Healthy Eating and a Busy Lifestyle!

Is there anyone out there who isn't always busy? Between work, family and home, it can be very difficult to fit in healthy eating ....

Planning ahead and packing food to take with you is one sure way to maintain healthy eating habits. So, here are a few ideas that you can use to fit healthy eating in when you have a busy schedule.

Start off the day with a balanced breakfast. Extreme hunger at lunch can ruin even the best of intentions!

It does without saying, keeping yourself WELL hydrated throughout the day will help to steer you clear of those ‘snap’ bad judgements that you’ll regret later!

Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Take advantage of short cuts when you are short on time. It is okay to stock your fridge with bagged salads, cut up vegetables, sliced turkey breast and low-fat string cheese.

Allow yourself to give in to one thing that you really want, but limit it. Not only will this practice be healthier, but the item you want will taste really good when you finally get it.

Avoid the white foods. White bread, white pasta, white rice and potatoes. Yes they’re often quick and convenient, but they’re also bulky, starchy and will go a long way to sabotaging all your weight loss efforts.  Even if you’re eating on the go, you can usually find restaurant choices that offer wheat bread instead of white, brown rice instead of white rice and oatmeal instead of refined cereal.

Go for whole grains whenever you can get them and heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado or nuts.

Stocking up on healthy stuff at home every week, means that they’re there in abundance when time might not be and will more likely be the first things you turn to.  Items such as whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, canned beans, deli meat, yogurt and low-salt soup will make meal preparation quick and easy.

Make use of downtime during dinner to prepare a quick lunch for the next day. If possible, make extra vegetables or chicken to use for sandwiches and salads.

Stash healthy items at work for a quick meal or snack such as instant oatmeal, baby carrots, yogurt, meal replacement bars, string cheese, low-fat popcorn, fresh fruit, etc.

Always add colour to your meal by including a fruit or vegetable.

Tied to using the office canteen? Look up menus ahead of time and nutrition information if possible. Making an informed decision, ahead of time (i.e, before you’re actually hungry!), will help you stick to your healthy eating plan.

Instead of hitting the drive-through, try the supermarket ‘help your-self’ salad bar. Again, planning ahead is the key. If you’ve already decided to do this before you become hungry, you’re far more likely to stick to your plan.

Sit-down and eat away from your desk! Multi-tasking often leads to ignoring your hunger and fullness signals making it easier to overeat.

Make a realistic goal for packing lunches during the week and reward yourself with a non-food gift for meeting your goal.


Another sad warning in this weeks papers for those considering an actual Gastric Band procedure. But with more and more people opting for what is perceived to be a quick fix, the '1 in 2000 chance of dying' is bound to bring about more casualties like this .... Click Here

Otago University researchers have developed their list of 49 "Needn't" foods, published in today's New Zealand Medical Journal, as part of a treatment research programme for obesity, one or two of which you may find surprising ...! Click Here

And, could this be the future of reducing calorie intake? Breathable foods could be on their way!!!  Click Here

Best wishes


Food Shopping on an Empty Stomach!!

When we going shopping for our weekly groceries, having a list and a set budget is always a good plan. However, for the vast majority of us, grocery shopping on an empty stomach ends up in buying more then what is on the list and will probably come in over budget!

So, why is this?

In two separate experiments recently, researchers conducted tests on why people buy more when shopping hungry.

The first experiment consisted of participants being injected with a hormone called ghrelin that increases hunger. (Our bodies release this hormone naturally when our stomachs are empty). An eBay type website was created for the participants to bid on edible items and also non-food items. During the process of the participants bidding, researchers used an MRI type scanning machine to observe their brain activity. The findings were not too surprising.

The hormone, grehlin really affected the way participants decided which items to bid on. The hunger overwhelmed the brain and choices were made more towards edible items than non-food items.

There are also other factors that manipulate the brain into buying more when shopping on a hungry appetite. For instance, those that get less than six hours of sleep a day are sleep deprived, which causes the brain to crave for more energy. In addition, the feeling we all know, stress. Stress tricks the brain into wanting food, to compensate for the actual stress we are in, thus subconsciously making you buy more when grocery shopping.

