Life is too short to be negative

Choose life, be positive and you will get ahead.

If you want to be successful in any area of your life, then having a positive outlook is a requirement. Negativity is a cancer. Whinging, complaining, intimidation, fear, guilt, ridicule, prejudice, self-doubt; these are all forms of negativity coming from within or other people. While some can be controlled, others needed to be cut-off.

If people in your life are dragging you down, then you have the power to pick them up and get rid of them for good. Imagine what a heavy, dampening and drowning weight would be lifted out of your life by doing so. Ridding yourself of negative people will give you more room to enjoy your life and most importantly, be happier. You can achieve your goals without somebody’s opinion holding you back.

It’s okay to slowly remove yourself out of a person’s life. It’s often a hard thing to do, because negative people tend to wield power from people, causing intimidation. You are more prone to accepting negative people into your life during your teenage years because of insecurities and fear of being subject to their fury. As adults, it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s never too late to turn your outlook on life into a positive one. A half-full glass of wine is better than a half-empty glass, that’s for sure. Why not exercise a placebo effect in your life, without the need of sugar pills. Life is short and everybody deserves to be happy. Do not feel obligated to be loyal to people who aren’t loyal to you. Live a healthy live full of good food, exercise and people who love you, and you can achieve anything.

Parents need to take responsibility for childhood obesity

Parents of overweight or obese children should really be doing more in western society’s obesity epidemic.

Everybody is familiar with the saying: You are what you eat. And when it comes to children, they’re innocence overshadows them. They are what their parents eat. They’re not old enough to go shopping and opt to put healthy food in the trolley. They can’t choose what fruit or how much chocolate goes into their cupboards and fridge; let alone their school lunch boxes. More so, they shouldn’t choose what goes in the pantry because they aren’t mentally sound to choose healthy food over junk, and would probably opt for sugar-ridden sweets anyway. It’s fair to say that parents of overweight and obese kids need to be held partially accountable for their children’s corpulent diet and exercise regime.

Although bullying and low self-esteem leads to comfort eating in young children, the problem again reverts back to food in the house hold and parents being bad role models. Why are so many cupboards stocked up on junk food? Clearly parents are major culprits when kids have access to calorie saturated, pound stacking on food.

It’s a great thing that the Australian Government has brought in lunchbox regulations to lower the amount of inappropriate food packed by parents. But there’s a lot more to be done to alleviate this international obesity epidemic.

In 2009, Californian researchers found that adolescents are more probable to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit per day if their parents do. Furthermore, teenagers were more likely to drink soft drink and eat takeaway food if their parents did.

So really, it does come down to parents being role models and shot callers when it comes to diet. Why not invest in healthy, appropriate, low calorie foods for your children and promote exercising. Walk your children to school instead of catching the bus or dropping them off by car where possible. Walk to the shops if it’s close enough. It all begins with the home.

Brain and gene influence on obesity

A gene variation has proven to affect brain tissue reduction and added fat storage.

The body and the brain operate in extraordinary ways. Add science into the mix and we’re able to discover how obesity can affect this coexistence.

A recent study in Pittsburgh has discovered a link between brain and genes as influencers of obesity. They found that obesity directly affects the size of a person’s brain. Obese people have 8% less brain tissue compared to people of normal weight. The results for overweight people followed trend with 4% less brain tissue than people of normal weight.

It is believed the main cause is a gene variation in the FTO and hypothalamus. This part of the brain controls many basic functions including fluid balance, body temperature and hunger. The study had proven that genetic variations in obese people can affect behaviour, as opposed to the chemical processes of fat and energy metabolism.

Brain degeneration in obese people may also be due to lack of exercise, which could explain why somebody is overweight to begin with. Research already suggests that exercise preserves brain mass by releasing chemicals that restore neurons. Overweight people also are prone to having higher levels of insulin hormone, known as a compelling fat storage hormone. So by not exercising, there is a significant chance of increasing brain tissue loss.

Clearly, it can be seen that being obese, or even overweight, reduces a person’s quality of life.  It doesn’t just lead to diseases, but also decreases cognitive capabilities. Professor Thompson who led the study said any loss of brain tissue puts a person at greater risk of functional decline. That is why the most crucial way to resist both obesity and brain decline is to exercise, sustain high fitness levels and eat healthy.

