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Dieting? Alcohol will make you hungrier…

 

We all know that alcohol contains sugar – something we need to avoid if you’re on a diet. But drinking alcohol, already high in calories, also makes you hungry, hence the success of the late-night kebab and offal shop…
 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pint of beer contains about 200 calories, a glass of red wine, 160 calories, and a glass of white, as many as 350.

 

Carefully conducted research has shown that even people who had unknowingly ingested alcohol would end up feeling more hungry and eating more within three hours.

 

There’s a reason restaurants offer aperitifs before dinner – it’s to stimulate your appetite and the practice can be traced back as far as the 5th century.

 

It seems that the ‘aperitif effect’ makes you feel hungrier than you really are. A glass of wine before dinner will lead inevitably to the merciless demolition of a large slice of cheesecake after dinner. This has nothing to do with overindulgence – it’s because alcohol tricks your brain into starvation mode. According to a study at London’s Francis Crick Institute, the ethanol in alcohol fires up AgRP neurons in the brain normally activated by starvation, thereby inducing feelings of hunger.

 

Other studies have confirmed the paradox that alcohol intake stimulates eating, and also correlates with obesity.

 

Paradoxically, alcohol is the second most calorific nutrient after fat, but instead of filling you up, it has the opposite effect. How unfair is that? What is the evolutionary advantage? Could it be that the effect is merely hedonic hunger, where someone eats for pleasure rather than nourishment?

 

To put this in perspective, just a little alcohol (say, half a pint of beer) won’t give you the raging munchies – but two pints will interfere with your ability to regulate your food intake sensibly. With some individuals, the drive to eat can go beyond what is reasonable, which is probably why that fry-up looks so good after a few pints.

 

It is possible that because alcohol reduces our inhibitions, we’re more relaxed about what we eat. The health conscious part of our brain seems to lose all self-control – the result is that all ideas of staying trim fly out of the window.

 

But this cannot be the whole story. Researchers from Sussex have come up with what they believe to be an answer – alcohol directly interferes with appetite control because after alcohol, food looks more appetising!

 

The researchers have discovered that carefully controlling the food and alcohol intake of a group of volunteers, there were other, psychological factors coming into play. It could well be that a person’s past experiences of alcohol and food affect what they will eat after a drink.  For instance, a person who normally heads to the nearest Indian for a curry after a couple of beers is more than likely to do the same – even if they have been drinking non-alcoholic beer!

 

This makes complete sense because humans are creatures of habit and prefer to stick with what is comfortable and familiar. It doesn’t matter how revolting that kebab turning in the window may look in daylight, it’s going to seem mouth-wateringly delicious after a night on the piss.

 

Copyright Andrew Newton 2016. All rights reserved.

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7 Simple Rules for Easy Weight Loss!



 

  1. Crash or fad Diets don’t work, so it’s better to set achievable goals. If you lost just 1lb. a week, you would be 25 lbs. lighter by the time your summer holiday comes around! That’s nearly 2 stone or 12 kilos!
     

  2. Forget the gym – you’re just turning fat into muscle and you always feel hungry after a workout!
     

  3. Taking a ten-minute walk every day will burn enough calories so you notice the difference in your waistline in just one month! A little aerobic exercise every day really works! That means walking to the corner shop, not driving!
     

  4. Avoid sugar and the pounds will melt away – and that includes alcohol and sugary drinks! 
     

  5. Eat a meal at the normal rate but then slow down – once food is put into the stomach, you start to feel full and your appetite wanes. And stop eating as soon as you feel full!
     

  6. Place food out of sight - this has a big effect on consumption. Remember – food gets eaten faster from a stockpiled fridge.
     

  7. Using smaller plates encourages you to eat less. 

    Copyright Andrew Newton 2016. All rights reserved.


 

In the 19th Century, the Russian anarchist Bakunin wrote, “Don’t waste time on doubting yourself, because that is the biggest waste of time ever invented by man.” 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

For centuries, much has been written about the origins of the mind. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, is even more written about changing minds.  There has been an avalanche of self-help books, tapes, courses, seminars - you name it! The self-improvement business has become a bandwagon on which the self-help gurus and modern day snake oil salesmen have been allowed to bestow upon themselves a status undeserving of their actual ability or the vacuous panaceas they peddle. A good deal of what they have to say can be categorised as vacuous drivel, which it undoubtedly it is most of the time.

