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5 Ways Mindful Eating Can Help You Lose Weight

Snacking while cooking dinner, eating while writing emails, munching on the drive to work. Multitasking might save time, but when it comes to eating there is also a cost: distraction.

Multitasking while eating makes it challenging to be mindful. Ever sat in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream and magically, the food vanishes before your eyes and you wonder what that last bite tasted like? Or maybe you find yourself at 10PM with calories remaining for the day so you go for the cookies, despite still feeling full from dinner. Whether eating is a result of physical or emotional distraction, both have the same end result: mindless eating.

Mindful eating is being aware of the taste, texture, aroma, presentation, and your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Getting to know your hunger and fullness is the secret to losing the weight for good and keeping it off.

1. EAT WITH BALANCE

Eating a variety of foods at each meal not only provides balanced nutrition, it can also help with meal satisfaction. Make sure that your plate has 3 foods: Fiber, Fat, and Protein. These three ingredients take the longest to break down causing a slower release of energy and keeping you fuller for longer. Find fibers through fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Opt for healthy fats like avocado, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and olive oils. Get protein from a variety of sources including meat, fish, poultry, tofu, tempeh, beans, and nuts.

READ MORE > 9 WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT THAT AREN’T JUST DIET AND EXERCISE

2. TIME YOUR MEALS

If you’ve been dieting or eating sporadically for some time, it’s time to recalibrate your hunger and fullness meter. Many people say that when they begin mindful eating that they don’t really feel hungry or full; that’s likely because your hunger and fullness meter is off. Begin to get back on track by eating food in regular intervals, about every 4 hours or so–paying close attention to portion size. This is enough time for your body to recognize the swings in energy levels without getting overly hungry. Keep in mind if you still are not hungry after 4-5 hours of eating, you might have eaten a bit too much at that last meal. Not to worry though! Simply wait until your body tells you it needs more fuel in the tank before eating again. Check out this article to dive deeper into understanding and listening to your hunger cues.

3. BE PRESENT

It can’t be overstated that to become a mindful eater, the mind and body must be present with the plate. Eat with intention, turn off the TV and shut down the computer while dining at the table. Distracted eating is a major contributor to unintentional overeating. Focusing on your meal or snack will not only lead to greater enjoyment of whatever you’re eating but a greater awareness of your hunger and satiety cues.

4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Becoming aware of the body’s internal cues to hunger and fullness will keep blood sugar stable and increase energy levels. Mindful eating requires trusting the body to know “how much” food is needed and when to stop. When you sit down to a meal ask yourself, “How hungry am I”, and give it a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed. We tend to eat with our eyes over our stomachs; mindful eating is a turn from that norm. Even though mindful eating is a skill we were born with and have lost along the way, it will take some time to relearn. Instead of eating on autopilot and cleaning your plate out of habit, challenge yourself to put the fork down when you are actually satisfied (6-7) vs. stuffed (8-9). Remember to not let your body get overly hungry and eat when you feel a gentle hunger (3).

5. ACCEPT THE HERE AND NOW

So you want to make changes to your body composition and/or lose some weight, first start with loving your body just the way it is. If you find that you cannot accept yourself as you are, this is the first place to start on your mindful eating journey. The confidence that you find from within will keep you grounded and able to trust your body enough to be a mindful eater.

Mindful eating takes guts and can be scary, but on the other side there is freedom from the diet trap. Consider weight loss and improved body composition as a side effect of eating mindfully, instead of the end goal. For some this step can be achieved by finding an activity that you truly enjoy, cleaning out the closet and buying clothes that fit and look fabulous on you, or tossing the scale if it’s defining your self worth every time you step on it.

Lastly, remember to be patient with yourself as you begin eating mindfully. You might not feel good at it at first, but like with anything practice is key. Keep focused on your true goals and weight loss will be a side effect of your new healthful relationship with food.

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Besan Or Chickpea Flour – How Healthy Is It?

How Healthy Is Besan Or Chickpea Flour?

Hello All!!

Good old besan! Also called garbanzo bean flour and gram flour, besan is no alien to Indian cuisine. Our moms and grandmoms have been using it to whip up delicacies in the kitchen! From curries to sweets, you can find besan in many dishes. However, I don’t recommend that you gorge on sugar loaded besan ke ladoo! Use it in a healthy way and it will give you good results!

