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Every task you do at work comes with its own skill set, and that includes the stuff that doesn’t show up in your job description – such as asking for a raise.
You wouldn’t expect to be great at sales, contract negotiations, or a particular piece of software right out of the box, and neither should you leap right into salary talk without thinking things through and doing your reading. The first thing you’ll discover when you take a deeper look at the raise-request scenario is that the dreaded ‘conversation’ in which you ask for money is just the iceberg-tip of a successful campaign.
Your boss needs to know who you are before they do anything crazy like giving you more money. Even if you reckon you’ve earned that bonus, you might figure as no more than a distant silhouette on your manager’s radar. To flesh out your presence, it’s important to continually make your impact felt – by offering help, vocally expressing your ideas, and even asking for advice or extra training.
Once you’ve established that profile, your boss will be more invested in you. They will want to see you succeed and feel fulfilled in your work. Converting that goodwill into dollar signs requires a more acute skill set. You need to identify the best time to pop the question and figure out what kind of vocabulary will interest your boss.
It could mean using numbers to back up your argument. Statistics are a great way to objectively prove your value to the team. Or maybe it’s more about your personality and ideas. In that case, you’ll benefit from talking about your vision in the future tense, identifying today’s problems and outlining how you’re going to solve these issues over the coming weeks, months, and year.
[RELATED: 10 Steps To a Promotion (Without Working Longer)]
A great place to start planning your raise-request campaign is this step-by-step visual guide from SavingSpot. It’s packed with ideas from how to lay the groundwork right through to keep that momentum going when you’ve secured your raise – or even if you missed out this time.
Making sure you’re properly rewarded for the work you do is a necessity that will stick with you for your entire career. Whether you’re fishing for a new year’s raise or you’re playing the long game, don’t forget: your campaign begins next time you enter the office.
How to Use the Art of Persuasion to Get That Raise at Work
Ever been overwhelmed creating your business plan? Yeah, me too. Today I am going to share my love/hate relationship with business plans and the simple plan that works for me. If you want to write a business plan to grow your business, you are definitely going to love this episode.
How to Write a Business Plan
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Today I want to talk about something I wish I would have known sooner when I was building my business. Many of you might think that since I have my MBA, that’s how I knew how to start and grow a business. I would say you are correct if you are talking about a different type of business. The truth is, going to business school didn’t really help me make a plan to launch the type of business that I wanted to launch. I wanted to launch a serviced based consulting business, not a high-tech business that required a lot of venture funding to start.
Some Topics I discussed:
My experience making a business plan in Business School
5 steps to create your business plan for your dream business
How to Plan Your Purpose
How to Plan Your People Plan
The First 4 Hires You Should Make in Your New Business
How to Plan Your Product Plan
How to Plan Your Promotion Plan
The 5-Step Sales Funnel System
How to Plan Your Profit
Episode Resources:statelocalgov.netLegalzoom.comYou may also like these episodes:8 Lessons I Have Learned in the Last 8 Years of Running a BusinessHow to Start a Website with WordPress
I hope you enjoyed this podcast!! I wanted to let you in our February special at Classy Career Girl!! In a special discount for all our podcast listeners, we are sharing a special 75% discount for the month of February 2018 on our Business Planning Bootcamp – that’s only $7!!!
If you have ever felt stressed and confused without a plan for your business, this 5 module training course will guide you through everything you need to start, grow and scale your business.
We’ve included marketing plans and templates, profit, expense and budgeting worksheets, and bonus audios and success stories. It’s a short self-study online course and by the end of the 5 modules you’ll have your business plan done and it will feel soooo good!
Promo code: FABFEB (must be all caps)
Does sleep affect productivity and your performance? You’re darn right it does.
But with the fast pacing lifestyle and the insane race to catch up and touch upon everything that a day has to offer, it is time to rethink this idea and give it a more practical attire that fits more realistically into an urban lifestyle.
So here comes the reality check…
You have no fixed sleep hours. Some days it is five and some days you may be lucky to get in another brownie hour and make it six. Going to bed is guided by your body’s demand or submission to fatigue rather than the daily healthy regime of relaxation. Very strangely, we still push our bodies to sit up one extra hour either at the bar, at the theatre, on the couch, or simply up in front of our laptops and not in bed where we should be.
