Prevent Winter Dehydration and Fatigue

Prevent Winter Dehydration and Fatigue

As Autumn moves into Winter and the days become shorter, you might feel tired much earlier in the day. An early night, or a sleep-in, seems like bliss. You’re eating or craving comfort food more often. You notice that you are snacking more, overeating and eating more at night is creeping back into your routine.

All of this is perfectly normal, but what should you do if you’re not just tired, but fatigued and having trouble controlling your weight? Here are simple ways to identify if Winter dehydration may be the main contributors to weight gain and fatigue.

Let’s take a look at what to do to stay hydrated and healthy during Winter.

Why Do We Want to Eat More in Winter?

Most of us think we eat more during Winter because our bodies need an extra layer of healthy fat, or because we’re inactive or indoors more often. These are factors, but experts in nutritional psychiatry believe a key reason we may binge or overeat is because of a connection between our gut and our brain. ‘Happiness chemicals’ that make us feel really good are triggered during eating. These same chemicals are produced when we spend time in the sun or exercising; two things you probably do less of, or have less access to, in cooler months.

When Does ‘Tired’ Become Fatigue and Why Is It Worse In Winter?

Feeling fatigued is not the same as feeling sleepy or very tired. In general, fatigue is a sign that your body is under too much stress (psychological or physical), is not operating at its optimum, or that you’re not fuelling it correctly. In colder seasons, it can be brought on by one or more of the following factors you may experience:

  • Lack of physical activity;
  • Taking medications;
  • Diet that is nutritionally limited;
  • Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD);
  • Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, and
  • Not drinking enough water.

One of the most critical contributors to our general health is hydration. No one needs to nag you to drink plenty of water in the warmer months.  You drink because you feel dehydrated if you don’t. In Winter, you don’t seem to feel dehydrated in the same way. It’s important to know more about hydration plus the signs and effects of dehydration. 

Do You Drink Enough Fluids to Stay Hydrated?

Only 20% of our daily fluid requirement is met by food intake, so you need to make up the other 80% with beverage consumption. To achieve this, men need to drink a minimum of 10 cups of water (or other suitable fluids like herbal teas) per day (2.6 litres), and women need to drink a minimum of 8 cups (2.1 litres). Don’t forget, most mature adults are losing around 2.5 litres of water per day through their normal activity.

Research in Australia shows the average daily water consumption among adults is low. Total daily pure water intake was just 37% among adults. Even when all sources of fluid were taken into account, including food moisture, this was only 78% of the total daily intake recommendations, for adults.

Nearly every nutritionist will tell you that hydration – your water and fluid intake – is critical to successful weight loss and a healthy body. Are you drinking enough fluids?

Tackle Winter Dehydration, Weight Gain and Fatigue

Did you know that by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already on the road to dehydration? While dehydration sounds like the result of extreme heat and water deprivation, poor hydration can, over time, be just as serious and negatively impact your health, causing:

  • Poor memory function;
  • Reduced reaction time;
  • Shorter concentration span;
  • Headaches;
  • Dizzy spells;
  • Dry hair and skin;
  • Rapid heartbeat or breathing, and
  • Organ damage.

Managing these issues forces your mind and body to work much harder to function, which ultimately results in fatigue. It’s important to understand dehydration can occur in Winter as well as Summer. Some reasons for Winter dehydration may include:

  • Wearing too many layers of clothing;
  • Wearing clothing that doesn’t breathe;
  • Keeping heating on for too long, or up too high;
  • High consumption of hot, caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea;
  • Lower consumption of water-rich foods like salad vegetables or Summer fruits, and
  • Drinking less water and sparkling water.

Create a Hydration and Eating Routine for Health

Sometimes in the cooler months, we don’t maintain routine practices with quite the same consistency. If you find a shift in your ability to stick to your routines as the seasons change, these simple ways to stay hydrated can help:

Set yourself reminders or alarms to regularly drink and eat throughout the day

  • Keep up the breakfast smoothies or raw juices
  • Swap cold fluids for warm ones like herbal teas and fruit infusions
  • Have homemade soup for lunch, or as a snack between meals
  • Replace caffeinated beverages with cocoa (sugar-free) or white tea
  • Drink a mug of warm water in place of a glass of cold water
  • Eat healthy stir-fries and stews full of lots of water-heavy vegetables and additional fluids like stock.

