On the previous article, “It’s Not What You’re Eating... It’s What’s Eating You!” I mentioned that to achieve long-term habit and lifestyle changes we need to address the issues behind the overeating and other bad eating habits that caused the extra weight. I also mentioned the advantages of hypnotherapy for weight loss and management over other available methods. On this article, I list 10 proven tips to help you in your weight loss/management process, no matter what plan or program you are currently following.
10 USEFUL TIPS FOR WEIGHT LOSS/MANAGEMENT: *
1) Make sure to eat your bigger meals at breakfast and/or lunch and your lightest meal in the evening. That can be a hard change to make, especially due to busy work schedules. A lot of people end up eating a light (and often unhealthy) lunch at their desks or on the run, and only have time to prepare and eat a good meal in the evening. However, that’s the time of the day when your body’s metabolism and digestive capacity slow down, and you won’t be using most of the calories you’re loading yourself with before bed time. This habit can also cause digestive issues and sleep trouble. In addition, by eating light or skipping meals during day, you’re depriving your body of energy when it needs it the most.
Better Idea: Try preparing your heavier meals in the evening and packing them to eat for lunch the next day. Choose lighter fares in the evenings (preferably before 6 pm; think light breakfast or light lunch kinds of meals). Start the transition slowly, maybe two to three times per week. If you feel hungry right before bed, try having just a 1/4 cup of almond milk or other milk substitute, or some tea with milk, etc, to take the edge off the hunger feeling until your body gets used to the new routine.
2) Avoid eating meat at night. Protein takes a lot of energy to digest and break down. As our metabolism slows down in the evening, the body can’t properly digest meats. That means a much longer process time, during which the meats sit in the stomach, releasing the same toxins as decomposing cadavers. As mentioned above, that can cause digestive issues and affect the quality of your sleep.
Better Idea: Avoid eating meats and other heavy foods at night. Choose lighter foods such as cereal with milk, boiled eggs, sandwiches. Check out 8 Foods That Disrupt Sleep and The Best Foods to Eat at Night.
3) No liquid during meals. This is important because digestion starts in the mouth, with the saliva helping to break down the food; so if you drink liquids while you eat, you can dilute that process. Not to mention that the liquids you ingest during your meals can expand your stomach and slow digestion. This change might be hard in the beginning, as your mouth will probably feel very dry without the help of beverages. However, if you gradually reduce the amount of beverages until you stop drinking during meals, it might take a few weeks but your salivary glands should “jump start” again and you won’t have that dry mouth feeling anymore. You’ll probably even grow to dislike having liquids with your meals after that, as the food will feel “watery” and less tasty in your mouth!
Better Idea: Ideally, it’s best to avoid drinking liquids less than 1/2 hour before or until 1/2 after a meal.
4) Cut out all sodas, including diet. Most everyone already knows that cutting out sodas is a great way to start losing weight and become healthier, as they are loaded with sugar and calories (and are very unhealthy for you in many other ways). However, do you know the importance of also cutting out diet sodas? Among other things, diet sodas lack nutritional value; can hurt your heart and be bad for your bones; are associated with headaches and depression; and can lead to an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Not to mention that drinking diet sodas is actually connected to weight gain rather than loss, as artificial sweeteners can lead to an increased craving for high calorie foods (see 10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda).
Better Idea: See Diet Tip: 8 Ways to Cut Soda Pops and Lose Pounds.
5) Drink more water. Yes, 64 oz or about 8 glasses per day, give or take (depending on a few different factors, some people need more or less). I often hear from people that they don’t like to drink that much water because they keep having to go to the bathroom all day. But that usually happens just in the beginning of the process of consuming more water, until your body gets used to the new water intake levels. After that, your process of eliminating stabilizes. You also get to a point that you feel completely parched if you don’t drink enough water throughout the day.
Others mentioned that they forget to drink water during the day, or don’t remember how many glasses they did drink.