So, the bottom line is that we spend more hours wide awake and fewer hours asleep.
Of course, it sounds impractical to do so every day. But the cold hard truth is that we have to tune our bodies to adjust to our revamped lifestyles where less sleep and more work is the order of the day.
With this acceptance of the revised sleep schedule where we catch a wink less and blink the eye more, it is important to assist our bodies in performing to the optimum even with less recharging daily.
Here we give you insights into some easy and everyday hacks which teach you how to perform your best even with less sleep.
Sleep Less but Feel Fresh: 11 Ways to Combat Sleep Deprivation
1. Discover Your Sleep Schedule
Sleeping less is not an offense, but waking up in between a sleep cycle definitely is. Our body is subject to different phases or sleep cycles every night. If you wake up at the end of a complete cycle, chances are that you feel less exhausted or worn out during the day as compared to someone who disrupts his/her sleep cycle in the middle. So discover your sleep cycles with a little consciousness and tune your body to fall into rhythm.
2. Face The Sun
Instantly recharge your nerves and senses by facing the morning sun for a few minutes at the start of the day. It helps to take away your feelings of lousiness and instantly brightens up your senses, preparing you for the day ahead. It acts as a stimulus for your brain to comprehend the onset of the day and all the activities that need to be taken up.
3. Keep Away From The Coffee Mug
While the first cup of coffee in the day may leave you fresh, the subsequent ones can dehydrate your body and add to your fatigue. Cut down on the intake of caffeine and substitute it with other healthy drinks and juices that add value to your well being.
4. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Often by midday one starts feeling lost, exhausted or dreamy. While some may hold the extra work pressure responsible for that, the truth is that our brain starts losing out on its focus. One good way to regain that lost focus is to hydrate your body with enough healthy fluids or simply water that helps to replenish the tissues and increase the flow of oxygen to our brain. Another good idea is to start your day with two glasses of water that instantly kicks your limping senses and puts them to work. Try this for a couple of days and you will soon feel the morning thirst as soon as you step out of bed.
5. Snack Light at Regular Intervals
Depriving your body of some quality sleep should be compensated with good and healthy snacking at regular intervals, maybe after every two hours or so. Go in for light yogurt, fruits, nuts or a granola bar. This gives you a decent feeling of fullness and holds you back from gorging at the lunch table or at dinner time. Small meals are also easy for your body to digest and gives you a sense of lightness packed with energy. On the contrary, heavy meals leave you bloating and belching invariably pulling you down your chair and making you look sleepy or tired.
[RELATED: 7 Ways to Keep Yourself Healthy When You’re Working a Crazy Schedule]
6. Move and Stretch
Take a few small steps in the morning and they help you take giant leaps during the day. Yes, brisk walking, jogging, stretching or a little exercise can do wonders for your physical well being. They not only stretch your muscles and tissues but also activates your mind, freshens your mood and prepares you for the day with a brighter zeal. You feel lively, full of energy and ready to take on the world.
7. Stop, Stand and Shut Down
While racing through your work, it is good once in a while to pause, halt, and take a break. If you spend long hours in front of the computer screen, it is a good idea to take your eyes off the monitor at regular intervals and stare at something green–and, of course, we mean the plant on your desk or in the office corridors and not the emerald necklace your coworker is wearing. You can also stand and take a short round on the office floor or simply visit the restroom for a stroll. If that seems too much, or you fear disturbing your colleagues, simply pull your chair back and stretch your arms front and back, signaling your brain to prepare for the relay ahead.
This helps to regulate the blood circulation to your body and signals positivity to your brain- a lot accomplished but more ahead.
8. Take a Power Nap
The pause in a melody makes it sweeter. Similarly, once in a while during the day, reset your biological clock by taking a quick power nap. Go and rest on the couch for a few minutes if your office policy allows that or gently put your head down and drench yourself in quietness for a few minutes of serenity. When you wake up, you will not only feel refreshed but also more focused and lively.
