10-Step Nighttime Skincare Routine

healthy living

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Everyone’s skin is different and it takes time to learn the best routing for your skin. Some people can maintain their skin with only 3 products and then there are the skincare junkies, that love all the layers of serums and moisturisers.

I am definitely the latter, after having issues with acne as a teenager, I’ve learnt a thing or two about skincare. However, two of the most crucial yet overlooked factors are diet and hormonal imbalances. After cutting dairy completely from my diet, my skin rapidly improved and I also noticed that acne on the chin area was often triggered by hormones. Sometimes it’s hard to find the cause of your skincare issues, for example; biotin supplements which are great for strengthening your hair and nails, often gave me acne. This may not be the case for you, but whatever your skin condition is, it is important to ensure that your diet is helping your skin, not compromising it.

The following routine is my current nighttime skincare routine, this is a guideline if you’re not sure how to go about a skincare routine. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, I have combination skin and my it isn’t as sensitive as yours may be. So here are the steps and the products I use.

Step 1: Oil cleansing – this basically melts off all of your makeup in a very gentle way. You can either use a balm or an oil cleanser, massage it into the skin and wash off. I recommend the Clinique Take the Day off Balm or L’occitane’s cleansing oil.

Step 2: Cleanser – now time for your daily water-based cleanser, it is essential to find one which does not harm your skin’s protective barrier. If your skin feels tight after use, then it is probably too harsh. I am currently using Dr Barabara Sturm’s Foaming Cleanser . Another option for oily skin is Clarins.

Step 3: Exfoliate – I do this 2 – 3 times per week. There are two types of exfoliants- chemical and physical. I use a chemical exfoliant only once a week, usually in the form of AHA or BHA acid and I use a scrub twice a week. I am currently using Tarte’s Knockout treatment  and the Dermalogica Microfoliant. Regular exfoliation suits my skin as it isn’t overly sensitive but make sure no to overdo it.

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Step 4: Face Mask – I use face masks about 3 – 4 times per week, depending on what my skin needs, I may use a clay mask or a hydrating mask. My current favourites are Dior’s Jelly mask , The Face Shop Mud mask , L’oreal’s Red Clay Mask and L’occitane’s Purifying mask.

Step 5: Toner – this is to hydrate, balance your skin’s pH levels and to minimise the appearance of pores. I would recommend L’occitane’s Essential Water or Tata Harper’s Floral Mist.

Step 6: Essence – this is lighter than a serum but has similar effects and is optional. If you like to be extra with your routine then you should try out Laneige’s Waterbank Essence.

Step 7: Serum – definitely a must in your routine, depending on your needs you can go for a brightening serum or a rejuvenating one. Make sure to pat your serum into the skin, don’t let it just sit on top.

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Optional: Face Massage – I love using a jade roller for this, but you can use other tools such as a gua sha or just use your hands! This is great for improving circulation, lymphatic drainage, plumping up the skin and if committed to, will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Step 8: Eye Cream – you need an eye cream even at a young age, because the skin around our eyes is extremely thin and sensitive and it needs attention. I use an eye cream for hydration and dark circles as anti-ageing isn’t my primary concern right now, but I’d suggest Clarins or Shiseido.

Step 9: Moisturiser – even with oily skin, moisturiser is necessary. I currently use a lightweight one. Any moisturiser should work as long as it has clean ingredients that suit your skin.

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Step 10: Face oil – now I often see people apply face oil before their moisturiser, however face oil can penetrate any cream of serum but creams cannot penetrate oil. This is why it should be the last step of your skincare routine. One face oil I’m really enjoying is Tata Harper’s Retinoic Nutrient oil   but with any retinol product you use, it is important to note that it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so make sure you’re always wearing sunscreen. There are a number of oils you can use such as maracuja oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba oil, depending on your skin type.

Bonus Step: Lip balm!! Never forget to hydrate your lips. Any balm is great, but if you want a specific, one I love the Laneige Berry Lip Mask.

This pretty much sums up my whole routine, it’s taken me a while to adopt it so if you’re still a newbie, I’d suggest starting with a simple cleanser, eye cream and moisturiser. I hope you enjoyed this read and that you found something helpful here. Please like and follow for more skincare tips xoxo.

