5 Things To Stop Expecting From Others

5 Things To Stop Expecting From Others

5 Things To Stop Expecting From Others

When we place expectations on others, we set ourselves up for disappointment. The expectations we set for our relationships and interactions create unnecessary suffering.

In life, we are all at different places on our journeys to discovery, so remember that a person’s words and actions will reflect that. Learning to temper what you expect from others will help you reduce dissatisfaction and create happier relationships.

If you want healthier interactions and to refocus on things that really matter to you, start by:

1. Stop expecting people to agree with you

The world would be quite boring if no one ever disagreed. Every individual has a unique perspective and belief, so stop expecting them to agree with you all the time. Instead, hear them out. Dare to be yourself and follow your intuition. Don’t compare yourself; stay true to your own purpose. You deserve to be happy and excited about the life you live. Don’t let others’ opinions make you change that, nor expect others to live up to yours.

2. Stop expecting people to mind read

People can’t read your mind. Learn to express yourself more honestly. Just because you might be more sensitive to body language and understand how others feel doesn’t mean the person you are interacting with is on the same wavelength. They will never know how you feel unless you communicate it to them. So be an effective communicator. It will build stronger relationships, too.

3. Stop expecting them to treat you the way you treat yourself

Reflect on the way you are with yourself. How do you treat yourself? If people are treating you poorly, just understand that sometimes it’s not you. Rather, the people who treat you poorly may lack a true relationship with themselves. What if people are treating you unfairly because you treat them better than yourself? Decide this minute to never beg for the attention, respect, or love that you should be showing yourself. Learn to spend time with yourself, become aware of your thoughts, and show self-love.

 

4. Stop expecting others to fit your idea of who they are

When you stop expecting people to be a certain way, you can begin to appreciate them for who they are. Society lives and breathes expectations. It takes a lot of self-awareness to respect people for who they are – but practice makes perfect, right? You will realize every human is remarkable and carries a beautiful story that makes them amazing; it just takes patience and a pair of ears to listen.

 5. Stop expecting massive change

 If there’s a behavior that bothers you about someone you care for and you’re hoping it’ll change over time, it probably won’t. Realize that each individual is shaped by his/her experiences from birth. We all have a different perspective on the world, depending on the environment, culture, and context we grew up in and live in.

 By expecting someone to change, you implicitly want to form somebody else into someone who is closer to yourself, because this way this person is more understandable to you based on your own standards and terms of living. Either accept who they are or choose to live without them. Best advice personally: get to know the other person’s reasoning and thinking, support them, and build a relationship based on this understanding. If it’s a flaw they’re aware of, support them. Gradual change will allow them to grow, and what really changes is the way you see them.

 Closing thoughts

People infrequently behave the way you want them to. Instead of wasting your energy with expectations for others, save your energy, and expect less. You will soon realize the unnecessary frustrations you had in your daily life. Life is a journey, and each person is on a different path with different thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It’s not for anyone to judge another, but to accept them, encourage, and love them as much as possible. Can you detach from expectations?

How To; The Truth About Fat Loss

How To; The Truth About Fat Loss

How To; The Truth About Fat Loss

vHow can I lose fat? This is a question I find everywhere on the Internet, and one that makes billions of dollars for the “health and fitness industry”. Nutrisystem, P90x, ketogenic diet, Paleo diet, etc. … It seems like all these systems provide only temporary results, and the moment you decide to stop doing the routine, your body rebounds.

Lean is a lifestyle, not a workout

Before we get into the science of losing fat, mindset is a priority. The truth is, it’ll take hard work and self-discipline to achieve your fitness goals, whatever they are. Most people seek the easy way out. Consistent and hard effort over time is the only guaranteed method for success.

How to Lose Fat: The one requirement

To make this simple, think about the caloric deficit. This is a scientifically proven “secret” that helps you lose weight, shed fat, and look leaner. What exactly is a caloric deficit? A caloric deficit occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. The most basic scientific facts regarding fat are that 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. In order to lose 1 pound a week, you need to create a calorie deficit of about 500 calories a day. The only flaw here is that this doesn’t account for changes in body composition and the consequent reduction in calories burned. Your body responds to a caloric deficit by making you burn fewer calories; this is often called “starvation mode” or Adaptive Thermogenesis (1).  