9. Take a Hot-Cold Shower
Research says that a hot shower induces sleep, but a combination of hot-cold-hot shower accentuates your senses and helps you prepare for the day ahead. After you finish cleaning yourself, open the shower for some cold water and then instantly go back to the hot shower. This stimulating combination of hot-cold-hot drives away all laziness and brightens up your day with freshness and new found alertness.
10. Tune in to Some Music
Carry an iPod loaded with your favorite songs or tune in to the radio while driving to work. Soothing and soft music can have a phenomenal effect on your energy levels and instantly helps to drag you out when you are sagging. It reduces tension, soothes the nerves and has a calming effect on your mind and its muscles. It has a therapeutic impact on a worn out mind and body or one that is sleep deprived.
11. Have a Laugh
No matter how crazy this may sound at the work table, take out a few moments from your busy schedule to entertain your bogged down mind and enjoy a good laugh. Try sharing a joke with your co-workers or simply surf your mobile for a funny video, meme, or share on a social networking site. (Remember not to get lost mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed, though.) Try it once in a while and see what effect laughter can have on your sagging mind and body. It gives you a mood kick and instantly brightens up your moment. It also allows you to forget your stresses and reduces anxiety.
Sleep deprivation is indeed not appreciated as a matter of prudence but compensating its effects with more productive and healthy habits so as to keep up your performance is indeed commendable.
The incredible hacks shared here not only make up for your lost sleep but eventually make you a winner through the day where you perform brilliantly without sagging or giving up on fatigue. So, the next time you miss out on your sound sleep of 8 hours, remember the power of the saying “Less is More” and make up for the lost hours of sleep by trying some or all of the hacks discussed here.
Conquer your sleep before it conquers you. Rediscover your sleep patterns and mold them as per your requirements. Use the flexibility of sleep patterns to your advantage and feel fresh and a winner even with little sleep under your belt….or I suppose, under your pillow?
For some people, networking comes naturally, while others struggle to meet new people. Being an introvert makes networking even more difficult. Utilize one or more of the tips listed below, and you might just surprise yourself. Here are a just a few secret tips to help you start networking like a pro!
6 Simple Secrets to Networking for The Introvert1. Look For Interesting and Fun Events
For instance, search for local conferences, workshops, classes, galas, and special events. You can find anything from running a 5K to blogging class to job fairs. There are plenty of applications like Facebook and Eventbrite to help you find free or low-cost events. Depending on the event, you can find easy topics of discussions.
2. Get Some Business Cards
No matter what your job is, you need business cards! I’ve had my own business cards since 2008. My business cards have my name, email, cell phone #, and my linkedin.com profile link. Keep the cards simple and utilize them as an easy way to exchange information. When you receive cards from others, add notes to the back to help you remember key items. You can notate the event name, date, and any important notes.
3. Send Your Follow-Up Emails (Within 24 Hours) After The Event
The email does not have to be formal, just be sure to mention the topics you discussed. You might also want to share resources like websites, articles, and other connections. Lastly, find them and add them to your social networks.
[RELATED: How to Network Boldly as an Introvert]
4. Make Yourself Memorable!
For example, wear a colorful pair of shoes, socks, tie, purse, or some statement jewelry. This helps you make a lasting impression on the other people that you meet at the event. The accessories can break the ice and spark a friendly conversation too!
5. Take a Friend!
Networking can be very overwhelming if done alone. Try inviting your family or friends to ensure you have a good time. It will also be comforting knowing you know at least one person in the room. This is especially good when the family member or friend is looking for a new opportunity too!
6. Make Sure You’re Prepared to Talk About Yourself!
It would be a great idea to practice your elevator speech. Your elevator speech is a very short description of yourself and what you are seeking. The more comfortable you are the easier it is to communicate your hopes and dreams with others.
Follow these 6 simple suggestions and you will be networking like a PRO in no time!
Be patient and start with one step at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. As time goes on, you see this process gets easier and easier!
Good Luck & Happy Networking!
As the modern workforce becomes increasingly connected through the internet, employers are beginning to see the benefits of allowing employees to work from home. For certain industries, working remotely has proven to increase productivity, while employers are also free to search for prospective employees anywhere, dramatically increasing the pool of candidates.