 

 

Golden Milk Latte Recipe

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This amazing recipe is a nutrient dense, caffeine free and totally delicious drink to curb those coffee cravings and boost your gut health. This latte contains turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, improving digestion and skin health. It also contains cinnamon which lowers blood sugar levels and has antimicrobial effects, as well as cardamom which is great for the liver and is packed with antioxidants. In other words, this is one powerful latte! So here’s how you can make it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/2 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom or 5 pods
  • 2/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp erythritol/stevia blend (or any sweetener of choice)

STEPS:

  • Combine 1/2 a cup of milk to 1/2 a cup of water or use 1 full cup of milk.
  • Whisk in the spices and sugar while on medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer. Strain the milk into a mug to remove any undissolved spices.

 

Other Optional Ingredients:

  • Ginger
  • Lemon zest
  • Ground Black pepper

 

Let me know down in the comments if you do try out this recipe. Thank you for reading and please like and follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

 

10 Common Weight Loss Mistakes

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1. Cheating calories – this is something I found myself doing unconsciously and when I took notice, I realised I was eating 300-400 more calories than I thought I was and this is important if you’re trying to lose weight.

You sometimes feel that if you don’t track something you eat then the calories don’t count or you may alter how much you eat on your tracker, only to see a number you prefer. If you do these things while tracking, you shouldn’t feel ashamed because I’ve done them too, but in the end we’re only cheating ourselves.

However, you shouldn’t grow obsessive and track everything to the last gram, you should only be more conscious of how many calories you’re taking in if you do want to lose weight.

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2. More exercise means more food – this is a sensitive topic, what I mean by this is, if you want to lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit; you can exercise more and eat the same amount of calories, but if you eat more then it won’t make much of a difference.

Remember to always consume the healthy amount of calories for your body, this is influenced by sex, age and activity. For example; I eat about 1200-1300 calories when I am trying to lose weight, but you may need more than I do. Keep in mind that the minimum amount of calorie intake for a woman is 1200 calories, you can find out how many calories you need to lose weight on any online calorie calculator, but always consult your doctor before taking any drastic measures towards your exercise or eating. Everyone’s body is different so take into account any conditions you may have.

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3. Eating the wrong portions – portion control is something I’ve had ups and downs with, at one point my portion control was really strict but then I found myself going overboard, but lately I feel like I have a good grasp of it.

An easy way to measure is using your hands, the size of your palm for protein, a fist for veggies, a cupped handful for carbs and a your thumb for fats. These are doubled for men.

Another method is to use a slightly smaller plate, fill half of your plate with veggies/salad and fill a quarter with carbs and another quarter with protein.

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4. Starving yourself – this is obvious but still worth mentioning, do not believe that if you skip a meal or feel hunger pangs that you are losing weight. What you are truly doing is sending your body into starvation mode, which means next time you eat, your body will store it as fat – it’s a survival mode.

Therefore, distinguish when you are feeling hungry from when you are thirsty or bored and eat if you are hungry so that you are not depriving yourself.

 

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5. Ignoring Macros – calories aren’t the only important factor, macros – proteins, fats and carbs- are significant to your body type. Some of us work better on a high fat meal plan, while others are on high protein or high carb. This again depends on your body type and physical goals.

When losing weight it’s probably best to figure out which macros work best for you, I have some high carb days and some high protein days and my macronutrient ratio is usually 40-50% carbs, 30-40% protein and 10-30% fats. This works for me, I do not obsess over tracking macros, but if you feel like you are stuck in your weight loss journey, then it may be worth taking a look at.

 

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6. Doing only Cardio – many of us fear that strength- training will bulk us up and we just stick to cardio, but that is far from the truth. Strength-training will tone and define your muscles and it is essential for fat loss. To grow bulky like men and some women, you would need a crazy amount of gym time and an intake of various supplements. So don’t shy away from the weights, mix your cardio with some strength-training and you will definitely see a difference.

 

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7. Pre-Workout and Post-workout – with the media posting the routines of fitness experts and athletes, many of us feel that we need to have pre-workout and post-workout meals to efficiently burn fat or lose weight, but that’s not always the case. Many of us prefer a fasted workout in the morning, while some of us feel more energetic after a snack. Don’t feel obliged to have a pre or post-workout if your body doesn’t need it. Remember to be mindful of how your body feels.

 

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8. Binging on healthy foods – the irony of weight loss, most of us now realise that bingeing on unhealthy food isn’t going to help us, so we throw away all the junk food and have a healthy grocery haul. However, even though pop chips are better than fried chips and vegan, sugar free chocolate is better than normal chocolate, if you’re sitting on the couch binge eating them, you’re still not going to lose weight.

