Getting Back on Track After the Holidays

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Entering into 2020, we all are pumped to achieve our resolutions and strengthen our fitness goals, however 2019 did end with the holidays, which means that we all fell a bit off track in some way or the other. Most likely, we ate a little too much or partied a little too late, but that doesn’t mean we let go and say “Oh well, 2021 is gonna be my year!” NO! This means we brush it off and pick our hangover, sugar-coma selves back up, so here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Get Rid Of The Guilt

One thing to understand is that it’s normal to want to enjoy the holidays and indulge once in a while, but it’s also normal to feel guilty. However, feeling guilty for eating something considered “bad” is toxic for your mind and journey, so stop searching for “how to get rid of a cheat meal?” Instead ask yourself “Does feeling guilty reverse what happened?” No it does not. So allow yourself to enjoy what you ate and the festive season, knowing that fitness is a lifestyle and it isn’t going anywhere.

 

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Step 2: Be Active

It’s important to stay active even during the holidays, but if you didn’t, that’s alright, the time is now. However, jumping straight back into the gym might not come naturally so start small such as going for a morning walk/jog and doing some at home workouts. You’ll find that engaging your body will trigger the desire to get back to your full out workouts, because motivation is temporary and unrealistic but habits are not.

 

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Step 3 : Clean Eating

The family Christmas dinners are over, now concentrate on eating at home instead of outside. It’s not necessary to weigh everything you eat but tracking may prove useful, try it for one or two weeks until you can eat intuitively, because that is the ultimate goal. Remember that food is meant to fuel your body so implement whole foods and take a break from the processed stuff.

 

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Step 4 : Set A specific Goal

It’s a new year, so don’t be vague about what you want. “Get fit” or “Lose some weight” are not definitive goals, they’re shallow, meaningless thoughts. What you should do is decide on a number such as “I will lose 5% of my body fat in 4 months” or a particular skill such as being able to do pull ups and set the deadline. If we don’t visualise the end of the finish line, we’ll never reach it. It’s good to keep a fitness journal, a physical or a digital one; there is something striking about the feel of an actual tracking journal, but digital ones also have benefits such as reminders. Alternatively, you can get an accountability partner, be it family/friends or someone in the same fitness group, for example on social media.

I hope this blog post helps you to get back on track of your fitness goals, these are the steps I am currently taking to do so. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment and follow for more xoxo.

 

The Stages Of Weight Loss

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There are many stages and approaches when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, some of us are stuck in one stage and give up, but what we must realise is that sometimes the only way out is through. You must have heard this at least once, there are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes, however there are scams, plateaus and burnout, along with results and the incredible high of progress. So let’s dive in to the stages I have personally noticed in others and gone through myself.

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Stage 1 : The Diet Obsession 

Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. You just decided to lose weight and you go online determinedly searching for the best 2 week diet plan… well here’s the punchline – IT DOES NOT WORK – it only gives temporary results and long term stress. Many of us have an on and off  relationship with this stage, but we should all just break up and move on.

 

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Stage 2: Cardio Junkie

Better but not by much. At this stage, we’re still pretty knew to the whole concept of weight loss but this is where we lose a ton of it. Why? Because we pack on the cardio and monitor our food. I started with the treadmill and bicycle, boring, I know, although it did help shed the weight cause I was spending more than I usually did. I also ate super clean, but only in my opinion at the time since I hadn’t figured out what eating clean really was. I thought I was eating clean but I was still having processed foods that didn’t fuel me.

 

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Stage 3: Losing the Gym V-card 

Hello strength training and extreme food monitoring. This is where I tried out the Keto diet (not for me) and calorie tracking. Here is where the stigma around working out is broken and stress about food is built. I realised cardio was not enough and weights were my friend, soon to be bestfriend, so I started strength training but I still wasn’t sure what I was doing. Also tracking and weighing my food led to food being reduced to numbers and it was highly stressful, I was unhappy all the time. I became obsessed and felt guilty if I didn’t track or exceeded my calories. I had lost all the weight I needed to at this point but I now wanted to lose body fat.

 

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Stage 4: Prime Time

This is where I fell I am at right now and it is bliss, but I have to say that I didn’t reach here alone, I had help and great advice. This is the most mentally healthy stage, food is now your fuel, no more tracking or weighing food. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat clean, and there are times that indulge, but the most important thing is I am fully aware of it. Working out has never felt better, in other words, I push hard but I don’t beat up myself about how many calories I’ve lost or about taking rest days, I just embrace every workout as a chance to exert my all into it. This is where progress is slow but significant and long term.

 

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Stage 5 : Finish Line

Funny thing is… we never reach this one, because it moves along with us. This is your goal, the perfect, ultimate result of your fitness journey, but this is the point that you realise there is no finish line, because this is your lifestyle now. The more you go along the more your goals change and you will keep having new ones even as you accomplish them. There is no perfect, you will always find more to want, even when you think you’ll be happy once you reach this weight or that body fat percentage, you will be but it will not stop there. This is the forever stage.

 

These stages took me 3 years… it was not easy. However, not everyone goes through these exact stages, some people have gone straight to strength training or other forms of fitness, but this pattern is highly common in people trying to lose weight. I hope this post was helpful in giving you clarity on your fitness journey or in any way possible, thank you for reading.

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 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.