Working from home comes with certain challenges, especially for employees accustomed to working in an office environment. Read on to discover a few helpful tips for working from home, including ideas on how you can stay productive and comfortable so you can thrive at your job.
Working From Home? Use These 5 Tips to Stay Comfortable and Productive
1. Pin Down Your Work Habits
This first tip is part of an ongoing process, but it’s an important first step if you’re going to be working from home. After all, if you were previously used to working in an office–or, for recent graduates, going to class–you may have been on a stricter schedule that provided specific times for breaks, lunch, deadlines, etc. If you’re working from home, you may be setting your own schedule, and that means you need to learn to pay attention to how you manage your time.
Give yourself a few minutes before you start your day to make sure you have everything you’ll need, from a notepad and pens to a pair of headphones and a cup of coffee. Set specific times for breaks, including a lunch break, during which you should take the time to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
2. Create a Schedule
Create a schedule for yourself to stick to. Set an alarm and wake up at the same time every day. Eat a healthy breakfast and go about your morning routine as if you were heading into the office. If possible, set up in an office or bedroom where you can close the door and concentrate; friends, roommates, and pets coming and going as they please are a huge source of distraction.
Keep a daily planner, especially if your tasks are different every day. Before the end of each workday, take a few minutes to write down a few tasks that you know you want to accomplish the next day. That way, when you sit down to start your work the next day, you’ll have a few tasks to check off right away, creating momentum that will propel you through the rest of your day.
[RELATED: How to Be Intentional With Your Schedule and Time]
3. Be Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be comfortable, especially if you’re working from home. But one of the most common mistakes made by at-home employees who ultimately find themselves lacking in productivity is that they attempt to work in their pajamas from their beds.
If you’re going to work from home, you should treat it as if you were heading into the office–though you can probably get away with a slightly more casual outfit. Get up, get dressed, put on shoes, and sit upright at a desk or table. Studies have shown that this has a psychological effect for many people, putting them in a productive state of mind that helps to increase focus and improve results.
4. Get Rid of Those Distractions
On the one hand, simply turning off your internet or putting your phone into Airplane Mode can work, but most people who work from home do need the internet.
Your smartphone can be a huge source of distraction, especially if you don’t have a supervisor hanging out over your shoulder. If you need to leave your smartphone on, turn it upside down on your desk and turn off all push notifications. Use apps specifically designed to block social media during set hours. Don’t let your phone be your downfall!
5. Remember to Eat Lunch
We’ve all gotten a little “hangry” at the office before, but it’s also important to avoid when working from home. Forgetting to eat can cause you to lose motivation, get tired, and even become combative when you don’t need to be. Just remember to give yourself half an hour to an hour of lunch time. Also, keep some almonds, apples, and other healthy snacks on hand in case you need a little energy before or after your designated lunch break; avoid sweet and salty junk food snacks, as those will only make you tired and dehydrated.
Working from home is one of the great advantages of participating in the modern workforce, but you need to treat the job seriously if you want to be successful. Follow these tips, stay focused and energized, and you’ll have everything you need to be a model remote employee!
Get ready to celebrate! We are gearing up to celebrate Classy Career Girl’s 8 year anniversary in March! Whether you are new around here in Classy Career Girl world or you’ve been listening to our podcast and reading our blog for years, I can guarantee you are going to learn something new today as I share with you my 8 Lessons I Have Learned in the Last 8 Years of Running a Business. Let’s dive in!
8 Lessons I Have Learned in the Last 8 Years of Running a Business
Coming up on 8 years of business! Lessons over the years and we are coming up on 8 years of running a business.
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In 2010, I decided to start all over and get my MBA. I intentionally decided to pursue my graduate degree in the evenings with no idea what the outcome would be, except that I knew I wanted a career change. Getting an MBA changed my career path and that’s why I am excited today to partner with Strayer University to share my experience getting the resources necessary to succeed in the evolving market.
Why I Decided to Get an MBA
I wanted to learn about different industries. I was working at Booz Allen Hamilton as a consultant and my main client was the military. My original goal was to get the experience to continue to be a consultant but to transition to doing consulting at a different company and in a different industry. I knew I had a great foundation for a consulting career at Booz Allen Hamilton but I wanted to take my career to a new level and really unlock the opportunities. I wanted a network that only having a well-respected MBA would allow me to have. So I attended the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.
