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5 Ways To Avoid Burnout And Be Fulfilled

ExerciseOn the run up to Christmas (I think I’m allowed to say that word now), it’s easy to overwork ourselves and overplay ourselves – which of course doesn’t help with focus and productivity. Here, Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D, for Psychology Today looks into 5 ways to avoid depression and be fulfilled. The areas looked at are our physical health, intellectual stimulation, self-introspection, social interaction and celebrating our victories.  [Read more…]


Longterm Thinking Vs Short-Term Thinking

WinnerHave you ever considered how longterm thinking vs short-term thinking can affect the decisions you make? Take the obesity epidemic as an example. We live in a culture of instant gratification. We all know that by taking care of our bodies by exercising daily and eating nutritious food that we’ll be healthier; we’ll have more physical and mental energy, have healthier minds, improved self-confidence and self-esteem, increased chances of attracting and keeping our ideal partner, enhance our sex lives etc. The list of the benefits of keeping in shape is endless. [Read more…]


Throwing Away Negative Thoughts

It’s fairly common knowledge that negative thoughts bring you down and prevent you from achieving whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. Give yourself a focus boost by throwing away negative thoughts. In a study recently conducted at Ohio State University, it was found that when people wrote down their negative thoughts on a piece of paper, and then threw away that piece of paper, they mentally discarded those thoughts as well.

Throwing Away Negative Thoughts

Throw Away Negative Thoughts“However you tag your thoughts — as trash or as worthy of protection — seems to make a difference in how you use those thoughts,” said Richard Petty, Ph.D., co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

“At some level, it can sound silly. But we found that it really works — by physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts, you influence how you end up using those thoughts. Merely imagining engaging in these actions has no effect.”

Click here to view the whole article on Psych Central

Interestingly, throwing away negative thoughts wasn’t quite so effective when they did not physically throw them away. When another sample group was instructed to imagine dragging their thoughts to a recycle bin or by transferring their thoughts to a disk.  It’s remarkable what happens in our heads when we carry out actions like this. Similarly when asked to put their negative thoughts on a piece of paper in their purse, those individuals tended to bring negative thoughts into their decision-making process. So whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve, write down all your negative thoughts that may hinder your progress, and discard them in a fashion that clearly tells your brain that you have discarded them – maybe tear them up, or set fire to them!



Ways To Focus On Healthy Eating

The psychology of why people struggle with weight loss and healthy eating often goes pretty deep, but these 5 ways to focus on healthy eating may just be what you’re looking for. They are written by Sandra Harrison for FitnessRepublic.com and she outlines a few techniques that you may well have never come across. For instance, some people advise to completely remove ‘fatty foods’ from your diet, and she says this isn’t necessary – you can simply treat yourself with small portions.

Ways To Focus On Healthy Eating

Ways To Focus On Healthy EatingHow to Stay Focused On Healthy Eating # 1

Don’t Eliminate ‘Fatty Foods’

No it isn’t taboo to eat small, controlled portions of the fatty foods that you love oh-so-much. Completely eliminating the fattening, sugary foods that you enjoy could eventually lead to bouts of binge eating, or a complete abandonment of the diet. Be kind to yourself, a little piece of chocolate won’t hurt your progress.

How to Stay Focused On Healthy Eating # 2:


Experiment with healthy snack options and keep a stock of these at home. As soon as you feel the urge to nibble, head to the healthy snack corner and nibble away! Finding out which healthy snacks click with your palate will allow you to sidestep your favorite junk food without feeling the temptation to have just a bit.

How to Stay Focused On Healthy Eating # 3

Get a Partner

Finding a partner to share the highs and lows of adopting a healthy eating lifestyle will make sticking to the regime seem a whole lot manageable. Take a family member or friend on board to keep yourself motivated, and to make it easier to achieve your desired target.