 

The truth of the matter is that books with seductive titles like I Can Make You Thin promise everything and deliver next to nothing. Ask any therapist. Only YOU can make yourself thin, stop smoking, rich, smarter, happier, etc. on and on, ad nauseam. Whether or not you succeed in any of these endeavours is ENTIRELY UP TO YOU. No one else plays any part in your decision making or life changing process, ONLY YOU. It’s ALL down to you. Always has been, always will be. 

 

Having said that, there are some gems of wisdom among the dross, some mental gymnastics that you may find helpful, and so for a change, I offer here a selection of the things that can actually work. No money need change hands, this is free information at no charge to yourself, for you to put into practice, or forget, as you see fit.

 

Most of the success attributed to self-improvement, or perhaps self-regulation might be a better way of putting it, is based on Visualisation Techniques. But the problem with a lot of the visualisation techniques punted on the Internet and in most books on the subject is that they focus on the goal rather than on the process of achieving that goal. As a consequence, they don’t really work as well as they might: simply visualising the end result might provide some kind of short-term feel-good factor, but that’s only a temporary fix, and a fleeting one at that. In the long run, it’s far more effective to imagine [that is, create mental pictures of] the many steps you have to take to achieve that goal. 

 

This ‘baby steps’ approach is much more useful. In other words, setting reasonable, achievable goals, and then working on them step by step is going to be much more effective in the long term. Nothing happens overnight - Rome wasn’t built in a day - so you will find it easier to set a realistic time frame. When I used to deal with clients who wanted to lose weight, I would always find out what they considered to be a realistic and achievable plan and then we’d take it from there. 

 

So, instead of imagining yourself slim and being able to fit into a size 12 dress, it’s a far better idea to imagine yourself losing, say, 1 pound per week. That is something that is much more realistic and so the process works better. In six months, it means you will lose 25 pounds, or nearly 2 stone [11 kg.] and that’s great going! Carry that on for a year and you lose nearly four stone! [23.5kg.]

 

Making plans that are easy to stick with is a better way of achieving success. 

 

But what about all those nasty negative thoughts? The very act of trying to suppress the things that make us unhappy makes us think about them even more. It’s rather like trying desperately not to think about pink elephants – the more you try not to think about them, the more they pop into your head. So actively trying not to think about something makes you think about it even more, even sometimes to the point of obsession. It’s the same problem trying to forget about cigarettes or food or anything else that represents temptation. This is a vicious circle and is more likely to increase misery rather than alleviate it.

 

Far better to focus on the benefits of giving something up, and how much better you will feel. 

 

What about happiness? Being happy simply means feeling better. Really. The happier a person is, the better they perform in life and generally speaking, the healthier they feel, the healthier they are. One of the first things I learned when I was studying hypnosis was that you are a mind with a body first and foremost, not the other way round. Being happy helps the individual to cope with all the stresses and strains of everyday life, improves relationships with others, makes life generally more satisfying and strengthens immune systems. I suppose that’s obvious, but how to make that happen...?

 

Here’s a good exercise to try, because it’s quick and easy: 

 

Step 1: give yourself a general ‘happiness rating’ on a scale of 1 to 10.

 

Step 2: now make a mental note of all the things in your life you enjoy and are grateful for, spending a few seconds to visualise each one. Think about the best and most joyful moments and spend a few moments thinking about being in your favourite place and/or being with someone you enjoy being with. Picture all this in beautiful vivid colours and imagine that all this is right up close to you, surrounding you, merging with you, becoming a part of you. 

 

Step 3: Do this at least twice a day, every day, for a week and then on the last day, check your ‘happiness rating’ again on a scale of 1 to 10. Bet you it’s gone up!

 

This exercise is one of the very few NLP techniques that are of any value. It’s a mixture of creative relaxation and Emile Cue’s ‘every day in every way’ repetition exercise. It also involves your own imagination - images are a lot more powerful than words and therefore exert a greater influence on you. Why does it work? Well, it’s all about association. Emotions are associated with thoughts, so by indulging your brain in some quality time with its happy memories, your emotional happiness level will improve. 