Your body has an internal mechanism that is called the body weight set point. This means that all of your bodily systems are attuned with each other to function within a specific weight range and specific level of energy consumption (2). You are a living being, and biological organisms like to be “stable” and not be responding to constant dramatic change. This is your body’s way of achieving homeostasis.

The fat-loss side effect

A little later, we will explore other factors in fat loss – but first, let’s talk more about the caloric deficit. Does it really make you lose fat? Yes, but weight loss is not just fat loss. Losing weight refers to any combination of lost fat, body water, and muscle (3). You do NOT want to lose muscle.  

The great news is that there are ways to minimize the loss of muscle mass:

  • Lift weights: Resistance training can be astonishingly helpful in avoiding a loss of muscle mass when you are losing weight (4).
  • Eat protein: With a higher protein intake, your body is much less likely to break down your muscles to use them for energy (5).  

The Best Approach: A slow and steady approach to body fat loss.

The approach for the body: Fat loss is a situation in which you improve your physiological health, hormonally, and metabolic; in so doing, your physique improves. 

The approach for the mind: Fat loss is a mindset change that requires you to change your relationship with food, firm new beliefs about how you treat yourself, and create healthy eating habits.  

It takes time.

Why so long? 

Remember that internal setpoint we talked about? Your body’s biological system likes to be stable, so creating drastic changes will force your body to adapt. This is why so many people struggle with weight loss and gain their weight right back after a quick “diet”. That’s why the slow and steady approach helps keep the weight off after you lose weight. This approach gives your body time to catch up and adapt to its new (lower) caloric demands (6).

How to Approach Fat loss

Other than taking it slow, diet is key. 

Your diet should be mostly whole foods. You need to eat foods that were grown or raised, not manufactured, and made (unprocessed). The reason for this is that we are not eating for calories, but rather eating to optimize hormones and nutritional benefits.

You need to eat clean like it’s your job to be healthy 

Create a better relationship with food by eating more slowly. Eating clean (whole foods) creates a healthy mind-gut connection. This will improve hormonal health, which is crucial; it controls metabolism. If you’re overweight, you likely have high estrogen, skewed leptin levels, lower testosterone levels, and are insulin-resistant (7). To put things simply, your hormones are contributing to you being overweight, and you need to counter this through dietary changes. Your insulin, leptin, testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol all influence how your body stores nutrients, burns/stores fat, and functions on a daily basis.

You have to outsmart your body 

Your body hates change and just wants to maintain homeostasis. That’s why, to lose weight, you need to do long periods of slight undereating, periods of maintenance eating, and periods of slight caloric surplus. I personally am not a fan of calorie counting, so instead, I keep a scale handy to track my gradual progress.

Exercise 

This is self-explanatory. Get up and move around! Be active, go on walks, do some cardio, and lift some weights.

There is no set prescription for fat loss. Every person is unique. Losing body fat is a process that requires self-discovery, self-discipline, and experimentation to drop the weight.

How about genetics?

I don’t want to sugarcoat this so, here it is: you are fat because you eat too much. The issue with weight gain is that you eat more food than your body needs. There are genes connected to being overweight, but blaming your DNA for your weight-loss challenges wouldn’t be right.  

DIET IS KING

A high-protein, moderate- to high-fat, low-carb, zero to very low sugar diet is probably going to be the best strategy for you. And don’t forget whole foods, which supply you with plenty of micronutrients.

A good diet lifestyle should begin with foods like:

  • Meat/fish/poultry/eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Fat-loss formula:

  • Establish a caloric baseline for your body
  • Establish a caloric deficit. 500 calories is a good start.
  • When fat loss stops, take two days to eat more calories, splurge with a cheat meal (this will act like a refeed to satisfy your hormones).
  • Start dieting again, but do not diet for long periods of time.
  • Optional but necessary: strength/resistance training.

Remember, do not try to lose weight as quickly as possible (slow and steady, please). Your body does not like abrupt change.

 Create a healthy relationship with food. Don’t eat and multitask. Eat slowly, get in touch with yourself, learn the difference between being full and stuffed. Pay attention to how food affects your energy levels afterward. Do not eat foods that make you feel sluggish and bloated.

Crucial: Lower your sugar intake. Over-consuming sugar is the most common cause of weight gain. Sugar is toxic, it creates metabolic problems, leads to overeating, Type 2 diabetes, and hormone imbalances. Try cutting out all added sugar in food and see how it can lead to drastic fat loss. 

