Mindful eating - strategies to lose weight

Mindful eating - strategies to lose weight

With so many new episodes on Netflix, it’s hard stray away from the screen when you are eating. This day and age, we all need that sense of connectedness with the rest of the world that technology gives us. Instead of taking off the world and savouring our dinner at the kitchen table, we eat while we do something else. What used to be a ritual that gathered the family around the kitchen table has been replaced by technology.

The problem for weight loss is that our eating habits have changed. Instead of being mindful of what we are eating, savouring every bite, we overeat while watching TV. If you don’t focus on your food, it’s easy to lose track of the quantity we’ve eaten and eat even after being satisfied.

Recent studies found that participants who were mindful about what they were eating lost more weight than others who didn’t and they even to continued to lose weight afterwards, as they had acquired a habit.

That is why mindful eating is so important to keep the weight off. You might start a diet and exercise for a while to lose weight, but most people who follow a regime gain the weight back when they quit the healthy eating plan.

A programme in the US tells people that they eat what they want and still lose weight if they eat mindfully - this entails thinking only about the enjoyment of their food, away from the distractions of computers, smartphones and televisions.

The programme is called Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less, and it consisted in enrolling 80 people, 42 of whom went immediately on to the programme, while the remaining 38 became the control group. The group on the mindfulness programme lost a mean of 1.9 kg over the 15 weeks, while the others lost an average of 300 grams.

“We instruct people to eat the foods that they love, and not give them up, but to eat them in a mindful way,” said Dr Carolyn Dunn from North Carolina State University in the US, one of the authors of the study introduced at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal.

The study came up with Mindful Eating Strategies to help people lose weight:

Fill your plate with plant-based proteins, like beans - they are very filling, which will help you avoid overeating.

Try to make meals last at least 20 minutes. Eating slowly helps you be aware of how hungry you are and stop when you are satisfied. It takes a bit of time for your brain to know that your stomach is full. You can have fun out of this by putting down your fork between bites and have smaller servings than you normally would. You can always get more food later if you are really hungry.

Try to find out why you want to eat. Is it because you are hungry or because you are stressed. We tend to opt for fatty food when we are stressed. If that is the case, try to find an alternative to cope with stress like exercising or taking a few deep breaths, or drinking water. Just tell yourself that food is not the answer.

If you really need that treat, then choose something that you will really enjoy and you eat it, savour each bite and stop when you are not enjoying it anymore. “If one of us was going to eat a food that has very high calories, we would tell them to eat on or two bites, but to eat those one or two bites with awareness, so they are getting the most pleasure out of those one to two bites,” Dunn said.

“Other research has shown that those first two bites are associated with the most enjoyment - eating more will certainly give you more calories not not more enjoyment.” She added: “So a chocolate mousse, for example… we would advise them to eat it with mindfulness and with purpose and to enjoy those first few bites.” It’s not necessary to waste food, she explained. “We instruct them to share it or take it home for another day or buy it in smaller amounts.”

Don’t eat when you are working, reading or watching TV. “Mindfulness is paying attention to your surroundings, being in the present moment,” said Dunn. “Mindful eating is eating with purpose, eating on purpose, eating with awareness, eating without distraction, when eating only eating, not watching television or playing computer games or having any other distractions, not eating at our desks.”

Homemade Facial Masks

Homemade Facial Masks

There is no need to pay tons of money to a fancy spa just to get a facial. With these effective simple homemade facial masks (no we don't mean COVID masks!!!), you can pamper yourself in the comfort of your home. The ingredients are easy to find, you probably have them sitting at home, and the procedure is very simple. The benefits of these masks are amazing.

Banana Facial Masks

Many factors such as sun overexposure, pollution, or diet can leave your skin dry and this affects how healthy your skin is. Dry skin can also lead to a premature old look of the face. A natural treatment for dry skin is banana. That's right. Banana is not only good for you, as it is a source of potassium, but it also moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Banana also protects the skin from free radicals and, thus, delays the aging process.

Banana is good for your skin for many reasons. It contains vitamin A, which gets rid of dark spots and blemishes, apart from evening out rough skin. It also contains vitamin B, which delays aging, lessens dryness, moisturizes and lightens skin. Banana is packed with vitamin E, which protects your skin by battling out free radical impairment, boosting the skin's sun-rays resistance, as well as preventing and diminishing appearances of wrinkles. Lastly, banana is famous for being a source of potassium, which gets rid of dry skin by moisturizing and hydrating skin cells.