Now, I’m not saying don’t switch out your junk food, all I’m saying is that moderation is everything. One small bag of pop chips or one square of healthy chocolate isn’t going to hurt you, but know that binging healthy food is harmful as well.

 

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9. Skipping Rest Days – rest days are important because your body needs to heal and your muscles need time to regenerate. On rest days, you can include stretching or a walk to have some movement but take that day off. Plus knowing you have a rest day coming up also helps you remain strong throughout the week. Just remember not to have your rest day on the same day as your cheat day.

 

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10. Thinking Food is the enemy – this is something I found myself slipping into. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you ate a few calories more or ate something considered unhealthy. Your mental relationship with food is just as important and if you have stumbled in your weight loss, then just take a moment and take back control.

Food is not the enemy, so don’t deprive yourself. Be proud that you are making an effort and if no one has ever said this to you before, well done for taking a step towards a healthier and happier you!

 

Thank you for reading this and I hope you can take something from this post to help you with your goals. Please like and follow for more posts like this one, xoxo.

Green Juice Recipe for Detox

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I haven’t always been a fan of green juices, mostly because it’s an acquired taste, but lately I’ve been giving it a try because I feel like my digestive system needed a boost. The best thing about a detox juice is that it has all the benefits blended into one. It’s simple and quick, but my issue has always been the high folate levels in green juices; folate is found in spinach and avocado, and it doesn’t always agree with me.

So the recipe below is a green juice for beginners, you don’t just jump onto the green juice frenzy, you ease into it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small green apple
  • 50 grams of sliced cucumber (or a handful)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp matcha powder (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 cups of water

Tip: pass the juice through a strainer.

Other Ingredients you can add or substitute with:

  • ginger
  • mint
  • spinach
  • parsley
  • apple cider vinegar
  • avocado

 

The possibilities of a green juice are endless and effective if you need a cleanse for either weight loss or detox. The juice is one I make in the morning and before breakfast, I don’t usually have it every day, but if you’re trying out a detox week then this would be a good idea.

I hope you try it out and if you do please leave me a comment. Follow for more posts like this one and thank you for reading, xoxo.

Healthy Banana Bread

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This is a recipe I made three times in a row until I ran out of bananas. Seriously, it’s that good. As always, this is a dairy free, gluten free recipe and I mean, who doesn’t love banana bread? It’s easy to make and tastes like a slice of heaven, so here’s what you need.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (any mix will do)
  • 3 medium sized bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/4 cup erythritol/stevia blend (or coconut sugar/ monk fruit sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Blueberries or cacao nibs (optional)

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Steps

1. Mash the bananas with a fork or in a blender until smooth.

2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, coconut oil and sugar to the bananas and mix well. (Ingredients should be at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying)

3. Mix both flours and fold but to not over mix. Gradually add in the milk, if you want a more dense bread add in less milk, but I prefer mine light so I usually add 3/4 cup, but depending on your choice of gluten free flour you may need to adjust this.

4. Line a loaf pan with baking paper and pour the batter in. This is optional but you can add slices of banana, blueberries or cacao nibs as a topping.

5. Bake for 15-20 mins at 190ºC, allow the top to brown a little and let it cool before removing. I usually keep mine in the fridge in the same pan and wrapped in the baking paper and I do not slice it beforehand to keep in moist.

I hope you try out this recipe, if you had to pick one, I would definitely recommend this one. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy it and please follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

Healthy Homemade Granola

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This is a gluten free, dairy free and nut free recipe that I’m sure you’ll enjoy! It can be eaten with yoghurt, milk or as a snack. You can alter this recipe to your taste and add or switch any ingredients you’d prefer. The base mainly consists of rolled oats, coconut oil, and honey, you can add in seeds, nuts or dried fruit if you like.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower/ pumpkin / hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey / maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder / 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • You can also add dried fruit – dried figs, berries.

 

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Steps:

  1. Mix together the rolled oats, seeds, cacao nibs and coconut flakes.
  2. Melt coconut oil and honey together either in a microwave or in a saucepan on low heat.
  3. Add the liquid to the dry and fold well to make sure your granola is well coated. Add in vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Spread the mixture over a tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Bake for 10 mins on 170 º C or until it turns golden. (The granola will burn easily so make sure to keep an eye on it)
  6. Let it cool down and store in an airtight jar.

