Posted tagged ‘slimming’

Avoid overeating this festive season – Here’s how.

December 21, 2013


Let’s face it – this time of the year is often centred on food.

There are special dinners and get-togethers everywhere. This is the time of the year when we get to enjoy great food and we have a very good excuse to indulge! But overeating during holidays leave many people feeling guilty, especially when they notice that they have actually gained a few pounds.

Well, this is really not too bad as long as we are able to get back on track next year and work out those excess fats. But if you are still concerned about gaining weight this holiday season, I have a number of tips for you. It is certainly possible that you enjoy and indulge without overeating… and feeling guilty!

Spare your tummy for the foods you really enjoy.

Don’t eat cookies and junk foods just because they are sitting there or because others are enjoying them. Unless you really want them, spare your tummy for other foods – those that you really love to indulge in. And because it’s holiday season, there are going to be endless buffets featuring tantalising foods. Forget about the rest and simply focus on the foods you want.

Choose a red plate.

In 2012, a group of German and Swiss researchers found that people who are given meals served on a red plate reduced their food intake by as much as 40 per cent. According to them, the colour red may work like a subtle stop signal – like a red traffic light – telling them not to overeat.

Eat healthy most of the time.

If you can’t resist the calorie-dense junk foods served in parties and get-togethers, try as much as possible to eat healthy when you’re at home. Replace those bags of cookies with fresh produce like fruits and vegetables and take those fizzy drinks from your fridge and replace them with smoothie drinks and other healthy beverages. This way, you won’t feel guilty whenever you indulge in not-so-healthy meals at holiday parties.

Watch your portions.

It’s perfectly okay to get some of this and some of that, as long as you are keeping an eye on your food portions. A great strategy is to get bigger portions of the healthy stuff and small portions of the calorie-dense, unhealthy food choices. And don’t forget to watch over the calories you are consuming from beverages. Commercial juice varieties, as well as some beers and spirits are very high in calories. What’s more, they contain large amounts of sugar too.

Drink plenty of water.

A glass of water before mealtime can reduce your hunger pangs or food cravings, making you less likely to overeat. It also helps prevent indigestion, which is common during the holiday season.

Stock up healthy snacks.

If you are going out of town for a vacation, pick up a few healthy snacks just as you would get some bottled water. This will prevent you from indulging in unhealthy snacks along the way.

Don’t skip breakfast.

Just because you will be attending a lunch party doesn’t mean you should forego breakfast. Eating a healthy, fulfilling meal in the morning could save you from a calorie splurge later in the day. Opt for protein-filled foods like lean chicken, hard-boiled egg, a slice or two of brown bread, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Go easy at 6pm onwards.

Eating late on holidays is common. If you’re craving for pasta, rice and other calorie-dense meals, eat them at lunch. Enjoy fresh vegetable salad, sandwich and a glass of wine maybe for dinner.

Be alcohol savvy.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to avoid hangover and dehydration. You will also be reducing your calorie intake this way. Furthermore, try spirits with low-calorie mixers and don’t forget to “drink moderately”.

Drop the guilt.

It won’t help you with anything – it will just make you feel worse this holiday season. What’s more, new research from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has found that people who felt guilty after overeating tend to gain more weight than those who didn’t feel guilty. The researchers emphasised that the diet controlling habit of guilt ridden-women gets abandoned once they are guilt ridden.

Hope you find these tips useful. Here’s wishing you a wonderful, delicious and fulfilling festive break!

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist

Part of the Core Health Centre


10 Habits that Might Be Keeping You from Losing Weight

July 23, 2013


Have you ever tried losing weight only to find yourself frustrated because your efforts were not getting you anywhere? There’s no miracle solution to getting fit. It’s all about eating right, exercising, and getting quality rest and sleep. Nonetheless, we often engage in some habits that keep on sabotaging all our hard work. If you find yourself going backwards in your weight loss attempt, maybe it’s because you exhibit some of the following habits.

You work out only when you want.

It’s Monday and you’ve done so much at work. You feel tired, hungry and sleepy. When you reach home, all you want to do is rest, sit in the couch, turn on the TV and eat a large packet of crisp. Exercising would be the last thing on your mind.

If you think exercising when you are tired will only make you more tired, think again. According to a study published in the Psychology Bulletin, 90 per cent of people who exercise suffered less fatigue and developed more energy and focus. In fact, the effect of exercising on your sense of focus is comparable with that of a drug used for ADHD patients. It’s all about managing your time and picking the best schedule for your workout. If you’re already dead tired for an afternoon workout, schedule it first hour in the morning.