The Benefits of an MBA
More than anything, an MBA gave me the confidence to believe in myself that I could start a business. I had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur when I started my MBA, but, by the time I had graduated, I knew I could turn my blog into a business. My classmates were some of the best people I have ever met and I know that I can count on them for anything that I need while growing a business. It’s also great to have a network of professional women from my class who, like me, are also managing careers and now kids, too! It’s great having the support of other working moms and being able to swap advice and stories about how to get through the chaos and still have fun together!
Taking that next step in your career, changing career paths altogether or keeping up with workplace demands requires time, work and money. Strayer University wants to make it easier and more affordable for adult students to learn and elevate their career on a timeline that works for them. Importantly, Strayer also wants to do this with a curriculum and approach that maximizes the student’s likelihood of success.
How my MBA Helps Me Today as a CEO
The classes took in my MBA program still inform and guide me in running a company. The greatest lesson I learned is to be open to seeing new opportunities, new industries and new business models. I learned how to be innovative and creative which helped me start and grow a company. My MBA taught me how to transform my big ideas to reality and critically think about what I need to do to make those ideas a success. I learned to think through different scenarios, become a much better speaker and be able to work with so many different types of people during group projects. This has helped me work with any type of client I come across in my current role.
How My MBA Encouraged Me to Start a Business
We had a team project in our marketing class where a real company came in and our team had to figure out how to market the company’s baby clothes. My job on our team was to figure out how to market the clothes online. This meant that I got to research blogs for women online as my homework. After seeing so many other women earning a living online through blogging, I immediately knew that I wanted to do the same thing. I went home after our team project was done and started a blog the next day. I have been blogging consistently now for eight years and eventually was able to turn it into a thriving business model and quit my job.
My Advice For Someone Considering an MBA
Don’t wait until the end to start networking. Pay as much (if not more) attention to the relationships you are building with your classmates than your studies. (Am I allowed to say that? Your network with your classmates will be one of the best networks you have after you graduate. Reach out to the alumni. Do informational interviews ALL THE TIME. Meet someone for coffee every week. Make networking a top priority. Alumni are happy to help you and give back to the community so just reach out. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
What an MBA means to me:
Being equipped to make a positive impact in the world.
To provide Strayer students with the resources needed to be successful in an evolving market, Strayer built upon its experiences with Fortune 1000 companies to create programs that teach the skills that are in demand by employers. Such partnerships led Strayer to establish the Digital Entrepreneurship MBA with Cheddar, providing a digital-first approach to the MBA. Through Strayer’s partnership with Cheddar, students have a cutting-edge MBA delivered to their mobile device and computer that allows them to watch lectures, connect with other students via forum posts through Facebook and engage with case studies and assignments on a wide range of topics. Not only do students cultivate hard skills like data analytics, they also refine their leadership capabilities, entrepreneurial instincts, marketing savvy, and understanding of basic financial principles.
This sets students up for unlimited success – preparing today’s business leaders to succeed as digital entrepreneurs.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Strayer University. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s really easy to spend $100. Take a stroll in a mall on a Sunday afternoon and before you know it, you’ve spent $200 in three hours. Where did the money go? Pretty soon, you’re buying things only on credit and can’t afford to pay off your monthly bills. Gradually, debt accumulates.
Then the credit card companies start a-calling. I know. I’ve been there.
Living in debt is a horrible feeling. But it shouldn’t control your life. Instead, take steps to get out of debt – and stay out of it for good.
Here’s what I did to pay off my debt and only spend the money I make:
How To Get Out Of Debt in 6 Easy Steps (And Stay Out Of It For Good)
1. Accept That You Have a Debt Problem
I know, I know. It’s hard. Acknowledging that you have a serious debt problem can be difficult especially if you know you have created that problem. But it needs to be done before figuring out how to get out of debt. It’s the first step towards living a debt-free life.
2. Crunch Numbers
Okay, now that you’ve acknowledged you have a debt problem, it’s time to crunch numbers. You don’t need to be a math whiz or an accountant for this. Just gather all your credit card statements, mortgage payments, car loan payments, outstanding student loan and personal loan payments. Now list all of them down. Then, list down all your sources of income which will include your salary and anything you can sell on eBay.