This treatment consists of applying a banana paste to your face and neck. You can make this paste by mashing up a medium-sized banana. Let it set for 10 to 20 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.

This is not the only banana mask out there. You can also use a medium banana and combine it with a quarter of a cup of plain yogurt and two table spoons of honey, and apply it to your face. Use the same procedure you used for the previous mask. Honey doesn't only moisturize your skin, but it is also a natural acne remedy.

Vinegar Facial Masks

Vinegar has been used as a skin toner for centuries. Mix 1 table spoon of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water and apply it to your face after washing it as you normally would. Use the vinegar mixture as a finishing rinse to cleanse and tighten your skin. Alternatively, you can mix a quarter of a cup of vinegar with the same quantity of water, then apply it to your face and let it dry.

Milk Facial Masks

Make a think paste by mixing enough milk powder with water. Coat yourself with the mixture, let dry completely and then rinse with warm water. This mask will leave your face feeling refreshed and moisturized.

Oatmeal Facial Masks

A traditional facial mask is made with oatmeal. Combine half a cup of hot mater water with 1/3 cup of oatmeal. Let the water and oatmeal settle for a couple of minutes. Then mix in 2 table spoons of plain yogurt with 2 table spoons of honey and one small egg. Apply the mask to your face and let it settle for 10 or 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the mask off with warm water.

Lemon Facial Masks

Mix the juice from one lemon with 1/4 cup olive oil or sweet almond oil and apply to it to your face. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This mask both exfoliates and moisturizes your skin. Lemon also helps remove stains from your skin but you must be careful with the sun. Make sure you rinse it off properly as sun exposure while having lemon on your face can cause stains.

Egg Facial Masks

Egg facial masks are a great moisturizer. After applying it on your skin, you'll feel you have a new fresh face. If you have normal skin, you can beat an egg, apply it to your face and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then you can rinse it off. If you have dry skin, then separate the egg and use the yolk instead. Meanwhile, if your skin is oily, you'll need the egg white and you need to mix it with lemon and honey for best results. Same produce applies.

Natural Treatments for your Hair

Natural Treatments for your Hair

This day and age people resort to chemicals or brands to look after their hair and they forget that those didn't exists hundreds of years ago when women still had to find natural ways to repair their hair.

Here are some natural ways to improve your hair:

Shine-enhancing hair mask

This mask helps to repair dry and dull during the winter months. While the apple cider vinegar helps to remove product buildup that dulls hair, argan oil nourishes and softens unruly strands, and the rosemary nourishes a dry scalp. If you have greasy hair, you can still use this mask to repair your hair, but you must avoid spreading it on your scalp.

To make this mask, you need to combine the ingredients in a blender. Combine half an avocado, two table spoons of argan oil, 10 drops of rosemary essential oil and 1 table spoons of apple cider vinegar. Spread the mask all over your hair, from roots to tips. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse and cleanse with shampoo. For best results, do this at least once a month.

Raw eggs

Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home, said “The (raw) egg is really the best of all worlds.” Accordingly, the white of the egg contains bacteria-eating enzymes that remove unwanted oils. Meanwhile, the yolk, which is rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturizing. This is an ideal treatment for all hair types.

If you have normal hair, proceed to use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair and use yolks to moisturize dry, brittle hair. Use half a cup of egg mixture and apply to clean and damp hair. If there isn't enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave whichever egg mixture is suitable for your hair on for 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water to avoid cooking egg on your head. Then wash your hair with shampoo. For best results, use the whole egg and yolk treatments once a month. Whites only treatment can be used every two weeks.

Dairy products

Dairy products such as sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse the damage caused by styling products and air pollution, which sometimes leave a film that dulls the hair. According to Lisa Belkin, author of The Cosmetics Cookbook, “lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturizes.”

Apply half a cup of either sour cream or plan yogurt into damp hair and then let it sit for 20 minutes. After leaving on for that long, rinse with warm water to remove the dairy from you hair, then rinse it with cool water. After rinsing your hair, wash your hair with shampoo as you normally would. You can use this treatment every other week.