 

People who are materialistic tend not to value experiences such as days out with friends or trips to the theatre, at least not as much as people who are not very materialistic. Materialistic persons tend to spend a lot more on themselves than they do on others. That’s not just on the things they buy, but it includes time as well. Non-materialistic people enjoy the company of others and spend more time going out and socialising. It’s no surprise then, that non-materialistic types are generally happier people than the materialists. Simple acts of kindness to others increase levels of happiness. Changing the way you behave toward others will change the way you think. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. Send me a fiver. I promise you will feel happier! 

 

No, don’t send me a fiver - I’m kidding! OK, you can if you really want to, but I’m being absolutely serious when I tell you that spending time on shared experiences is a good way to feel happier and this in itself will help you shed a few more ounces. Added to which, you are burning more calories when you are out and about than you are when you are sat at home. 

 

Here’s another exercise. Stand upright but with your head down, shoulders slumped and hands hanging limply down by your side. Now try to feel happy. Can’t do it can you? Now try it the other way. Stand upright with your head held high, shoulders back, chest out, and put a big smile on your face. Now try to feel sad. Can’t do that either? Well, it goes to show that just by improving your posture, you can improve your level of self-confidence, which will in turn boost your happiness rating. If you want to feel happier, behave happier. Maybe there was a reason we were told to sit up straight when we were at school! The down side of this is that the happier people are, the more likely they are to make rash or unwise decisions, so be careful out there!

 

Of course you could always put a mirror on the fridge door, but the real secret is to take everything step by step, keeping to the plans that are achievable. A more detailed list of sub goals is easier, measurable and time-based. Really, I promise you – this is the best way. Actors don’t learn their lines in one go. First they read the whole script to give them an idea of what the story is about, and then they break it down into small chunks that are easier to memorise. NLP calls this ‘chunking’ but in actual fact, it’s a method that has been around for hundreds of years. Musicians do the same thing. When I had to perform solo pieces with the Max Jaffa Orchestra, I learned them all by heart and I did this by breaking them up into eight bar phrases, learning one phrase at a time until I was ready to string them all together for my big moment every Saturday night. I still have every one of them in my head thirty-odd years later!

 

Telling friends or family about your sub-goals is also a good idea because not only can they can be a source of support, but it helps to reinforce your own decision. 

 

Once you have achieved one sub-goal, it’s easy to experience feelings of success, and this in turn spurs you on toward the next. Every achievement, no matter how small, becomes associated with these feelings and slowly but surely, you inch toward that final goal. Each sub-goal can even have a reward attached to it, so long as it’s not a cake of course! 

 

Don’t overdo it! Working on any activity for just a few minutes teaches you to stick at it and see it through to completion. Everything in bite-size chunks! [Sorry, no pun intended.]

 

It is also important to decide upon a realistic assessment of the problems as well as thinking about the benefits of achievement, and there are tried and tested ways to reduce your appetite:

 

  • Start eating at the normal rate and then slow down

  • Place food out of sight - this has a big effect on consumption.

  • Starting to eat a meal at the normal rate and then slowing down has been shown to work because once food is put into the stomach, you start to feel full sooner and your appetite wanes.

  • Remember - food gets eaten faster from a stockpiled fridge.

  • Avoid large plates - using smaller plates encourages you to eat less.

 

Reducing your appetite is one way to get things moving in the right direction, but you can also help things along by giving yourself a natural environment. Every little bit of effort helps! 

 

People function better when there are trees and plants around. We know that workers don’t perform as well in the concrete jungle. We also know that a more natural environment reduces antisocial behaviour. It also makes people more creative. You could also give yourself a more relaxing environment. 

 

A study by Robert Ulrich of Texas A&M University showed that placing plants and flowers in offices made people an average 15% more creative. It increased the flow of ideas and flexible solutions. Psychologists noticed that children engage in more creative play in ‘green’ areas. So why not try it? A bit of foliage around the place can work wonders. Psychologists have also found that looking after a few plants lowers stress levels and improves performance. I bet it will help you too!

 

People under stress become focussed and risk averse. They tend to fall back on tried and tested methodology. In just the same way, people who are relaxed are more likely to explore new ways of thinking and seek out more creative solutions to problems.