Read full article on Fitness Republic here

Of these ways to focus on healthy living I thought that the advice to get a partner hit the nail on the head. If you have an accountability partner, you can reward or punish each other, to keep you both motivated. You could even apply fines for when you drift off track. From personal experience, I think the biggest point about eating unhealthily is that it affects your energy levels and your state of mind. When you eat snacks that are high in sugar from sweets and chocolate, they release sugar so quickly that your brain peaks, and then crashes, leaving you feeling less energized than before – which can cause you to crave for more, then it happens all over again. It’s a slippery slope. I therefore wouldn’t agree with the first point above. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you can remove the typically unhealthy snacks from your diet completely, after 21 days the cravings should go. For me, I’m not tempted to eat cakes etc unless it’s a very special occasion – and I have a very sweet tooth. I think of cakes as hours on a treadmill or half a marathon. But that’s just me..


3 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

If you’re one to struggle with weight loss, then these 3 ways to focus on your weight loss goals are definitely worth a read. I’ve excerpted the paragraph that caught my attention straight away, and that is digging deep to find out why you are wanting to lose the weight. This can be applied to anything, not just weight loss. Without understanding why you want to do something, you’ll struggle to focus and motivate yourself. This advice is written by Kelli Cooper for Medical Daily.com

3 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss GoalsGet Clear on Your ”Why”

Behind every decision we make, large and small, lays some perceived benefit. By doing said thing, we will feel better or get something we want. That is obvious, but we often fail to really gain deep clarity on why we want the things we want. I think of this deep clarity as the reasons behind the reasons. The more you examine why you want something, the more you will be motivated to get it. You will realize how important it is to you and you will make a commitment to getting it. Without a strong ”why”, we are unfocused; we lack motivation; we self-sabotage. Think of your reasons for weight loss and get detailed with the reasons behind those reasons.

If you want to have a nicer body, why? If you want to be able to do more things with your kids, why? If you want to be healthier, why? If you want to get off those medications, why? If you want to feel more confident, why?

Click here to view the whole article on MedicalDaily.com

If you read all of the 3 ways to focus on your weight loss goals, you’ll have seen that managing stress plays a big part in it, as well as practicing forgiveness and thinking long-term. Once again stress rears its ugly head as it is detrimental to losing weight. What isn’t mentioned here though, is that stress causes your body to release the (stress) hormone, cortisol, which is believed to lead to the production of fat cells – exactly what you don’t want! Manage stress before it manages you!



10 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

This post is for those who may be struggling to lose weight – as you may have guessed from the title. I’ve changed the title of this article from  ‘The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes You Can Make’ to 10 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals – for two reasons; 1) It fits the subject area of this site better, 2) I’ve given the title a more positive spin. This is an excellent article from Psychology Today written by Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D. She explores 10 reasons why essentially a lot of people fail with their weight loss goals. I’ve excerpted 3 of my favourite points. Read each of them and put your positive spin on them as you feel fit to help you reach your weight loss goals – if indeed you have any!

Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals1. NO EXERCISE – You can begin to lose weight through dieting (reducing your calories) alone, but the majority of people will not keep the weight off this way. People who dislike exercise are often the ones who attempt a diet only weight loss program. You will find that your weight will plateau early on because you can only reduce your calories so much. Dieting also lowers your metabolism, which makes every next pound harder to lose than the last. Exercise increases metabolism which will make continued weight loss and maintenance easier.

3. WEIGHT LOSS TAKES THE BACKSEAT – I would love to play piano and speak Italian, however I admit that I have not put in what I know is the hard work necessary because I have prioritized other things above these wants. The end result is that I cannot do either. It takes more than wanting something to making it happen, it takes prioritizing. I often see people who are unsuccessful with weight loss constantly putting other life activities as higher priority than weight loss. Healthy behaviors take a backseat to almost anything else that comes up. “I was going to exercise, but I decided to help the neighbor with her garage sale instead.” People who are successful seem to have a “come hell or high water” attitude when it comes to healthy lifestyle—they do it daily no matter what.

7. STRESS – People who are encased in an extremely stressful life that doesn’t allow much or any time for self-care are routinely unsuccessful at weight loss. For many people, losing weight is more about restructuring their life to allow them time to engage in healthy habits than it is about learning what to eat. If you are so overcommitted that you truly cannot find the time to exercise on most days of the week, you may be under too much stress. We only get one life. Make time to take care of yourself.

