Category Archives: Health

Vegetables for Health 5 – Broccoli

Broccoli has the botanical name Brassica oleracea, and is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables which includes kale and cabbage. The name means ‘branch’ due to the plant having cross-shaped stems.

There are a number of Broccoli varieties:

  • Raab has florets on long stems.
  • Rapini has fewer florets and tastes like mustard
  • Broccoflower is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower
  • Chinese broccoli has a small head.
  • Broccolini (baby broccoli) is a broccoli and Chinese kale hybrid

The taste of the vegetable varies from person to person. It depends on the tongue’s sensitivity to bitter flavours. The level of bitterness perceived might be a genetic thing. This could explain why people who are very sensitive to bitter tastes may not like eating this vegetable.

Broccoli is actually best eaten in raw form because any heat or processing destroys some if not most of the goodness in this vegetable. Chief among the susceptible nutrients are delicate antioxidants.

Broccoli has double the vitamin C content of an orange, which is quite surprising. It has virtually as much calcium as milk from grass-fed cows, and is a good source of the mineral selenium.

Like all green leafy vegetables, this one provides ample dietary fibre, so it is excellent for the digestive system.

This vegetable is also a potent bad-cholesterol reducing vegetable, especially when steamed rather than when eaten raw. That might sound rather odd, but it is much to do with its texture when it is gently heated and the way that bile acids bind in the gut.

The flavonoid kaempferol is present in this cruciferous vegetable. This compound seems to reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions by making the body less sensitive to allergens. Perhaps this explains why this vegetable has good anti-inflammatory properties.

Never over-cook broccoli. Once it becomes soft it will have lost most of its nutritional benefits. So eat at it either raw or after gentle steaming. Besides, over-cooking it destroys the anti-cancer compound myrosinase, as well as vitamin C.

Broccoli is a good source of vitamins A, B, C and E, and the minerals manganese, copper, chromium, phosphorus and potassium. It is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

This vegetable is known for its ability to maintain normal blood pressure and to keep blood vessels in good shape. A compound called glucoraphanin is the active ingredient.

An interesting thing about this crucifer is that a compound called sulforaphane present in it prevents damage to cartilage tissue. So eating this vegetable may help to slow down or even prevent arthritis. Sulforaphane is thought to help normalise blood pressure, too, and assist renal function.

To get the most out of eating broccoli it will be best to eat the sprouts rather than the mature plant. Like all sprouts, these will contain more nutrients.

Anyway, a study has shown that eating either the adult plant or the sprouts will help to detoxify the body because of the presence of the phytochemical sulforaphane.

Vegetables for Health 6 – Brussels Sprouts

The Brussels sprout is a cabbage grown for its small edible buds which actually look like little cabbages. It is a winter crop, growing well in cool weather, and even in light frost.

The vegetable is named after Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, where it was first recorded a long time ago during the 13th century.

The main mineral in these sprouts is potassium, and the main vitamin is surprisingly vitamin C. However, other minerals are present in the plant. These are manganese, copper, and phosphorus.

The leaves of this highly nutritious vegetable provide plenty of health-giving dietary fibre, so the sprouts are good for the digestive system.

Unfortunately, Brussels sprouts are disliked by many people owing to a repulsive odour – which only arises when the sprouts are over-cooked. To preserve all the goodness and the true flavour of Brussels sprouts, it is therefore crucial NOT to over-cook them.

A sulphur-containing compound called glucosinolate is responsible for the bad odour of these sprouts when they are over-cooked. But the compound is also behind the health-giving benefits of Brussels sprouts.

This vegetable is ideal for dieting because it is very low in calories. It is one of the lowest glycemic-rated vegetables and it should be included in every weight reduction programme. A portion of the sprouts, for example, contain only around fifty calories.

A portion of also contains over twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin K1. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that has an important role in blood clotting, as well as being essential for strong bones and for the prevention of heart disease,

Brussels sprouts are sources of the compounds kaempferol, isorhamnetin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid. The vegetable is also a source of the rare sulphurous compound named ‘D3T’, which is an abbreviation for 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione. This compound has anti-cancer properties.

This vegetable is an excellent detoxifying food. It helps to ensure that any body toxins are broken down and excreted.