Fat-loss is a challenge to your patience, so take it slow and steady. Eat clean, like it’s your job to be healthy. Over time, you will see changes – and will form a new, more loving relationship with your body.

The Mind-Gut connection

The Mind-Gut connection

The Mind-Gut connection

Can gut microbes affect our mood and overall health?

If you’ve ever felt queasy as you walked into an uncomfortable scene or reacted to a life decision on “gut feeling”, then you’re aware that your body sometimes reacts faster to situations than your mind does. The reverse is also true – our mental state affects our digestive system, as it does when we get butterflies before a first date. 

If you were to visit two doctors to complain about digestive issues and low mood, you might have two different consultations and get two different prescriptions. The mind-gut connection tells us otherwise.

The gut converses with the brain, just like any other organ. The brain and gut speak constantly through a network of hormonal and immunological messages. This mind-gut connection is a whole ecosystem composed of over 100 trillion bacteria living in our bowel. Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at UCLA and Director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, is one of the leading scientists in the study of microbes. Dr. Mayer explains that the mind-gut connection is bidirectional: the gut talks to the brain, and the brain talks to the gut, every minute of our lives.

Our gut makes up 60 to 80 percent of our immune system and 90 percent of the neurotransmitters in our body that help control mood. Mayer says that this is a crucial reason for ensuring that our gut stays healthy.

Why is gut health so important to a healthy mind-gut connection?

Well, the gut contains 100 million neurons technically known as the enteric nervous system. It contains more neurons than either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. Scientists have nicknamed this system the “second brain”. It allows us to “feel” the inner world of our gut and its contents. I know this seems like a ton of information to absorb but stay with me.

One major way that gut microbes respond to constant information about your emotional state and stress level is by changing their production of metabolites.

How does this affect us?

When mind-gut communication is unbalanced due to poor diet, stress, illness, lifestyle, or excessive use of antibiotics, we experience mental and physical health issues. Some of the physical issues can include food sensitivities and allergies, obesity, digestive disorders, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. It’s amazing to me how powerful and wide-ranging this connection is.

Dr. Mayer and his colleagues published a study in the journal Microbiome that found a link between gut microbes and sensory areas in the brains of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The IBS patients showed altered microbiome metabolites that correlated to alterations in brain structure in their thalamus, basal ganglia, and sensory-motor cortex.

What does this all mean to us?

The mind-gut connection teaches us that we need to take care of our digestive system. We are all engaged in the pursuit of happiness, but our gut might be a roadblock to that supreme goal. Be mindful of how and what you’re consuming. Not all calories are the same. Some of Dr. Mayer’s recommendation include:

  • Learn to get in touch with your gut feelings
  • Be mindful of how you eat. Eat more slowly.
  • Adopt a largely plant-based, whole-food diet.
  • Implement mindfulness-based anxiety reduction strategies.

Meditation is a great tool for decreasing anxiety and gaining the self-awareness you need to make healthier food choices. This is a great lesson to how we can enjoy a happier mindset by reducing symptoms of anxiety. Our gut bacteria are listening.

So will you treat your gut right?

The Mindful Moment: Pro Tips For Life

The Mindful Moment: Pro Tips For Life

The Mindful Moment: Pro Tips For Life

How many times have you woken up, thrown on some clothes, and rushed through the door? 

How soon after that have you become impatient and overreacted or been frustrated by something minuscule? I’m sure you’re nodding to yourself right now. You had no intention of starting your day this way, but it just keeps happening.

When life gets like this, you can change things up by incorporating a few mindful concepts into your life! Here’s how:

Wake up with ambition

Have intention in what you do, feel, and say. Our brain has two states: the unconscious, which has fast-moving signals, and the conscious, where the signals move slower. When we do not think things through and rush based on emotion, our brain leans toward the fast-paced signals, which we do not completely reflect on. When we rush, our brain knows it has to respond, so when you are not fully focused you let your unconscious react instead of the conscious, which often leads to negative or unwanted feelings. Have words you didn’t intend to speak ever slipped out of your mouth? Or have you ever misread someone’s intent, only to realize later you’ve completely missed the ball? That’s the phenomenon we’re talking about.  

Having goals and moving with intent keeps your conscious brain focused and functioning, and prevents your unconscious brain from deciding your actions. Conscious thinking allows you to find self-identity and purpose, things that are beyond basic physiological needs like food and safety.