 

At Nijmegen University in the Netherlands, a team of psychologists carried out a simple ‘thought test’ on a large group of volunteers. Some of the group were asked to think about themselves as hooligans while some of the group were asked to think about themselves as university professors. The results of this experiment are astounding. Those volunteers who had thought themselves as brilliant academics went on to achieve increased scores on a series of simple tests. 

 

Jens Forster, at the International University in Bremen, Germany, took the experiment a stage further. Again, a group of volunteers were asked to think of themselves as either a boring person or a true artist. Again, those volunteers who had concentrated on thinking of themselves as artists displayed increased creativity when tested later. 

 

This is all information we can use to help ourselves. The current vogue is to Think Thin! However, ‘thinking thin’ by itself won’t get you very far. You have to adopt all of the techniques listed above, or at least most of them. 

 

So far I haven’t said a word about will power. This is a serious omission and you are going to have to include it in your regime. In other words, YOU MUST STICK TO THE DIET! One ray of sunshine on the horizon though is that most people, once they see the weight coming off, are spurred on to lose even more! That’s when it starts to get easier.

 

Accessing your own will power is not nearly as hard as you imagine. After all, who are you doing this for? Yourself, right? 

 

Remember – reasonable goals are achievable! You don’t have to starve yourself or live on rabbit food. Just remember the 5 simple rules:

 

  1. Eat a little less and stop when you feel full;

  2. Take a little bit more exercise every day. That just means walking to the corner shop, not driving;

  3. Avoid snacks that are high in fat content such as crisps and nuts;

  4. Avoid sugar and sweet things like cakes and chocolate;

  5. Cut down on your alcohol consumption. 

 

The most difficult obstacle you have faced so far, is the will to believe in yourself. Don’t worry, this will happen soon enough when those pounds start falling off! Diets that start tomorrow, never work – you have to start TODAY! And that’s the first baby step. 

 

“If you believe you can, or believe you can’t – either way, you’re right. 

Henry Ford.


 

Copyright Andrew Newton 2016. All rights reserved.

Making yourself thin

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Moderate exercise can clear your head


 

Just 30 minutes exercise can create new neurons in regions of the brain responsible for learning, emotion and memory and even moderate aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain's frontal lobe which leads to clearer thinking. 


 

 

 

 

 


 

It is well known that runners often report bursts of mental clarity, enhanced moods and moments of becoming lost in their own thoughts long enough to confront external tasks. 

It’s thought that although aerobic exercise can’t prevent people getting sad or depressed, but it can help with recovery. 

 

In fact any kind of exercise can aid cognitive thinking because exercise serves to enhance important adaptive functions – self-reflection, creativity, and attention. 

 

New research has disproved the theory that once humans start to grow older, their brains cannot make new neurons. A handful of recent studies, including one carried out by the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, have discovered that after a run, new neurons are formed in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with learning and memory. It is now thought that if you exercise so much you sweat, new brain cells will be formed. 

 

Other studies have noted an increase of blood flow to the brain's frontal lobe, the area involved in clear thinking, planning, focus and concentration. This region is also associated with the regulation of emotions, which supports the idea that exercise may help reduce sadness. 

 

To prove their point, the researchers showed the final scene of the 1979 film 'The Champ' (a tear-jerker of note) to a group of 80 volunteer participants. Before watching the scene, some of the participants were asked to jog for 30 minutes, while others performed stretching exercises for the same amount of time. Each participant was then asked to report how sad the film made them feel, following which the researcher kept them occupied for another 15 minutes,  before asking them again how they were feeling.

 

Participants who reported difficulties with concentration or who felt overwhelmed by their emotions, were less affected by their symptoms following the 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. They also reported feeling less sad at the end of the study than those who did no exercise.

 

In addition to enhancing each individuals's clarity and memory, researchers discovered another benefit of going for a long run – the propensity to daydream or become lost in their own thoughts, something they consider to be important to well-being.

 

Psychologist Jerome Singer of Yale University and his colleagues suggest that positive and constructive daydreaming serves four broad adaptive functions:

 

  1. It assists with future planning, which is enhanced by a period of self-reflection;

  2. It enhances creativity for problem solving and attentional cycling that allows the individual to rotate through different information streams to develop and/or advance personally;

  3. It provides meaningful goals;

  4. It enhances learning through short breaks from external tasks. 

 

The full study and its results have been published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. 

