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How Changing Your Eating Habits Can Stop Impulse Eating

How Changing Your Eating Habits Can Stop Impulse Eating

We all act impulsively from time to time, but too many hasty decisions can be very detrimental to anyone’s health. For example, impulse eating will not harm you right away, but after a little while your body will definitely start showing the negative effects of those decisions. Impulse eating is not to be confused with binge eating, which is when people eat large amounts of food at one time. Eating on impulse is the same as someone who buys on impulse. You do it without thinking and usually regret it afterwards! At least impulse shoppers can usually return the item and get their money back, but with impulse eating, it’s too late – the damage is done. However, impulse eating is easier to fix than you might think. You can stop impulse eating today, by applying a few simple changes to your daily life.

1. Eat More (Often)

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BACON SANDWICHES

    This might sound counterproductive, but eating more regularly is actually very healthy for you and will prevent you from getting too hungry which often causes people to eat impulsively. (Have you ever tried grocery shopping when you are hungry and wondered the next day why you bought so much junk food?) Plan to eat a small meal or snack ever 2 to 3 hours, and make sure you include a lot of healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, protein and food that is high in fiber. You will not only curb impulse eating, but you will also have more energy, and boost your metabolism while getting all your servings of fruits and vegetables.

    2. Breakfast – the Most Important Meal of the Day

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    Cereal With Strawberries2

      We’ve all heard this, but it is the truth! You know how you feel when you skip breakfast: hungry, lacking energy, brain fog, and even anger. And what happens when you get to work and see that someone has brought in donuts? Impulse eating happens. Before you know it, you’ve downed 2 donuts and are feeling guilty. Studies show that if you eat a good, balanced breakfast, you will be more able to say no to tempting treats. Plus, you will have more energy, think more clearly and just feel better about starting the day. If time is your enemy in the morning, there are plenty of make-ahead breakfast options. Google, Pinterest or any recipe website will provide you with many of these quick and healthy breakfasts.

      3. A Simple Water Bottle Can Stop Impulse Eating

        Doctors say that cravings and hunger can actually be thirst in disguise. When suddenly are tempted to grab some food you know you shouldn’t be eating, try drinking some water first. You will be surprised how often your body is actually thirsty instead of hungry. To do this successfully, you will want to carry a water bottle around with you. Look for a one that is leak-proof so you can carry it around with you wherever you go. Invest in a good water bottle because this is one habit that is extremely healthy for your body.

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        4. Cut Out Evening Snacks

        popcorn

          Evenings are when most people get “the munchies.” You are more relaxed after a long day at work, the kids are in bed, and most people take this time to watch some TV, a movie, or hang out with friends. These activities almost always lead to eating, and usually not the healthy kind! To stop impulse eating in the evenings, set a “cut-off” time for yourself so you won’t eat anything after 7pm for example. Once the cut-off time happens, brush your teeth and floss so that you will be less likely to break your own rule. No one likes flossing, and the thought of having to do it twice should be enough to deter any impulses that arise afterwards.

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          5. Take Control of Your Thoughts

          thinking

            This is the most important tip of all, because if you can’t conquer this one, you could be battling with all of the others for the rest of your life. Sometimes it feels like our thoughts and emotions govern our will, which in turn, governs our actions. However, it needs to be the other way around. Have you ever known someone who allows themselves to be governed by their emotions? They are usually up and down all the time and they do not lead very stable lives. When you consistently give in to impulse eating, it means you are not in control of your thoughts and emotions. In this area of your life, your emotions are dictating your actions.

            The next time you feel that impulse creep in, stop and ask yourself, why do I feel like I need to eat this right now? Take a couple of minutes and assess why you are emotional – maybe the impulsiveness is coming from stress or sadness. Or it could just be that you are so used to impulse eating that it’s no longer something that you even think about as a problem. Either way, you will need to stop, take a step back and remind yourself that you have a will, that it should dictate your actions, not your emotions. Emotions are not bad, but we should never be governed by them. This will not be easy at first, but over time you will be less likely to let your feelings dictate your decisions.

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            Last Updated on September 10, 2019

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

            Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

            This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

            One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

            Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

            Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

            1. Gratitude

            Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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            The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

            Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

            So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

            Gratitude-Quotes

              2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

              This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

              For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

              What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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              Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

              3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

              This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

              Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

              An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

              Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

              write down goals

                4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                6. Rise Earlier

                The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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