Lemon and olive oil

Use a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair if you have an itchy scalp caused by poor diets, stress and climate. “The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturizes the (newly exposed) skin on your head,” says Cox.

You can make this mixture with two table spoons of fresh lemon juice, two table spoons of olive water and the same quantity of water. Apply this mixture and then massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and wash your hair with shampoo as you normally would. You can use this mixture every other week.


It turns out beer is actually good for you. The fermented drink contains vast supplies of yeast, which plumps tired tresses, according to Cox. You can use it for limp or fine hair.

You need flat beer for best results, so pour it into a container and let it sit out for a couple of hours to drain it of carbonation. Then mix half a cup of flat beer with 1 teaspoon of light oil, either sunflower or canola, and a raw egg. Apply this mixture to dry hair and let it sit for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse your hair with cool water. Alternatively, you can pour flat beer into a spray bottle and spritz onto dry hair. According to Belkin, “when the liquid evaporates, the remaining protein residue (from the wheat, malt or hops) continues to strengthen and structure hair.” Either one of these treatments can be applied every other week.


“Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture,” says Cox. This is a very good treatment for dry or sun-damaged hair. Honey can help rehydrate your hair after it has been damaged by either sun overexposure, hard water or a flat iron.

Apply half a cup of honey on clean, damp hair; then massage your hair and scalp, and let it sit for 20 minutes. After that time, rinse your hair with warm water.

Fitness commitment

Fitness commitment

Staying fit is not easy as you have to give up delicious meals and make an effort by exercising. Here are some ways to motivate yourself to workout:

Give yourself a reward

Although most people are motivated by goals such as better health or weight control, others need to resort to other measures. According to journalist Charles Duhigg - author of The Power of Habit: Why We do What We do in Life and Business - some people need more immediate rewards to keep themselves motivated. These immediate rewards include treating yourself to a smoothie or an episode of The Leftovers after the working out session.

He advises you to create a neurological “habit loop,” which consists of setting up a cue that triggers your behavior (leaving your spinning shoes next to your bag), creating a routine (making it through spinning class) and getting a reward. “An intrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile,” he explains. “It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.” By creating this habit loop that culminates in a reward, motivation becomes natural, as the brain begins to associate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins - feel-good chemicals released after a work-out session which make you feel exhilarated. Over time, your brain starts to recognize the work-out session as a reward in itself and it won't even need an external treat anymore.

Make a commitment

Studies show that we are more likely to follow through when we make promises in front of friends. You can sign a contract agreeing to pay a friend a certain amount of money each time you skip the gym. “It's a simple notion of changing the cost,” explains Jeremy Goldhaber-Fieber, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University who studies health decision science. “I say I'm going to make a commitment to do something for a certain amount of time, such as exercising 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. If I don't do that, I'm going to pay some kind of penalty, whether it's monetary or the embarrassment of having friends know I didn't live up to may word.”

“We have to get past the initial experience of displeasure in order to recognize the longer-term benefits,” he says. “The challenge is designing tools to help make that happen.”

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking consists in visualizing the benefits of a behavior as a motivational strategy. You also have to figure out what's holding you back and come up with a way to overcome it before it becomes a real problem.

“After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan,” explains Oettingen.

Get paid

Research on how monetary incentives affected exercise found that people who were paid $100 to go to the gym doubled their attendance rate. “You just need to get people to keep doing an activity, and paying them money was effective,” explains study author Gary Charness, PhD, behavioral economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Whether you get a reward or pay someone to keep you on track, you'll know you've succeeded once you can't go on a day without exercising. You succeed the day you view your workout as an addiction, a pleasure or an escape. What matters is that you are doing it on a regular basis and you are doing it for your.

Here are some motivation catchphrases to get you going:

“It takes 21 days to make or break a habit.”

“I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don't.”

“Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.”

“When you feel like dying, do 10 more.”

“Today's actions are tomorrow's results.”

“Be the girl who decided to go for it.”

“3 months from now, you will thank yourself.”

“The hardest thing about exercising is to START. Once you're exercising regularly, the hardest thing to do is STOP.”

“I'm not trying to build a summer body. I'm trying to build a lifestyle.”

“Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving up.”