Don’t forget, Winter fatigue and emotional and physical cravings for food may be due to those happiness chemicals and not practising the things you do routinely during warmer months. Be mindful, be practical, and get hydrated!

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How to Reduce Overeating at Christmas

How to Reduce Overeating at Christmas

 Standing in your local supermarket, you glance between the produce section, where you intended to go, and the aisle of baked goods. Deep down you know that if you go down the baked goods aisle that you will trigger your overeating at Christmas mindset and this will lead you to the Festive Season mindsets and behaviours of binge eating which will last for a month or more.

Those brightly coloured stacks of Christmas goodies keep catching your eye. You resist, clutching your carefully prepared shopping list. You are here to buy fresh veggies, salad and roast ingredients for a healthy, satisfying Christmas dinner for your family and friends. You can hear that little voice trying to bargain with you saying that, if you have a healthier Christmas dinner than the desserts and chocolates are okay. You deserve it and you have saved yourself the calories during the main meal.

Making wise food choices can be challenging at any time of the year however, eating healthy at Christmas can sometimes seem like an impossible task. The temptations of Christmastime plus dieting mindsets, which are common yet unsustainable in the long-run, can endanger your short-term and long-term health goals and send you down a sabotaging path.

You’ve probably heard about the endorphin-producing powers of chocolate, but it isn’t the only culprit. Normal human survival instinct responds to everyday Stress by driving you to seek fatty and carb-heavy foods. Eating rich food triggers the reward centre of your mind and leads to excessive indulgence for those who are susceptible.

 The good news is that you can minimise overeating at Christmas and during the Festive Season and reduce your urges by preparing a game plan and adopting a mindset that gives you the mental and emotional resources to enjoy food responsibly without feeling deprived, restricted or like you are on a diet.

10 Tips to Reduce Overeating at Christmas & Improve Healthy Eating

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Tip #1 – Regular Meals Throughout the Day

Relying on willpower alone is stressful and usually unsuccessful. You need to train yourself overtime to manage situations that may disrupt your resolve by developing strategies and healthy patterns that you are happy and confident in sticking to. An effective and healthy eating pattern is to have breakfast within 1 hour of waking up and eating regular, smaller meals based on whole foods every 3-4 hours. This plan can increase metabolism and prevent hunger pangs throughout the day.

Tip #2 – You Have Choices

You can set yourself up for success at the table by assessing what is on offer and then choosing the options that are going to nourish you first. For example, choosing vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, salads and other healthier options first.

Tip #3 – Size Really Does Matter

Choose a smaller plate and keep small spaces between the food, to ensure moderate portions. This is a better alternative to building a small mountain of mash and roasties right off the bat and finishing it all in the name of politeness. This allows you to begin to portion control and learn to not eat with your eyes. 

Tip #4 – Slow Down

Exercise mindful eating by chewing slowly and concentrating on every bite. Eating at a slower pace increases your satiety at a faster rate and can prevent overeating.

Tip #5 – All of the Choices

Select foods that you will truly savour, not dishes that just happen to be in front of you.

Tip #6 – Fresh is Best

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of nutritious eating at any time of the year. Eating fresh produce over the holiday season will go a long way towards keeping your mood, mental health and energy up and your weight down.

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Tip #7 – Your Dietary Needs

Do you have a cousin that serves up fast food feasts for Christmas as a ‘special’ treat or a grandmother that lathers anything and everything in butter and cheese? Prepare your own meal or snacks full of healthy veggies, lean protein, plant proteins, wholegrains, and fruits and explain your dietary needs and goals to the host. Make sure you bring enough to share with everyone!

Tip #8 – Water is Wonderful

It’s easy to confuse thirst for hunger, as both are registered in the same part of the brain, so remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 2.2L, or approximately 8-9 glasses, of water a day.

Tip # 9 – Routines and Relaxation

As stress is the main cause of those pesky comfort-food seeking urges, de-stressing through other means like going for a short walk, getting 7-9 hours of sleep, doing something fun or meditating.

