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    Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Can Make You Happy

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Eating more green veggies and colourful fruits is not only mandatory for nutritional reasons, but for psychological reasons as well. New research from Harvard School of Public Health has found that people who are eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day are far more optimistic than those who don’t.

    Happy Antioxidants

    Eating more fruit and vegetables that contain high levels of antioxidants, such as carotenoids found in orange fruits and vegetables and green leafy vegetables, can actually promote happier emotions in the body, leading to an overall positive attitude.

    Antioxidants have also been known to promote a de-stressing effect in the body to lower overall stress levels, as well as fight off free radicals which can lead to common diseases.

    Which Fruits and Vegetables?

    In order to enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables make sure you include the following in your diet from now on:

    • Carrots
    • Blueberries
    • Cabbage
    • Oranges
    • Red cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Strawberries
    • Cauliflower
    • Peaches
    • Leeks
    • Mushrooms
    • Rockmelon
    • Pumpkin
    • Apricots
    • Tomatoes
    • Onions
    • Beetroot
    • Lettuce leaves
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Spinach
    • Eggplant.

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    Is Your Night-time Routine Affecting Your Weight?

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Aside from staying motivated and gaining support, a successful weight loss routine relies on many contributing factors such as eating plans, exercise regimes and regular sleeping patterns.  While the latter might not seem as important as the former, irregular sleeping patterns can actually impede your weight loss goals.

    Sleep Tight

    Aside from feeling sleepy the next day, not getting enough sleep every night can wreak havoc with hormones in your body. Not only will your body start to crave starchy comfort foods in order to boost energy levels, but your metabolism will likely be disrupted.

    Ghrelin and leptin – the hormones in the body that control how hungry or how full we feel – are at peak performance levels during the night, working in tandem to ensure normal appetite levels throughout the next day. Getting fewer than seven hours of sleep every night can throw these hormones off balance resulting in increased ghrelin levels and decreased leptin levels; in other words, your body will be starvation central for the whole of the next day.

    Night Moves

    A calming night-time routine is imperative to the success of a good night’s sleep. If you are overly active an hour or two before going to bed then it is likely that your sleeping patterns will be unreliable.

    Get your body into the habit of winding down an hour or so before bedtime by turning off the TV, turning off the computer and disconnecting yourself from all work related stimuli. It is also a good idea to ensure you don’t drink or eat any substances that contain caffeine at least three hours before going to bed.

    Night-time activities that can induce sounder sleeping patterns include reading a book, listening to soft music or enjoying a hot bath or shower.   

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    Four Smart and Healthy Substitutes to Store in Your Pantry

    Last updated 2 years ago

    It’s not only the sneaky snacks you allow yourself that can add inches to your waistline. The ingredients you use in every day cooking can hinder your weight loss goals, so make sure your pantry is stocked full of these smarter and healthier substitutes:

    1. Quinoa

    While white rice is a terrific accompaniment in many meals, it contains a high amount of sugar and is believed to increase the risk of diabetes. Substitute white rice in all of your favourite dishes with Quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten free alternative to favoured rice grains and has a much higher nutritional value as it is loaded with protein, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, fibre and calcium.

    2. Applesauce

    Swapping oil for applesauce is a terrific way to create delicious oil-based baked goods that are also healthy.  Remember to be wary of how much you substitute and try to keep it at a 1:1 ration i.e. if the recipe calls for one cup of oil, use one cup of applesauce instead.

    3. Dried Fruit

    Whether it’s for a late night craving or an after work nosh, the sugary and salty snacks that take up residence in your pantry are your one-way ticket to diet disappointment. Substitute salty nuts, muesli bars and lollies with dried fruit. Not only will dried fruit satisfy your cravings, but will do so without the addition of extra unwanted sugar. 

    Remember to limit yourself to one handful per serving to restrict your calorie intake.

    4. Baked Corn Chips

    A craving for something salty and crunchy is dangerous; especially when you consider how much fat and salt is contained in one small packet of chips. Substitute your favourite chip varieties with baked corn chips. While the taste difference will be negligible, the nutritional values are worlds apart, with baked corn chips containing far fewer calories.

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    How Food Can Affect Your Moods

    Last updated 2 years ago

    While we all know that sugar can lead to a temporary increase in energy and mood levels, are we paying attention to other foods and how they can affect our moods? The foods we eat can play a large role in influencing how positive or negative our mood is through different chemical interactions in the brain.

    Skipping Breakfast

    Those who skip breakfast in the morning could be doing more harm to their mood levels than they realise. Without a healthy dose of fibre, good fats or wholegrain carbohydrates in the morning, feelings of fatigue, anxiety and restlessness can plague you throughout the day.    


    Carbohydrates have not always had the best reputation when it comes to healthy eating; however, foods like bread, fruit, vegetables and legumes can actually increase the presence of tryptophan, an essential amino acid in the brain. Tryptophan plays a large role in synthesizing more serotonin, a mood stabiliser, in the brain which can help elevate a person’s mood levels.

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseed and other plant oils affect neurotransmitter pathways in the brain which can contribute to feelings of depression. Recent studies have suggested that an abnormal metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids is common in those suffering from depression. Make sure to include at least three servings of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet each week to ward off any inklings of depression.

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    To find out more about weight loss solutions such as weight loss surgery, contact Life Weight Loss Centre on (02) 8999 8503. Life Weight Loss Centre specialise in gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery in Sydney.

    Are You Really Hungry or Just Thirsty?

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Many of us will subconsciously confuse a feeling of being hungry with a feeling of being thirsty. If you have found yourself snooping around the kitchen looking for a snack a short time after eating a meal, you should remind yourself that you couldn’t possibly be hungry, so you must be thirsty.

    Common Confusion

    Mistaking hunger for thirst is a very common confusion and is often due to the fact that the thirst mechanism is a lot weaker than the hunger mechanism in the body. So while our body might be desperately calling out for more liquid we more often than not immediately associate the feeling of emptiness with a lack of food.

    Getting It Right

    In order to avoid eating unnecessarily it is important to pay attention to your food intake throughout the day. If you are feeling hungry an hour or less after breakfast or lunch, don’t immediately assume that your body needs more food and give in to temptation.

    Water Wise

    The next time you feel hungry unnecessarily take a big swig from a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Chances are you will have nipped your thirst in the bud. If you find drinking water a little boring, quench your thirst by drinking herbal tea.  

    Gastric Bypass Surgery in Sydney

    If you’re worried about your weight and would like more dietary advice, talk to the experts at Life Weight Loss Centre. The centre offers not only advice on healthy eating but also exercise advice, psychological assistance and an onsite gym, delivering a complete weight loss solution. To find out more, call (02) 8999 8503.

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