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Healthy-living

I Tried A Meal Kit Service And Here’s What I Learned

If you’re time-poor and bored of your at-home menu, read on. 

Maria Menounos Wants To Let You In On The Secret Of Life

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor opened the door to a new way of living for the TV host.

Spring Clean: 5 Ways To Detox Your Mind, Body And Soul

Spring is upon us! So it’s time to kick all of that stagnant, winter energy out of your life and invite rejuvenation and balance back in.

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Not sure where to start? Here are our top 5 tips on how to detox you mind, body and soul – just in time for the warmer weather.

Declutter

They don’t call it a ‘spring clean’ for no reason! Now is the perfect time to throw away anything that might be weighing you down. Go through your clothes, draws and cabinets, and toss out (or give to charity) anything that you haven’t used or worn in over a year. It’s been said that decluttering invites new energy into your life and clears any blockages.

Food swap

With the change in season comes a change in produce – and appetite. Ditch the hearty, winter lasagnes and hot pots in favour of fresh, spring salads and grilled proteins. Also, make the most of the lush, seasonal fruits such as honeydew, mango, lychees and apricots. Your body will thank you for it later!

Get some sunshine

With the weather warming up, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and soak up some of the sun’s rays. Why not grab a friend, a coffee and a picnic rug and head down to your local park for the afternoon or take a stroll on your lunch break? Experts say that sunshine has a profound effect on people’s mood due to its ability to increase the ‘feel good’ hormone, serotonin. You’ll be surprised at how revitalised and recharged you’ll feel afterwards. Be sure to slip, slop, slap though, ladies!

Drink more water

In winter, our desire to drink water decreases. What you may not realise however, is that h20 helps to flush out any toxins from the body and can also help to speed up your metabolism. Make a conscious effort to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day going into spring. While it might seem tricky at first, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your body will adapt.

Practise mindfulness

They say that our power lies within the present moment, therefore it’s important to remember to bring awareness to it on a daily basis. Practising meditation is a great way to do so, however something as simple as a ten minute body scan can also be effective. Set aside some time in the morning – or on your lunch break – and listen to a guided scan (check out Smiling Mind in the app store). Not only will this help you to relax and de-stress, according to research it promotes a sense of inner balance and self-awareness.

Using Psychology Instead Of Diets To Control Your Weight

Ever been on a diet, lost the weight and then put it back on? This has to do with conditioning; a type of learning that occurs, which dictates how we behave. If you want more control over your weight; learning about conditioning is better than any diet, you will ever try.

What is conditioning?

Conditioning is the basis of how we learn to behave. This includes our habits, which cause us to be the weight we are. Three types of conditioning have been identified; classical, operant and observational. Each plays a vital role in controlling weight gain and loss.

Classical conditioning

Learning via association. For example: have you ever been to movies and headed straight to the snack bar for some popcorn, even though you aren’t hungry? That’s classical conditioning at work. In many people’s minds, they associate a trip to the movies with popcorn or a snack, while they relax and enjoy a movie.

For people wanting more control over their weight, they need to be aware of conditioning which pre-exists for them, about food and exercise. As an example; if you consume your nightly meal on the lounge, in front of the TV (as many people do); each time you sit down to watch TV, there is a greater chance of you associating this activity, with eating. This is why it’s recommended that you find a designated place to eat; like at the dinner table. This reduces the likelihood of eating in front of the TV at night.

Some people also find that they eat when they experience different moods or physical states; such as being tired, anxious, confused or worried. Eating, is therefore, a coping mechanism. From past experience, food made them feel better and it becomes a viable solution, each time they experience this feeling. The only way to cease it, is to identify, acknowledge and change these types of associations.

Operant conditioning

Learning via consequences. For all behaviours, we are either rewarded or punished. Rewards encourage us to increase a behaviour, while punishment reduces it. These can be added or removed. For example; when we diet, we are usually rewarded with removal of weight. However, when we gain weight, we are punished by addition of weight.

Rewards and punishments, encourage which behaviours to choose. Sometimes the punishment of weight gain, isn’t enough to deter, increased weight gain. Perhaps the reward of consuming particular foods, overrides the compulsion to avoid the punishment of excessive weight gain.

Observational conditioning

Learning via observing others. For example; large people usually have large family members. Sure, genetics comes into play, but learning and adapting the habits of parents is much greater. Children are like sponges, absorbing a significant amount of knowledge from their role models. If their role models are healthy and active; they will likely, be so too.

By the time kids reach adulthood, they have learned a great deal from mere exposure. For example; if you take the kids shopping, be aware, they are learning what types of foods to put into the trolley. Even if it appears they aren’t really paying attention; repetition and exposure is teaching them. This is primarily where most habits begin.

Lastly, when you become fully aware of the roll food and exercise plays in your life, long term weight control can be achieved. Ask yourself these 6 vital questions and you will be well on your way.

  • Why are you eating?
  • When are you eating?
  • Where are you eating?
  • What are you eating?
  • Who’s watching you eat?
  • Exercise… pleasure, pain, chore or choice?

By Kim Chartres