I’m sure you’ve heard the popular mantra that you have to eat less and exercise more in order to lose  weight. “It’s simple math,” they say.  While that is a true statement, it’s not the whole story!!  By modifying your daily habits at meal time and bedtime, you can significantly improve weight loss. Here are my top tips:

1. Make your meal time special

Do you eat in the car 🚗 on the go 🙋🏻 or at your desk? Chances are you are not even paying attention to what you’re eating. If you are not giving your meals the attention they deserve, you may end up overeating. Savor that time. Turn off your phone, TV 📺 and distractions. Savor every bite and just. Eat. Chew thoroughly and slooooow doooown.

2. Feed a friend

Meal time is even better when you share with friends or family. Pair up and cook together. 🍳 It will make the time go faster and will undoubtedly be more fun. As you enjoy your meal, you can have a lovely conversation 💑 Bonus!!

3. Use a smaller plate 🥘

If you can, make it a really pretty plate! Let your meal time be kind of like taking yourself out on a date! 💞 Having a smaller plate will help reduce your portion size naturally and an attractive setting will make it feel more special 😍

4. Get more sleep!! 😴

Have you ever noticed that when you are tired, you crave more junk or comfort foods? 🙋🏻 This is totally me, every time! Research has shown that lack of sleep reduces production of the hormones that promote satiety. The result, is increased appetite and most likely, poor food choices. It’s not always about the amount of sleep, rather it’s the QUALITY. Oh I could go on and on about sleep. Instead, I’ll recommend this awesome book for your own research: Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson https://goo.gl/LRVThZ

5. Invest in light blocking curtains(or at least a good sleep mask)

Your brain picks up on  💡 digital clock display, cable box, night lights etc. When your brain is busy picking up on this stimulus, it’s not able to fully rest and do the repair work needed to restore your body. Here’s a link to my favorite sleep mask. https://goo.gl/z1jwQA I’m telling ya… it’s magical.

6. Journal daily- track your food and your moods. 📚

I have personally found this to be SO helpful!! I noticed that when I was tired, I made really bad food choices. I also noticed that I was rewarding myself far more frequently than I realized. Emotional eating can be a huge factor in weight gain. One key question to ask yourself when you are really struggling for a cheat: “Am I craving something specific and that’s the only thing I want? Or am I hungry enough to eat whatever I have in the pantry?” If it’s the former, try waiting 10-15 minutes to see if the craving disappears. And then another 15. Most times, it will pass. If it doesn’t, take note of it and keep working on it. If it’s the latter, you are legit hungry. Seeing it on paper makes it much easier to self-correct.

7. Don’t worry, be happy 😌

Reduce your stress levels. Research shows that there is a link between stress and production of a protein called betatrophin. Betatrophin works against fat loss. We don’t want that! I think most of us are more stressed out than we realize. It doesn’t even have to be something bad. It’s that constant busy schedule, external stimulus from phone, email, social media, inadequate sleep and poor diet. It’s all adds up! To combat it, take time every day to breeeaaathe and stretch. Get some fresh air. Spend 10-15 minutes in quiet prayer and meditation. Turn off as many of your notifications as possible and learn to walk away when stress levels get too high. Do whatever helps you chill, and do it frequently.

8. Water, water, water 💦

Water is crucial to healthy functioning of the body. It helps reduce inflammation, improves digestion, brain function, organ function, weight loss, everything. You have GOT to get your water in every day! It is recommended to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. If you weigh 200 lbs, that’s 100 oz. 😱 Work your way up to it. You can do it! You will feel so much better when you do. This is my favorite water bottle for tracking my intake. https://goo.gl/WrRmJ0

9. Meal plan and prep

Now, stay with me! It’s really not as complicated or time consuming as you might think. 🤔 Start with dinner in mind for the next 3-5 days. Plan to make enough to have leftovers. Leftovers become lunches. Then, all you have left is breakfast and snacks. Have a dense nutrition meal replacement, like Shakeology. 🍹 It’s the best way to start your day. I’ve been drinking it every day for over a year and have stayed healthy and energized (and lost weight!). Order it here:https://goo.gl/3J1s12  Chocolate vegan with a little peanut butter is my favorite. 👌🏻 For your snacks, make up some snack bags of sliced apples or celery with peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, or carrots and hummus. Voila! It’s really easy once you get the hang of it. You can find all kinds of examples on Pinterest too.

So there you have it! My top tips! Which ones will you incorporate today?

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