The 21st century is a tough time to be a woman, and I'm sure that I'm not the first to address this rather obvious statement. And no, this is not another cliche rant about loving your body and accepting yourself for the way the good Lord created you because you are beautiful. (Though these statements are all no brainers and you should love yourself unconditionally!)
Day after day we are bombarded with advertisements for pills/vitamins that offer false promises for achieving a "great body in 30 days", Jenny Craig testimonials with unrealistic time lapses and photo-shopped results, and the odd infomercial that promises that you too, can achieve the body of a seasoned body builder in 15 days by exercising religiously with some crazy contraption. 

Once I upon a time I too, was caught up on the whirlwind of weight loss secrets and tips causing me to obsess over the last freshman 15 that I just couldn't seem to shed off in time for the summer break. The funny thing was that I was the only one who noticed this imaginary baggage that I carried in my back pocket. I eventually came to terms with the fact that it was virtually impossible (okay maybe it is, but it sure isn't healthy) to maintain my 16 year old me weight in my 20s because with age comes change. Take a walk, choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Rome wasn't built in day! Baby steps, baby steps. With each passing year, gravity becomes one step closer to betting against your odds and sending all the wrong parts of your beloved body heading south... for good. Keeping that thought in mind, I comprised a few tips to ease the stress when it comes to eating and keeping that body youthful.

Do not deprive yourself of the things you love. Treats, fast food, and guilty pleasures are all things must be taken in moderation, this too includes clean eating. Allow yourself the privilege of indulging every so often and do not dedicate a specific day to indulge mainly because whenever I've tried to do so, I find that I end up over consuming the yucky stuff. Instead, curb those craving and feed the monkey on sight and you'll later find that you are less likely to have such cravings on a regular basis. 

Portion control. Whether you are eating a bag of chips or a plate of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables, it's all about controlling the amount that you're eating versus what you're actually putting into your body. This is not to say that you can live on chocolate bars and popcorn for all of eternity so long as you eat a tiny amount per sitting because that is simply absurd. The idea behind this is that the more you consume smaller meal portions throughout the day, you train your metabolism to speed up while shrinking your stomach simultaneously. Over time, your body will develop a trigger that let's you know when you are "full' because your stomach no longer has any room left to hold food. 

Water is your best friend. And so are those lemons that make your face cringe. Boredom, stress, and late nights are my biggest demons. It is a natural reflex for me to grab a bite to eat to fulfill a boredom void or when I've become hungry because I've stayed up way too late and my wakened stomach nudges me, wondering why it hasn't been fed in 4+ hours. I find that water revitalizes my system and gives me the boost of energy I need when I'm day dreaming about stuffing my face just minutes post meal. The citric acid found in lemons has a detoxifying affect and aids in cleansing the body from the inside out. Throwing a few lemons slices into your glass of water throughout the day can aid in curbing your cravings as well as the maintenance of this complex machine we call the human body. 

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