Intensity

Piquance
Piquance (Photo credit: JasonUnbound)

A new study suggests that consuming intensely flavored, such as pungent cheeses or spicy foods can help you eat less. This principle is true with any sort of intensity, whether it be diet, exercise, or emotional in nature. By definition, something that is intense is strong, pushing itself to the forefront of your consciousness. This makes it hard to ignore and brings forth mindfulness of the action, something which may not occur with more sedate stimuli. Intensity also cannot be maintained for long, which can be used for your benefit. Here are some suggestions on how to use intensity to improve your well-being:

Diet: Think of ways to pump up the flavor in your dishes. Add spices, hot sauce, olives, or strong cheeses in small amounts to bring forth stronger, more noticeable flavor. This makes it much harder to overindulge; just think about the difference between eating milk chocolate and dark chocolate, the latter being much more intense. I used to be the queen of bland food, but I have found the joys of small nibbles of big flavor.

Exercise: Try interval training. Personally, I find that I get much better fat-burning results from a 20 minute sprinting session, Tabata sprints, or kettlebell intervals than I do from hour long steady-state runs. Think about how you can pump up the intensity in your own workouts either by limiting rest time or working harder.

Emotions: Sometimes we try to avoid feeling an emotion intensely and we end up feeling a low level of it for a long time. There is nothing wrong with letting yourself feel strongly, and you will probably feel better for it. (Note: Anger is one emotion that may need to be doled out or carefully expressed to avoid harming yourself or others). I know I often feel purges and refreshed after an intense cry, whereas if I avoid the cathartic tears, I just end up feeling “blue” for several days.

Even though intensity can be uncomfortable, it will make you leaner, stronger, and more balanced in the end.

 

 

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