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Know what to eat and when to eat it
If you really want to burn off that stubborn belly fat and get into the best possible shape, there are some incredibly simple rules you can follow every day that will make a world of difference to all your weight-loss efforts. Because these superbly healthy, nutrient-rich foods are ultra-low in calories but full of natural goodness and they really help you to feel full. Be careful with sauces and dressings because that’s where the hidden sugars and calories are lurking.
And what about timing? Most nutritionists advise us to have a good breakfast every day and get the day off to the best possible start. Some say that this is the most important meal of the day and, if you’re one of the many individuals who are too rushed or too busy to have a good breakfast, now is the time to introduce this excellent nutritional habit into your daily routine.
You also need to make time for lunch, aiming whenever possible for natural produce. Dinner should always be light.
The more natural your food choices, the better your body will like it. The aim is to help your body to function naturally and with maximum efficiency. Simple rules that can lead to spectacular results.
Take the right supplements to boost energy, mood and metabolism
Are you one of the growing band of healthy individuals who boost their daily wellbeing with supplements? Congratulations! Because when you take the right supplements in the right quantities, you can make a great deal of difference to your total health and wellbeing.
Especially when you consider that so much of our food is often lacking in the essential phyto nutrients that occur naturally when plants are allowed to grow the way Nature intended. It’s a serious issue because so much of our food is processed that a lot of the natural goodness is simply missing. That’s where supplements can make a world of difference.
Not only can they help to boost our digestion and bolster our immune system, but they can help to overcome the harmful effects of pollution and background toxicity that are the plague of modern, industrialised society. Supplements give our bodies a fighting chance to resist the harmful effects of those toxic chemicals that are in our homes, in the air we breathe and in the food we consume. The right combination of supplements can reverse much of the damage that we experience from environmental pollution.
Perhaps some of the most important supplements are the naturally occurring anti-oxidants that can purge free radicals from our systems and reduce the risk of disease and infection. The latest research in Epigenetics has even shown that certain supplements can switch off specific genes that trigger disease in the first in the first place.
Most people certainly benefit from a consultation with a qualified nutritionist to determine what kind of supplements are appropriate for their health profile. It is always advisable to talk first with your regular health professional before embarking on any course of nutritional supplements. This is particularly relevant when you’re taking prescription medications because of the way some supplements can react with your medicinal drugs. Talk to your doctor first and that will help you to determine what is appropriate for you.
Do effective exercise
You’ve got to move it or lose it – and we’re talking about your body here and about your health in particular. Humans evolved to move. The fact is that the more we spend our days hunched and bunched in front of a computer or a TV screen, the more we compromise our health and wellbeing. It just isn’t natural for us to spend so much time sitting. The problems show up in our necks and shoulders, in our back muscles and spines, in our hips and pelvis, in our knees and ankles.
To make matters worse, we don’t breathe properly either. We don’t oxygenate our bodies. The results are too obvious to mention but the overall effect is a severe reduction in the quality of our lives. So, we need to move. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to hit the gym and organise a worthwhile workout during the week, you can at least make sure you walk more often. This low-impact approach to exercise can get your body moving and get you started on the road to fitness. You don’t any special equipment and you can easily fit in a short walk during the day.
The emphasis in most gyms today though seems to focus on building muscle and developing stamina. These are both worthy objectives yet the most important factor of all is your ability to develop your natural levels of flexibility. That might come as a surprise yet suppleness is the key to maintaining your body’s long-term ability to move, to avoid pain and injury and to allow for natural movement that lends itself to lifelong exercise.
That’s why the ancient discipline of Yoga and the more modern interpretation of Pilates have proved so effective in helping people to discover their real potential for natural strength and flexibility. Once you are able to move more freely and comfortably, exercise becomes much easier to perform and the benefits happily start to show up in every aspect of your life.