Cancer is obviously a feared illness, but eating Brussels sprouts is actually a simple way of lowering the risk of getting this disease. The body uses the glucosinolates from Brussels sprouts to make compounds called isothiocyanates. It is these chemicals that apparently activate anti-cancer enzyme systems in the body.

In fact, this vegetable contains plenty of flavonoid anti-cancer compounds called antioxidants. These compounds include thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and the aforementioned isothiocyanates. Studies suggest that these can give protection against prostate and colon cancers.

In fact, in a study on men who ate Brussels sprouts each day for five weeks, it was discovered that they then had almost a third less DNA damage. That is how powerful these vegetables are for keeping us healthy.

Lastly, Brussels sprouts are very good for heart health because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

Vegetables for Health 2 – Asparagus

Asparagus has the botanical name Asparagus officinalis. It is a spring vegetable consisting of young shoots. As the plant grows, it turns woody and becomes inedible. The young shoots however make a delicious side salad when lightly sautéed and served tender, but crisp.

Cultivation of this vegetable is thought to have begun in Egypt some two thousand years ago. The name is thought to be Persian in origin and means ‘shoot’, which in Persian is ‘asparag’. In England, this plant used to be called ‘sparrow grass’, which sounds rather like ‘asparagus’. Asparagus arrived in North America with the Pilgrim Fathers. It is now grown on a large scale in the sunny state of California.

This highly nutritious vegetable can be boiled, grilled over medium heat, roasted, or even microwaved. Add garlic, lemon, pepper or salt to give it more flavour. It can be used as an appetizer or a side dish, and is delicious with meat, salad, or simply with eggs. The choice is yours.

Asparagus is nutritious because of the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants it contains. It is very low in calories (a mere four calories per spear), so it is a good for people concerned about their weight. It is also a rich source of the B complex of vitamins, and particularly vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate.

Vitamin K is good for the blood, bones and the heart. It helps to prevent hardening of the arteries by keeping calcium out of artery linings. Vitamin C boosts immunity, while vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that mops up damaging free radicals circulating the body. Vitamin A is retinol, which is essential for night vision.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) helps the body utilise energy from food, especially the energy contained in carbohydrates. The B complex of vitamins help to metabolize sugars, so they are important in controlling blood sugar levels.

Folate in asparagus helps pregnancy by decreasing the risk of neural-tube defects in fetuses. It works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to build proteins. It also helps with the formation of red blood cells.

Copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc make up the rich mineral package that this vegetable offers.

Asparagus is also a natural diuretic, so it helps with urine production and assists with the removal of excess salts and fluid from the body.

The tender but crisp spears are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps the digestive system.

When buying asparagus, choose spears with ‘tight’ heads. They might come bound with elastic or string to keep the spears together. The best spears snap when bent. Trim the bottom ends first, then wash the spears thoroughly before cooking to tender and crisp.

Mental Stamina & Good Food Are Key to Fitness

I spent some time watching a group of pro tennis players turning those bright yellow balls into fiercely propelled orbs this week. What fuels these players and keeps them on point with the physical and mental stamina needed to stay in the game? My current client group doesn’t include professional or high-performance athletes; the group does include folks striving for better fitness and a few weekend warriors. The basics on fitness and health are pretty similar-mental stamina and good nutrition are important if you’re looking to achieve winning results at any level.

Mental toughness or stamina can be developed by mental conditioning. Exercise your brain and challenge it with exercises that will increase your ability to concentrate. Puzzles, some video games, chess and Sudoku are options that require concentration, memory and planning ahead. Additionally it is important to think positively with confidence. For example,-“I can win this” works to your advantage; “I can’t win or I don’t think I can win” is counterproductive to boosting mental strength.

Practice visualization of past achievements and what you are trying to accomplish. This can be helpful in managing stress. Close your eyes and see a mental picture of your sports accomplishments. If you are feeling overwhelmed, visualize yourself calm and confident, winning at the sport of your choice. This technique can help you relax, and generate positive thoughts that will help put you in a winning state of mind.

Get enough sleep – sleep deprivation will minimize the ability to concentrate and can also increase your perception of pain. Research studies indicate that when people get the recommended amounts of sleep they can improve their reaction time and ability to make split second decisions. Intense physical workouts and stress will increase the need for sleep which allows the body to rest and recover from physical exertion. The amount you can vary with individuals, but the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

As for the best fitness diet, my mantra is “There is no one food that is totally good or totally bad for you.” However it is important for sports enthusiasts to consume foods that will deliver on the maximum amount of nutrients. The body obtains fuel for energy from protein, carbohydrates and fat. Energy is required by the body for all activities.

