of your skin as a sponge. When your skin gets dry, it contracts and gets flaky. When the cells in your skin are plump and elastic they are less susceptible to irritation.

Maintains regularity in your digestive system and bowel habits
Adequate water and fiber keep your digestive system flowing normally

Natural headache remedy- Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some people. Drinking extra water can reduce those pesky hangover symptoms

Tips to drink more water:
Keep a bottle or glass of water near by.
Eat fruits and vegetables: about 20 % of your fluid intake comes from food.
Drink water will every meal or snack
Choose plain water over soda or high calorie energy drinks that contain sugar

Contact Coach Gwen Schedule a time to talk

Simple ways to Reduce Stress

 

 

Thinking about stress relief can relieve stress in reality. When it comes to simple ways to reduce stress, what we think about matters.

 

 

When you engage in positive thinking, visual relaxation and affirmations, you could lower the levels of stress. Because stress is usually resulted by over-thinking, if you change your thoughts, you can get an instant relaxation.

Change your attitude can change your stress level. True or false? True.

This is particularly true for those pessimists, perfectionists and “type A” personalities. Those people with the features above usually have certain behavior and thought patterns that cause their body to have too much to deal with.

What can you do to reduce stress?

Simple ways to reduce stress. Even those simple things like dark chocolate, music, meditation, laughing, exercise or even sleeping can help you reduce stress effectively and leave you feeling bright, fresh and rejuvenated.

Laughing can lower the stress hormones such as epinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline, and strengthen the immune system by producing health improving hormones.

Playing with your pets can reduce stress. Pets offer non-judgmental companionship, which is a big plus to your mental outlook. Playing or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Exercise can reduce stress

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits. It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.

Does it matter what type of exercise? No. Anything that you enjoy will decrease stress. Getting outside in natural sunlight can be the most enjoyable activity and easy to do.

Simple ways to reduce stress starts with your thoughts and attitude. Look for one easy thing you can do. Make that new habit part of your daily self-care plan.

Contact Coach Gwen Schedule a time to talk

 

 

The Truth about Exercise

Do you love to exercise? Are you motivated to exercise? Or do you dread exercise as something you should do? Do you think if you exercise you can eat anything you want? Guess again. Here are the hidden truths about exercise you need to know.

 

 

The truth about exercise: Your current motivation is based on your past

It turns our that your past relationship with exercise has everything to do with what motivates you to exercise now.

Michelle Segar has made a study of the science of motivation with exercise. Her simple advice makes sense. ” Take any and every opportunity to move, in any way possible, at what ever speed you like, for any amount of time. Do what make you feel good; stop doing what makes you feel bad.”

 The truth about exercise: You cannot outrun your fork.

No amount of exercise will allow you to eat junk food, high processed foods and sugar filled drinks. So give up the idea that exercise will allow you to eat anything you want.

The truth about exercise: Exercise has to be something you like to do

When you think of exercise as a chore or something you must accomplish it becomes easy to avoid it or give it a low priority. What motivates people is to choose things we like to do, that make us feel good.

Exercise is just the way you keep you body in shape so you can enjoy all the things you want to do in life. You only get one body. You cannot trade it in like a used car.

Exercise is not running on a treadmill until you are miserable. Exercise is any activity that elevates your heart rate and gets you moving. If you don’t like exercise, find an activity that you do like. Here are some ideas:

Dance at a club or in your own home to favorite tunes

Take a class – try something you have never done before

Hike/ walk. Walk to do your errands

Gardening or yard work-

Play ball or catch with your dog, kids or friends

Clean out a closet or your garage

Play outside- remember how we did that as kids?

Shoot baskets- you don’t have to be good at it

The truth about exercise is to be creative and have fun moving.

Contact Coach Gwen for a complimentary call

Momentum Creates Motivation for a Healthy Lifestyle

 

 

What is your reason to create a healthy lifestyle? If you don’t understand why you want to make a change, it is difficult to start. Without any momentum you quickly lose motivation because you don’t see any results.
Because you are supposed to eat healthy or exercise, is a weak basis for creating lasting change. Consider instead internal motivation. Here are some examples that may give you a stronger starting reason.
I want to have more energy. I want to feel better. I want to be able to play with my kids or grandkids. If you are unsure of why change is important to you, try asking yourself better questions.

Momentum creates motivation. Take time to understand why. This will increase your motivation

Here are some questions to ask yourself about why you are making time for self-care.

• What to I expect from making healthy changes?

• Why is it important to me to feel good?

• What has stopped me in the past from sticking to healthy goals?

• Who can I ask to support me in these changes?

• What behavior or habits are hurting me?

• What are my sources of joy?

Once you have an idea of why you want to feel healthy, the next step is how to get started.

Create a strategy or road map for change.

Planning ahead for meals and snacks is the number one thing you can do to create success. Consider how to fit more activity into your day. Look for ways to move that you enjoy and can do with family or friends. Momentum begins the day you start making small changes. Motivation comes with doing things you like and enjoying the process. So no matter how small your first step, use that momentum to build motivation to feel good about your life again.

Contact Coach Gwen for a coaching call

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