Learn to manage your stress
Are you stressed? Do you experience tension in your body, in your joints and muscles? Do you find it difficult to relax and switch off? It seems that pretty much everyone is suffering from some form of stress these days. It’s everywhere! And that’s a problem because we run the risk of becoming so accustomed to feeling stressed that we just get used to it. We begin to accept that it’s completely normal to feel tired and tense, irritable and easily annoyed, helpless and weighed down by the pressures of daily life. But help is at hand. Humans have always been prone to stress, even though the long-term damage to our health and the quality of our lives are the all-too obvious and completely avoidable side effects of living in a constant state of anxiety.
One of the simplest antidotes to stress is to exercise. The movement and increase in oxygen uptake can work wonders for how we feel.
Exercise can trigger the release of endorphins, those wonderful. feel-good chemicals that are the body’s natural reward for moving the body and breaking a sweat. Exercise is a great way to get in touch with our bodies and turn down the stress response. Another alternative is to learn to meditate. This approach can take longer to master and the results need a little time before they show up in force. But the regular practice of meditation calms the mind, slows down heart rate, reduces blood pressure, relaxes the body, enhances the metabolism and brings our hyper-active thoughts to a state of relaxation that is deeply beneficial for our health and wellbeing.
Learning to become aware of your shoulders is another truly fabulous way to help you disarm your stress response. Our shoulders inevitably reflect how we feel. Our emotional state is mirrored in the position of our shoulders. This is incredibly useful because the moment you relax your shoulders, you automatically trigger a chain reaction in your body, lowering blood pressure, flushing adrenaline and cortisol out of your bloodstream, reducing the stress response and allowing yourself to feel calmer and more centred in a matter of minutes. It’s so effective that you can use it any time. If you add a gentle, deeper breath at the same time, you will soon learn to master your old habit of reacting with stress every time a challenging situation shows up. You will become calmer, more creative, more balanced and much more positively relaxed than you ever thought possible. You might even find that your sleep improves dramaticvally too and that’s a bonus that everyone deserves to enjoy every single night!
Take time every day to relax
Do you ever really switch off? Do you ever take the time – outside of your precious vacations! – to really let go and enjoy the peace and serenity of total relaxation? It’s a very important question because most of us never, ever really relax. Even when we think we’re relaxed, our bodies and minds are still holding extraordinary levels of physical and mental stress. This is not good for us. In fact, it’s probably harming us in all kinds of unpleasant ways. So how do we learn to relax?
In ancient times, the techniques of Yoga evolved over many centuries as a perfect method to master the body and the mind. The movements, positions and controlled breathing were developed to bring about a state of profound peace and calm that was recognised as being profoundly beneficial to everyone who practiced the techniques. Whether you’re a fan of Yoga or not, the principles of sitting quietly and simply breathing a little more deeply than usual can help us to let go of the habits of stress that cloud our minds and rob us of the peace we need to function normally.
Relaxation is not sleep. Frankly, most people do not sleep either deeply or well and you can judge the quality of your own night’s rest by the way you feel when you wake up! Learning to run a gentle scan through the length of your body can be very helpful in aiding you to spot the places where you’re holding tension. Tensing muscles and joints and then releasing them completely is a truly ancient method of introducing a deep sense of physical calm.
Breathing gently and a little more deeply than usual introduces a surprisingly relaxing influence to your thoughts. As you learn to relax your body and still your over-active thoughts, you will experience the wonder of a profound sense of relaxation. It can feel so good that you will want to experience it every day and every night. This is completely natural and a fully intended benefit of discovering the power of true relaxation.
Exercise every day, making it an automatic part of your routine
Have you noticed how easy it is to make excuses not to exercise? We all set out with the best of intentions, believing that we can get into better shape, lose the love handles, build some muscle and finally be able to jog up those flights of stairs without needing to be revived at the top by an emergency medical crash team! So what goes wrong? The answer’s easy. Habits! Unless we develop the habit of moving our bodies every single day, whether we feel like it or not, the chances are that we’ll soon find a handy excuse not to do the exercise and just avoid making the effort.
That’s why habits are so important in helping us to maintain the right choices in life. When you only have to choose once – choosing to exercise every day, for example – then you simply follow up on the decision automatically every day. You don’t have to face the pressure of a tough call to exercise every day. You make the decision to do whatever you have to do. You make that decision once and it becomes a firm commitment. You go with that decision until it becomes an automatic behaviour. That’s one of the great secrets to developing an effective exercise routine.