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick recipe and that you come back for more. Thank you for reading, and make sure to let me know if you try this one out, xoxo.

 

 

1 Week Detox Guide

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Lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts, my afternoon dip has worsened, I find it hard to concentrate and I feel sick after meals. Especially after my birthday weekend, with all the cake and indulgent eating, I think it’s time for a week of detox. This is to repair my gut, increase my energy and boost my metabolism. Throughout this week I will be sharing my plan to re-stabilise my body and flush out the toxins (giving you all advice and keeping myself in check at the same time). Keep in mind that you should not take any drastic steps in your diet or workout without consulting your doctor first, you don’t want to consume too few calories or work your body into burnout. So here is my guide for the week ahead.

Things to avoid:

  • Sugar (no more cake)
  • Dairy
  • Gluten (this might be harder for some of you, but try and give it your best shot)
  • Coffee (I know it hurts)
  • Processed foods

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Things to enjoy:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Almond milk
  • Lemons
  • Matcha
  • Herbal teas
  • Smoothies
  • Water (a lot of it)

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IN A TIPICAL DETOX DAY…

  1. Drink water as soon as you wake up
  2. Workout for 30-60mins
  3. Drink lemon water before breakfast
  4. Have a smoothie for breakfast
  5. Drink more water
  6. Switch coffee for some green tea
  7. Have a clean lunch; this can be a soup, salad, quinoa and veggies with chicken…
  8. You guessed it, more water
  9. Dinner: keep it light
  10. Water, water, water!

 

Additional tips:

  • Intermittent fasting can be an additional boost to detox your gut
  • Get 7-8 hrs of sleep
  • Practice mindfulness for at least 10 mins
  • You can keep meat/poultry in your diet for protein if you like or you can leave it out
  • Exercising shouldn’t be taxing on your body, don’t overdo it

 

WHY?

  • Chia seeds? They cleanse the gut, removing toxins and they keep you satisfied for longer.
  • Water? Most of the time our cells are screaming for water and we’re too busy to notice. Water literally will flush out toxins and it’s also necessary for bowel movement (yeah, I just had to go there).
  • Coffee? Let’s make this simple, it gets you high but you’ll eventually crash and you will crash hard. Why don’t we take a break from the adenosine attack.

 

I hope you all got something from this post, follow for more like this to come. Thank you for reading, xoxo.

7 Ways To Promote Gut Health

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  •  Detox water– drinking warm lemon water in the morning helps to boost your digestion and metabolism. I usually squeeze half a lemon into warm water, and I drink this on an empty stomach. You can choose to add honey, ginger or apple cider vinegar to further promote the anti-bacterial properties.                                          However keep in mind that ginger and the apple cider can be harsher on sensitive digestive systems and these may not be the right ingredients for you. It all depends on how you feel.

 

  • 1 month reset– this can be challenging but it is definitely worth the effort if you want to re-establish gut health or repair any damage. The reset involves avoiding sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy for a whole month. The reason for a month is that it takes quite some time for your body to eliminate gluten. I have been consistently  gluten and dairy free for years now and I know it’s not easy for everyone, which is why a reset may be a better option for most people.Processed foods involve anything store-bought that has those long ingredients lists     that you can’t even pronounce and sugar would be refined sugars such as; white bread, pasta, white rice, cane sugar, energy drinks, sodas and cake. I know it hurts. On the bright side, you can use unrefined sugars such as coconut sugar.

 

  • intermittent fasting – this is something I’ve mentioned before, it’s a versatile method and you can read more about the various methods to approaching it. I’m currently on the 16/8 method, which means I fast for 16 hours and eat during the 8. I don’t eat any less or more, this is just to give your gut more time to rest. It also has the added bonus of promoting weight loss.

 

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  • 5 daily servings – it is recommended to have 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, preferably in their raw state. Try to incorporate these into your meals; an easy way would be in a breakfast smoothie. I like having fruit with my oats, veggies with my main meals and fruits as snacks, this allows me to get in my 5 daily servings. This is because they are packed with fibre which help improve gut health and digestive movements.

 

  • 1-2 days w/o meat/poultry – this is a weekly habit that is pretty easy to keep up with. Meat and poultry are pretty hard on our digestive system, so it’s beneficial to let our gut heal and repair by taking 1 or 2 days off. From this, you can try to observe how you feel, as your gut often affects how you feel overall, you may find yourself more energised on these days.