  • Mindful moment: This is how you can start:
    • When waking up, just take a seat. Relax with good posture.
    • Take a few deep breaths with your abdomen. In with the nose, out with the mouth.
    • Now ask yourself; what are my intentions today? What are your goals for today? What purpose will I serve today?
    • Check throughout the day to see whether you are striving for or achieving these goals.

Enjoy each bite

Why, as humans, are we especially rushed during meals? Society makes it seem as if eating is almost unproductive. Eating is one of the most pleasurable human activities. So why do we constantly catch ourselves gobbling up a plate of food before we even knew it existed? We need to eat more mindfully.

  • Mindful moment: This is how to do it:
    • Ask yourself: am I actually hungry, or are just eating for the sake of eating? Listen to your body. Many times, I catch myself eating when I’m bored, just for the sake of doing something.
    • Before you take your first bite, take a deep breath and drink a glass of water. This allows you to relax and slow your mind down. It allows you to refocus and consciously eat your meal.
    • Let the first bite guide your next bite. Chew your food and enjoy the flavors and the nutrition it provides.

Take a break

Life is so busy that most of it are done on autopilot. This is because we consistently go through the same routines. Our mind establishes a set of actions and reactions. It’s easy for our bodies to keep repeating the same steps over and over. Taking a break allows for that mundane process to be broken. This is how you incorporate change into your life. When you are trying to fix something, you don’t repeat the same steps over and over – you try new ideas. Being mindful is the opposite of being on autopilot. The more time you spend being mindful, the more likely it is that you’ll create positive change in your life.

Taking breaks allows you to rethink what you are about to do and remember what you’ve accomplished. This is one way to go from the fast brain to the slow brain and continue your day with intention. Shifting the balance from what you subconsciously do to what you intend to do gives you the power of self-control; that’s why it is important to take a break and reground yourself. Creating change starts from taking a break from the usual.

  • Mindful moment: Here’s how to start:
    • Do you want to wake up early? Put the alarm clock or cellphone somewhere that requires you to physically get up and turn it off.
    • Establish new cycles. Start with something simple. For example; instead of saying “hello”, ask “how are you?”, or before you answer your phone, take a nice deep breath.
    • Set a new goal after one is accomplished. Take a break to determine what has already been achieved, then put an objective in its place. This way, you’re always moving forward.

Don’t drive yourself crazy

There is a reason why patience is a virtue. Not everyone has it, and those who claim they do can always use a little extra. (Everyone enjoys rush hour, or that random traffic jam, right?) While most people get built up with rage and frustration that serves no purpose, you can use this time more wisely. Remember about taking a break and coming off autopilot? Or the concept of the fast brain and slow brain? Use this time mindfully. There’s nothing you can do about traffic, but you can just as easily meditate as scowl the yelling gentleman next to you. Take this time to either relax with some deep breaths or plan what you will be doing in the office today.

  • Mindful moment: Here’s how to start:
    • Take a deep breath and look around you. Everyone in the traffic jam is in the same situation. It is not in your control.
    • Think about what you need at this present time. Take a drink if you’re thirsty, or sip your coffee if you’re tired. Stretch your neck, arms, or whatever you feel is tense.
    • Mentally plan your day, and leave some room for unexpected events.  
    • Finally, take one last deep breath and go with the flow. You can turn on the radio, listen to a new song, or get an update from the news.

Exercise

We cannot stress the importance of physical health. You need a healthy mind and body to feel whole and happy. Running is great for your body. Sign up for the gym, buy some weights, or watching videos about bodyweight workouts are all great ways to start. We may not be able to control all our physical characteristics, but exercise is a great way to improve some of them. You don’t have to just focus on burning calories. You can focus on conditioning your body, mastering finesse, or just simply enjoying the moment. Not only are you improving your health; you’re also learning more about your physicality. Working out also provides some time for yourself, away from the stresses of society.

  • Mindful moment: Here’s how to start:
    • Know why you are doing it. Is it to get stronger? To look better? Or do you simply enjoy the health benefits exercise brings? It doesn’t matter what your intention is, as long as you know why you are doing it.
    • Make sure to stretch and warm-up. Warm-up your muscles every time by stretching or some light exercises. Don’t forget to stretch after your workout as well. This works wonders to prevent injury. The last thing you want is to have lower back pain your first week into exercising.
    • Challenge yourself. Don’t get stuck doing the same workout every week. Change things up a bit. There’s nothing worse than being the person who always skips leg day.
Why You Should Slow Your Eating

Why You Should Slow Your Eating

Why You Should Slow Your Eating

How does the speed of eating affect health?