It’s no use having a brilliant personal trainer who builds the ultimate exercise programme for you – if you don’t show up to do the work. And that happens far too often. That’s why it’s smarter to opt for a lighter exercise routine that won’t exhaust you and give you the ideal excuse for cutting the daily exercise session. Start gently and build up the intensity slowly. You’ll still get the results you want but you’ll reduce the risk of injury, exhaustion and burn out.
One of the safest and most effective ways to improve your fitness is simply by walking every day. Are you surprised? You don’t need any special equipment, the exercise is free and most people actually enjoy the chance to move their bodies and start to notice their environment. It’s the perfect way to use your creativity, breathe a little more deeply and use the time to see your life and its challenges from a fresh perspective. If you can get out into the countryside and away from the city’s pollution, that’s even better. So, even without a gym membership and an expensive outlay on special clothes and equipment, it’s still posssible to move your body every day and pick up the benefits that flow from the daily application of movement and exercise. It’s your right and you need to exercise that right every single day.
Be kind to yourself
It’s often amazing how people react to this simple injunction to treat ourselves kindly. Most of the time, we do not behave kindly towards ourselves at all. We too often display the deep-rooted habits of judging ourselves negatively and this leads to a damaging loss of self-esteem and a crippling loss of belief in our ability to achieve things. We are, after all, very much the creatures of our beliefs. How we see ourselves and the way we impose our judgments on ourselves – and others – can make the world of difference to how our lives develop. When you renounce the habit of judging yourself, you begin to see yourself in a new light. You might begin to appreciate that you do not have to be perfect. That it’s completely normal to be wrong at times and that’s every single one of us makes mistakes.
We acknowledge that perfection is not the natural human condition. That failure is the frequent sign post on the pathway to success. This can mark the beginning of an extraordinary personal transformation. When you start to accept in your heart and mind that it’s good to be kind to yourself, to nurture and encourage yourself, to recognise the good things that you do and to accept yourself more fully, amazing things begin to happen in your life. You turn down the stress response and you become more adventurous. You no longer fear failure so you’re more willing to try new things. You treat your body more kindly, avoiding the processed junk food and sugary garbage that is so toxic to our health. You feel that you want to live in a body that supports great health and profound wellbeing. You might even take up a regular exercise routine.
Being kind to yourself means avoiding the physical, mental and emotional abuse that we inflict on ourselves. We need to be conscious of how we feel when we think about ourselves. It’s incredibly helpful to pause for a moment and ask whether this is how you really want to feel about yourself. You can learn to dismantie the negative thoughts and feelings and begin to build a stronger, more positive and more affirming set of responses.
These new, positive thoughts and feelings about yourself can quickly become the new habits that define how you see yourself. You develop a kinder, more appreciative perspective of who you are. Is it worthwhile? Try it. The results might easily astonish you.
Conduct healthy relationships – Accept that we all make mistakes
Being kind to yourself means that you need to have positive, healthy and supportive relationships in your life. It’s one of the fundamental principles that supports happiness, fulfilment and long term wellbeing. The way we feel about ourselves frequently shows up in the kind of relationships that we choose for ourselves. The underlying principle is simple enough: if we are not happy with who we are, we will often be drawn to relationships that support that inner unhappiness. Have you noticed how some individuals leave one relationship only to find someone very similar to the person they’ve just left? It happens all the time. We’re creatures of habit and this applies as much to our relationships as it does to any other aspect of our lives. So this is a perfect moment to consider the kind of people that you currently have around you.
Take a moment to consider the five most significant people that you spend your time with. How would you describe them? Are they positive people? Do they encourage you? Or do they make fun of you and pour doubt and negativity on your hopes and dreams? Healthy relationships require openness. Can you be open with the people who form your closest relationships? Or do you have to keep quiet, to pretend and play a role in order to keep the peace?
There are countless examples of manipulative people who get as close to you as possible in order to use you and control you. We’ve probably all met characters who fit that particular description! It certainly takes courage and a measure of determination to be free from these destructive kinds of people but, once you get them out of your life, you can better understand why you tolerated them in the first place. That’s a very important step in making sure that you don’t have to go through the same experience again.
