Archives for health

Ain’t Necessarily So

You may already be on board with the idea that the way to change your behaviour with food is to change the way you think about food. This means challenging beliefs you hold, perhaps long-held assumptions you’ve never been called upon to question, and perhaps not even fully recognise. Your own pattern of beliefs will be unique to you, and some could evaporate quite effortlessly. The most entrenched attitudes, though, tend to be those held by the entire culture. This is the sort of concept that ‘everybody knows’, which makes it tough to question.
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On Being Impulsive

Impulsiveness - action without thought - must surely be a part of our lives to some extent. It would be tough and even undesirable to ponder over our every action. Being impulsive may even be a delightful quality, for example, if you impulsively kiss your child or hug a friend. Being impulsive is part of living life to the full, unselfconsciously engaged with life and humanity. Who wouldn't want some of that?
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Form Follows Function

From time to time I get reminded that I’m in the weight loss industry, and often it's a bit of a shock! Weight loss is not what fires up the passion in my heart, either on a professional or personal level, and I suspect I’m far from alone in choosing a career path only to discover it’s different from what had initially been imagined.
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Creating Desire

In my last blog I wrote that we live with a continuous, largely automatic and unconscious, two-way communication, in that our bodies have an effect on our minds and our minds have an effect on our bodies. The ‘White Coat Effect’ is a well-known example, where concern about having blood pressure checked by a doctor actually causes a rise in blood pressure. This happens so automatically it can be tough, if not impossible, to know what is creating any particular problem we may encounter.
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Desire, Craving and Preference

Whenever you eat any food you don’t really need, what you’ve done is to satisfy your addictive desire to eat. No blame intended here; it’s just that when we name it we can make progress. As you may know from my books, taking control of overeating is the process of releasing and healing this desire for excess food. To some extent, it’s likely you’ll always satisfy some addictive desire. But if you can satisfy it less often (maybe a lot less often), that would deliver the results you want. Assuming, of course, it lasts long term.
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Elvis Was Doomed To Die Young

So claimed a newspaper article about a documentary on the DNA of dead celebrities. Don’t tell me you missed it! Elvis, it seems, had “a flaw in his DNA and his early death was his genetic destiny.” This is at least misleading, if not simply untrue. Elvis’ genes were not his destiny – and neither are yours - but it seems the only message we ever hear is that our genes are in charge of practically everything. Just a couple of days later the same paper tells us, “’Atkins gene’ reveals why obesity can run in family”. And so it continues.
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Invisible Addiction

The next time you've got a few moments (this won't take a second) climb into your time machine, transport yourself back to 1954, and observe the people there who are smoking cigarettes. You'll see that almost all men are smoking, and they smoke in any place, at any time. You'll see that they smoke in railway stations and in trains in any carriage.
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The Calorie Myth

I’ve always been suspicious of the “calories-in-calories-out” theory of weight loss, as I just wouldn’t accept that 400 calories of Sugar Puffs could have the same effect on my body as 400 calories of kale. So I was especially interested to see a book published recently titled "The Calorie Myth". Written by Jonathan Bailor, it’s the result of more than 10 years of investigation, and contains a very satisfying collection of references to research papers. Bailor proposes that the amount of fat we carry on our bodies doesn’t depend on the quantity of calories we eat as much as the quality of the food those calories came from.
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The Reason I Think

I read the bestseller, “Love Is Letting Go Of Fear” when it first came out, way back in 1979. Its strength is in the clear and direct way it’s written, and one chapter title stayed with me: “I am never upset for the reason I think.” I’m not going to pretend that I’m always on board with this idea. When I’m upset I feel sure I know exactly why - but I find that simply being curious about it has always paid off.
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Prevention or Cure

The books I read about nutrition tend to assume that their readers want to eat in a way that prevents, minimises or at least delays the onset of disease, especially the degenerative diseases of aging. It’s taken for granted that readers are aiming for a good life-span, but more importantly, a health-span that matches it as closely as possible.
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