I’m a practical kind of guy. When it comes to health and fitness, I tend to rely on what makes intuitive sense to me, rather than what the latest study or trend has to offer.
I believe this has served me well. After all, trends change, and ‘findings’ from any given study are often subjective, and sometimes debunked at a later date. Meanwhile, I believe the human mind and body has evolved to serve its best interests quite faithfully (even if we don’t always listen to what it says).
Obvious examples of what might make intuitive sense include:
- Stop eating when you’re full.
- Don’t eat too much rich food.
- Don’t drink caffeine before bedtime.
I’m sure you recognise the validity of these truisms. However, how do you know they’re valid in terms of promoting good health? Simple – you can personally observe the effects of adhering to them (or not):
- If you keep on eating beyond fullness, you’ll eventually feel unwell.
- If you eat too much food, you’ll feel nauseous.
- If you drink too much caffeine before bedtime, the quality of your sleep will suffer.
Understanding the cause and effect of poor eating habits can compel you to avoid taking such actions again. However, I invite you to move a step beyond simply understanding – because the more you appreciate and feel the negative effects of poor eating habits, the more likely you are to avoid them in the future.
Continue reading How Being More Mindful Can Help You to Be Healthier
Although I believe that your diet typically has the biggest impact on your weight loss efforts, exercise is a vital piece of the puzzle too.
In short, I’m a big fan of exercise – at least, in terms of how I define it. The notion of exercise merely for the sake of exercise sends a shiver down my spine, and any use of the word “regime” leaves me cold.
However, I used that word deliberately in the title of this post, as I understand that many people feel that developing a “sustainable exercise regime” is an important part of effecting weight loss. And it is. But I invite you to use less imposing words. Rather than imposing a “sustainable exercise regime” on yourself, find forms of exercise you enjoy to the extent that you don’t have to worry whether you do them or not, because you will as a matter of course. In that sense, you will be following a regime – you just won’t be doing it consciously.
Continue reading The Key to a Sustainable Exercise Regime
Anyone who works in an office environment will likely be familiar with the temptation of snacks offered by well-meaning colleagues.
This is a rarity for me, thankfully. Although I spend my weekday mornings in a coworking space, most of my ‘colleagues’ tend to be relatively healthy types, and biscuits and other such snacks aren’t typically shared around with abandon.
However, the other day was an exception. I was offered a white chocolate chip cookie, and my response was to accept without hesitation. Far be it from me to turn down free food – especially when it’s in cookie form.
I soon discovered the error of my ways, however. The cookie was overly crunchy for my tastes, and the white chocolate made it sweet to the point of sickliness. (For me, cookies are pretty damned sweet to start with, so a scattering of dark chocolate chips or chopped nuts provides a welcome contrast.) Furthermore, after a few minutes, I developed a bit of a headache as the refined sugar surged through my system.
In short, I soon regretted my decision to accept the cookie offering – not only because I didn’t enjoy it, but also because I hadn’t even thought about saying no.
Continue reading What To Do When Somebody Offers You Food
Over the past few months I’ve found myself intermittently relying on a highly effective means of ensuring I don’t succumb to temptation when eyeing a particularly appetising snack.
It’s not a strategy I’ve deliberately employed, but it has been no less effective for that fact. Perhaps it can be effective for you too.
Continue reading A Curious (Yet Effective) Method for Avoiding Tempting Treats
Yesterday evening, having finished a round of golf, I had a hankering for a particular English delicacy known as mixed meat and chips.
There was a slight issue with my plan, however: the portion sizes they serve up at my local chip shop (where one can buy the aforementioned meal) are formidable, and I’d had a rather substantial lunch. Since I have major issues leaving food on my plate when full (a weakness I am yet to overcome), I could predict the potential outcome:
- Buy mixed meat and chips.
- Eat until finished (and somewhat nauseous).
- Suffer from the effects of overeating for the rest of the evening, and likely into the following morning.