Better Idea: That used to be my case, too. The way I solved that problem was to buy a 32-oz BPA-free water bottle, fill it in the morning, drink it throughout the day, then fill it again; once I finished it for the second time, I knew I was done for the day and everything else after that was extra.
6) Watch for the pitfalls of low fat, low cal diets. Many programs out there claim to help you shed those pounds while you can still eat what you like. Beware of the pitfalls of such diets; they are often loaded with sugar, which can end up by causing serious health issues. A good friend of mine was having serious health issues which included swelling of the face, eyes and feet. Here’s what she recently found out and shared with me:
“I had to realize that I could not take short cuts around my health and had to take charge. My no junk food and low calorie diet of 1,200 a day that I have been doing for years was not working. I realized that my so called “healthy” food consumption was killing me (literally!). My breakfast protein bar and 8 oz soy milk were packed full of sugar. My daily lunch routine of a Lean Cuisine [meal] was packed with sugar. My afternoon snack of a small yogurt was packed with sugar. When I added up what I was eating, yes, it was low in calories and low in fat but so freaking high in hidden processed sugar (about 30 to 40 teaspoons of sugar a day)! No wonder I was so sick. My doctor said my liver was fatty and was showing signs like I was drinking [alcohol] daily!!!”
My friend had to stop her consumption of not only sugar, but also artificial sweeteners and so called “natural” sugars from processed “health” food. Her liver levels are finally back to normal and she has lost 8 pounds to date. She’s not hungry, has no cravings and feels healthy.
Better Idea: Make sure your diet is low in sugars, and has plenty of lean protein and whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, some grains, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil), etc, as well as a minimum amount of processed foods. Read the labels of processed foods, even the “healthy” ones. Eat organic foods as much as possible (affordable sources of organic foods are: Trader Joe’s, Costco, Aldi, some local farm markets). Try replacing favorite high-sugar snacks such as fruit-flavored yogurt for healthier substitutes, such as organic whole plain yogurt with a teaspoon of fruit-sweetened fruit spread. If necessary, consult a knowledgeable nutritionist. Also remember to allow yourself an occasional treat (depending on your weight loss and management goals).
7) Choose the weight you want to achieve, rather than the number of pounds you want to lose. If you constantly remind yourself of the pounds you don’t want to have and are trying to lose, you place yourself in a resistance mode. According to the Law of Attraction, by giving your attention to what you don’t want, you just attract more of it, the same way that you attract what you do want. The Law doesn’t differentiate between the two.
Better Idea: Take a positive and self-affirming step instead; choose your target weight and keep it in mind at all times, especially during moments when you’re feeling discouraged and beating yourself up. The mind is very powerful, and will work hard to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
8) Do not weigh yourself more than once a week. Everyone who’s been on a diet knows how obsessive scale checking can become. Since our weight fluctuates throughout the day and from day to day, this can lead to a lot of disappointment, to say the least; it can also become an excuse to despair and give up. There will be ups and downs during your weight loss process, even when you’re doing everything right; and that doesn’t mean failure. However, sometimes it might indicate the need for some tweaking in the plan; it’s a learning process.
Better Idea: Try weighing yourself just once a month.
9) Cleanse at least once a year. Cleansing is a great way to detox and reboot your body, and it often helps you shed a few pounds in the process. There are countless types of cleanses available out there (herbal, juice, special diets, fasting, etc). It’s advisable that you consult with your doctor or nutritionist about the best option for you.
Better Idea: Cleanse twice a year. I got used to doing an herbal cleanse in January or February (to recover from the excesses of the holiday season and prepare for the allergy season); the other is at the end of the Summer (for similar reasons).
10) Don’t beat yourself up when you slip. That not only doesn’t help, but it also can make things worse, even causing you to give up in the middle of the process. Slips are common, and even to be expected. The important thing is to understand that you’re still in control, and you can simply pick it back up where you left off.