3. Make Minimum Payments on All Credit Cards
The first step on how to get out of debt is to make minimum payments on all your credit cards. Instead of paying off all the debt on a single card, try to make some payments on each card.
Now it’s time for the really hard part: Set some money aside each month to pay off your debts. It could be $300 or even $500 or more depending on how much you owe.
[RELATED: 15 Ways I Paid Off $80,000 of Debt in 18 Months]
You need to do this. You can do this.
Once you’ve paid all your credit card bills cut them out and throw them in the trash. If a card is lying around in your purse, you’re bound to use it.
4. Negotiate with Creditors for Lower Interest Rates
Next, contact each credit card provider and negotiate a lower interest rate. Yes, there is a chance they won’t budge. But it’s worth a shot, right?
In fact, you might be surprised at how understanding some lenders might be especially if you’re a long-term customer.
5. Create an Emergency Fund
This step is super important when you’re learning about how to get out of debt. You need to create an emergency fund that will only be used for emergencies and paying off debt when unexpected expenses arise (we’ve all been there). As tempting as it is, don’t use the emergency fund to buy another pair of Jimmy Choo’s.
Try to maintain a minimum balance of $1000 or more depending on how much you can afford to save every month. Trust me, an emergency fund is a life saver!
6. Start Spending on What Really Matters
Ask yourself the hard questions: Do you really need that gold bracelet, that $100 face cream or cable TV when you already use a friend’s Netflix account? Start spending money only on essentials and cut back on things you don’t really need.
Frugal living might seem difficult at first but it liberates you from debt. Only spend on groceries, gas, rent, paying off utility bills and, at the most, a low-cost gym membership (you still need to exercise!). Swap eating out at restaurants for home-cooked meals and Uber rides for a bus pass. Do a little research on coupons, discounts, and affordable deals before buying anything you need.
Small cutbacks can save a lot of money in the long-run.
Living to your bare bones sounds difficult but it can be done. Use the above tips if you’re wondering how to get out of debt and to and gain financial freedom. Debt-free living can be achieved.
Have you recently gotten out of debt? What valuable tips can you share to get out of debt? Do tell!
With all those instagram algorithm changes, it’s getting harder and harder to grow your following quickly. If you are struggling to get more followers and feel like your account is plateauing and not growing, you are going to learn today one secret behind growing an account quickly. I am going to interview a woman who grew her account from 400 to 10,000 followers in less than a year using this one strategy again and again. I can’t wait for you to learn and see the results you can get. So let’s dive in!
Pre & Post Natal Exercise Specialist
How to Get More Instagram Followers (PODCAST)
Meredith is first and foremost a mom. She believes motherhood is the greatest gift; a challenging one, but one that makes us stronger. She believes it’s important to be appreciative and thankful for the challenge because at the end of the day we have grown as individuals as a result of our children.
She is a mom who turned ‘personal trainer,’ and not just in the literal sense. Throughout pregnancy and recovery, she bounced back from postpartum depression. The process of working out tapped into a deep-rooted passion, to help other women succeed during pregnancy; both mentally and physically. Her desire is to share everything she has learned with other moms so they can learn how it is possible to have a fit pregnancy!
Meredith is a pre and post natal exercise specialist. She has a deep rooted passion, to help other women succeed during pregnancy; both mentally and physically. Her desire is to share everything she has learned with other moms so they can learn how it is possible to have a fit pregnancy!
Some questions I ask:
Tell us more about what you do, your industry and who you help!
What specific strategies have you used to grow your Instagram followers in the last year?
What is a loop giveaway and how does it work to grow Instagram followers?
How do you find a loop host? How many followers can I expect to gain in a loop, how many can I expect to unfollow me? How much do I have to pay?
How did you get over the fear of Instagram lives?
How do you grow your email list and customer base using Instagram?
How can people follow you on Instagram and learn more about what your business?
How do you find the time to make all this happen? Over the last year so much change!
