Sticking to your resolutions to be healthier can be tough, especially if you're feeling a touch of the January blues. In fact, a recent study showed that over 36 per cent of us have fallen off the dieting wagon when we're feeling unhappy or in a bad mood. But making just a few tweaks to the way we approach weight loss can make all the difference when it comes to not only succeeding at our diet but also feeling great.
Laughter therapist, Stephanie Davies, shares her top tips for keeping a smile while you slim.
- Always go shopping when you're in a good mood: How you're feeling hugely influences the food choices you make, meaning you tend to opt less for comfort foods and naughty snacks when you're feeling happy.
- Find the things that make you laugh and feel good and actively seek them out: What makes you feel good? What makes you laugh? Having more of the stuff that makes us smile is something we can always work at and will make you feel terrific!
- A laugh a day keeps the cravings away: No seriously, laughter can work brilliantly as a distraction to our cravings because it causes the brain to release the happy hormone, serotonin. Find time to have a good laugh everyday –whether it is doing something silly and playful, watching your favourite comedy show or surrounding yourself with people that make you happiest.
- Remember it's a workout: Laughter activates different muscle around your body from your tummy to your shoulders, so embrace the great work-out a good chuckle will give you.What’s more, laughing uses up to 15 facial muscles giving you a facial workout and instant facelift too- what better motivation to use your tickle bone?
- Don't ban treats: Being healthy is not about denying yourself treats- it’s not realistic and it’s no fun. Just try and limit treats to when you're in a good mood as you are more likely to eat less of them.
- Think team work: Don’t just call on your friends for a good laugh, call on them for support too. Kickstarting your new healthy lifestyle will be lots easier once you've the back-up of your family and friends. See if you could get a group of you to start a diet together.
- Positive thinking: Lauging releases happy endorphins in our brains which make us upbeat, relaxed and comfortable. A positive mind set is what you need to see through your resolutions- just make sure you pick a healthy approach to life that's realistic and good fun too.
- Keep post-it notes or a little notebook of the things that have made you happy. When you need a boost you can look at your ‘happy notes’. They will instantly give you a lift and help you think about what you can do to turn your frown around.
- Learn to laugh at yourself: Grow your own sense of humour by watching how comedians explain situations in a funny way. Then try to revisit past events in your mind to see if you can think about them differently - through the eyes of a comedian. Using humour tricks like funny exaggerations, wordplay changing language can alter the context of a situation and help you feel more positive– talking to a friend can also add a different spin to it.
- Don't beat yourself up if you do have a bad day and fall off the healthy eating plan band wagon. Instead, learn from it and ask yourself what could you have done differently to react better and make better choices. This will help you avoid the same problems next time you're feeling down. Remember tomorrow is a new day, you can start a fresh and go forward. You could even joke about it with your friends!
Tips from Stephanie Davies in conjunction with The Laughing Cow.
- There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.