 

In the meantime… keeping active, along with a balanced diet, is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of dementia, but new research conducted by experts at the University of British Columbia in Canada, suggests regular aerobic exercise can actually reverse the progress of dementia even after it has taken hold. Their findings, published in the journal Neurology, add to growing evidence that physical activity can be used to treat cognitive problems. 

 

A clinical trial carried out with elderly people with an average age of 74 found that those who exercised for one hour three times every week, saw an improvement in cardiovascular health as well as overall thinking skills. They were also able to walk further and their blood pressure levels improved. However, the benefits only lasted as long as they were able to continue exercising.

 

The important thing is that an aerobic exercise programme may be beneficial for people who already have early memory problems. 

 

Scientists now believe gardening could be beneficial for physical and mental health – pruning the roses and creating something of beauty everyone can enjoy can enhance mental wellbeing, and if you work in a grey office building, spend hours stuck in traffic or constantly stare at computer screen, gardening might be the perfect antidote.

 

Sheffield University’s environment expert, Dr Ross Cameron, thinks our busy and sterile modern lifestyle is sapping our spirits. He’s coined the phrase 'nature deficit disorder' and he has a point! Dr Cameron believes people notice and appreciate the natural world far less than they used to, and his solution is simple – we need to access the green spaces and get outdoors in the same way previous generations did. 

 

Society is changing and the younger generation especially now spend more time glued to their mobile phones in the virtual world instead of enjoying the fresh air of the natural one. There’s the difference - in the past they would go and play in the garden, in the park or in the woodland, and sadly, that’s now very rare. We really have lost something important in life – humans evolved alongside nature, not in concrete cities and they respond well to nature. 

 

Previous research suggests that just half an hour in the garden has long-term benefits for body and mind. Another study found that the sounds of nature – the wind whistling through the trees or the gurgling of a stream – reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lowers blood pressure.

 

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests regular gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity. It also improves balance in older people, helping to prevent falls, a major cost to health services. Gardening can also help dementia patients, with one trial showing that six months of gardening at home resulted in a slow-down of cognitive decline over the next 18 months.

 

But for those who have difficulty getting access to the countryside, the garden is the perfect substitute. Green spaces don't need to be in the wilderness to provide benefits – intimate spaces to engage with are just outside the back door… 

 

The physical activity involved in gardening helps relaxation, which is good for mental health, and green spaces are stress-busting environments. Even a little bit of greenery around makes us more relaxed – even a collection of indoor plants is good for wellbeing, one reason they’re so popular in lobbies, offices and rest homes.

 

It is true, apparently, that jogging for half an hour can burn up about 240 calories – but doctors are [rightly] increasingly encouraging people to take up lighter activities they can more easily include in their daily routine. The Royal Horticultural Society claims that half an hour of digging burns 150 calories, raking a lawn burns 120 and pushing a lawn mower for 30 minutes burns 165.

 

Even tending a miniature ‘garden’ made up of pots and boxes in the corner of a backyard or in a conservatory can improve mood and wellbeing. Looking after plants gives people something to live for and keen gardeners make friends too! 

 

In a recent article in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Arizona have claimed that going for an early morning run could help to keep you alert for the rest of the day. It appears that part of the brain responsible for decision-making and planning is activated during a short period of healthy exercise.

 

It has long been known that playing a musical instrument can stimulate the frontal cortex, but this is the first time scientists have linked it to running. In addition, the new research also found it helped to improve memory, attention spans and keeps the senses sharp. 

The researchers studied 11 competitive, male runners aged between 18 and 25 and another 11 young men who said that they had not exercised in the past year. (They focused on men because it is difficult to study women due to the effects of the menstrual cycle on their minds and bodies.)

 

The men filled out questionnaires about their physical activity levels and from these, the researchers were able to estimate their aerobic fitness, following which, each volunteer took an MRI scan to measure the levels of activity in their brains.

 

It turned out that the runner’s brains showed increased connectivity in areas linked to higher-level thinking. There were not the same levels of activity in the brains of the inactive men. There was also less brain activity in the part of the runner’s brains that indicate lack of focus and ‘mind wandering.’

 

Increased connectivity between brain regions is known to improve memory and the ability to multitask. Running involves complex navigational skills as well as an ability to plan, monitor and respond to the environment. This would also include juggling memories of past runs, and the ability to continue with all of the motor activities involved in running, which are complex.