 

  • massage your greens– this seems unusual but it actually works, while greens do provide us with fibre, their cell structure may be hard to digest. This is why you should massage greens, like kale for example, with some olive oil to break it down.

 

  • intolerances/allergies – this is something that has completely changed my life. Food intolerances are not to be underestimated, they can seriously damage your gut and your overall health. If you can get tests done for your allergies, that’s great, but most of the time you have to understand your body’s reaction yourself. Notice how you feel after eating certain foods and gradually eliminate those you feel do more harm than good. I have an intolerance to gluten and dairy, but I am allergic to peanuts, soy and seafood and it’s often trial and error with this, for example; I can drink almond milk and use almond flour but I can’t eat almonds.

You can always research more about food types and their effects for your own knowledge or if you think you’re reacting badly to certain foods. I’d suggest learning more about high histamine, high folate, and high copper foods, just to get started. Of course this depends on your body type, it’s always helpful to get tests done to check if you have any deficiencies or excesses, as that may also be a factor.

I hope you all enjoyed this post, if you have any tips you’d like to share, leave a comment down below. Thank you all for reading and please follow for more tips like these, xoxo.

5 Healthy Habits You Should Start Right Now

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  1. Water Before Coffee– make sure you drink at least 1 glass of water before having coffee-438416_640.jpgyour coffee and after, because coffee is dehydrating. This may also reduce the blow of a caffeine crash. On that note, try to limit the amount of coffee you drink, three cups a day doesn’t give enough time for the caffeine to leave your system, and your sleep cycle might suffer from this.

 

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2. Frequent and small– your meals should be in small portions but regular. 3 big meals a day might not work for everyone, this could cause bloating and increase your stomach size. If you want to shrink you stomach you can take 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks, this will help you feel fuller with less as your stomach size decreases.

 

 

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3. Fill with greens– this is something I’m still working on, which is filling half of my platewith greens. Veggies and salads contain fibre which helps keep you fuller for longer and has the least amount of calories. I know they probably aren’t that appealing at first but tweaking them up a little makes a big difference.

 

alarm-clock-2116007_640.jpg4. Avoid late night binging – set a time limit for when you want to have a last meal. Your digestive system needs time to rest and it’s best to avoid eating just before bed because you won’t be burning off the calories. 7pm is a good time but you can set a time for yourself

 

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5. Sleep, sleep, sleep– I’m guilty of this one too, but I’ve made some difference. 7-8 hrs, don’t tell me you only need 5 or 6, don’t tell me you’re a superhuman, cause I’m going to give it to you straight. You will crash. Hard. I was there at one point, feeling invisible cause I could run on 4 hrs of sleep and give out better than anyone else. Then it all caught up on me and now I value my sleep like nothing else. Ever wonder why cats have 9 lives, they sleep!!

 

I hope you all enjoyed this post, please like and leave a comment telling me about your favourite heathy habits. I hope to see you again soon, xoxo.

 

5 Tips to Stop Binge Eating

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#1. Meal Prep- this is a great way to plan what you eat in a day and avoid standing in front of the fridge munching on potato chips (which should not even be in there btw). If you have all your meals already prepared, you are less likely to eat mindlessly.

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#2. Cut out sugar- one of the problems with sugar is that it promotes cravings. Have you ever found yourself craving sugar then craving something salty? Sugar only intensifies your hunger.

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#3. Add mint to your diet- mint is known to help curb cravings and keep you fuller for longer. Add some mint to your tea, smoothie or water to sip throughout the day.

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#4. Breakfast is key- make sure your macros are well balanced in your breakfast. Most of the time we have a carb filled breakfast and although carbs are needed in your meal, you should also aim to add protein as well. Protein helps keep you fuller for longer as its breakdown requires more time and energy. You can find protein in eggs, nuts, meat, fish, and poultry and if breakfast just isn’t your thing, it can even be lunch because either way you are still breaking your fast.

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#5. Reduce Stress-  often you’ll find that binge eating is related to emotional stress, because our mind is under pressure, our bodies turn to food for comfort (like devouring a tub of ice cream after a breakup). So to prevent or stop binge eating, you need to be more aware of how your body and mind feel and try to find another form of support rather than food.

 

I hope these tips are useful to you in any way possible and that you come back for more. Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again next time, xoxo.