Protein is necessary throughout life, building cells, tissues, and muscles in the body. It also repairs and helps your body heal muscles, cuts and wounds. Protein is made up of amino acids which are needed for muscle growth, maintaining protein stores depleted during exercise, and aiding in the repair of damaged muscles. Protein foods can come from animal or plant sources such as beef, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, legumes, lentils, and nuts.

Carbohydrates are a source of calories or fuel for the body. There are three types of carbohydrates— sugar, starch and fiber. Carbohydrates are derived from fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta, rice, beans, legumes and cereals. They provide the energy fueling the body for cell production and repair, daily and sport activities. Fat is also critical in providing calories and energy for the body. However fat is a higher calorie source of energy than carbohydrates. The current USDA Dietary guidelines recommend a diet that is lower in sugar and fat-based carbs. Ideally you should get more calories from protein and high

It is also important to drink plenty of fluids, staying hydrated even when you’re not exercising. Drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day and don’t wait until you feel thirsty. When you recognize that you are thirsty, that is a red flag that you are dehydrated. As the temperature and intensity of exercise increase you will need to drink more water or sports beverages.

Fitness is based on your level of activity. Whether you’re focused on a plan to improve your fitness, a weekend warrior or the serious athlete, these basics can help you achieve your goals.

Lose Weight Fast With Healthy Foods

Mid 2016 is here with us and probably by now you have not achieved one of your New Year resolutions – losing weight. Don’t worry, you still have plenty of time. Thanks to lose weight fast tips, you can finally shed off the extra kilos.

No longer do you have to worry about that muffin top or your best clothes not fitting you anymore. What you need to know is that putting on weight is not suitable for your health. Medical experts have been able to identify severe consequences of obesity. They include diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Here are tips to help you lose weight fast with healthy foods.

Vegetables

Vegetables are rich in nutrients and minerals. They include Vitamins, minerals and fiber. When you incorporate a few leafy green vegetables in your meals, your body will benefit from the fiber and nutrients. Fiber is known to heighten the metabolism rate which helps the body to burn more energy. When you are overweight, fat is stored around the thighs, hips and belly/waist area. When your metabolism rate is accelerated, more energy is needed. Fat is an energy source and when burned, it powers body functions.This helps you to lose weight fast. Examples of vegetables to eat include spinach, kales and asparagus.

Protein rich food

When man was evolving, he depended on meat as a source of food. Today, a meal that consists only of protein rich foods especially meat is referred to as paleo diet. Protein takes time to be digested in the body. For the body to complete this process, energy is needed. Fat is burned to provide the body with energy resulting in weight loss. Protein also helps to make you feel full. This prevents the tendency of over eating or snacking on unhealthy meals. To achieve this, consume protein rich foods that produce positive results. They include lean beef, chicken, rabbit and fish.

Honey

Honey is the best substitute for artificial sugar which is known to increase weight. This is because the body converts glucose into fat storing it around the body. Honey has anti bacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties. When used in tea each morning instead of sugar, it helps you lose weight fast. You can substitute it with fruit jams bought from the store that are rich in artificial sugar and other sweeteners’. Furthermore, you can gain several health benefits from the honey itself. For example improved immunity, helps to suppress coughs and improves blood sugar control.

Nuts

They are known to be high in fat but they don’t increase your weight when consumed. Instead, they help you lose it – fast. They are an excellent snack rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats. When consumed, they help to improve your metabolic health. This can be attributed to the protein and fiber.They ensure that the body burns off fat to provide energy in order to digest them quickly. This is achieved when the metabolism rate increases. This helps you become leaner in no time. Caution, they are high in calories and if you binge eat them, you will increase the calories in your body. Example of nuts to consume includes almonds and macadamia nuts.

Fruits

From the days of Adam and Eve, fruits have made up a small percentage as a snack or meal. They are known to be rich in Vitamins, minerals, fiber, water and natural sugar. This is a healthy combination that can help you lose weight fast.

Healthy Eating – Three Smart Snack Choices At Fast Food Restaurants

Have to eat on the go? If you’re looking for a quick and healthy snack option at one of the local drive-through’s, don’t fret even if you have heard you should run from fast foods. There are smart options if you look hard enough. Many people think they can’t eat healthily in a fast food restaurant, but if you choose wisely, you certainly can.