One dilemma we face in our daily lives is not having enough time. We seem to have the same problem when we eat. When we finally have time to eat, we often devour our food as fast as we can.

Busy people are experts in doing things quickly ­- but when it comes to eating, being swift is not a good trait to have.

Quick eating can result in overeating. While you eat, your brain doesn’t focus on the eating process, but rather on the objective of filling your stomach. Once your stomach becomes full, it does not automatically trigger satiety in the brain. The sensation of being full happens when neurological signals from your stomach reach your brain. You need to give your stomach and brain some time to communicate.

 It actually takes about 20 minutes for you to feel full.

 If you rush meals, your digestion suffers. You might feel like each meal is over too soon, which makes you eat more or gobble up dessert. Or you finish the meal before your satiety signals kick in, making you feel stuffed.

Eating slowly is not only about health ­­­- it’s about a lifestyle. 

Here are some reasons why you should consider eating more slowly:

 Weight loss

           Researchers at Japan’s Kyushu University, drawing on data on 60,000 Japanese health insurance claimants, discovered that slow eaters were 42% less likely to be overweight. Normal-speed eaters had a 29% lower risk of being overweight. Imagine all the extra calories you may have ingested simply because you didn’t allow your brain to register that your tummy is full.

 At the University of Rhode Island, researchers compared the difference between quick and slow eating, and this is what they discovered:

  • When eating quickly, women consume 646 calories in 9 minutes.
  • When eating slowly, women consume 579 calories in 29 minutes.

That is 67 fewer calories in 20 minutes’ time. It doesn’t seem like a lot — but if you eat 3 meals a day, it adds up quickly.

 Better digestion

Digestion is a chain reaction that starts when we see or smell food. We start salivating to prepare for food being in our mouth. Saliva contains enzymes that help break food down and make it easier to swallow. As your mouth is prepared for food, your stomach starts to secrete acid. If you rush this process and just devour food, you’ll upset your GI tract. We all love surprises – but our digestive system doesn’t.

 At the University of Rhode Island, researchers examined different eating speeds and the effects of early digestion:

  • Slow eaters consumed 2 ounces of food per minute.
  • Medium-speed eaters consumed 2.5 ounces of food per minute.
  • Fast eaters consumed 3.1 ounces per minute. They also took larger bites and chewed less before swallowing.

Food that isn’t broken down properly will make it harder on your stomach, and may lead to indigestion – and who knows what other potential GI problems? Fast eaters are sending big lumps of food to the stomach, making it work harder to create the liquid mix chyme.

 Better hydration

Hydration is vital for the body to maintain the right balance of fluids, transport nutrients to the muscles, help kidneys eliminate waste, and maintain skin. The benefit of slow eating is that you are more likely to increase your water consumption during meals.

The same University of Rhode Island study showed that women who ate slowly drank 409 ml (about 14 oz) of water during their meal. When food was eaten quickly, only 289 ml (9.7 oz) of water was consumed. Researchers determined that eating slowly seems to decrease hunger and leads to higher levels of satiety between meals.

The message is clear: slow down your eating and enjoy improved health and well-being.

Slow eating will help you create a better relationship with food, but will also make eating food more enjoyable. It’s hard to enjoy your food if it disappears too quickly. Eating slowly can be a great way to practice mindfulness. Be in the moment, rather than rush through a meal while thinking about the next task at hand.  

 Tips for slow eating

  • Sit down to eat in a calm environment with little distraction. Don’t do it while texting or watching TV. Pay attention to your food!
  • Put down your utensils between bites. Take a moment. Breathe.
  • Choose high-fiber foods. Foods that contain high fiber – like fresh vegetables – require more time to chew.
  • Practice! Eating quickly is a habit that needs to be broken.
  • Take smaller bites and chew your food. Notice the texture of what you are eating and appreciate what it adds to your meal. This is something I need to remind myself of daily.
  • Have a conversation. You only have one mouth. If you use it to talk, it will be harder for you to shove food down your gullet.

The takeaway

 Most of us live fast-paced lives, but eating quickly does not favor our health and well-being. Eat slowly, consume less food, drink more water, and feel more satisfied. It’s a win-win!