Tip #10 – Find Meaning

What are the most important things about the Christmas and holiday season for you? Too much focus is placed on the food and this disconnects you from the real meaning of this time. Is it: getting together with friends and family, gift-giving, dressing up, decorating, listening to cheesy music and connecting with your community? These are the true focus that can help you create a healthier mindset.

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Finally, forget the “New Year, New Me” mentality. This is a damaging mantra that only momentarily absolves people from making smart and healthy choices but magnifies negative feelings down the line. This can lead to more Stress, and encourages the repetition of negative and unhealthy cycles. Instead, acknowledge your daily wins and achievements, no matter how small, as this will keep you focused on your goals and health. 

Take this FREE 3-minute QUIZ to Find Out What’s Triggering Your Sabotaging Patterns and Keeping You Stuck in Yo-yoing Cycles

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If you want to get some basic hints and tips to improving any form of Disordered Eating Behaviours, Weight Gain or Binge Eating read more here.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic provides a bridge between where you are currently and the direction you want to head towards. We offer a variety of programs and services that help you to shift your mindset to a more mindful, healthy relationship with yourself and with food through practical, and realistic strategies you can implement immediately.

7 Ways Your Sleep and Eating Patterns are Linked

7 Ways Your Sleep and Eating Patterns are Linked

Sleep is essential to maintaining your mental and physical health, and it has some surprising impacts on your eating choices as well. If you are struggling with:

  • Controlling your weight;
  • Managing cravings;
  • Emotional or Stress Eating;
  • Binge Eating;
  • Night-time Eating (eating after dinner), or
  • Afternoon Eating,

then these seven (7) connections between your sleep and eating patterns are important for you to know.

#1 – You’ll Eat More When You Sleep Less 

Studies have found that when you sleep less than the recommended 8-9 hours a night, you will consume more calories over the course of your day. Scientists don’t know exactly why, but the evidence is clear that poor or inadequate slumber and excessive food consumption go hand in hand.

#2 – You’ll Get More Food Cravings If You Sleep Poorly 

Being well-rested is imperative for impulse control. If you are running on less sleep than you need, it makes you more likely to indulge in food cravings, particularly for foods higher in fat and lower in protein. This can have a significant effect on Binge Eating, Stress Eating or Night-time Eating as you are more likely to consume more calories, overeat or binge, after a night of poor sleep.

#3 – Eating a Poor Diet Impacts Your Quality Of Sleep 

Unfortunately, it seems that the link between food and sleep goes both ways. If you sleep poorly with less than 8 hours of sleep, you most likely have a lower variety and poorer nutritional quality of foods plus are more dehydrated, than those who sleep well. Interestingly, the analysis found that those who slept 5 hours or less actually consumed less overall carbohydrates. Therefore, if you want to sleep well and find a healthy weight, you need to find a healthy balance and variety of nutrients in your eating plan, and stay optimally hydrated. Without this, you will most likely perpetuate the vicious cycles you are trying to stop.

#4 – What You Drink Impacts How You Sleep 

There are people out there that swear they can have coffee, energy drinks, or any other caffeine-laden beverage, and it does nothing to their quality of sleep, but this has been proven to be untrue. Admittedly, some people are not aware of the effects of caffeine on sleep. Research has found that there is an interruption to sleep quality and a delay in the body clock. The effects of caffeine have been found to delay the sleep cycle by between 40 minutes to 105 minutes. The delay then affects wake or arousal times.

#5 – Eating Late Impacts Your Sleep 

If you’re eating late at night instead of being in bed, there is a pretty good chance you’re sleeping less. It turns out the link between late-night eating and poor sleep goes far deeper than this. A study by University of Arizona Health Sciences found that junk food cravings were twice as likely associated with night-time eating and snacking. The major predictor of this behaviour was poor sleep quality. The study also found that the pattern was significantly linked with Obesity, Diabetes and other health problems.