Losing weight is a science. Keeping it off is a psychology.

Combine the science of eating water rich foods with the psychology of choosing to eat appropriate foods, and you are on the road to maintaining your weight.

For many people, losing weight seems to be a life-long process. Dieting and following new fads on television and in magazines is a lifestyle for some people, rather than a short means-to-an-end. This is because many don’t understand the science behind losing weight.

Think of your body as a machine and the process of losing-weight will become a lot easier to understand. It is a game of science and maths. Here’s the good news – you naturally burn energy by simply existing. A day spent sat at a desk still requires energy – not as much of course, but you still burn a set amount of calories.

Eating smart, not eating less is the key to losing weight and keeping it off. It’s all in your head. Being motivated to stick to a healthy diet is what drives results. Eating low in calorie density foods that are rich in water, such as vegetables and fruit, promotes healthy weight loss and prevents chronic illnesses. It also helps people control their hunger. They’re eating more, but actually less in terms of calories. What they learn is to make appropriate food choices for a low in calorie density diet.

So really, by simply knowing and controlling what you put into your mouth is going to make losing weight an achievable task. The science is eating low in calorie density foods. The psychology is choosing to make smart food choices and sticking to it. And that’s it! Combine the two rules and you’re set for a healthy diet.

Should we push for nutrition to be on the school syllabus?

Some health and nutrition experts have began to argue that the syllabus should now incorporate health classes – and that if there’s not enough time to fit this into the timetable then sports and games should incorporate nutritional education as part of their classes.

One school in Sydney has actually already started doing this and has earned itself top marks when it comes to pleasing both parents and education authorities. Even the children are enjoying the classes!

The idea is that by teaching children about food, they are taking life-lessons away with them and helping to keep their weight healthy for the rest of their lives. The school, Coogee Public School, has introduced a Healthy Active Kids program, which aims to improve diets and increase exercise levels.

The idea is that if kids learn how to be healthy at an early age it will lower the risk of becoming overweight in adulthood and be a lesson that is taken away with them for the rest of their lives, having a continuous beneficial impact. As part of the initiative, the school gave out journals to almost all of its 560 students. They used these to record how active they are and what they are eating. In class they then focused on nutrition, physical activity and exercising the mind. Deputy principal Stewart Crawford said: ‘We have had such a positive response that we are looking to run it again. There’s been a 15 per cent increase in the number of children who say their diet is excellent.’

Ley us know what you think of this initiative….

Labeling laws could be changing?????

The labeling of food is a confusing process for many – we also tend to feel less guilty when we can’t see the stats of the food we’re consuming, which certainly doesn’t help the general push to label all food. We can go to a bar and drink a glass of wine relatively guilt free when we can’t see how much sugar we’re consuming. However, slam a label on the side of the glass and show us just what we’re doing to our bodies and we suddenly recoil in disgust – or at least, that’s the plan.

It may be soon be introduced that all alcoholic beverages are labeled with their exact contents. The urge comes as more and more pregnant women continue to drink during their pregnancy and end up causing harm to their baby.

One doctor commented: ‘We have got to get over the notion that it is politically safe to talk about the bad effects of smoking but not the even more harmful effects of drinking while pregnant.”

Former health minister Neal Blewett has commented: “it was rather odd that you have all this information, all this advice, yet at the point of sale there is no indication at all”

In Britain, a traffic light labeling process was introduced with three stickers on food – red for high in fat, yellow for ok, and green marked clearly for “go”! This is a simple and very easy to follow system which Australia is hoping to adopt and even use across its alcohol companies.

But would this make you change your habits? Let us know…

Second-hand smoke linked to diabetes

We all know the risks of smoking when it comes to lung cancer and other forms of respiratory associated disease. And we all know the health risks associated with a poor diet – obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular problems, just to name a few. But now scientists have revealed that smoking, and even second-hand smoke, are linked quite significantly to diabetes.

There has never been a better time to get healthy – and we don’t just mean by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet – but by cleansing every single part of your lifestyle, from smoking and alcohol intake, to the amount of time you spend with those who smoke.

Diabetes Care has revealed that the longer a person spends taking in second-hand smoke, the greater the risk of type two diabetes. This research has come from the Diabetes Research Centre at Harvard University, which revealed that this discovery is completely unexpected but confirms the all-round detrimental effects of smoking.