You’re skipping breakfast.

If you think skipping breakfast will save you some calories, think again. In most cases, not eating a regular meal in the morning will make you crave for high-calorie foods and snacks later in the day. Another thing, having a solid breakfast meal promotes metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. With the right mix of foods (ask advice from a nutritionist or personal trainer), you will have enough energy and less food craving.

You’re not drinking enough water.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, dieters who drank a glass of water before a meal whilst keeping their calorie intake healthy lost 44 per cent more fats than those who consumed the same number of calories but had reduced water consumption.

Did you know that dehydration is among the most common causes of weight gain? Often, your body mistakes thirst with hunger. So here’s a tip. Whenever you crave for food, drink a glass of cold water first. If the hunger goes away, it only means you aren’t hungry, only thirsty.

You’re not getting enough sleep.

Many dieters pay so much attention to exercise and calorie count but often overlook the value of sleep in their weight loss endeavour. Our body has its own clock which regulates hormones that control sleep, wakefulness, hunger and metabolism.

When our bio clock is interrupted, our craving for high calorie foods increases and our metabolism goes out of whack. In one study conducted by the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Centre, it was found that people who lack sleep tend to consume 300 calories more than those who had enough sleep.

Whilst they burn the same amount of calories, excess calorie intake leads to progressive and steady weight gain. Remember, you only need to consume 3,500 calories to gain one pound. Sleep deprived individuals are also at risk of developing belly fats.

You spend a lot of time with inactive people.

Are you fond of going out with friends for some “food trip”? Do you love partying all night during weekends, drinking beer and snacking on fatty treats? If yes, you are not far from weight gain.A long-term study which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a person is more likely to become obese when a friend becomes one.

Well, this does not mean you should stop seeing your friends and find new ones. You can be their health saviour! Instead of another “unli-beer” session this weekend, encourage them to go to the gym, take a walk or even get outdoors and backpack.

Engaging in healthy and physically challenging activities is a fun way to bond with friends and at the same time, burn fats.

You’re underestimating your total calorie intake.

Often, food portions we’ve become accustomed to are far greater than the actual serving. Just because you are eating a few of something doesn’t mean you are also consuming fewer calories. If you choose the wrong food, even just a cup serving could supply your body tons of calories!

One way to keep your calorie intake on track is to measure your food for one month – weigh it if possible. This gives you an idea of how much you are actually eating. Knowing proper portions and monitoring your calorie intake are important for weight loss success.

You seek emotional comfort from food.

Do you often resort to food whenever you feel down? If yes, this habit of yours is actually sabotaging your efforts to lose weight. Sweet, salty and high-calorie foods can really provide you comfort but their “feel-good” effect is only momentary whilst their health consequences are lasting. Emotional eating could also lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety and worse, depression.

Finding a healthy outlet for your emotions is one way to avoid emotional eating. Instead of emotional eating, engage in activities that alleviate your stress levels and make you feel good without causing harm to your health and well-being.

These include exercising, engaging in creative activities, taking a vacation, and interacting with nature. Another successful way to let go of negative emotion is to try hypnotherapy. The relaxing nature of the therapy helps to lower overall stress levels, while at the same time teaching your mind to release negative emotions in some quite enjoyable and creative ways.

You don’t count weekends.

You’ve been religiously following your weight loss programme all through weekdays, is it bad to have a “cheat day”? Having a cheat day is not bad as long as you still keep an eye on your food and activity levels.

If you restrict yourself from eating ice creams for the entire week, treat yourself with a scoop on a Sunday. But don’t let your body become physically inactive. Instead of chilling in front of the TV for hours, find more fun activities that keep you moving, like strolling in the park, cycling, swimming, etc.

You’re constantly comparing yourself with others.

Looking at the stick figures in the magazines and on the internet won’t help you lose weight. Sometimes they may inspire you, but often, they will make you feel worse. Competitiveness is a trait hardwired to our brains, we all have the tendency to compare ourselves with others – sizing each other up.

But sticking to this habit could do more harm than good. Many people shift from one weight loss programme to another once they’ve heard or seen something. There’s nothing wrong with trying out what worked for other people. But you’ve got to give yourself a chance and enough time to know what works and what doesn’t, for you.