#6 – You Are More Susceptible to Mindless Eating While Sleep-Deprived

A study found a link between short sleep duration, Obesity and mindless eating and drinking behaviours. It was found that you may spend approximately 8.7 extra minutes each day eating mindlessly while doing other things. It was also found that you are likely to spend approximately 30 extra minutes per day drinking sweetened drinks (not water). This might not sound like much, but if you are consistently consuming calories mindlessly, that’s going to add up, particularly when you consider that this could be working in tandem with some of the issues we’ve already discussed.

#7 – Your Emotions Respond Negatively to a Lack of Sleep 

After a bad night’s sleep, your body’s stress hormones are elevated, which means that you are likely to be more irritable and less able to concentrate. For those who tend to eat to deal with negative emotions, this can make you more susceptible and less able to say no to the cravings when they kick in.

How you talk to yourself when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep can make a real difference. Learn more about the impacts of your internal language and how to be more positive, when it counts.

5 Tips to Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Here are five (5) simple tips to consider to help you improve your sleep. Remember that sleep and eating patterns are linked. Once your sleep improves, you will create a positive effect on your cravings, all of your eating behaviours and weight. 

Tip #1 – Sleep Environment 

Getting your environment conducive to sleep is so important to have both good quality and quantity. Everyone is different! If you and your partner are keeping each other up at night, you might need to think about creating your own spaces for sleep. Your relationship and health will positively benefit from both of you getting a really good night’s slumber. Some of the things to consider: noise, light, temperature, bedding weight, and smells.

Tip #2 – Regular Bedtime 

Your mind and body need a schedule in order to activate your sleeping hormones at the right time. Being consistent with your bedtime means that you are allowing yourself the time your mind and body need to fall asleep.

Tip #3 – Bedtime Routine 

To activate your sleep hormones, you need to prepare your mind and body to fall asleep. By having a routine, just like you had when you were a child or that you have for your children, it signals that this is the time of day that you are doing the activities that help get you ready to go to bed and have a restful sleep.

Creating new habits and routines can be difficult if you don’t prioritise them and yourself. Read more here.

Tip #4 – Decompress and Relax 

Part of your bedtime routine needs to include some boundaries and deadlines for stimulating activities. Your mind and body cannot prepare for sleep if it is wound up, stressed, anxious, excited, stimulated and the likes. Therefore, you need to have a reasonable cut off time for doing, watching or reading anything that is going to overstimulate your brain and keep you up. A good starting point is at least one (1) hour before bed. Such things include social media, news, work, gaming, movies, TV show, and conversations etc. Find things that help you relax and get ready for a restorative night’s sleep.

Tip #5 – Regular Wake Time 

Just as you have a regular bedtime, you also need to have a regular wake time. This helps you maintain consistency in your sleep cycles which has a positive effect on the rest of your routine and day, even when you don’t sleep that well.

Forming any new habit is difficult. The best way to form new habits is to know what you want for yourself and why. If you need help to form the habits you need to improve your sleep and eating patterns, we are here to help. 

Navigate Your Family Christmas Traditions and Food Culture

Navigate Your Family Christmas Traditions and Food Culture

For centuries, food has been a common element that has brought people together to socialise and celebrate – it is part of culture and tradition. Christmas is a time that combines family, celebration, culture, tradition, food and drinks.

Often some foods are only prepared and served once a year, on certain special occasions, like Christmas. This is why food is such a central aspect to our Christmas celebrations.

Many cultures and families show their love through food, and therefore food equals love. If you don’t eat the food that has been lovingly prepared then it is seen as a rejection of love.

As a result, you may feel pressured into eating certain foods, and eating more than you want to, as you want to please family, and not cause conflict.There can be a pressure to have seconds or more than standard portion sizes.

To help you reconnect with what is most important to you about the Festive Season Holidays, remind yourself what makes this time of year special.

Some of the reasons for you could be:


  • Connecting with family and friends;
  • Spending time with those closest to you;
  • Celebrating culture and tradition, and
  • Finding time to relax and de-stress.

Food Equals Love and Leads to Food Pushing 

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The truth is, there’s more than just eating and drinking on the holidays – it’s really about sharing moments and happiness with the people you love most.

When grandma serves her traditional dish, notice everyone around – embrace the nostalgia, tradition, thankfulness and enjoyment. Notice what is going on and join in with the fun and love!