Better Idea: Forgive yourself for the slip(s) and stick to your goals. Seek help and support during your weight loss and management process. Remember you’re not alone, there are a lot of people going through similar challenges. Try shifting negative self-talk to constructive thoughts and trouble-shooting ideas. When things look bleak, have faith in yourself and keep your target weight in mind.
As you incorporate all or at least several of these into your life style, you’ll be well on your way to a much healthier and thinner you.
* Please check with your doctor before incorporating any of the listed tips to make sure that no health issues are present and need to be addressed, such as thyroid imbalance; and that there are no other reasons why any of the listed tips would not be advisable for you.
Two Large Meals (Breakfast & Lunch) Are Best at Controlling Weight
8 Foods That Disrupt Sleep
The Best Foods to Eat at Night
10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda
Diet Tip: 8 Ways to Cut Soda Pops and Lose Pounds
When I first started noticing the "coloring books for adults" fad, I couldn't help but think: "Really? What other gimmicks will they come up with next?" Well, little did I know then that I was about to become a big fan of the whole idea...not to mention a coloring book addict.
As soon as I decided to set aside my "I'm too old for this and I don't want to look ridiculous" attitude, I remembered a transformational psychology class I had in school which required that I chose my favorite activity from when I was a child, practiced it for a week and then reported on it. Which activity did I choose? Coloring. I still remember the wonderful feelings I had from reconnecting with my childhood that way: the sense of freedom, of childlike innocence, of pure and simple joy...
But that's just one of the many benefits you might notice when you start coloring books on a regular basis. This activity is not only fun; it helps you get in touch with your artistic, creative side, and you might find yourself using that creativity at home and at work. One of the clients to whom I recommended it mentioned that, after trying the coloring books for only one week, she was able to accomplish during that week the work that normally would have taken her about a month (creating new brochures, flyers and business forms for her company).
Among other advantages, coloring books can also help you de-stress, relieve anxiety and even achieve a meditative state. It calms the mind, allowing you to feel more centered and grounded. I have personally noticed its mood balancing effects, as well as an increased sense of joy and contentment. From an integrative care perspective, this activity has the potential to help improve your health in general, as the shapes and colors you choose are likely to be exactly the ones you need for the healing and balancing of your body, mind and spirit.
I didn't think I had time for this; now I make time for this because of its countless benefits. I have also recommended it to friends, family and several of my hypnotherapy/life coaching clients, and with great success.
Coloring therapy is often used with children and young adults by many therapists and health centers, and it's gradually becoming more common as part of the treatment of certain healthcare issues in adults, such as addiction recovery symptoms.
In short, coloring books are no joke!
Gisele Marasca-Vargas; 02/2016
Coloring For Stress
Why Adult Coloring Books Are Good For You
"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."
--- Aldous Huxley
I'm all for making lists and writing affirmations about the kind of relationship we desire and the kind of person we want to have it with. However, the truth is that the best way to improve our relationships is to start by improving ourselves. It's the good old Law of Attraction at play: That which is like unto itself is drawn; or, simply put, like attracts like. As we get into alignment with our true selves, we attract others who are in a similar process; current relationships improve, or end to create space for more satisfying and fulfilling connections.
So, if you were to ask me to help you understand why you seem to be stuck in negative relationship patterns, and what you can do about it:
This powerful process of reconnecting with your best self can also help improve your relationships with friends, family members, co-workers. Whether you go through it by yourself or with a partner, the benefits are priceless.
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
Weight loss/management is big business in the U.S. There are literally thousands of products and services out there that promise to help you take your pounds off and keep them off. Many are classified as unhealthy and even potentially harmful; others are recommended by doctors and specialists. The problem with most existing methods is that they do not address the issues behind the overeating and other bad eating habits that caused the extra weight. They usually work only on the conscious mind level, often ignoring subconscious causes. Therefore, even when people are able to lose weight, they often fall back into old habits and gain it all over again. So it’s well worth keeping in mind that “it’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you” (Dr. Janet Greeson).