Thank you so much for listening to this episode on growing your Instagram followers!!! I am thrilled you are here and I would love to know what you thought of this episode. Please leave me a comment below. And if you enjoyed this episode, please share it on social media. You can also leave a 5-star review on iTunes so we can help more women find career fulfillment TOGETHER!
Here in my homeland – Bulgaria – we have a saying: “Eat your breakfast alone, share your lunch with a friend, and give your dinner to your enemy.”
I have been thinking a lot about having an early dinner. My grandmother used to apply this principle and she was very healthy and energetic throughout her life – always an amazement to the physicians.
And now I see that the old knowledge of the benefits of having regular fasting periods has started to emerge once again.
But I wanted to see it for myself. I made a commitment to try the intermittent fasting technique and test it out for 30 consecutive days. That is how I would have some substantial data over a significant period of time, and I would be able to draw my conclusions.
So, here is what I did!
I decided to do a light version of the intermittent fasting – for 30 days I was having my last meal at 6 PM (at least 5 hours before bedtime). I was having brunch at 11 AM, so my fasting period was about 17 hours. Furthermore, once a week I was having a fruit fast (an apple every two hours).
And that’s it! During the rest of the time, I was eating my regular meals – mostly vegetarian, with lots of fiber and no white sugar.
I thought that this regimen would be very harsh and exhausting, but I was pleasantly surprised! Here is what happened during these 30 days of intermittent fasting.
6 Things That Happened When I Tried Intermittent Fasting For 30 Days
1. Less Bloating
During my experiment, I was surprised to find that my belly was feeling much better – less bloated and relaxed. And not just during the fasting period, but throughout the whole day. I have been struggling with flatulence and IBS for many years, but intermittent fasting turned out to be one of the most effective natural treatments!
2. Better Sleep
Another great effect of this 30-day challenge was my improved sleep. Although I prioritize sleep to get enough hours of rest, I have been having periods of waking up tired and groggy.
And to be honest, I was worried that too many hours without food would make me feel low on energy. But the opposite turned out to be true – I was feeling much more energized and vital, and I was waking up more refreshed and well rested. And when I was feeling peckish before bedtime, I would pour a cup of soothing Peppermint tea (unsweetened). It calmed my stomach and relaxed my nervous system.
3. More Energy
As I have mentioned earlier, intermittent fasting helped me really improve my energy level! At first, I was concerned that this eating schedule would be exhausting and it would leave me without energy, but I was wrong. On the contrary – I was much more energized, focused and clear-minded as if a fog lifted from my brain! Plus, I was still doing my 20-minute morning workouts on an empty stomach! Intermittent fasting was a real booster!
[RELATED: The 3 Most Popular Weight Loss Myths and Why They’re Wrong]
4. Better Mood
When you wake up feeling well rested and refreshed, full of energy, the logical consequence is that your mood improves as well. But it goes beyond that – I was feeling much happier and optimistic on a cellular level! The best word that would describe this wonderful feeling is lightness – as if a heavy burden lifted from my shoulders – both from my body and my mind!
5. Fewer Cravings
One thing that really surprised me about my fasting challenge was the significant decrease in unhealthy cravings! Sounds almost too good to be true! I know for sure that our brain reacts in a very similar manner when we eat white sugar and artificial drugs like cocaine. And the more we eat sweets, the more cravings we have. But when I started fasting, it seemed like my body was detoxing from the addictions and I was having fewer and fewer unhealthy desires. It was definitely one of the best results of my experiment!
6. Weight Loss
And of course, this is the obvious result of limiting the food intake and having fewer sugar cravings. I was able to lose some weight, and particularly some stubborn belly fat. As we know the levels of our blood sugar are directly related to the amount of fat we store around the stomach. So, for me, it was logical that decreasing the blood sugar level will positively affect my belly and show some abs.
And the good news is that intermittent fasting does not slow your metabolism. On the contrary – short periods of food abstinence has been proven to speed the metabolic processes and promote healthy weight loss. And my 30-day challenge absolutely confirmed this!
On a final note, my experience with intermittent fasting was definitely very positive and rewarding. I am certainly going to continue to apply this diet principle in my life. Although I felt a bit anxious at the beginning, my worries quickly went out the window!
I encourage you to dip your toes in the waters of intermittent fasting! I am sure you will be positively surprised!