You can have a little without feeling guilty!

If food is pushed on you, be assertive and move the focus from you and tell them how much you love and appreciate them and what they have made, created, or done for you over the past year.

This is called deflection – moving the subject from one topic to another.

You can say how much you enjoyed their dish and then get them talking about the tradition behind the dish and how it became a family tradition.

If none of this works, you can say you are full, and either put your napkin over your plate or take your plate to the sink – removing you and it from the conversation.

Empower yourself to maintain your boundaries at family celebrations –  around food, eating and drinking – while still being able to enjoy yourself. Who doesn’t want to have a little of Nana’s Christmas Pudding, or to be able to say no without causing tension?


Balance Is The Key . . .

You don’t have to sacrifice eating to be healthy.

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With so much food on offer, you may tend to go into a mindless, feasting mode where you just binge. Alternatively, you have had a consistent mindset that each and every year, Christmas is when you give yourself a ‘free pass’ and eat whatever you want. Let’s be honest, this is neither healthy nor balanced and can have lasting effects on your psychological and physical health.

We are privileged, and most of us no longer live in a yearly famine state. Therefore, the majority of the foods that you consume during Christmas are available to you each and every day throughout the year.

If you really connect and get this, then you can begin to change how you feel and see food during the Festive Season.

This year, make a choice to change your mindset and eating behaviours with a focus on balance.

Eating and your choice of foods is a mindful act . . .

Living a balanced and healthy lifestyle is not about diets or overindulgence. Being healthy and finding balance is a daily habit that you can embrace without having to starve yourself from some of the nice things.

If you need a bit of extra support over the Festive Season, then get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today. We can support you by providing you with tools and strategies to create positive change to help you find or maintain balance in your everyday life.

Click on the below button to start creating balance in your relationship with food and eating, and improve your relationship with your family and ultimately yourself!

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Effects of overexercising

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Effects of overexercising

Exercise is believed to be good for your health and wellbeing, and you have heard it so many times – over and over – Calories in and calories out!

This is the mantra to many weight loss programs.

While some of these programs do genuinely work, like most things in life, going overboard will cause more harm than good.

In our technologically driven culture, a lot of people don’t get their required regular exercise.

No need to go to the post office when you can quickly send an email in your phone.

No need to commute two hours for a meeting when you can schedule a teleconference right at home.

It comes as no surprise that physical inactivity is linked to higher risk of acquiring diseases like type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, and certain types of Cancer.

How do people try to counter lack of exercise?

Usually by putting on a jogging suit and running lapses, or stopping over at the gym when they can squeeze in a couple of hours after work.

Making it a habit to move your body is a healthy practice.


Benefits of Cardio Exercise

Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate and it is important to get your heart pumping to stay healthy.

Cardio workouts are an effective way to lose weight and feel healthier.

Some of the other benefits of a Cardio workout are:

  • Strong Heart;
  • Reduced stress;
  • Improved Sleep;
  • Increased bone density;
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer;
  • Temporary relief from Depression and Anxiety, and
  • Improved Confidence in how you feel and look.


When Too Much Cardio Is Bad for You

When you stress over doing cardio exercises often, do you ever ask that maybe, just maybe, you’re doing more cardio exercises than what is healthy for you? 

Fitness and fat loss expert, Shin Ohtake, who authored the book MAX Workouts, disclosed the interesting fact that frequent long sessions of cardio workout can cause a lot of pain and injuries.

Based on scientific research that probably opposes everything you know about health and fitness.

In his video, he presented the worst mistakes that people make and the misguided belief that longer cardio workouts can burn fat and be healthy.

Here are the pieces of truth when you overdose on cardio workout:

  1. Your muscles breakdown when you do cardio workout frequently on long sessions.
  2. Free radicals responsible for damaging cells in your body increase production
  3. You age faster as your cells begin to break and get damaged.
  4. You’ll suffer achy joints and possibly injuries.
  5. You can potentially gain weight.

Cited in the British Medical Journal, a German research published in the journal Heartfound that patients with heart disease are at high risk to die by heart attack or stroke when they do too much exercise that involves high intensity workouts.

