We all understand the power of the mind. Now power of the mind can be used to achieve one goal that we all seem to have - lose weight. A new study by Elizabeth Loftus, Daniel Bernstein, Cara Laney, and Erin Morris shows that one can use the memory feature of the brain to avoid certain unhealthy foods.
This is how it works. If you are made to believe that something made you sick as a child, you are less inclined to repeat that behavior. So if you are fond of deep-fried chicken and other similar goodies, a psychologist can work with you to make you think that these foods were bad for you when you were young. In other words, it is easy to fool the brain and when an expert helps you through the process, you can change your behavior - avoid unhealthy foods, and switch to a healthier diet.
“People do develop aversions to foods; for example, something novel like béarnaise sauce may make someone sick once, and they can develop a real aversion to that food,” said Loftus. “And with alcohol, there’s a medication that actually makes alcoholics sick if they drink, and the idea is to develop an aversion so that the person avoids drinking. It may be possible to do something similar with food, but without the physical experience.” Recommended article: Liposuction and weight loss
For instance, when I was very young, growing up as a vegetarian, my first experience of seeing anyone eat a non-vegetarian meal was to see someone eating fish at a party. When I saw the skeleon of a fish, I was so horrified that I have never eaten fish in my life. Since then I have started to enjoy some non-vegetarian dishes including chicken, beef, shrimp, etc. but the whole idea of eating fish is scary. While my aversion to fish may be unhealthy, but it does prove that childhood memories can be used for doing some good.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
According to a paper published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, visceral fat, which builds up around organs inside the belly, is different from common perceptions of “fat” because it is less easy to see than subcutaneous fat, located just under the skin. That is why people may have higher amount of fat in the body without them feeling or looking obese or overweight.
While Japanese used to dominate the number of hourse spent in the office, that dubious distinction is now held by Americans. With falling incomes, rising debt levels, and literally no job security, Americans are trying to hold on to their jobs by spending more time in the office.
How can you maintain a healthier lifestyle?
- Every hour that you work, take a 5-10 minutes break. Take a walk to the kitchen to drink water, or use the rest room, or just visit a colleague (if possible, make it a rule not to call a colleague in the same building).
- Park your car as far as you can. Take a few flights of stairs.
- There is no substitute for regular physical exercise several times a week. It does not have to be a trip to the gym. Even helping around the house or working in the yard or just playing with the kids in the backyard are great ways to get some physical exercise.
Recommended article: How to have a healthy lifestyle?
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
In another report, men who drink more than a case of beer a week -- or an average of at least 35 mixed drinks weekly -- have 45% greater risk for developing atrial fibrillation (strokes) than non-drinkers, according to doctors in Boston.
In other words, heavy drinking is clearly detrimental to your health, though moderate drinking can actually have many health benefits.
How to manage your cigarette/alcohol consumption?
- Set a limit and stick to it. Make no exceptions for parties, weekends, holidays or for the fact that since you are not driving, you can drink more.
- If you think that you are addicted to cigarettes or alcohol, seek help. There are solutions available all the way from medication to hypnotism to kick off these habits.
- Appoint a friend or family member as a mentor to monitor you.
Recommended article: Look younger by quitting smoking
Sunday, September 04, 2005
No wonder then that despite reports during last 12 months linking both Prozac and Paxil (Seroxat in some parts of the world) with suicidal tendencies, there is no drop in prescriptions. (Related article: Tom Cruise's views on depression may be wrong)
The numbers are suprising for another reason. In the same survey, only 4% of the housewives called themselves desperate and just 1% put them in the category of Stepford Housewives. What it means is that even if these women are generally happy, the challenges of raising kids (or being soccer moms), balancing personal and professional commitments, and trying to make ends meet as the middle class and low income people struggle - stress and anxiety are rising.
How to reduce stress and anxiety and minimize chances of depression?
- Have a plan in place after you set realistic expectations for yourself and your family. It is good to push yourself a bit to excel in life, but if you push too hard for too long, you will break.
- Develop a network of close friends and family members. It takes time and effort but this network is far more powerful than being with a therapist and popping pills.
- Develop a spiritual outlook on life. Learn to meditate and practice yoga. Always find at least half hour each day for yourself.