When the body is hungry, all it wants is food. We all know the feeling of being so hungry that our stomach growls so loud the person next to you can hear it. It’s the stomach’s polite way of asking you to re-fuel yourself. So, if you’re hungry, sleep deprived, or stressed, maybe it’s not the best time to go grocery shopping.

The second experiment involved a study of 14 men and women. Some were of healthy, normal weight, while others were obese. The researchers hooked up the participants to a device that controlled their glucose levels intravenously, in order to approximate hunger and fullness, and then sent them through a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner.

While in the machine, the participants saw pictures of various foods; some high-calorie and some low-calorie, as well as non-food objects. To make sure the volunteers didn’t start out too hungry or too full, the test occurred two hours after they had eaten lunch.

When the researchers kept the participants’ glucose levels near normal, their brains showed more activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area that governs executive functions such as logic, reasoning and planning; this is the region that helps control emotions and impulses, like craving high-calorie junk food.

But when glucose levels were dropped, a deeper area of the brain, which includes the hypothalamus, thalamus and nucleus accumbens, started to light up instead. These areas are related to our emotional or limbic system, and play a key role in motivation, reward and addiction.

This happens because it’s an important survival strategy: when glucose levels wane, it’s a signal that the body is running low on fuel necessary to survive; the response is to remove any barriers to eating. This has the effect of making food, especially high-calorie goodies rich with glucose, seem more appealing.

But here’s where it gets REALLY interesting …..

While this brain activity occurred only during ‘low-glucose’ times among normal-weight people, it was quite a different picture for those participants who were overweight.

When the body gets calories, the brain’s ‘reward’ system quiets down and regions related to ‘logical reasoning’ take over again, for normal-weight people. That means the enticing foods start to lose their lip-smacking attractiveness. But for some reason, in obese people, the ‘reward’ switch remains stuck in the ‘on’ position, leading to a constant desire for those high calorie foods such as cheesecake or a juicy burger.

This implies that there is a ‘biological driver’ that pushes obese people to continue to eat, even when they’re full. They may not “see” food the same way as lean people do, because their ‘reward’ and ‘desire’ signals are consistently signalling that they want to eat, and that they want to eat high-calorie foods in particular.

Scientists are not yet sure what causes this effect and are thus still unsure whether it’s reversible. But the results suggest that there may be a biological difference affecting obese people, influencing their motivation for eating when they see an ad or picture, which may not be under the same control systems as those of lean people.

That may prove to be an important clue to understanding obesity, and, if these findings are confirmed, they could lead to more effective ways to curb weight gain, beginning not on the plate but in the brain.

Client Stories

"When I came to see Tony in the middle of November, the idea was to find out more about the Gastric Band Hypnosis plan then make start in the new year. After a very detailed chat however, it just felt right to get started right away ... and am I glad I did!

When I went back for the session a few days later, I found myself very nervous again but Tony soon put my mind completely at rest before we started. In fact, I don't think I've ever felt so relaxed, although I did find myself trying to analyse what was going on from time to time. I was even trying to analyse things on my way home from his house because I wasn't feeling that much different at that point.

It wasn't until my evening meal that day that I realised having so much more control, I was full off half the amount I would normally eat and I was actually able to leave food on my plate ..... unheard of before for me!!!!!

Since then, I've continued eating a lot less then I ever did and have not felt any urge to graze between meals at all, even over Christmas!! I've changed my routine at the gym as Tony suggested and I just have loads more energy and more motivation. I can't believe I'm already nearly a stone and a half lighter and feeling better then I've done in years. I've still got some way to go, but I'm feeling alot more in control now, which is something I hadn't felt for a long time.

I would say to anyone who is still stuggling with diets like I was, forget them. Go and see Tony!!!!

Liz, Wigan"

Thanks Liz, and well done again so far ... One stone and 9 lbs as of yesterday!! Keep it going!

More again soon

Best wishes