Click here to view the whole article on Psychology Today

If you read all 10 ways to focus on your weight loss goals, you’ll have also seen that skipping meals and fad diets are featured. I wholeheartedly agree with these points (having done extensive research for an ebook I actually wrote in the men’s fitness niche). Eating 3 large meals a day is not conducive to maintaining a quick metabolism. It’s much better to eat 6 smaller meals closer together so your body doesn’t enter starvation mode and start to store fat.  Steer clear of fad diets – the creators should be shot! (Unless as the author says, it’s down to disease that you have to lose weight fast.)



40 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

If you’ve ever joined a weight loss program, and failed, you’re among the majority by far apparently. Here are 40 ways to focus on your weight loss goals which are written as mistakes people make, but rearrange them, and you have 22 ways to focus on achieving your goals, rather than failing with them. They are written by Peta Bee for the Daily Mail, and quite a few of them are pretty original, like eating off the wrong coloured plate and saying “I can’t” rather than “I don’t” when offered certain foods, and listing to the wrong type of music when eating, can actually cause you to eat more.  I’ve excerpted the first 5 of 22 points:

Yoga For Focus And Weight Loss1 Eating cereal for breakfast. A U.S. study found breakfast cereal sweetened with sugar left overweight participants hungry before lunchtime, and they consumed more calories a day than those given an egg for breakfast (the protein kept them full). Egg eaters also had significantly lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.

2 Having milk in your tea. Last year, Indian scientists found tea contains high levels of compounds, theaflavins and thearubigins, that help to reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the gut, and can cut cholesterol. However, proteins found in cows’ milk neutralise this ability. Drink your tea black.

3 Eating white bread. Too many refined carbs, especially white bread and white rice, can lead to weight gain, particularly around the midriff, found researchers at Tufts University in Boston.

Two groups ate roughly the same number of calories each day, but those who ate mostly refined carbs added a half inch on their waist per year compared with those eating unrefined ‘whole’ foods such as vegetables and  wholegrain bread.

4 Not reading food labels. A study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs showed that people who habitually read food labels as well as taking exercise lose more weight than those who merely exercise. What’s more, those who only read food labels and are sedentary lose more than those who exercise but ignore the food labels.

5 Drinking too much fruit juice. Fruit juices and other sugary drinks have a stronger impact on weight than calories from solid food, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Cutting out just one sugary drink a day resulted in a weight loss of more than 1lb after six months. Read the full article here

I think if you applied all of these 40 ways to focus on your weight loss goals, you’d be on to a winner – almost without having to invest in any fitness program. They all make a lot of sense. Having written an ebook myself in the men’s health and fitness area, through extensive research and by pairing up with experts, I see a lot of common ground here. Being stressed and not sleeping enough feature in the list too – both of which affect your hormone levels and thus your ability to burn fat, and of course hinder your ability to focus.


Exercise Is the Single Best Way to Keep Your Brain Active

This week is Brain Awareness Week, and this short but sweet post gets straight to the point. Clinical neuroscientist, Dr Cathy Stinear explains that exercise is the single best way to keep your brain active.

It’s Brain Awareness Week, with a focus on research into how the brain works, and teaching people how to look after what’s between their ears.

Clinical neuroscientist Dr Cathy Stinear says she’s often amazed by just how much of a recovery people with injuries can make.

She says contrary to popular belief, physical exercise is the best way to get the best out of your brain.

“A lot of people think that to keep their brain healthy into older age they need to be doing crosswords and sudoku and playing bridge and those are all good things but in fact the single best thing you can do for your brain health is to simply go for a walk every day.”

Dr Stinear says people of all ages are always keen to learn more about how their brain functions.

So put away the sudoku and newspaper, get outside in the fresh air, pick your favourite aerobic activity whether it be swimming, walking, jogging or anything else and set aside just 20 minutes a day. I find the best time to do exercise is often first thing in the morning, or just after breakfast so you can mentally prepare yourself for the day to come.  It’s one of the best ways to focus in my opinion.  Remind yourself that exercise is the single best way to keep your brain active – and without it, your brain will suffer.

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