The advantage of Hypnotherapy is that it can tap into the subconscious and reprogram unwanted behavior via suggestions. In addition to performing hypnosis sessions to help make your process of losing and managing weight a lot easier, a hypnotherapist can also help the client determine the causes behind the issue and create a customized program to facilitate breaking old patterns and unhealthy habits. Hypnotherapy also works very well as a complement to other weight loss and management programs.
In short, hypnotherapy is a safe, natural and non-invasive way to guide you through a healthy lifestyle shift that will help you master your body while still being able to enjoy what you eat. No diets that leave you hungry, no pills that might make you sick, no constant feeling of deprivation... For these reasons, more and more people are seeking hypnotherapy as a safe therapeutic option.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
Out-of-control stress is the number one underlying factor to the onset of disease in the body. Aside from the emotional toll stress takes, it also affects our health, says Diane Robinson, PhD, of UF Health Center. Stress is not always bad; some of it is necessary to help us achieve our goals. But long term stress can, among other things, affect our immune system, compromise the digestive system, lead to depression and result in the general deterioration of health.
At this day and age, most of us are aware of the potentially damaging effects of chronic stress. We also know there are many things we can do to prevent, reduce and cope with stress, such as proper diet, exercise, rest and play time; practicing meditation and relaxation techniques such as yoga and breath work; etc. So why is it that most people don't practice stress management on a consistent basis, or at all?
One of the reasons is that, in our fast paced society, many of us learn to carry stress as a badge of honor, showing to the world (and ourselves) how productive and needed we are. On a physical level, we can also become addicted to the cortisol and adrenaline that get released into our system when we are in "fight or flight" mode. However, not only does the continuous release of these hormones wreak havoc in our bodies, it gets us hooked and looking for more. "Like a drug addict, you need a bigger fix all the time," says Debbie Mandel, a stress management specialist and author of Addicted to Stress.
In addition, the way we perceive and handle time can have a lot to do with how much stress we feel in our lives. According to Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap, we need to make the switch from our Newtonian perception of time (which says that there's only a finite amount of time) to Einstein Time (in which time is relative, so we need to take charge of the amount of time we have and realize we are where time comes from). From that perspective, we can then figure out areas in our lives that we are trying to disown and take full ownership of it (in other words, become aware of the fact that our life circumstances stem from ourselves, and we can change them). According to Hendricks, "stress and conflict are caused by resisting acceptance and ownership," and the stress will disappear once we are able to accept and claim ownership of it.
Whichever the causes behind stress, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool for stress management. Through hypnotherapy we can tap into the subconscious and reprogram unwanted behavior via suggestions. In addition to performing hypnosis sessions for stress reduction, a hypnotherapist can also help the client determine the core issues behind the stress, as well as help break unhealthy habits and patterns. For these reasons, more and more people are seeking hypnotherapy as a safe, noninvasive therapeutic option.
Are you curious about Past Energy Release or Past Life Regression?
By Gisele Marasca-Vargas
Many people want to try it just out of curiosity; however, it can also be very effective as a therapeutic tool. PER Therapy, also referred to as Past Life Regression, is a technique that uses hypnosis to recover what many practitioners believe to be memories of past lives or incarnations. During a PER session, the client experiences such memories as mental movies, slides, images, thoughts, feelings and sensations. Although there is no conclusive evidence to prove the reincarnation hypothesis, and many people consider past life memories to be just creations of the mind, there are enough studies and researches to demonstrate that it is a plausible hypothesis. However, true or imaginary, these memories can be used to work through and help release, resolve and remove current issues and root trauma, as well as promote self-development. In other words, you don’t have to believe in reincarnation to benefit from past life regression therapy.