 

However, the study cannot prove that running actually causes the differences in the men’s thinking, only that runners had certain types of thought pattern. It is also unclear whether running on its own has these effects, or if the effects are duplicated in other endurance sports, like cycling and swimming. 

 

Humans have a strong emotional connection to the natural world. But mental wellbeing and our emotional bond with nature varies depending on the type and quality of an environment.

 

Numerous studies have found that stress levels reduce when people spend time in the natural environment. Spending time in the countryside or at the beach is better for your brain than spending it in city parks.

 

Researchers at the University of Surrey, University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and natural England, surveyed 4,500 people who spent time enjoying natural open spaces and discovered that those visiting rural and coastal locations were more psychologically content than those taking a trip to an urban green space.

 

Visits to protected areas, such as national parks, rural or coastal locations, result in improved mental wellbeing and greater feelings of relaxation and refreshment. Those who spent 30 minutes or more in natural environments experienced a better connection and received greater psychological benefits. 

 

A separate study of 199 women and 200 men aged between 19 and 76 by social psychologists at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge found that people who spend more time outside also have a more positive body image and also higher self-esteem. 

 

It is possible that experiencing natural environments helps boost the feeling of being an important part of a wider ecosystem, meaning people feel more respect for their bodies. It also helps people feel further removed from the pressures of the modern world and lessens the need to conform to stereotypes, such as being thin or muscular. 

 

Copyright Andrew Newton 2016. All rights reserved. 

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The Benefits of drinking water

 

Water is the most important thing we need to stay alive! Your body body needs water, but it’s important to drink the right amount; not enough and you’ll dehydrate - too much and you’ll literally drown in your own fluids!

 

A common question is ‘how do I know I’m drinking the right amount of water each day?’ Some people say that you need to drink at least 2 litres of water every day, but that isn’t necessarily true. The answer is, everyone is different and so the amount of water you need can depend on body mass, how much exercise you take, how hard you’re working, and believe it or not, how hard you think!

 

Losing as little as 2% of your body's water content can significantly impair physical performance. If we don’t stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat. Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body's water content.

 

However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via perspiration. This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally. Believe it or not, muscle is made up of about 80% water! So, if you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, then staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

 

Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status. Hydration exerts a major effect on energy levels and brain function! Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It's also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to difficulty thinking and reasoning.

 

Even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of memory and brain function. In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration, and increased the frequency of headaches. In a study of young men, fluid loss of just 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

 

So the common measure of how much water you should drink each day depends on your individual needs. The rule is: if you’re thirsty, drink some water, but if you’re not thirsty, don’t drink it just for the sake of it.

 

Another way of telling if you are drinking enough water is to look at your pee. If it’s pale or almost clear, then you’re probably drinking enough. If however, its very yellow, that’s often a sign that you might be dehydrated. If you pee is very dark, you might need to see a doctor!

 

The most important thing is to keep hydrated.

The benefits of water:

Water delivers oxygen to the body

Blood is more than 90% water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.

 

Water boosts skin health and beauty

With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.

 

Water regulates body temperature

Water stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body - this is particularly important if you play sport! If there's not enough water in the body, you are less able to tolerate heat strain.

 

Water boosts performance during exercise

Dehydration during exercise may hinder performance. It’s also possible that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.

 

Water can help with weight loss if it’s consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. Drinking water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness and boosting metabolic rate. In two studies, drinking half a litre of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to one and a half hours. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. In one study, dieters who drank ½ litre of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks. It’s better to drink water cold, because then the body will use additional energy to heat the water to body temperature, thereby burning more calories.

 

Drinking water reduces the chances of getting a hangover

Hangovers are partly caused by dehydration, and drinking water can help reduce some of the main symptoms of hangovers. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration, although dehydration and can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headaches and dry mouth. If you’ve been drinking alcohol, Try to have have at least one glass of water before going to bed.

 

Drinking water may help to prevent and even treat headaches

Drinking water can sometimes help relieve headache symptoms, especially in people who are dehydrated. Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals. Several studies have shown that water can relieve or reduce the intensity and duration of headaches in those who are dehydrated.