Let’s look at three great snack options to help tide you over until you get home for your next meal…

1. Chili. If the fast food restaurant offers it, chili can be an excellent choice for filling your hunger void. A small chili will provide a healthy dose of protein, complex carbohydrates from the beans, as well as some fat from any meat used in preparing the recipe.

Chili is a hearty snack, and if you get a small size, it should not set you back more than a couple of hundred calories or so.

2. Grilled Chicken Salad. Another option for getting your stomach fed without setting back your diet plan is a grilled chicken salad. As long as you opt for chicken cooked without its skin and also ensure you are choosing to avoid any high-calorie salad dressings, this one is a great option for eating light.

A grilled chicken breast, even at a fast food restaurant should not contain more than about a hundred calories, so if you add the vegetables and fruit from the salad, you will easily come in under 200 calories with this one.

Just be sure to avoid any nuts in the salad, as well as any dried noodles of any variety.

3. Grilled Chicken Wrap. Finally, another excellent snack-sized option is a grilled chicken wrap. Once again, going with the grilled chicken cooked without the skin will ensure this option is going to be lean and filling, helping you avoid weight gain.

Choose a whole wheat wrap and avoid high-calorie condiments such as mayonnaise. Ask for mustard, which is a far healthier and smarter alternative.

A grilled chicken wrap should have around 250 to 300 calories, so once again, something most people can fit into their diet plan.

There you have a closer look at three smart fast-food choices when you are on the go and hunger strikes. If you plan ahead and know what to order, you can certainly eat right and stick to your diet at the same time.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

Are Protein Shakes Bad for You?

Using supplements for muscle gain or weight loss is quite common. Artificial supplements are mostly used for instant muscular gains. Workout sessions without appropriate protein intake do not allow your muscles to grow. Therefore, protein has got great significance when it comes to muscular gains. Fitness trainers often suggest protein shakes as a substitute of natural foods but are protein shakes more beneficial than natural foods? Here’s what you need to know before buying a supplement for your nutrition needs.

It would be quite unfair to say that supplements are too beneficial or too harmful for your health. But just like everything else, consuming artificial powders or any other supplement in excessive quantity can cause severe medical complications. Let’s know for a fact that all supplements and protein shakes are artificial foods with artificial colors and a few chemicals. Natural foods cannot be replaced with artificial foods in any aspect.

Before you go on to buy a supplement, be sure about your current health and medical history. Moreover, protein shakes are basically meant to achieve extra ordinary muscular gains for your body. If you are just doing some cardio exercises or beginner level body building, you do not need to consume any sort of protein powder or artificial supplement. Secondly, if you have had a history of ailments and deficiencies, you must not consume any protein shake without consulting your family doctor.

Most importantly, you need to know that which protein shake is right for you. Protein shakes are of various categories according to different body types. Buying any type of protein shake that isn’t suitable for your body can result in severe medical disorders. Therefore, before you go on to buy a supplement; be sure of which type of supplement would be suitable for you.

Here are a few side effects of artificial supplements that may occur due to inappropriate usage.

Weight Gain:

Protein is basically used by your body to strengthen muscles engaged in regular workouts. But your body has a certain capacity to the amount of protein it can store. Trying to store extra protein in your body can result in excessive weight which can be quite harmful in various ways. Secondly, not using up the protein stored in your body can also result in weight gain.

Dehydration:

Your body uses a large amount of water to metabolize protein. Therefore, the more amount of protein you consume, the more likely you are to suffer from dehydration. People using supplements without having any knowledge of how to burn them are at higher risk of developing severe medical problems.

Top 7 Tricks To Eat Less Sugar

Let’s eat less. Which isn’t easy because it’s so addictive. And so readily available. It’s reportedly in 74% of packaged foods in the supermarket. 74%!

So we’ve come up with some ways to curb your refined sugar cravings. I’m not a cold turkey man myself. Australia’s best export is the Tim Tam (sorry Hugh Jackman, even the girls are with me on this). So I’m not giving that up. Or holiday desserts. But as someone with an insatiable sweet tooth, I certainly try to cut down.

