31 Days of Latinas losing weight: Tip #22

The next phase of our 31 Days challenge is only going to get more intense--and I mean that in a good way. We've been slowly easing you into eating healthier, exercising more and really starting a solid plan to finally drop the weight and today's tip is no different. In fact, Tip #22 is a REALLY important one. It has a lot to do with your mind and the power of thinking yourself into your skinny jeans!


Read more ¿Qué más?: 31 Days of Latinas losing weight: Tip #21

Today's tip is a really important one because it has to do with more than just how much you put into your mouth or how many calories you burn off. In fact, it has everything to do with your mindset—and just how to help yourself from not eating TOO MUCH and especially not eating the wrong kind of thing.

This is where you have to work on becoming aware of when you eat and why. It's about listening to your body and learning to eat only when you're truly hungry, then stopping when you're full. This isn't an easy task but, luckily, three of our previous tips can help: drink plenty of water all day and ESPECIALLY 20-30 minutes before you eat, then time yourself to see if you're still hungry—and even timing your meals so that you don't eat too fast! Plus, journaling about your food habits will help you find those "triggers" of when and why you're reaching for foods that aren't the best for you.

Sometimes I even allow myself a little bit of time for meditation before I eat, in particular in those 20 to 30 minutes in between drinking a full glass of water and starting a meal. The reason to do this is that you want to quiet your mind and think about how hungry you actually are. Are you starving? Unless you haven't eaten all day, I am betting that the answer is "no" and you should make sure to follow our tip to slow down your eating.

As you slow down your eating, keep listening to what your body is saying. I find it particularly helpful to put down your fork between every few bites (or every 5 minutes, however it works out for you) and seeing if I can feel what my hunger levels are.

Often, we rush to finish our meals and feel guilty if we begin to feel "full" before the plate is gone. Well, here's the thing: our eyes can eat a LOT more than our stomachs can! Slowing down and allowing yourself to feel what your body and mind is telling you is the best strategy to learn to push that plate away when you're satisfied. That means on a scale of 1-10 (with "1" being "starving" and 10 being "post-Thanksgiving full"), you should be at a comfortable 6-7. You don't need to get anywhere close to that way-too-stuffed feeling, just enough to feel good about your food intake and get enough energy WITHOUT the eventual crash of a food coma.

Remember: learn to just ENJOY your food but not too much of it by listening to your body's hunger signals. And, of course, tune in tomorrow for Tip #23!

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Topics: healthy eating  latinas losing weight  weight loss