The west has realized the potential of chickpea flour off late and that is a good thing!

Besan (chickpea flour) has more fibre and protein in it apart from being gluten free! If you are on a gluten free diet, then besan is a great option for you.

besan or chickpea flour

Check out the health benefits it has to offer:

1) Great fibre source

Cooked chickpeas have 12.5 g of of fibre in a cup. Thus, chickpea flour is an equally good source especially when used in place of refined flour or maida.

A high-fibre diet has its own list of health benefits to offer. Studies reveal that those consuming more amount of fibre have a lower risk of developing obesity, diabetes and colon cancer.

Chickpea flour has a low glycemic index too. The fibre present in besan helps with digestion, prevents constipation and helps weight loss.

2) Good for heart health

heart health

With nutrient-dense and high-fibre food, your cholesterol levels will stay healthy, hypertension will be reduced and heart disease will be at bay. Chickpeas have lots of polyphenols that are potent antioxidants. Studies say that a diet that includes beans naturally lowers cholesterol. A 3/4 cup of cooked beans reduces the chances of a heart attack and helps in balancing cholesterol levels.

3) Prevents diabetes and stabilizes blood sugar

Soluble fibre also helps in slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This is essential for those who suffer from diabetes. Chickpea flour or besan is a complex carb that body slowly digests and uses for energy later. It is much better than refined carbs. While maida can raise blood sugar rapidly and cause spikes and dips in energy, besan is a carb that burns slowly and does not affect glucose levels hugely. It has a lower glycemic index. Diabetics should stick to foods that have a low GI.

4) Helps in weight loss

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High fibre foods like chickpeas have a high volume and nutrient density but are low in calories. Besan or chickpea flour is a high-protein and high-fibre food that helps in keeping you full and curbs cravings. Thus, you can lose weight faster. Usually, foods that have a lot of fibre needs more of chewing and that gives the body more time to register the fact that you are full. This will prevent overeating.

5) Reduces inflammation

Do you know that chickpea flour is a great anti-inflammatory food? It protects you from cancers related to the digestive tract. This benefit is due to the high fibre content.

6) Gluten free and good for digestion

Gluten free

Chickpea flour is completely free of gluten. People with gluten intolerance can use this flour without any fear.

I guess, now you know why besan or chickpea flour has such an important place in our Indian cuisine. Use more of it in your cooking now! Besan chilla anyone 😛

Hope you liked this post on the benefits of besan or chickpea flour!

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Fit Tips: Staying Healthy When Life Gets in the Way [Video]

Check out our tips related to healthy travel, getting your sweat on at home and working out in the morning (before everyone else even wakes up!).

TIPS FOR HOW TO STAY FIT WHILE TRAVELING

TIPS FOR WORKING OUT AT HOME

TIPS FOR WORKING OUT IN THE MORNING

If you’re like most people with a job, family and social commitments, you’re insanely busy. In fact, if we’re perfectly honest, you’re probably reading this on a train, waiting for your to-go meal to be ready or standing in some never-ending line.

With the go-go-go mentality of today’s society, ease and simplicity is often favored over what might be best for our bodies. It can be hard to stop and think about how to maintain our health with deadlines looming, cell phones pinging and the chicken burning in the oven.

WATCH MORE > ASK A TRAINER VIDEO SERIES

Fortunately, your busy schedule doesn’t have to override your commitment to get — and stay — healthy. With just a few small mind shifts and lifestyle tweaks, the balanced, healthy and productive life you’ve always wanted can be well within reach.

Our Fit Tips video series provides you with the tools you need to reach your health and fitness goals while sticking with your busy schedule.

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Well-Being is a Skill (Not a State of Mind)

A few months ago, I sat five rows from a small stage where the Dalai Lama was talking about meditation. I was charmed by his infectious, child-like laugh and awestruck by his presence, but it was something Richard Davidson, the event’s host and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, said that planted a seed: “Well-being is a skill.”

The idea that our health and well-being is something we can work on in the same way we learn French or how to cook took root, and I started exploring what experts say about developing a new skill.