Top 7 Ways To Cut Down Sugar

1. Don’t Buy It

Call me Captain Obvious here but if you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. If that chocolate on sale near the supermarket register suckers you in, you’re going to eat it. If you buy that gourmet ice cream when your hosting your friends, you’re going to finish it off. If you have cookies in the pantry from last week, you’ll remember soon enough.

2. Do It Yourself

“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” – Michael Pollan

The internet is overflowing with simple sugar free dessert recipes. The rationale in making junk food yourself is that the effort will deter daily consumption. And the ingredients you use will be much healthier than the treats that can sit on supermarket shelves for years at a time.

3. Raw chocolate

Buy it from the store or make it yourself. By raw, we mean an uncooked and unprocessed. Should be full of cacao and contain no sugar.

Raw chocolate satisfies that familiar craving without doing any damage. The challenge is not eating it by the block.

4. Peppermint tea or toothpaste

Not sure about you, but post dinner is when my sugar cravings are at their peak. My body refuses to acknowledge that the meal is over until I’ve finished the palate with something naughty.

So I have to trick my mouth by introducing peppermint. Once you freshen the whole mouth, sugary cravings subside. You know that the sweet treat just won’t taste as good now. Peppermint tea is effective, subtle and enjoyable. Toothpaste is more hardcore and more effective.

5. Hot Cacao or Turmeric Latte

Another post dinner hot beverage is hot cacao. Clean and chocolatey. Just warm the following ingredients on the stove on medium heat:

  • Almond milk – 1 cup
  • Cacao – 1 tablespoon
  • Maple syrup – 1 tablespoon (or raw honey)
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon

Swap out cacao for 1 teaspoon of turmeric if you’d prefer. You can add ginger powder to that version too.

6. Chocolate smoothie

Sticking with chocolate, why not enjoy a smoothie when you’re craving. This is another technique I love using at any time of the day. But surprisingly, it’s one I turn to at night. Again, after dinner I’m ready to ravage sweets.

7. Go short term extreme

Some people do better going cold turkey. And when I fall off the wagon, I feel the same way. If you have a serious problem with sugar then dive into a restriction diet. Try a 5 day juice cleanse. Go paleo for the week. Or go harder and do a whole month of the Whole30 diet. The longer you go without sugar, the more likely you’ll kick the habit and reset your tastebuds.

3 Amazing Raw Honey Benefits

When we talk about the health benefits of honey, we are specifically talking about raw honey benefits. The perfectly clear honey that most grocery stores carry has been highly processed. Unfortunately, when honey is processed, it becomes nutritionally depleted. In fact, processed honey is no more nutritional than ordinary table sugar!

Processed honey has been heated to very high temperatures, past the point of pasteurization, around 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius). This temperature kills most of the bacteria and fungi that naturally occurs in the honey. This prolongs the shelf life of honey by many months which converts honey into a more profitable product for food manufacturers. Heating honey to high temperatures also makes it a thinner fluid so it can be filtered through a very fine mesh to fully remove the particulates which some consider to be more aesthetically pleasing. Again, this is more profitable (or so they think). Thinner liquids can also be poured more easily into containers.

With the above information in mind, let’s discuss three amazing raw honey benefits:

1. Raw Honey Contains Pollen

Bee pollen is so nutritious it is considered a superfood. It contains almost all the nutrients required by humans to survive. It is 40 percent protein and contains more essential amino acids ounce for ounce than beef or chicken. Furthermore, pollen protein is in the form of free amino acids which can be immediately utilized by the body, unlike having to wait for hours for your digestive system to break down the amino acids in meat and most vegetable proteins.

Bee pollen is so full of vitamins it is like taking a natural multi-vitamin, which is far more healthy than taking a synthetic form of multi-vitamin (most bottles of vitamins sold in drug stores). It should be specially noted that bee pollen is high in vitamin D, which is quite difficult to find in other foods, unless it has been “fortified” with synthetic vitamin D that does not confer the same health advantages natural vitamin D. Bee pollen is also a very effective natural allergy remedy and it is highly anti-inflammatory.

Bee pollen is filtered out of processed honey so you will not get these benefits if you buy filtered honey!

2. Raw Honey Contains Propolis

Propolis, also called bee glue, has been highly prized for its medicinal value going back for thousands of years. To look at propolis, you’d probably never guess it is such an amazing natural healer because it looks like an amorphous mass of “gunk.” It is thought to have at least four hundred chemicals of medicinal importance. Scientists are only beginning to discover all the health values that propolis bestows, and the more they study it, the more they find!