 

Water is part of saliva and mucus

Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean and can also reduce tooth decay.

 

Water lubricates the joints

Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, are about 80%water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, which can lead to joint pain.

 

Water helps your digestive system and flushes body waste

The bowel needs water to work properly. Water is needed in the removal of urine and faeces. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems such as constipation and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally do not drink enough water. Carbonated water can give promising results for constipation relief, although the reason is not fully understood.

 

Water helps maintain blood pressure

A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.

 

Water helps clear the airways

When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimise water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.

 

Water dissolves minerals and nutrients making it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.

 

Water prevents kidney damage

The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to problems such as kidney stones. Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stones.

Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys, which dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they are less likely to crystallise and form clumps. Water might also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but more studies are needed to confirm this.

Copyright Andrew Newton 2019. All rights reserved 

The Science Behind Hypnotherapy

Introduction
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy now has an enormous amount of academic and medical research behind it. The positive effects of hypnosis as a natural and effective tool are now accepted as a stand-alone or complimentary treatment for a variety of medical and
psychological problems.

In sort, hypnosis and hypnotherapy are now mainstream, no longer just an ‘alternative therapy’, but an essential and permanent solution to issues that were once thought incurable! Hypnosis is a misunderstood phenomenon, but it can be a powerful tool for change – even
a cure – for a host of problems. It’s also a very effective way of maximising performance. Believe it or not, hypnosis has been used as a tool for positive change for thousands of years, although it hasn’t always been called hypnosis. Today, the use of hypnosis as a
therapeutic tool is widespread. In the process, hypnosis has been subject to intense scientific research. Clinical hypnosis is based on intense scientific research at universities and hospitals around the world prove just how effective hypnosis can be.

 

Hypnosis sessions are about more than just the hypnosis; addressing emotional or psychological problems always involves examining and interpreting the way we understand ourselves; how we feel emotionally, including our thoughts, feelings, habits and behaviour. 

Hypnotherapy for Healing, Pain Management and Immune Response
Hypnosis really can have a profound beneficial effect on the workings of your body. Physicians and psychologists agree that we are ‘a mind with a body – not a body with a mind!’ In other words, the way we think can affect our physical as well as our mental
health, and there are volumes of scientific evidence to back this up. For example, a 2007 study found that women who were hypnotised before undergoing breast biopsies required less sedation during the procedure, experienced less pain, nausea, and emotional distress. Major operations have been carried out with hypnosis as the sole anaesthetic. Hypnotherapy is effective for controlling pain caused by accidents, post operative pain, and the ordinary aches and pains that accompany old age and illness, as well as chronic
long-term pain or disease. There is also a considerable body of evidence that hypnosis can enhance the effectiveness of the immune system. In a study at Washington State University, volunteers who underwent hypnosis specifically to boost their immune systems showed significant increases in their levels of immune cells.

 

Hypnotherapy for Anxiety, Fears and Phobias

Hypnosis has long been proved successful in overcoming stress & anxiety, and fears & phobias. Many hypnotherapists use a powerful hypnotic technique called disassociation which has been shown to reduce fear by making troubling memories feel ‘safer’. This is
often referred to as creating ‘emotional distance’. Overcoming fears and anxieties becomes an entirely natural and comfortable process.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine carried out a study on 44 children who were anxious about invasive medical examinations. The children had already been through at least one painful examination and reported being fearful when they had to
undergo these procedures again. But the children who had been taught self-hypnosis were much less anxious, and the examinations also took less time.

 

Hypnotherapy for Motivation
Lack of motivation, procrastination, fear of success and even plain laziness can all beturned around with hypnosis. One highly successful technique is ‘third person motivational visualisation’. Research has proved that people are more able to do something they’ve already rehearsed under hypnosis, just like watching themselves do it in a movie. Hypnosis can be used for all kinds of motivational issues, from starting a business, practicing a musical instrument, getting slimmer and fitter – even just getting out of bed
and starting the day!

 

Hypnotherapy for Sports Performance
There is plenty of evidence to show hypnosis can help you master a skill and generally improve your performance, giving you ‘the edge’. Ever watched Olympic athletes ‘limber up’ before a race? They are mentally going through the steps they practised under
hypnosis. Hypnosis has long been used to improve focus, reaction time, confidence and even physical strength. Hypnosis can enhance skill as well as actual practice! Of course, rehearsal under hypnosis will never replace actual practice, but an ability to increase concentration could improve your game!

