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staying healthy

You've been doing everything right – eating healthily, getting to the gym and focusing on your goal. All of a sudden though, it seems like your weight loss has stopped, or worse, you've actually gained a couple of unwanted pounds.

A weight loss plateau is common a few weeks or months into a diet plan, but it's no reason to get disheartened or to give up. Firstly, keep in mind that our weight can fluctuate daily due to the levels of water in our body. Hopping on the scales just once a week will give you a better picture of your weight than if you check in every day.

If you still find that your weight loss has stalled, keep these tips in mind…

1. Never go hungry
Eating too few calories per day will only send your body into starvation mode, meaning you'll conserve energy rather than burning it. Kick off your metabolism by eating smaller snacks at regular intervals throughout the day, rather than eating a big breakfast and nothing again until dinner. Yes, this will take some extra preparation time, but it'll be so worth it.

2. Don't forget carbs
If you're working out regularly, you'll need to eat some level of carbohydrates to ensure your body has sufficient energy to keep going, so don't ditch them completely! Whole grain carbohydrates like rice, brown bread and quinoa are great for keeping you fuller for longer.

3. Drink more water
One of the best ways to avoid water retention and bloating is, surprisingly, to drink more water. Avoid salty foods and stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure your body gets enough H2O.

4. Monitor your calorie intake
The more weight you lose, the less energy your body needs to keep going. Re-assess your calorie intake every month to ensure you're not overeating without realising.

5. Keep a food journal
Mindless eating and a lack of portion control are two of the main things that can stall your weight loss. Keep note of everything you eat over the course of a few days, and identify where problem areas may lie. For example, if you find you regularly reach for an extra biscuit with that mid-afternoon cup of tea, try eating a healthy snack around that time so you're less likely to crave sugar. Simple!


If you are frequently hostile to other people, a magnet for stress and look at the world as if it dealt you a hard blow, you may be doing more than just pushing people away.

Apparently, having a negative attitude means you are more likely to suffer from a stroke when you are older – eek.

The findings of a new study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, looked at  nearly 7,000 men and women aged between 45 – 84 and found that over the years a total of 147 had strokes and  48 had a mini stroke.

Study leader Dr Susan Everson-Rose, from the University of Minnesota in the US, said: “There’s such a focus on traditional risk factors – cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and so forth – and those are all very important, but studies like this one show that psychological characteristics are equally important. Given our ageing population, it’s important to consider these other factors that might play a role in disease risk.”

As the song goes: “Always look on the bright side of life” – it may actually keep you going for longer


You might exercise, skip junk food and be reasonably fit and healthy, but did you know you could still be damaging your health.

If you can relate to any of these questions, you might need to take a look at your lifestyle and maybe make a few changes:

You are not having enough water
That headache that you seem to get every evening is probably down to the fact that you haven’t had enough water during the day. And no, tea does not count. Up your daily intake of some H2O and you will feel a whole lot better!

You’re not getting enough sleep
We know, we know life can be pretty full on and you often struggle by on just a couple of hours sleep, especially during exam time. However, sleeping is just as important as eating. Not enough kip will leave you feeling tired, moody, frustrated and unable to concentrate properly.

You don’t eat enough
Being busy is not an excuse to not eat. If you are ending your day with a rumbly tummy you need to up your food intake during the day. Not eating enough will leave you feeling irritable and fatigued. Ever hear of hangry? That could be you…

You don’t eat any fruit or veggies
Seriously, were you not taught this at primary school? Make sure you eat your five a day to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep you strong and healthy.