Propolis is known to contain the most powerful natural antibiotics known! In fact, these antibiotics are so powerful, they have been proven to effectively kill MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections that very few synthetic antibiotics are able to kill. In this regard, Propolis holds great promise. Propolis is also being fervently studied for its anti-cancer properties. For example, it has also been shown to prevent the new formation of new blood vessels around cancerous tumors, thereby preventing them from metastasizing (spreading). Bee glue is filtered out of processed honey so you will not get these benefits if you buy processed honey!

3. Raw Honey Contains Far More Micronutrients

Suspended in the matrix that is honey is a wide host of micronutrients treasured by natural health experts. These include trace minerals that are difficult to find anywhere else, a variety of antioxidants, living enzymes, and every form of natural vitamin that is easily absorbed by the body.

Pasteurizing honey denatures the vast majority of the micronutrients raw honey contains, rendering them useless to the human body. In fact, denatured micronutrients can sometimes actually be harmful to the body. Thus, this is another major advantage of eating raw honey over processed honey.

Final Thoughts

There’s one more important thing you should know about raw honey benefits. Scientists have tried for years to artificially synthesize “raw honey” in the lab. However, they haven’t even come close. This is a superfood that only Mother Nature can produce and the only source is raw honey!

Revolutionize Your Eating Habits In One Day

Do you feel completely in touch with your hunger? Do you know exactly when you’re hungry? Or when you stop being hungry? And what to do with that info?

This article is about an exercise for getting in touch with your hunger.

Why Is That Important?

Let’s cut to the chase. Every client who has completed this exercise ends up feeling absolutely clear about when she’s hungry and when she’s not, feeling completely in control of her appetite and her eating – and feeling great about herself.

Please don’t think hunger is obvious to everyone. I’ve heard clients say, “Well, I ate breakfast at 7:00 am and now it’s 1:00 pm, so I must be hungry.” Obviously, that’s a thought process, not hunger.

One client began to cry when I suggested the exercise because she thought she’d have to starve all day long.

Another client got angry because she thought she’d have to eat “diet foods” all day. I’m not even sure which foods she meant, or how she got that idea. The subject of diet foods had never come up in our nutrition appointments.

Okay, What’s This Amazing Exercise?

I read about this exercise years ago in a book that I simply can’t remember. As a PhD, I like to cite my sources and would be happy to give credit if I could. If anyone knows who created the exercise, please let me know.

That said, here it is:

• Pick a day when you have a light schedule. Your goal is to get hungry as often as possible during the day.

• As soon as you feel hungry, eat. But eat small amounts of food – just enough to take away the hunger. This will ensure many hunger experiences over the course of the day. If you follow these instructions, you might sometimes feel hungry within, say, 15 to 20 minutes after the last time you ate. (That’s the convenience of a lightly scheduled day.)

• Move away from your usual eating habits. Instead of eating first thing in the morning, for example, check in with your stomach to see if you’re hungry. If you’re not, wait until you are. Then eat.

• Avoid “preventative eating.” Don’t eat extra food now to prevent hunger later. As soon as you’re hungry later, you get to eat again.

• Don’t ignore your hunger signals and try to “tough it out” as long as you can. The idea is to cement the relationship between hunger and eating.

The natural hunger cycle is as primal as it gets: Hunger means eat. When hunger ends, stop eating. When hunger returns, eat. Repeat and repeat.

What This Exercise Is Not

Some mistakenly view this exercise as a weight-loss trick. It’s not meant to be. As explained, it’s designed to put you in touch with your hunger so there’s no question about how hunger feels, how much food is necessary to end the hunger, how it feels when it returns, and so on.

Still, eating in tune with your hunger may, over time, help with weight loss. Of course, you may want to increase the size of your portions to reach a point of “gentle fullness” so you don’t have to experience hunger so often throughout the day.

So What’s the Point?

Without a natural starting point for eating, we have no natural stopping point.

I’m convinced this hunger exercise is the most effective way for clients who lack awareness of their hunger and fullness to discover the wholesome, healthy connection between hunger and eating.

Whenever I’ve used this with a client, the result has always been an increase in the client’s confidence – no more confusion about when to start eating, when to stop, or even how much food to have.