The research findings are affirmed by Swedish researchers in a similar study published in the same journal suggesting that young men are likely to develop irregular heart rhythm as they age if they are doing endurance exercises over five hours a week.


What Is a Good Measure for a Healthy Cardio Exercise?

The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians released the recommendation to carry out moderate exercise on a regular basis, which suggests a 30-minute minimum activity.

Walking is accepted as a moderate physical activity if you intend to exercise most days of the week.

Be aware however, when you are starting to breathe heavily with difficulty talking while doing your exercise, it signals that you are overdoing your physical activity.

The bad effects of cardio exercise on your health entirely depends on how you perform your exercise.

Adding strength training to your exercise routine will provide variety to avoid overuse injuries which are common with cardio-only routines.

Strength training also turns fat to muscle which will boost your resting metabolic rate.

Your body will thank you for a slower strength training session which will be less of a stressor than constant cardio training.

If you are struggling with over-exercising, bigorexia or weight loss and need sustainable lifestyle solutions that promote genuine health, get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic.

Sometimes it takes someone outside of your situation to help you turn your focus towards your goals filled with balance, happiness and health.

No to Dieting, Yes to Health!

No to Dieting, Yes to Health!

Weight loss has become an obsession, a modern vanity fair!

Many people resort to drastic measures in an effort to lose weight.

According to the the Sun Corp, Australians are spending as much as 8.5 billion dollars every year on gym memberships, sports equipment, and on the latest weight loss programs and wellness fads.

However, according to the Heart Foundation Australians are spending 7.16 Billion dollars on fast food every year.

There is certainly a conflict between trying to lose weight and eating junk food!

This is part of the pattern that we see when we look at why dieting doesn’t work and the yo-yo dieting effect.

Many people tend to constantly flip between either being on an exercise and diet plan or off it!

There appears to be no balance or healthy lifestyle trend.

Extreme Dieting Linked to Poor Health 

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Yo-yo dieting and repeatedly losing and regaining weight is linked to negative health issues including but not limited to:

  • Cardiovascular Disease, 
  • Diabetes, 
  • Immune Dysfunction, 
  • Osteoporosis, 
  • Anxiety, 
  • Depression, 
  • Anorexia, 
  • Bulimia, 
  • Binge Eating Disorder, and
  • Disordered Eating Behaviours.

Research conducted by Utrecht University in Holland found that dieters don’t actually reduce the amount of food they eat.

However, they attach emotions to eating and food and this impacts’:

  • Feelings of guilt;
  • Loss of pleasure of eating, and
  • Stress levels.

Therefore, if the emotional emphasis of eating and food intake are decreased or eliminated then food just becomes food!

People can eat for nutrition, for enjoyment and this may reduce and/or stop emotional eating or some aspects of binge eating.

The Link Between Dieting and Emotions

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When we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect, that leads to a whole heap of emotions like guilt and shame, as well as stress.

Once we feel stressed, the stress hormones in our system are so elevated that they need to feed and that’s when we blow the diet.

The stress hormones are hungry hormones and they cause us to reach for high calorie foods like junk food.

Then we tend to feel guilty.

Society has greatly influenced the notion that for a person to be accepted, to belong, then they need to be a certain size!

It is also believed that a certain number on the scales, clothing size and/or body shape will make a person happier, more successful, and more attractive.

This is far from the truth!

The truth is: YOU ARE UNIQUE!

You’re already beautiful, just as you are!

If you want to lose weight, your goal should be focused on being healthier and living a healthy lifestyle – not a smaller waistline that is supposedly going to magically fix all of your woes or help you to live the life you dream of!

You and your life reflect a unique person.

You are much more than:

  • What the numbers on the scale;
  • The size on your clothing tags, or 
  • The shape of your body. 

Realise that food and your body are not the enemy, and learn how to create a healthy life with food.

Identify your passions in life and confidently pursue them to live a life filled with:

  • Fun,
  • Health;
  • Balance; 
  • Happiness, and 
  • Quality relationships.

If you are ready to back free from yo-yo diets and discover what it really means to be healthy and uniquely confident in who you are, then get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today.

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