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How to eat

Over the next fourteen days, you eat is just as important as
what you eat. We instruct our campers on BBC meal etiquette on their very first night at dinner. The same goes for you! In order to get the most out the meal plan, follow these simple rules:

• Don’t skip meals. You may save calories but you risk getting shaky and irritable and overeating later on. Remember, you’ll already be cutting calories in a fairly significant way. Never skip breakfast — fruit with a bit of fat and protein is essential to keep your metabolism working properly. Having breakfast soon after you wake up kicks your metabolism into high gear.

• It only takes a fist-size portion of food to appease your hunger. This is your new mantra. Keep it in mind whenever you crave a snack. If you’re hungry, it’s okay to reach for something to nibble on; just make sure it comes from our approved snack list and doesn’t turn into a full meal.

• When eating, be fully present. Do not eat while arguing, having serious discussions, or talking on the phone. Do not watch TV while eating, especially because of those snack food ads! If you are distracted or upset, set your meal aside, recenter yourself, and start eating again only when you are ready to focus on the food.

• Eat slowly, taking your time to enjoy your meal. Chew each bite of food thoroughly to enhance digestion. Remember, digestion starts in the mouth as necessary enzymes in your saliva mix with your food before it is sent down to your stomach. Eating more slowly ensures that you digest your food fully so your body can draw maximum benefits.

• Make the ritual of eating a pleasure. The food shouldn’t be the only thing that draws you to the table. Even if you’re eating alone, you can make your mealtimes more enjoyable by setting a place with beautiful tableware or linens, eating breakfast outdoors in the morning sun, lighting candles on your table in the evening, or taking a moment to express gratitude before you begin.

• Stay hydrated. Remember, at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day! Drinking plenty of water will help you feel less fatigued and flush any toxins from your workouts out of your system. Keep a one-liter bottle with you at all times and refill it as the day goes by.

• Get enough zzzz’s. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to overeat, relying on caffeine, sugar, and refined carbs for an energy buzz. If you tend to make late-night fridge raids, try going to bed early instead.

• “Failure” is not in the BBC vocabulary. If you slip and inhale a bag of potato chips, don’t beat yourself up and throw in the towel. You didn’t fail; this process is ongoing. Simply go back to your back-to-basics eating at the next meal. In meditation, whenever we lose focus, we say, “Begin again.” The same is true for the Bikini Bootcamp program.

Excerpted from
Bikini Bootcamp by Melissa Perlman and Erica Gragg Copyright © 2007 by Melissa Perlman. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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