One of the most important questions we can ask about our relationships is to reflect on whether we’re happy in the company of these significant individuals. So, go ahead. Ask yourself how you feel when you’re with these people? If the answer isn’t positive, you might want to consider why you’re spending time with any of these individuals. When you feel better about yourself, you begin to choose your friends and possible partners with a great deal more care. You can afford to choose. You do not have to compromise. True friends, after all, are exceedingly rare in life. If you find one, cherish them. They tend to be irreplaceable.
Feel fulfilled with what you do daily
Life is very much about the choices we make. And life is such a precious gift that is bestowed upon us as a daily opportunity to live very much as we choose. So why would we want to live a life that is unfulfilled and seasoned with disappointment? The answer might be surprising because we sometimes fall prey to the illusion that deep down we just don’t deserve to be happy. That particular illusion needs to be approached with a swinging sledgehammer and rightly shattered. You most certainly do deserve to be happy and fulfilled and that’s why this a great moment for you to take a break and consider how you’re spending the precious currency of your life.
Every moment that passes will never come back. It is both an opportunity and a fleeting reminder that our time is always limited. So let’s make a solid commitment to start living our lives with purpose, with focus and with determination. The starting point for this revolution is to consider what you really want from your life. The most common mistake is to aim for too little, to settle for less than your life truly deserves. And your aims do not have to be solely focused on yourself. You might want to make a difference to the lives of others as well.
The important thing is to recognise that now is the moment for you to decide whether you’re where you want to be, doing what you really want to do. These are big questions. But your life is too important to ignore these essential issues. Whatever your age, whatever your background, let’s stop making excuses and start applying our energy tdirectly owards the things that will bring us the greatest sense of fulfilment. Start right now. Don’t let the doubts and excuses get in the way. Do you want to wake up with a smile on your face and a tingle of excitement at the adventure that awaits you?
Finding fulfilment and making a difference are the underlying sources of great satisfaction and enormous motivation in this world. Take a breath and stop to consider what you’d really love to do that would make every day a joy to experience. Find your dream. Find your pathway and start living the kind of life that brings you the greatest possible happiness. Because the clock is ticking and you don’t have forever to get started!
Develop inner peace
One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is the priceless jewel of serenity, the inner calm that helps us to remain beautifully detached from the swirling turmoil of distractions that fill up the days of our lives. It sounds like a truly fabulous attribute to cultivate but where do we start? The first step is to learn to release all the accumulated stress from our bodies and exercise can certainly help to reduce the physical impact of stress but we need to go deeper. We need to identify all the places in our joints and muscles and tendons where we have stored our stresses and tensions. In the ancient traditions of Yoga, it is customary to start with the feet and tense the toes as tightly as we can before releasing them completely. Then we repeat the same tensing and releasing in every joint and muscle group throughout the body. This powerful and deliberate release of tension can work wonders for calming us down. At the same time, we need to breathe a little more deeply than usual but still aim to make every breath both calm and natural, effortless and free of all stress. In this way, we learn to disengage all the tension from the body and then the deeper breathing helps us to calm our thoughts. This is the beginning of meditation, allowing us to consider our thoughts and feelings with objective detachment until they lose their power to drive us like leaves lost in the grip of a strong wind. We become calmer. We become more balanced. We begin to feel centered. In these moments, we may gain insights into the way we live our lives.
We may see alternatives that we’d missed or failed to consider. Gradually we can bring all the different aspects of our life into harmony so that what we say, what we feel, what we think and what we do all flow naturally from the same source. This deeper sense of harmony in our lives is the foundation of great inner peace and when life’s storms and tribulations flare up, we remain calm and centered and deal with life’s inevitable challenges in a more balanced and creative way. This is the source of inner peace. This is the most natural way for human beings to express themselves and deal with whatever occurs. It is exceedingly rare but all the more precious because it within the grasp and potential of each of us to discover this priceless gift for ourselves.
Which of These Items represent your biggest challenge and why?
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