It is said that fasting results in the release of endorphins, the hormones that are responsible for happiness.
If you intermittent fast and are less worried about how many calories you’re eating in a day, what time you have to wake up to get your breakfast in, and other things that have you anxious surrounding food.
When you intermittent fast you are likely to experience more focus. A clearer head can lead to a greater understanding of situations that you are in, things you have to get done at work, etc. all things that can reduce anxiety when you are well-prepared for anything the day has coming your way.
The Mother of All Breathing Exercises: Belly Breathing (AKA Diaphragmatic Breathing, or 4-7-8 Breathing)
This basic breathing technique can be used to benefit your brain, body, and soul in just about each and every way. I encourage you to try this exercise now and practice as often as possible. Work your way up to naturally breathing like this throughout the day.
This breathing technique is a foundational exercise that will help you improve sleep, reduce stress, release toxins, lower your blood pressure, reduce your heart rate, release feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, improve your memory and focus, reduce pain, and improve your energy, circulation, and digestion.
Inhale. Begin by slowly breathing in through your nose, focusing on inhaling the air into your belly, not your chest, for a count of four. (You can put a hand on your stomach to see how well you’re doing.)
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. As you exhale, try to make a soft whooshing noise by holding the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
Repeat this process, called 4-7-8 breathing, three more times, for a total of four cycles. With practice, you can work your way up to eight cycles, or breaths, at a time.
Start by doing this exercise two times per day, but be sure to stop if you become dizzy. As you increase your capabilities, add to your number of sessions until you can do four to eight breaths per hour all throughout your day.
We all have those moments while we are at home and something triggers a craving, we can’t find time to work out, or we cannot stop munching as we cook. No matter what it is, don’t panic, just check out these useful tips.
You see the ice cream truck slowly winding its way down your street
The tinkling broken tune of the ice cream van can work just like Pavlov’s bell did on dogs—it can trigger a surge in insulin, which makes you instantly feel hungry. Don’t give in. Get up and get a nice big glass of water. Most cravings pass within 10 minutes. In the meantime, check in with yourself. Are you truly hungry? If so, grab a string cheese, or some macadamia nuts. If not, get busy: clean a junk drawer, vacuum, or turn on some music and sing or dance for a few minutes until the urge passes.
Missed a workout?
Make it part of your day. Sneak in extra activity wherever you can. Sweep the floor, or mop with vigor. Wash some windows. Do some gardening. Skip the dryer and hang the laundry on a line outside to dry. If you have to run to the grocery store, park at the back of the lot so you can walk a bit farther. It all counts.
Can’t stop munching while you cook?
Keep a bowl of celery or cucumber sticks nearby. Or chew some sugarless gum. Having low-calorie options on hand will keep you from filling up on whatever else you are preparing. You’ll enjoy dinner much more if you get to it hungry.
Got late night cravings?
Often, after a day of using willpower, munchies can creep up on you. Be prepared for a healthy evening snack. If you know you have something planned you’ll be less likely to give into temptation.
Raised by the clean-your-plate rule?
Remember, if you continue eating food after you are full it won’t do your body any good. Toss it out, rather than tossing it in your belly. You can also plan ahead by eating your meals on smaller salad plates rather than full-sized dinner plates—that way you can still clean your plate without overdoing it.
No time to exercise today?
Dice your workout into mini activity routines. Do squats while you brush your teeth or empty the dishwasher. Sneak in some sit-ups or crunches just before lunch. Take a 10-minute walk around the block or your work.
Can’t stop snacking in front of the TV or computer?
Pour yourself a refreshing glass of sparkling water and add some lemon or lime slices and keep it nearby when you are in front of a screen. You’ll be more likely to reach for this no-calorie alternative than a sugar-laden snack. While watching TV, keep your hands busy folding clothes, or knitting, and during commercials hit mute and do some jumping jacks, squats, and push-ups.
Tempted to pick off the kids plates?
Have a pack of sugarless peppermint gum nearby. Not only will it keep your mouth occupied, but peppermint will also serve as a natural appetite suppressant, and energy enhancer. Plus, research shows that gum chewing increases serotonin production in your body—serotonin also suppresses appetite, reduces carb cravings, and makes you feel happier.
Stuck with the dessert in the house?
Take it to work, church, or a local food bank pronto. Or, better yet, toss it. I give you permission. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.
Empty fridge-growling stomach?
Before you call for delivery pizza really raid your kitchen. Chances are you’ve got the makings for a quick and easy meal. Celery sticks and peanut butter make a great snack. If the cupboards are really looking bare, eat a handful of nuts, or a piece of cheese, wait 20 minutes and then hit the grocery store for a quick meal of rotisserie chicken and salad. Much better than takeout.