 

Hypnotherapy for Self-Esteem and Self Confidence
Emotional problems stem not just from what people think, but also from how they misuse their imagination. It’s often easier to imagine all kinds of negative things about ourselves and socially anxious people tend to focus less on other people and more on their own
imaginary shortcomings. Hypnotherapy utilises your own imagination to harness self-confidence and encourage a more healthy and optimistic sense of who you are – and what you can be. Hypnotherapy helps us increase confidence in social situations and focus in the same way that naturally self confident people do.

 

Hypnotherapy for Addictions and Bad Habits
The National Council for Hypnotherapy recently circulated University of Iowa research about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a way of stopping smoking. The study, involving 72,000 people, investigated the most effective ways of stopping. Hypnotherapy was shown to be three times more effective than nicotine replacement therapy. Overcoming addictions involves instilling hope and optimism. Hypnotherapy can successfully treat all sorts of addictions – not just smoking, but also alcohol and drugs, shopping addiction and social media addiction.
 

Hypnotherapy for Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
Insomnia can be caused or worsened by anxiety and stress. A vicious cycle of stress, exhaustion and insomnia can build up, with one feeding off the other. Hypnotherapy can offer a natural approach to calmness and rest, without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Several studies have confirmed that hypnotherapy sessions and progressive hypnotic relaxation exercises significantly improved the quality of sleep. Hypnotherapy Can Make You Feel Younger! Stress, anxiety, worry… all contribute to ageing, but surprisingly, researchers have discovered that ‘living in the past’ can actually make us feel younger! In 1979, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a study of a group of elderly men to discover if they could be made to feel young again. She had them live in an isolated New England Hotel, retro-fitted to how it would have looked twenty years earlier. The men, all in their late 70s and early 80s, were told not to reminisce about the past, but to actually act as if they had travelled back in time to find out if ‘acting’ younger actually made them feel younger.
After only a week, the men in the experimental group displayed more joint flexibility, increased dexterity and less arthritis in their hands. Their mental acuity rose measurably, and they showed improved gait and posture. Outsiders who were shown the men’s photographs judged them to be significantly younger than those of the control group. It was almost as if the ageing process had actually been reversed! Hypnotherapists often use hypnosis to encourage people to feel younger and help them
regain that feeling of youth.
 

Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Depression
It used to be thought that hypnotherapy was not a suitable treatment for people with depression. We now know that hypnosis is a powerful tool to help beat depression. Hypnosis helps to calm the mind and body – something that is extremely beneficial. Depressed people have higher than normal levels of the stress hormone cortisol and hypnosis can be used to reduce this. Hypnosis helps you recoup lost energy, rehearse new positive behaviours, and build motivation. These hypnotherapy sessions not only focus on better sleep and reducing anxiety, they also improve self-esteem and self-confidence, helping depressed clients regain ownership of their lives.
 

Hypnotherapy as a Treatment for Anger
Anger can be very damaging to relationships as well as your own peace of mind. Chronic anger is the biggest predictor of early death through heart disease – even more so than chronic smoking. Anger, jealousy, hypochondria, pessimism, can be generated and
aggravated through the misuse of the imagination. In a study conducted at Stanford Medical School, heart patients were asked to recall times when they had been angry. Although the patients said that the anger they felt on recalling the events was only half as strong as it had been originally, their hearts started pumping, on average, 5% less efficiently (cardiologists view a 7% drop in pumping efficiency as
serious enough to cause a heart attack). Imagination and recall are processed in the same parts of the brain. You can generate angry feelings by remembering past anger, or even imagining you are angry – both create very real physical changes, so it makes sense to use hypnosis constructively to stop anger being triggered too easily or too often. 
“Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for change – even a cure – for a host of problems and subject to intense scientific research at universities and hospitals and has significant academic and medical approval. The positive effects of hypnosis as a natural and effective tool are now understood and accepted as a treatment for a variety of psychological problems. In short, hypnosis and hypnotherapy are now mainstream and no longer just a complementary therapy, but an essential and permanent solution to issues that were once thought incurable!” 

Copyright Andrew Newton 2020. All rights reserved.

 
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