My first thought was simply to employ my standard Portion Reduction Method, but that’s not an entirely watertight approach. In other words, the extra food I didn’t load on my plate would still be in the vicinity, which in my case, gives it a pretty decent chance of getting eaten regardless.
Still keen to avoid the seemingly inevitable outcome of eating way beyond what was strictly necessary, I pondered potential alternatives. A highly controversial idea hit me: why not ask for a smaller portion at the chip shop?
Continue reading How to Listen Less to Your Inner Glutton
Do you enjoy food?
If you’re anything like me, your answer will be a resounding and enthusiastic “Yes!” However, I believe the question warrants more thorough consideration.
In fact, it’s a question I’d like you to ask yourself when you next sit down for a meal. More specifically, I want you to think about why and how you enjoy your food. The answers may surprise you.
Continue reading How to Eat Less (But Enjoy Your Food Just As Much)
I haven’t been skinny in about twenty years. In fact, when I was a kid I was just plain fat. There’s no two ways about it.
These days I would consider myself to be in pretty good shape. However, by the most popular conventional standards I am officially overweight, along with 2.3 billion other adults in the world. And as you will already know if you pay any attention to the media, excess fat on your body is supposedly a ticking time bomb.
Well, screw that. In this post I want to explain why I’m perfectly happy with my weight. I want to explore the absurdity and contradiction behind conventional ways of determining whether someone is “overweight” and reveal why being overweight may have no negative impact on your health and can enable a sustainable and fulfilling way of life. Continue reading Why It Can Be Okay to Be Overweight
“They’re okay I guess, but they’re not a patch on Minstrels.”
It started innocently enough – a debate on the relative merits of confectionary on a second date with my now girlfriend. I’d always been a huge Minstrels fan, but she was putting an argument forward for Maltesers. I wasn’t convinced.
A couple of dates later we headed to the cinema. I bought a bag of Minstrels and she chose Maltesers. It was a standoff. Maltesers won comprehensively.
Fast-forward a year or so and things had gotten out of hand. I joke, but in all seriousness I did actually have a problem. It was not at all unusual for me to scoff an entire 360g box of Maltesers in one sitting. That’s about 1,700 calories.
While you cannot form a physiological dependence on sugar or chocolate, I was nonetheless psychologically addicted to Maltesers. It was ruining my otherwise relatively healthy diet and had the potential to lead to all sorts of health-related issues down the line. Something needed to be done.
So, I did something.
In this post I want to share the specific techniques I employed to neutralize my addiction while still allowing myself to enjoy Maltesers in moderation. If you are addicted to sugar, chocolate or candy (or in fact any type of food), you’ve just stumbled upon the means to make a major positive change to your seemingly fixed habits.
Continue reading How to Beat Food Addiction
According to Science Daily, the number one reason why diets fail is because dieters underestimate the amount of calories they consume.
I call bullshit on that. In my opinion, the number one reason why diets fail is because dieters want to eat things that most diets don’t permit.
In short, diets suck. I am not prepared to go for extended periods of time avoiding the foods that I love in the name of weight loss. I love beer, pizza, chocolate, and ice cream, and I don’t want to avoid eating them as part of a long-term eating regime. There has to be a better way.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to change your eating habits in more acceptable ways that result in weight loss. You can have your cake and eat it too – literally. In this post I want to focus on some simple changes you can make to your eating habits that will result in just as much satisfaction from what you eat, but with less impact on your waistline. Continue reading How to Lose Weight (Without Dieting)
There are a lot of negative connotations associated with weighing yourself. While stepping on the scales and seeing that your weight has dropped is a rewarding experience, plenty of people walk into the bathroom in the morning with a sense of dread – fearing what will stare back at them on the dial.
With the above in mind, some argue that the act of weighing yourself can not only be discouraging, but can even be psychologically damaging.
In this article, I will help you to decide whether you should weigh yourself. I will address both the pros and cons of doing so, and give you the information you need to make the best decision relative to your unique personality and circumstances.
Continue reading Should You Weigh Yourself?