You’re stuck on what doesn’t work.

This is different with the previous habit. Here, you carry on with a weight loss solution that is not working for you. Losing weight is easier than maintaining weight. Maybe you managed to lose a stone in a relatively short period of time using a diet fad you’ve read about, but that doesn’t guarantee that it will keep you from losing weight forever.

To be successful in maintaining fitness, you need to assess your lifestyle most especially your activity level and calorie intake.

Don’t let these habits prevent you from achieving a fitter, leaner figure and bringing back the confidence you once had. Losing weight is possible and it starts with building healthy habits.

What other habits can you think of that prevent many people from losing weight? Feel free to share your comment with us.


Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist

Part of the Core Health Centre

Natural Weight Loss Tips

March 21, 2013


Staying lean doesn’t just boost your self-confidence. It also keeps you healthy. But losing weight using unsafe methods can do you more harm than good. On this article, let’s talk about some of the best ways to burn stubborn fats without putting your health at risk!


Engage in Weight Training

There’s no doubt that exercising is the best strategy to lose excess fats. But many people think that regular exercising is a big pain in the bottom especially if you are not really into it. But it really is essential in order to lose weight faster. Weight training may be a better choice than aerobics if you’re looking to burn fat, but do speak to our experts here at Core Health to find out more.


Be a Slow Eater

Science was able to prove that by eating slower than usual, you can significantly reduce your weight. If you devour your food quickly, your brain may find it hard to measure your food consumption and recognise that your stomach is already full. Hence, you tend to eat more.


Dine Out Less Often

Fast food is not a good option if you are trying to lose weight. Remember, they are high in calories, sodium, and sugar which all promote fat production and storage. If you’re dining out, look for healthier menus such as green salad and leaner meat rather than the greasy burger, fatty fries and sugary pastries.


Don’t Be Fooled by the Word ‘Diet’

Many food products and fizzy drinks are so labelled to be a good choice for dieters. Some boast of having no sugar (although they taste too sweet!). Well, these foods usually contain artificial sweeteners that have been shown to cause brain cancer and promote obesity. So watch out for these diet sodas and similar stuff, they won’t really help you lose weight at all.

Also psychologically, the word DIET suggests starvation to your subconscious mind. So that part of your mind triggers a self preservation mechanism which can actually cause the body to start storing fats… without you even knowing what it’s doing.


Sip Green Tea

Green tea is highly regarded for its amazing health benefits. And you probably heard about its weight loss effects, especially now that many celebrities are on green tea, claiming it helps them stay lean. Well, that’s no hype! Green tea is scientifically proven to promote fat loss in several ways. First, it improves metabolism. Second, it suppresses appetite. Third, green tea aids in the burning of fats!


Low-Fat Diet May Not Be the Thing

Most products that are said to be ‘low in fat’ contain artificial sweeteners that promote obesity. A diet rich in ‘healthy’ fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats is more likely to help you burn those stubborn fats than simply focusing on the ‘low fat’ diet. Good sources of healthy fats are fish, olive oil, canola oil, and flaxseeds.


Get Your Regular Dose of Niacin

Vitamin B3, or niacin, plays a critical role in fat loss. Niacin can be found in plenty of foods, such as yeast extract spread (marmite), fish, liver, peanuts, veal, chicken, and sundried tomatoes.


Cut Back on Sugar

High consumption of sugar has been linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sugary foods are also high in calories. Just a piece of glazed donut for instance, already contains whopping 255 calories! Yes, that’s basically enough to ruin your diet.


Consume More Fibre

Your gut needs fibre to properly digest food and promote metabolism. Also, getting enough fibre makes you feel full a lot longer and keeps your energy levels high. To boost your fibre intake, eat more of whole grain pastries than white breads, brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables.


Fill Your Diet with Herbs

Cayenne, turmeric, bitter orange, flaxseed, and ginger are just few of the many herbs that have fat-burning effects. Adding them on your daily diet can certainly cut your risk of obesity.


Have a Good Night Sleep

Quality sleep is essential in maintaining a lean body. Getting enough sleep is necessary to maintain your hormonal levels – a critical factor for fat loss. Studies reveal that people who lack sleep are more likely to become overweight than those who enjoy quality sleep.

We at Core Health are here to help you shed that excess weight. Both mentally through hypnosis and physically through personal training.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
Core Health Centre