Here are eight strategies that help us learn — whether it’s algebra or the rowing machine, accounting or healthy eating:

1. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL

“Any meaningful change begins with inspiration,” says Cortland Dahl, a research scientist at the Center for Healthy Minds in Madison, Wisconsin. “You have a vision of yourself to be a different way or act a different way.”

Defining your vision as concretely as possible helps keep you focused. In one study, participants were randomly assigned to groups that thought about their goals, wrote down their goals or wrote down their goals and included some additional follow up. Only 43% of those who thought about their goals completed them, whereas 76% of those who wrote about their goals, outlined clear action items and sent a weekly progress report to a friend either completed the goal or were at least halfway to reaching it.

An important part of sustaining your inspiration and achieving your goal is understanding the motivation behind it. So, when you define your goal, include the larger purpose. Why do you want to learn this skill? What specific problem are you trying to solve?

READ MORE > STRESSING YOUR RESOLUTION? HERE’S WHY YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK

2. BREAK IT DOWN

“It’s a project-management task,” says Ulrich Boser, author of “Learn Better.” “You have to figure out what the goals are and then break down the steps, into discrete goals.” For example, if you want to run a marathon, start by researching what’s involved, how long it takes to build mileage and different strategies for doing so safely. Once you have an idea of the overall process, break it down into small goals.

“If you say, I’m going to do this every day for a year, it’s harder to stick with it,” says Dahl. “But if you say, I’m going to do this for 10 minutes a day for the next week, that’s much easier. You need the bigger-picture view, the one that’s inspiring, and then a very specific plan on how you’re going to do it.”

3. GET THE RIGHT HELP 

“It’s easy to get into bad habits and not even realize you’re doing something wrong,” says Boser. “It’s hard to step out of yourself.”

Don’t be afraid to get help — whether it’s talking to a nutritionist about your eating habits, joining a group running program with a coach or taking dance lessons. A mentor, coach or personal trainer can help you break down your goals, stay on track and provide feedback as you go.

4. MIX IT UP

When most of us are learning something new, we practice one skill at a time, but studies show interleaved practicing — or working multiple skills at the same time — is more effective.

If your goal is to improve your basketball game, you can take 100 foul shots until you feel you have some proficiency. But you will learn better, and faster, if you vary your practice — taking five foul shots, five 3-pointers and five layups. “When you mix it up like that you get a sense of the deeper nugget below,” says Boser. “The more variety you have, the better understanding of the essence of the skill you’ll have.”

5. REINFORCE THE KNOWLEDGE BY ENGAGING

“Learning is not passive,” says Boser. “There’s all sorts of evidence that shows we need to make sense of things.” Self-testing and teaching other people what you’ve learned are two ways to do this. It reinforces the knowledge, forces you to explain it in a way that makes sense to you and increases the chances the information will stick.
If you want to learn to tango, coming home from your lesson and showing your roommate what you learned will help you master the steps and information. “The more energized approach to learning, the more effective,” says Boser.

6. REFLECT ON HOW YOU LEARN

When students reflect on how they learn, they become better learners. Some may think better in a quiet library, others in a café with ambient noise. Also, how we learn biology may be different than how we learn French. Reflecting on, and understanding, different learning strategies helps us recognize strengths and weaknesses, adjust our course and achieve at higher levels.

“This idea of metacognition and do you really know what you know and how do you know what you know is a form of mindfulness,” explains Boser. “With well-being, you might ask: What am I eating right now? Is it making me feel good? Am I eating it because I’m tired or had a fight with my partner? With learning the tango, do I really know the next move? Can I do these sequences on an automatic level?”

7. SOLICIT FOCUSED FEEDBACK

“Evidence shows it’s important to get really focused feedback,” says Boser. Focused feedback is timely and actionable, not a general “good job, buddy” or “keep up the good work.” This is where enlisting the right help can be particularly important.

When Boser was writing “Learn Better,” he tried to improve at basketball. He hired a coach and started videotaping himself. “We need external checks for things we want to do well. Sometimes they’re going to be self-monitoring. Sometimes they’ll come from someone or something else.”

8. CELEBRATE

B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University, encourages clients to celebrate small wins, not just the big ones. Your brain doesn’t distinguish between progress and perceived progress, but it does understand how often you succeed.

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