Dr. David Nathan, head of the department has commented that:

“This just reinforces the lesson from a public health point of view that we’ve been stressing for decades”

His point being that people should avoid being near cigarette smoke, as the full dangers to health are still not completely known and constantly surprising us.

This is a study that spanned over two decades and captured data from over 100,000 women. The women were all nurses participating in a national study that would provide information about how much time they spent around cigarette smoke. During the next 24 years, about one in 18 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The message to be taken away from the results of this research is that cigarette smoke is to be avoided at all costs – even when breathed in passively it is seriously harmful to your health. If you live with a smoker, take time to help and support them to stop.

The Athlete’s Diet

It caused a bit of a stir some years ago and now it’s back – the Weetbix advert which asks ‘How many do you do?’ The downfall of this advertisement however, is that all of the celebrity faces are athletes and obviously eat (and should eat) more carbs than the average person. Think of their routine, they train all day long and burn off massive amounts of carbohydrates and need more for the energy that they burn during sport.

They are in essence encouraging a child to eat as much as they do, to take in as many carbs as they do, and ultimately not burn them off. These characters are also idol figures for children, which means it’s far more likely that what they say on these adverts will be taken extremely seriously by children and undoubtedly be emulated.

And if you think this isn’t quite true, or an extreme, we did a little forum searching around the subject and found a mum’s forum talking about their kids’ reaction to the advert. Their children wanted to challenge their parents to see ‘how many they could do’. One woman’s little girl could eat as many as her father! This is shocking as there’s absolutely no way that the little girl will burn off as much as her Dad. However, what’s even worse is that the family in mention didn’t see anything wrong with this, it was simply a family challenge and they found it funny just how much the little girl could eat.

It’s understandable that children with a limited knowledge on food will be sucked in by these adverts but when parents are too, it becomes extremely worrying.

Fitness in Australia being tax deductible

The cost of gym memberships, gym equipment and gym clothing doesn’t seem fair at times. We spend so much money on preparing ourselves for a work-out, that when it finally comes to working out we feel both financially and motivationally drained.

There has recently been a push towards making fitness in Australia tax deductable and we would love to hear your thoughts. The argument is that there are thousands upon thousands of Australian people who are seriously harming their bodies through smoking, drinking and generally not taking care of their own health. These people end up in hospital and are getting taken care of courtesy of tax-payers money. Now, it’s a fine-line to tread, as obviously these people are ill and have the same rights as any other person in hospital, however, while healthy people spend hundreds on gym bills and keeping themselves out of hospital, the unhealthy are in hospital getting treatment for free.

The push is for gyms to be able to provide a tax report for all members who have held a membership for 12 months. Then when the tax-period comes around they can claim back these costs as part of their annual tax-return.

The idea is that those who support and look after their bodies are encouraged to keep this up, as it’s these people who will ultimately be less of a burden on the health-care system.

It takes nothing away from the unhealthy, but certainly benefits those that are actively taking care of themselves – it may also encourage more people to start working out in gyms. Those who currently feel like they can’t afford to do so will have an extra shot of motivation. And with Australia currently having the highest obesity rate in the world, this may be the push that the country needs.

It’s all pretence!

Snacking on, and drinking foods that are labelled as good for you, has got to be one of the biggest downfalls when it comes to our diets.

There are many culprits in the food industry but one of the biggest (especially over the summer months) is low carb beer. As the sun shines, many people turn to a refreshing beer as a thirst quencher… and many opt to drink low carb beer, as they believe it will have less effect on their bodies.

However, it’s been revealed that Australian drinkers are being exploited by this low carb myth as many are fooled into believing that this is the beer to drink to promote good health.

In fact, when surveyed, 38% of people thought it was actually healthier than lower-alcohol light beer compared to 36% who knew it wasn’t. This is a shocking statistic – more people believe that low carb beer is actually healthier than low alcohol beer. The results of a great marketing tool it seems. The consumer’s ‘desire’ to make a healthy choice is what is being exploited. People want to do the right thing and are being fooled into thinking that they are. What’s worse is that many people have admitted to drinking more, purely because they believe it to be healthier.

What the consumer should actually look out for is kilojoules as this is far more relevant to your health… it is the units of energy that your body will need to burn after intake. The ones you don’t burn will turn into fat – but the marketers don’t want to teach anybody about that it seems!