These exercises help reduce cortisol levels, helping to achieve a flat tummy and regulate breathing.
Do these before bed for the next fortnight.
BREATHING SQUAT: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms out in front. Inhale and squat as you exhale. Pause for a few seconds and inhale as you return to standing. Repeat 10 times.
ENERGY PUSH: This aids digestion. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms out in front, palms facing out. Inhale and bring your hands in towards your chest. Exhale and push your arms back out to starting position. Repeat 20 times.
LEG TUCK: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale then raise your legs up to your chest as you exhale. Inhale again as you lower your legs. Breathe deeply through your nose. Repeat 15 times.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your new eating plan, Purcell has one simple, but cardinal, rule: choose foods that are closest to their natural state. That means nixing refined, processed, additive-laden options that have only the barest resemblance to a food that you could find growing on a tree or from the ground, or a food you can catch (like fish, or chicken). "Swap canned vegetables for fresh, avoid ready-made products, like marinated meats, and make as much as you can from scratch – that way, you're in control of everything that goes into your meal," she recommends.Chew Your Food
Your stomach can only handle a fistful of food at a time, explains Purcell. "That's why portion control is really important. But even when you're eating a smaller meal, your body can't make the most of the nutrients if you're gulping it down. The enzymes in your saliva, along with the chewing motion, get food ready to be digested in the stomach. If you skimp on that process, your stomach can't break down un-chewed food and extract nutrients properly. Plus, you'll end up with digestive issues, including bloating. Chew your food consciously, and put your fork down between mouthfuls. You'll also find you eat less, as your brain has had time to catch up with your stomach."Stress Less
Stress wreaks havoc on the digestive system and makes staying healthy even harder. "Give yourself permission to relax – meditate, listen to music, swim, dance, even have a glass of wine," says Purcell. "Higher stress levels lead to poor digestion as the blood supply to your digestive tract slows down during the flight or fight response. Plus, any increase in the stress hormone cortisol will lay down fat around our middle. If you're going through a particularly busy period, there are some foods that can help you calm down. Try miso soup with quinoa, vegetable juices, organic chicken broth and blended soups, such as pumpkin."