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How To Avoid Gaining Weight When Traveling

How To Avoid Gaining Weight When Traveling

I’ll be 100% candid with you. I rarely go on vacation, but I travel a lot throughout the year on business. I consider myself a very frequent flyer.

Gaining weight doesn’t have to happen on your next vacation

As a business traveler, I’m either being treated out to food or I’m eating food on the go between meetings and events. This can be really stressful on my system and belt size, but not as much as those of you who enjoy taking vacations. The word “vacation” is synonymous with the word gluttony, which is a fancy way of saying eating too much and gaining weight.  So how can you avoid weight gain when traveling? Let’s talk about it.

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Curb Your Hanger.

As soon as “I’m hungry”, a timer starts counting down. I don’t turn into a big, green angry monster, but I turn into something called hangry. A curious mix of being hungry and angry about being hungry. To thwart this from happening I pack a few healthy snacks in my suitcase. That curbs my hunger enough so I don’t stop to eat at the first place I see, which almost always happens to be fast food. The fastest way to gain weight on vacation is to eat when you’re really hungry. Chances are you’ll end up at some fast food joint where you’ll stuff your face and eating your weekly calorie intake in just on meal. Stop, grab a healthy snack and think your next action through.

Adapt to the Local Time Zone.

Although I relish in the silence of a 16-hour flight and the excitement of the end destination, I never look forward to the jet lag. The most important thing you can do to get your trip started off right is to adjust to the local time right away. This will help you keep a normal eating schedule, which will save you from getting hungry really late at night and trying to search the city for food at ungodly hours.

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The only places that are open at those times are greasy spoon restaurants, where weight gain is imminent.  To avoid this, it’s important to do everything you can to adapt to the local time zone as early as when you board the flight. Set your smartphone to local time, and go by it like clockwork. You can also force your body to adjust to the local time zone during the first day or two at your hotel. Rather than cover the blinds with those heavy curtains, leave them open so you can wake up to the natural sunlight. Mmm…sunshine and regular eating habits.

Stay Hydrated.

If you don’t stay hydrated, you’re going to get tired and irritable much faster. This may not mean a lot when you’re sitting at a desk all day at work, but on a vacation you need all the energy you can muster to enjoy the days ahead.  Staying hydrated also has the direct benefit of stopping you from overeating. Why? The part of your brain that tells you “hey I’m getting hungry” is the same part that says “hey, I’m thirsty!”. By drinking those 8 recommended glasses of water a day, you can avoid the internal debate. Weight gain shut down!

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Use the Amenities.

Bring sneakers, workout gear, and a bathing suit on every single trip. Whether it’s for business or a vacation, always be prepared to have fun. Almost every hotel and resort has a pool, weight room or some kind of gym. If for some reason it doesn’t, visit a gym or yoga joint in the local area and ask them about one-week or one-day trial periods. These kinds of amenities help curb any extra pounds you may be adding on when ordering fancy drinks or larger portions.  If you have to, book the time off in your schedule to hit these amenities up. You time is just as important as exploration time.

Plan Ahead.

When traveling, there’s always less time to think about where you can eat well and exercise. With the power of the internet, you can plan way ahead to know where the best places are to eat healthily and the places to avoid. Many times vacationers leave this planning to when they arrive, but no one wants to plan while their on vacation. Don’t kid yourself. Plan for the food and fun ahead of time so you can be as busy or as lazy as you want to be when you get there.

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Christopher Columbus It.

Mr. Columbus may not have had sneakers or even hiking boots, but that didn’t stop him from having one heck of an adventure. The greatest part about going to somewhere new is seeing and exploring it. Unless you’re a food blogger, I highly recommend you spend your travel budget on experiences instead of just fancy food. Climb a mountain, see that monument, and scuba dive with the fish! These are the types of memories you can share with you family for years to come, and you’ll likely leave with stronger muscles and a looser pant size. If all you do is sit on your butt all day drinking fancy drinks and divulging on fatty foods, it’s not a vacation as much as it is a war on your body and wellness.

Featured photo credit: Gratisography.com via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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