You might want to consider Past Energy Release Therapy if:
1. You have a feeling, phobia, situation, etc, that you just can’t seem to resolve and that doesn’t seem to have any explanation or known source.
2. You are really attracted to (or repelled by) a period in history for no apparent reason.
3. You really love (or dislike) a specific language/culture/country for no apparent reason.
4. You just know how to do something even though you have never learned it.
5. You haven’t found anything in your life that explains certain feelings and impressions.
PAST LIFE REGRESSION FAQS:
• How Will I “See” My Past Life?
It’s different for each person. Some people might “play” it in their minds as if they were watching a movie; others might “hear” in their minds a description of what’s happening; yet others might just have a “knowing” of what is transpiring. Also, some people might perceive scenes of one past life in a linear progression; others might go back and forth, or even jump to scenes from other lives. The best way is to go in with no expectations of how you might experience it; just go with the flow. And if your subconscious does its own thing and doesn’t follow the script, that’s ok, the script is meant only as a guideline.
In case nothing at all happens, it’s also ok. There’s nothing wrong with you; maybe it’s not time for you to go through this experience at this point in your life, or in this group environment. Whatever happens (or doesn’t happen), it is your decision and only yours, even if it comes from a subconscious or unconscious level.
You can choose a theme for your PLR experience or leave it open ended; if you choose a theme, however, keep in mind that your subconscious might have its own agenda.
• What If I'm Making It All Up?
It's ok. Scientific studies show that past life regression therapy works if the client believes the experience is real or not. The bottom line is that whatever you feel you wish to experience is the right thing for you. The important thing to look at is what comes to your mind. Once you are in a relaxed state, your mind will offer you the information you are meant to work with at that time. It can happen that your conscious mind will try to be critical of or interfere with your experience as you go through the session; allow it to do what it must. However, try not to censor yourself in any way; again, just go with the flow.
• What If I See Something Or Someone I Don't Like?
What a great opportunity that will be! That way, you can discuss what bothers you and why it came to you at this time in your life, so that it can be taken care of and resolved; sometimes, the healing can be instant. Occasionally, an abreaction can happen (explain). Since you are the one in control throughout the process, you can choose to experience the regression as an outside observer, or to not feel any emotions or pain. You can also choose to come out of it at any time. However, unless you really feel you can’t handle it, it’s recommended that you allow yourself to go through it, as it’s a great release/healing opportunity (as mentioned above).
• Will I Speak In A Different Language?
In most cases, the experiences are reported in the person’s current language, although there have been cases of people who were able to speak in a language previously unknown to them during a session. In such circumstances, they can be asked to “translate” the experience by speaking in their current language.
• Can I Also See My Future Lives?
You may also look into your future through progression sessions. Rather than premonitions, I tend to believe that such sessions show you more of a symbolic representation of future possibilities. Again, true or imaginary, your visions of the future can be used as an opportunity for higher awareness when making life choices.
• Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss
• Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives, by Tom Shroder (based on the research work by Dr. Ian Stevenson)
• Children’s Past Lives, by Carol Bowman
Having trouble sleeping lately? You're not alone; thousands of people in this country and millions around the world suffer from some type of sleeping disorder. Common causes stem from eating, smoking and drinking habits, as well as other lifestyle choices; drugs and medications; and health issues such as sleep apnea, depression and stress.
Some of the aggravating causes of your inability to calm your mind when you want to sleep may be related to your bedtime habits, such as:
Therefore, to increase your chances of a good night of sleep, observe your night time habits and determine if any of them should be dropped or modified. Here are some suggestions:
Another effective option to deal with sleep trouble is Hypnotherapy, a therapeutic method of healing by using hypnosis. Hypnosis is a trance or altered state of consciousness that's between waking and sleep, and is characterized by increased suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. Whether helping you manage stress, cope with depression or simply direct the subconscious to relax and sleep well, hypnosis is a powerful tool in to consider if you are looking to have a great night of sleep.